:: Here's a short video showing some of the beautiful rivers and streams of our region. We hope you enjoy! ::
Well, we're trying to wrap up another year of field and hatchery work! The prolonged nice weather (around here at least!) this fall allowed us to get mostly caught up with planned field work. As usual, however, some work did go unfinished! Once the weather did turn and the rain started....well, it hasn't let up much!
But, we're already looking forward to next field season and hopefully, we can even manage to accomplish some of the field work this winter! We have been experimenting with several different small, waterproof cameras we hope to incorporate into our bag-o-tricks in the field. One we're particularly excited to try in the river includes a small (about 3" long by about an inch in diameter), fairly high resolution camera complete with a group of LED lights. We have this mounted on a length of PVC pipe with a flexible neck of Loc-Line at the end. This is connected to a small, portable DVR, housed inside a watertight plastic box. We hope to be able to use this for several projects. Most notably, Ashy darter and Boulder darter surveys. Both of these darters spend much of their time under very large slabs, sometimes in water just deep enough to make snorkeling difficult! The plan is to poke the little camera under the slabs to see who might be home! We have played with this in some of the larger vats in our hatchery, poking it under some large slates that the fish use as cover. We were nicely surprised by the clarity of the images. We feel like this might even work in the limited visibility often encountered in the Elk River....a place often very difficult to snorkel! I promise an update! Hopefully we can even get out this winter and use the camera from a canoe. We'll see!
Speaking of Ashy darters, we have now found them at two sites in the Little River in Blount Co., TN. Both sites are historic sites, but specimens have not been seen at one of these in probably 15 or more years. The other site yields one or two every few years.
We are building a "Spring Room" as we speak. This room is intended to house some of the species that are normally found in springs and spring runs. In nature, these usually have more stable temperatures....warmer in winter, cooler in summer. As it is, our spring inhabitants share the space all of the other species live in. They've done OK like this, but we suspect the lifespan of fishes like Spring Pygmy Sunfish are shortened in the higher summertime temperatures. This new room with have heating and cooling independent of the rest of the hatchery.
Donations to Non-profit organizations in someone's name make excellent gifts! If you would like to do this for CFI, we'd be happy to send a nice, personalized card to that person telling them that you made a contribution to CFI in their name. We could include the amount, or not...your call. If you would like to do this, you can make your donation through our web site and shoot me (J.R.) an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) letting me know how you'd like to handle it. I'll make sure a card gets sent! Thank you for considering this!"