The over-arching goal of the research is to restore native fish species, including Bonneville cutthroat trout, to fire-affected streams in the Tushar Mountains. However, the watersheds of these remote 12,000+ foot peaks do not provide data easily.
Bats are interesting and largely beneficial animals that provide important “ecosystem services.” That is a fancy way of saying they eat lots of harmful bugs for free. They can eat half of their weight in forest and crop pests every night.
DWR stocks 12,000 rainbow trout and 5,000 tiger trout every year into Red Creek Reservoir. The rainbows are stocked in mid-June and the tigers in early July. Red Creek Reservoir can actually yield some pretty impressive growth, and the condition of the fish has been good.
Newer research has shown an additional factor: water and air temperatures play a big part in fish survival. Fish, especially cold-water fish like trout, are more likely to die when they are caught and brought up into warm summer waters.
The mulie bounded across the road in front of us. Powerful leg muscles flexed under her summer coat, propelling her through effortless 20-foot arcs. Five heads swiveled to watch the deer, some of them lurching from reclined positions of slumber.
Boreal toads are more active at night, so we’ll be surveying breeding sites after dark using headlamps. Food and sleeping arrangements at one of our remote cabins in west Box Elder County will be provided! The work typically does not end until after midnight.
To me, the most satisfying thing about the Waterfowl Slam is that every dollar raised from this program is going towards creating or enhancing waterfowl habitat in Utah. So far we have raised over $10,000 that will go directly back into habitat projects around the state!
In addition to the adventure of the experience, it’s been a goal of mine to harvest every species of upland game I manage in the Upland Game Program. Going into the 2013 season, I had one species left: the elusive white-tailed ptarmigan. The hunt was on!
Everyone was eager to not only see these mysterious creatures up close, but to touch and even smell the furry little flyers. Seeing everyone in the dark was difficult, but characterizing the mood of this group was easy: Bring on the bats!
When the mob of chicks came back to my edge of the fence, I just reached in and picked one up. That, of course, left its beak free to protest by pecking the top of my head. I got the little guy under my arm quickly and was able to hold a hand over his eyes, which calmed him down.
In late April, my regional supervisor, Bill Bates, forwarded me an email asking for help retrieving a transmitter from the study. The osprey carrying it had died, then been covered by snow over the winter. The transmitter sent out a signal in October of 2012, but went silent after being covered in snow.