The last few weeks have been really busy. I’ve been helping Jack McLaren with his project on the Upper Henry’s Fork and I’ve been learning a lot. Thanks to some added safety precautions we have been able to continue our work. Lately we have been looking at fish habitat and what part the aquatic vegetation plays in it, which means we spend most our time deep in the river. So far, the work has been fun and interesting. During the first week of July we took samples of the macrophytes throughout different sections of the river. Jack is going to measure their mass and study them more in-depth back in the lab. Then we looked at macrophytes, water depth, water velocity, and took samples of the water. I really enjoyed sampling water again since I use to do it in FFA, then Jack taught me how to use the portable flow meter to measure the water velocity.
On Friday we started Snorkeling! Well, Jack and Bryce did. I got to work with Jon to take measurements and record data. When snorkeling we are looking specifically at were the fish choose to hangout, eat, and hide. When Jack or Bryce saw a fish, they would identify it and what it was doing. Then after they marked were it had been, Jon and I would collect data from that location, including, macrophyte cover, water velocity, water depth, etc. This will help us understand where the fish choose to hangout and maybe why they choose those types of cover and habitat as well.
Due to my independent project starting later in July, Rob decided to have me work on the Snorkeling project as well. Despite the change of plans it will be really neat to be able to look at the data we collect and work on compiling and analyzing it for my intern presentation in a few weeks.
I haven’t been hiking much yet this summer, but I can’t really complain since I’m out on the river every day. Still I’m looking forward to getting out in the back country and hope to do so soon. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family on the weekends and baked cinnamon rolls a few days ago so I’ve been staying busy and so far, even with the many adjustments the summer has been pretty great!