Ryan Gary, Fisheries Intern
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Posted on July 16, 2010 | Permalink
Interns Log From Western Maryland - July 16
Location: Western Maryland
This week the other intern Stephen Cuccia and I traveled from Annapolis to Frostburg, we had a very scenic drive and arrived the evening before an early wake up. We woke up at 5:30 the next morning and met Matt Cell at the UMCES Appalachian Lab. We grabbed boxes full of gear for the day, and an electro shocker. After a quick stop at Sheetz for some coffee we were on our way to the Middlefork, a feeder into Savage Reservoir. After about a forty minute drive we arrived right outside of the entrance. With a big crew we had no choice but to drive the treacherous path right alongside the stream. After a few scares of slipping down the hill all the vehicles made it safely to our destination. We unloaded all the gear, and contents of our mobile tagging station. We started a few hundreds yards from where the cars are parked and took all the gear down there. At first we had one big crew consisting of 5 netters, 2 buckets, and one electro shocker. We began shocking through pools bringing up Brook trout from there hide outs. The first run yielded too many to count and we had to stop halfway through to leave them in the livewell (A bucket with holes drilled through it so fresh water could pass through keeping the fish alive). Then as we made two more passes while Al Klotz and his son Kyle stopped to measure, weigh, and then record the fish. After the first section was done we realized we could be a lot more efficient if we split into two groups, each group with one electro shocker, 2 nets, and a bucket. As we kept shocking our way upstream Matt Cell and a few others were receiving the fish we had in the livewells to tag. This left the job to Marcus to run the livewells and buckets all the way back to the tagging station, a rather rigorous task. As we finished shocking the designated parts of the stream fish were still coming in to be tagged by Matt. I helped Marcus bring back a couple livewells and then watched the tagging process. All the fish were sedated so they would be calm and ready to be tagged. After they had properly been calmed Matt grabbed one fish at a time out of the container. He would first clip the adipose fin to later DNA test to see if there were multiple strains of brook trout. After that he would measure the fish, if it was under 180 millimeters they he would make a cut right behind the pelvic fin and then insert a tag. If it was over 180 mm then he would insert the tag by needle right below the dorsal fin usually on the left side of the fish. We would shock every 50 meters of stream so once all the fish from that section of river were tagged they would be returned to the same section they came from. Overall the day was very fun and interesting, it was a great learning experience.