The growing number of pelicans caught the attention of managers and anglers. “They’re eating all the trout,” was the concern. In response, we teamed up with and Utah State University and began tracking the eating habits of the birds.
Jessen and Tamarack lakes have numerous tiger trout larger than our 18-inch measuring board, yet these fish have two or three summers of lifespan left! The fat content on these fish is outstanding. These fish are flat-out impressive!
Instead, I’ll simply say that the procedure is a lot of fun – a lot. Much like birdwatching in the wetlands, you can detect a capture operation by attentive observation. A long train of DWR trucks with trailers in tow can be spotted slowly driving along dikes in the wetlands.
Wipers were introduced to Newcastle Reservoir in 2005, and by 2009 golden shiners had almost completely disappeared. Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass immediately started showing improvements and now they provide outstanding fishing opportunities.
We then place the eggs into a specially designed sieve that goes into a hydraulic pressure chamber. This chamber subjects the eggs to 9,500 PSI of pressure for ten minutes. This pressurization step is what makes the fish sterile.
Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.
The use of guzzlers provides water to all types of wildlife in areas where water sources are few and far between. One of the great benefits of this is the ability to attract animals to areas with abundant forage and little natural water…
As a biologist and angler who spends a lot of time on the reservoir, I have received reports and witnessed kokanee mortalities on the surface of the reservoir during the summer months. Sometimes there are so many dead fish, they look like bread crumbs trailing behind trolling boats.
Last week, I had a delightful experience that made me giddier than my wedding day. I was invited to join biologists and researchers as they banded burrowing owlets. Tiny, downy, newly hatched baby owls? Count me in!