Wood Creek, The Results.

23 11 2013

Earlier this week I went to a presentation by the HRWC of all the work the volunteers did this summer.  The data I gathered along with the data from over 100 volunteers was compiled into a 90 minute power point presentation.  This presentation took all the pictures, water samples, temp readings, bug collections and water flow measurements and put it into something I could understand.  The main thing I took form this is that the whole watershed is given a score from 1 to 100.  A score of 1 is basically the bottom of a port a john where as 100 is perfectly pristine.  The watershed as a whole had an average score of 67, with one section up by White Lake scoring a 93.

As for Wood Creek the overall score was a 66 which is extremely close to the river average.  Not bad but their were a few bright points and some areas for concern.  Phosphorus levels were above the accepted number but not by much.  Anyone who fishes in my world knows what high phosphorus levels leads too…Algal blooms.  Granted they won’t be as bad as the blooms in western Lake Erie but any bloom is a bad one.

One other item of concern that bothered me was in relation to the fish, specifically Steelhead.  Years ago  adult Steelhead were seen trying to spawn in Wood Creek.  A DNR electroshocking survey failed to locate any young of the year fish.  That still doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a hatch but it is highly unlikely.  One thing I did find out was that there is a dam .6 miles upstream from the mouth.  This dam is blocking the steelhead from being able to swim farther upstream to more suitable habitat.  Maybe someday the Dam will be removed.   This data will be used to help make the case for removing the dam along with other improvements throughout the whole watershed.  Hopefully the improvements will happen.

Overall it was an interesting experience that I will do again.  I’m sure they will contact me again to help out and hopefully a different stream.

 

 

 

 

 





18 and life to go.

28 08 2013

On August 28th 1995 my daughter was born at Oakwood hospital.   Now, 18 years later she is getting ready to start college.  Where did the time go?

Daddy’s little girl grew up and I feel like I missed something.  When she was younger she couldn’t wait to for me to come home from a hunting trip so she could have her picture taken with my catch.  Now she prefers to never hear about any of it.  She doesn’t even want to go fishing with me anymore.  Alex, the same girl who wanted to compete in the DWF tournaments just so she could show the “Old Guys” that she could catch walleye too.

Where did that girl go?

New Interests, New Friends, New Settings, New Boyfriends.  A father doesn’t stand a chance.  Now I know why parents can’t wait for grandkids.  That way they can do it all over again.

Happy Birthday Alex!!





River Scout Part One

5 08 2013

 

Several months back I received an email from the Huron River Watership Council.  They were looking for volunteers for a new program they were starting up, River Scouts.  The council members are trying to collect data on the hundreds of miles of creeks and tributaries that feed into the Huron River.  Since funds are tight for this kind of field work they need volunteers.  I volunteered.

I had to attend a training meeting to find out what this was all about.  I was going to be part of a 5 person team (I have to say person because I was the only male, sometimes it’s good to be me) that was assigned to Wood Creek.  This little stream is located in Lower Huron Metro Park.  My team and I would be making 3 visits throughout the summer to take readings, pictures, clean up garbage and record any observations concerning wildlife or any aquatic critters.  Seems simple right?  Oh was I in for a surprise.

Since we are all volunteers we are doing this out of the kindness of our hearts.  If other things come up then our volunteer work will have to wait.  Such is the case with this.  Trying to schedule a time when all five of us would be available was next to impossible.  Throw in the fact that the June of 2013 received almost twice as much rain as we normally do and you can see what I was up against.  Eventually I just said to heck with everyone’s schedule and just picked a date.  July 4th.

I sent out the email stating the date and only one person showed up, Erin.  That’s okay, for what we needed to do I figured one person would be enough.  I was more worried about the water levels anyway.  The prior weekend the levels were about 4 feet above normal and made wading the stream hazardous.  I had stopped by on July 2nd to see what the level was like and it had dropped some.  My fingers were crossed that a few more days and no rain would finally allow me to do the initial testing.  Erin arrived shortly after I did and we packed up the gear and headed to the stream.  The water level was back down to normal so we waded in.  After one step I remembered that I never fixed the leak in my hip boots.  Erin just waded in with what she was wearing.  She soon found out that all natural insect repellant doesn’t work worth a damn.  They attacked her in swarms.  For some strange reason they left me alone, not that I was complaining.

Part of our work is to take temperature and water conductivity readings.  The meter they gave me takes both temperatures and measures the ions in the stream.  Anything under a reading of 2 means the water is clean and healthy.  We had to take a reading every 30 feet and mark it with GPS coordinates as well.  All of our reading were around 20 degrees Celsius (or 68 Degrees Fahrenheit) and a conductivity reading of .80.  All seems good.  The stream itself had a gravel bottom the whole length we checked.  A good sign for all those Steelheaders.  A member of the HRWC told me that they have had reports of steelhead fingerlings this far up the Huron so this may be a viable spawning area for them.

Another part of our job was to take pictures of the surrounding vegetation and make notes of any aquatic or land based wildlife.  Didn’t see any critters but I did see lots of baitfish in the stream.  As far as insects go there were a lot of damsel flies and of course about a gazillion mosquitoes. Because of this and the total failure of Erin’s all natural repellant we hurried through our sampling and got off the stream in a hurry.  She was a little annoyed that I never got bit.  Like I said before, sometimes it’s good to be me.  She was a good sport about it thought and offered to enter all our data in to the spreadsheet we were given.  I told her I would go through the pictures and add them alter when she was done.

Mission Accomplished, now all I had to do was try and schedule future visits with the rest of the team.

I’m not too optimistic about this.

Up Next, Creek Walk #2 and my Advanced Warning System.

Wood Creek (1) Wood Creek (2)





Can you believe this?

31 01 2012

Jan. 31st 2012, 54 degrees in South East Michigan. Last November the weather experts were predicting that this was going to be one of the worst winters for snow accumulation in recent history. All the snow the NE got last year was supposed to get dumped on Michigan this year. I have shoveled my driveway once and that was because I didn’t want anyone tracking snow in the house.

The boat is coming out this weekend. Walleye Beware !!





2012, Will this be the year?

5 01 2012

To the casual reader this could imply anything but for a devoted walleye fisherman it means only one thing. Will this be the year I finally catch my wall hanger? For over 35 years I have been trying to catch the ever elusive 30 inch, 10 pound plus walleye. Every year I hear of someone else who catches one and every year it isn’t me. I’ve come close but no cigar. I’ll admit I get lazy about it and don’t put in no where near the same hours some people do but even a blind squirrel eventually finds a nut. In the mean time I have a few months to re-stock, plan, dream and come up with more excuses for the new year.