I'm working as a Fish Culturist at Hidden Falls Salmon Hatchery in a remote spot near Sitka, Alaska! AM I CRAZY!? I'm starting to think so...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

1 week and 5 days!

Today I woke up at 8:00 am, saw it wasn't noon yet so I went back to bed. Finally decided to get out of bed but I didn't know if I should make breakfast or lunch so I took a shower. I looked out the window to see it raining and a family of bears were looking back at me. It is know 3:00 pm ( I don't know here the time goes) and I still haven't eaten so I made fish spaghetti. After lunch I decided to take a nap, the dishes can wait! Woke up to the noise of carribou mating on the deck but the darn camera wasn't with reaching distance of the bed. Hey it's supper time what should I eat? I know, fish cassarole. After supper I knew that I had to do the dishes but there was a good movie on and I had to watch it. Before I knew it I found myself looking at the northern lights. It is great to watch tv and the northern lights from the bed. Boy am I tired, good night!


Alright ALRIGHT! So that's what Uncle Eddie thinks I do all day... minus the cool little pictures he added in! I know it's been a long time but I've been fairly unmotivated... and there hasn't even been anything good to report!

Halloween came and went... I tried to make homemade Peanut Butter cups, which turned out alright but a bit too big! The recipe said to make mini-cups but I thought I'd try to make them like the bigger Reese's cups because well... isn't that reason obvious!? I carved a cool pumpkin, that I was mighty proud of. Deena and Angie came around trick-or-treating in the rain. I guess Brandi didn't want to bring the boys out in the rain so I didn't even get to see any cute little boys in costumes. We had a Halloween "party" which just consisted of sitting around watching a movie and I made some Dirt cake, which was a hit.


What else... RAIN, RAIN... feed fish... more Rain. We seeded all of the Hidden Falls chum eggs into their incubators, then we seeded a row of Takatz eggs. Then we had nothing better to do than wait. Wait for what? Well, last year, all of the Takatz eggs were incubated in R48s. Those are the big blue barrel-like incubators. Last year we were going to switch them to the NoPad incubators (the metal stacks of 5 incubator boxes), but they didn't make them in time. So this year, that's what we were going to use. We got a delivery of half of the incubators we needed a little earlier so we were able to build them. Those are the ones we seeded into. However, we still were waiting on the rest of them. Finally the company was done with them and shipped them, but since it's cutting it close with the hatching time, we wanted to get it all done ASAP. So the boat arrived last Saturday around 11 am and we unloaded and started building.

Unfortunately, it's not really a quick process. You have to put the feet on the stands, put the PVC pieces in the boxes (5 boxes per stack), and we had to put foam on the screens. Plus before you put all the PVC pieces into the boxes, you have to chafe (sp?) them so they can be hammered in easier. That is what I did... I chaffed like 400 PVC elbows and about 100 straight PVC pieces. My hands were all cramped up afterward. Once they got all the boxes unloaded off of the boat, we had more people to help build. Adam and I built stacks in incubation, which includes leveling the stand, putting each box on, putting substrate into the box and putting a screen on top, then repeating that 4 more times until 5 boxes are done. Then repeating the WHOLE process until 18 stacks were built. Finally at around 10pm, we finished up and were able to go home. I was slightly ornery by then, my legs hurt from standing on concrete, and I was a little hungry.

Well, the whole point of building that day was to get the incubators turned on so we could make sure the water levels were good and then seed the eggs soon. Unfortunately, the company didn't send us the foam for the screens so we couldn't get that done. Actually it was probably better this way, otherwise we would have stayed working alot longer on Saturday! The hatchery in town, though, had a bunch of foam we could use so the plane flew it out to us and we were able to get that started on Monday. It took a while but we were able to start seeding on Tuesday and Wednesday. We still do have a week or two to spare on the Takatz eggs... they didn't start hatching on us. Everything went fairly smoothly, until we ran into an R48 incubator that had ALOT of bad eggs in it for some reason. Usually the eggs have about 5-7% bad eggs... this incubator had about 25-35% bad eggs. It was just plain weird... most of the bad eggs turn white when they die, but alot of these bad eggs looked like they started to develop but died shortly after. They were still orange but there was no fish in it. We don't know the cause but it was odd.

Anyhow, all of the Hidden Falls eggs have either hatched or atleast started to hatch. That means the Takatz eggs will start this week sometime, probably at the end of the week. So there has been alot of cleaning screens. When the eggs hatch, it causes alot of foam, from the proteins in the eggs I think. There's also alot of brown slime that builds up on the screens and little fish get sucked through the screens too. So the water level gets real high and overflows the screen so we have to go through a few times a day to clean them off. We don't really lose fish because of overflowing screens but we don't want to risk it.

Besides that, there hasn't been much else going on! I stopped working Friday because... I just felt like it. Don't you wish you could just do that!? "EHH I think I'm done..." :-) I might work some this week if they need me... to help feed fish or pond some baby chinook already. Other than that, I'm just hanging out now. Thanksgiving is this week so I don't think anyone is working Thursday or Friday (except to clean screens). OH, last Sunday we had bonfire of about 50 or so pallets. I know what you're gonna say... what a waste! But we always have so many!


The only bear story I have to report is something that has probably been heard already, because I've told a bunch of you. One night there was a bear ON the back porch, right under the bedroom window. It was a little to close for comfort when I heard the bear knock against the window or the wall. Who knows what it was looking for!? There was one that got up on the front porch (apparently) the other night. Adam had a new set of deer antlers on the porch table and I heard a bear roaming around in the middle of the night but didn't think it was ON the porch. You'd expect a 500lb. bear to make a bit more noise if it was walking around on a wooden porch. I think people make more noise when they walk on it! Adam found the antlers down the road a bit, wet and chewed on a bit, and broken. Dumb bears!

Hunting season has been going for a bit and Adam's out every weekend. He can get 6 deer but will probably only take 4 or 5. He's gotten 3 already though! I spent one day last weekend helping him cut up and package his first deer. That's an interesting experience... a meat market in your own kitchen! This weekend he made a deer call in the shop. It works really good but... maybe a bit TOO good because he's been driving me nuts blowing on it for the last day and a half! :-) Ever heard the sound of a baby deer in distress!? I have... ALOT!


Well, I guess that's it... I will be home in 1 week and 5 days! Now I'll probably have NOTHING to talk about since I posted it all here. HA just kidding! I'm really excited to get home and see everyone! I have a shout out in mind but I'm keeping it in my head today. For now, I'll just say To Uncle Eddie... Thanks for helping to write my blog this week! By the way, there are no Caribou on our island, we don't have a tv, I haven't seen the Northern Lights up here, I always do the dishes, and fish spaghetti and casserole sound gross! :-)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A small serving of Frosty Flakes...

Well it’s official… winter has begun. The weather for the past few weeks has been horrible, but it got worse this week. And today…. It snowed. But mostly it’s been RAIN RAIN RAIN! That’s the word of the month. I’m not even sure if we’ve had a day WITHOUT rain actually. Last week, Scott said that it was time to start building the Ark!! This week, though, we had gale warnings and it’s been pretty nasty. Tuesday is when it really began. Adam and I had to go out to the Chinook pens to feed them and the water was pretty choppy and it was pretty windy. Not a real fabulous day to be on the water. That was at the end of the day so we went home after that. Well that must have caused us to miss the MEMO from our boss that we wouldn’t be coming in to work the next day… so we came on it! We sat there for a little while at the “morning meeting” wondering why the heck no one was coming in. Finally around 8:20am, the boss came in to change the water around for some fish eggs and told us. He figured it was going to be too nasty out to feed fish. It actually wasn’t that bad out for a while, but it did get worse. The next day, Thursday, started out to be WAY WORSE than the day we took off for “bad weather.” OH BOY! Thankfully Adam and I worked on stuff in Incubation, but I did feel bad for Angie, Lexie, and Deena who had to be outside splitting some fish. I’ll get into that in a bit. Scott did ask us to feed the Chinook again, which was looking horrible, until the weather oddly cleared up after lunch.

THEN TODAY… snow was in the forecast for the afternoon. At lunchtime, Adam noticed a few snowflakes among the raindrops that were falling. NOOOO! Then we went out to feed the Chinook again… still a few flakes. We took a break on feeding the fish to check on the chum pens and to bail out a boat. Suddenly the weather went from a few flakes to a BLOWING BLIZZARD within a matter of a few minutes! It was pretty crazy. It was just some odd blast of snow that subsided but it stayed pretty windy… it’s still snowing a bit though.

So, work-related business… Last week, we “split the coho.” The Chinook were in three rows of freshwater round ponds up until a week or two ago, but then they got moved out to saltwater. That left a bunch of empty ponds. The Coho are in all the rest of the round ponds, however they are basically outgrowing their ponds so they needed to be spread out. Depending on which pond the fish needed to be moved to, we had to either 1) pour fish into buckets and walk them over or 2) pour buckets of fish into a hopper, connected to a pump, which pumped them through large hoses to the pond. These fish are still fairly small, just a few inches long, so try not to imagine large adult fish here. However, it’s still a lot of fish per pond! We’re talking about moving around 55 – 20lb buckets of fish… one bucket at a time. It’s time consuming. Of course it was pouring the whole time! This is where I learned something about my internal body thermometer… IT’S BROKEN! One minute, I could be sitting there, writing down bucket weights and FREEZING MY WHOLE BODY OFF! But the next minute, I could be moving buckets to ponds and SWEATING MY WHOLE BODY OFF!! It’s pretty ridiculous! Lesson learned… keep moving and you can stay warm… even in Alaska! And I don’t mean just jumping up and down trying to stay warm… that doesn’t work!

This week we started to spawn the coho. It’s a short thing compared to the length of chum spawning…We only have one day left until we are done, which will make a total of three spawning days. The first day, we finished the eggs for Deer Lake. The next day we started on the eggs for us. It would have been a faster process if we could have shocked the fish. Unfortunately, since we only have a certain about of fish set aside, and some of those fish aren’t quite ready to be spawned, we don’t want to kill the green fish yet. So we used clove oil to basically knock out the fish, like when we sort the coho earlier on. Each fish needs to be checked for ripeness and the green fish get thrown back in the raceway. Next week we are going to go back through and spawn those fish, hoping they are ripe enough. We only need about 1.5 million eggs.

This brings us back to when the REALLY crappy weather started… That’s basically the whole theme of this blog I guess. Crappy weather… I guess one of the days this weekend (Sunday?) it was decent. Adam and Scott went out deer hunting and came back with one deer (Scott’s though). I’ve been, admittedly, pretty lazy! I attempted to make something new last weekend, Pomegranate Truffles, but that was a bust. I had the wrong chocolate, unsweetened instead of Bittersweet, and they were horrible! But we finally got our plane today, only two days late, and I’ll try again this week! I did get out last weekend for a little bit though. Adam wanted to go pick berries to make some muffins so we hiked up to the lake and managed to pick about 4 cups of blueberries and the red and blue kinds of huckleberries. The muffins turned out great tasting!

Besides all that, there isn’t much going on. We make it a point to creep over to the bunkhouse in the dark (they took down the lights for the round ponds… I’m not happy about it!) on Thursday nights to watch Adam’s hometown guy, Bob, on Survivor. He’s made it past week 6 so far, and we have a kick watching him! I’m really ready for my vacation now… I’m growing tired of the rain, as is everyone else, and I’m not looking forward to the snow to stick, which it probably won’t for a while. OK, according to Adam, who just came in, “It’s still snowing…….. and it’s sticking in the grass.” That was last night when I wrote this... the snow definately stuck but not much. It's barely in the trees, but it's on the grass. It'll be gone if it starts to rain, but right now it's pretty calm and doing nothing. I can actually see some blue in the sky amid the clouds.

I’ve already begun planning what I’ll do at home… I sent out a few emails but I’m trying to plan a little get-together probably on the 20th of December. It’ll be sort of a Melissa’s birthday/ Christmas/ Adam’s send-off Party. Nothing is set in stone yet but I’d like to know if that’s a bad time for anyone? I hope for the whole family to be there! I think I've gotten emails back from everyone I've sent them too, except Uncle Richard. I don't even know if I have the right email address for him so someone see if they can get ahold of him for me? THANKS!

Here are a few pictures...

WHAT IS THAT? I can hear you guys saying right now. That's a Sea Lion swimming upside down. There have been 2 sea lions swimming around all the time around the wier and one day I tried to get a picture. They are really big... a few thousand pounds. When the swim around, they've got these two side flippers that stick out and look like wings. Alot of time, they swim around on their backs so they can see into the water, looking for food I'm assuming. Make the picture bigger and it might look cooler. I think they look like giant dogs.

This guy is a seal. I think I've determined that we have Harbor Seals here. I thought we had two kinds since you see some lighter ones with alot of spots and some darker ones, but I think they're all the same. This is one of the lighter ones.

Harlequin ducks... two males and a female. How come the males get to look so pretty!? I guess this isn't a great picture but I wanted a picture of these ducks. They have the coolest markings... they are dark navy or black with those white and dark red markings. They are really cool and they are always around. They just happen to want to dive or stick their head in the water when you go to click the picture.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I have a plan...

Hey folks!

Well back for the weekly... bi-weekly!... monthly!?... blog. I guess I don't write as frequently anymore but it's the slow time. Chum eggs are incubating... Chinook eggs are seeded in incubators and about to hatch... and Coho eggs are still tucked in safely with their mothers. We'll spawn them sometime... not even sure when. I previously said that we have our coho broodstock set aside for spawning, and there are SOOOO many more coho. So we've been taking them to the boat to get processed. We did that last Thursday and again on Monday. Scott said we went through 50,000 pounds of coho on Thursday!! Monday wasn't as many. Today Steve started to move his Chinook out to saltwater, and that will take another day or two.

It's really starting to cool down. This morning was probably the coldest morning we've had yet (not counting Jan and Feb and those winter months). The thermometer in the lab said it was 35 degrees... that might not have been completely right but well... now that I think about it, it probably was right. I'm not ready for cold temps like that yet! It didn't really get much warmer... I remember looking at it again and it said 41 degrees but I can't remember what time that was. It rained for some of the afternoon, but then stopped... and when the clouds cleared above the mountain tops around 4pm when we were feeding Coho, I saw the first glimpse of snow. The first light dusting of snow on the mountain... urggg... That doesn't mean it's going to snow on us soon, but that just signifies that it's getting to be that time. And it was just a light dusting...

Anyhow, I suppose the big news, though most of you know the basic plan, is that the vacation time has been set. ADAM AND I... yes, both of us!... will be leaving Sitka on the 5th of December, home on the morning of the 6th... home to Coloma! YAY! I'm excited! We'll be there until the 10th, where we'll fly to Cancun, and stay at a hotel in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico which is in the Riviera Maya (south of Cancun) for 8 nights. Then fly back home, where Adam will stay another few days and leave on the 21st of December back to Sitka. SO... GET EXCITED! :-)

I guess that's about all I have for now, except for some pictures. Some of these were taken a week or two ago... some were taken on Saturday when I was really bored and decided to go walk around and photograph things.

So one morning, there were tons of bears down by the water. I guess they all decided to leave at once because next thing we knew, there was a bear parade in front of the window. Really, there weren't tons but about 7 or 8... Ok that probably sounds like tons to you! It was the sow and 3 cubs, sow and 2 cubs and possibly a single bear. This is the mother of the 3 cubs. I took this from in the window so don't think I'm nutty! She sort of looks mad but really she just looked my way. Looks dramatic though right!?

Oh these guys! These are two of her crazy little teenagers! Playing with a piece of PVC pipe.

These guys again! Oh all the bears, I think the sow and 3 cubs are my favorite to watch. As much as I looooooove those 2 tiny baby cubs, these 3 cubs are hilarious! They are in the "teenager" stage of bearhood, so they play and fight together alot. This would be cooler if that stupid net wasn't in the way.

As teenage bears, their favorite thing to do (that I've observed) is to swim and fight each other in the water. I just love the look on that cub's face... make it bigger and it's better. I don't know if he's going to be the pouncer or the pouncee.

Silly mom! I swear, she isn't posing for the camera! She didn't just find out she was on Candid Camera either! P.S. If the picture is too small and you can't tell what is going on, she's sticking her tongue out.

This cub came jumping out of the water and played with mom a bit. Mouths are opened a bit...

I just thought this was a cool picture. That's the mom again... her cubs are below eating a fish and she was just walking around on the log. This picture just seems a bit National Geographic to me... I think it's neat.

I know I've talked about it before, either on here or to a few people, but we have a hot tub here. During my boredom walk, I decided to take a picture of you because I don't think I have before. Right now the cover is 2 pieces of wood because the bears ATE the other, real hot tub cover. They love foam. But the tub is sitting on a platform which basically sits on a rock that juts out into the water. It's a pretty nice place for a hot tub... cool scenery!

This was growing next to the hot tub and I thought it looked neat. I put my camera on the "foliage" setting and the colors (though it doesn't really look it on here) turned really vibrant.

Well that's about it.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK - Though I am not finished yet, I have a good book to recommend. I was getting bored with the books I had sitting around so I decided to check out what Oprah named as the new bookclub book. Well it's called "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski. I'm about half way into it and it's pretty good and I'd (so far) highly recommend it. It might just be in hardcover right now, which is what I have, but I can bring it home if anyone would like to read it. It's about a mute boy, Edgar, who lives in Wisconsin and his family breeds and trains dogs to sell. His father's brother enters the story and breaks the peace up in the family. His father ends up dying (Don't worry, I didn't ruin anything, all of this is written on the book cover!) and Edgar tries to prove that his uncle had something to do with it. Apparently the plan backfires and yadda yadda. I haven't even gotten that far yet. Anyhow, it's good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Birthdays and Coho and bears, OH MY...

Hey! I want to start out by thanking all of you for the birthday wishes, birthday emails, birthday cards, and even birthday packages and presents!!

There hasn’t been a whole lot going on lately… so this isn’t going to be very exciting. They have been busy doing lots and lots of Cost Recovery on the Coho… that means seining up the fish swimming around and then they get processed. We turned on the fish ladder this past weekend for the Coho to go up into the raceways so for the past few days we have been sorting them. I’m sure I talked about this last year cause it’s no fun… but we do this by bringing live and lively Coho up in the shock box, unshocked, push them into a fish tote that has a Clove oil/alcohol solution mixed in. It puts them to sleep a bit, but after a few minute in plain water, they wake up. The first few days we just threw males and females into one of the raceways, and since we have a big run of Coho this year, we can be picky with them. There were a bunch of small males so we just put those into a DIFFERENT raceway and we won’t use those, or beat up or small females. So those bigger fish are going to be uses for Deer Lake. Then we started throwing fish into another raceway (once we had the Deer Lake fish) for us. We inject our fish with Gallimyacin, which is some kind of… stuff to prevent diseases. Sorry I can’t even think of the words to explain what the stuff is. All I can think of is Antibiotic but that’s not it. Anyhow, we only inject the females that we keep for our eggs. Actually this job hasn’t been that bad… You have to put your hands in the super cold water to get the fish… and it’s so cold! I think we might have done this alittle bit later last year, so maybe the water was colder. It still was cold this year, but maybe my hands just adjusted a little better. I was also wearing these arm things so the cold water wasn’t hitting my arms, but these plastic things.

Oh I forgot this too… last week I helped out with tagging small Coho. I spent like 4 full days. 8 hours a day, clipping adipose fins off of little Coho. It was a very tedious job and my back KILLED the whole time! We knock the fish out with that same clove oil solution, clip their adipose fins (purely for the purpose of knowing that that fish is a tagged fish), then the next person sticks the head of the fish into this little machine, which, through a needle, sticks a tiny coded wire tag into their head. During spawning, we get a lot of adult kings and coho with that missing adipose fin. We have to put those aside, measure and sex them, cut their heads off and send them into a lab, where they take out the tag. Each group of fish tagged have the same number so that will say what year they are from and where they were grown, etc. It’s just a way of knowing some information about the fish.

Anyhow, sorry about the “things” and the “stuffs” and the “likes”… I guess I can’t think of words to use today! Besides dealing with Coho, big and small, all we have been doing is feeding fish really… and gluing together 384 PVC incubator pieces, in hopes that our new incubators will come before we need to put eggs in them in November! Now that the fish ladder is back on, bears are starting to hang out there more. While walking to work, Adam saw a bear climb INTO the fish ladder and walk down it toward the water. Of course, it was our friend, the tagged bear. For a little while, they seemed to be spending less time around, and I guess it still seems like they are around less, but there’s usually a bear or two or four around. The sow and three GIANT cubs seem to be daily regulars, and it’s fun watching them. Those cubs are getting so big and sometimes, you can’t even tell which bear is the mom, and she’s not a small bear! Unfortunately, more bears are on site... besides the obvious reason why that’s not good, there is another bad reason… POOP! Lots of bear poop all over. And nothing solid. Alright, sorry if that’s vulgar!

Well, I didn’t get to town on my birthday like I wanted to. But we are going next weekend! So if you want to call me Friday night, Saturday or Sunday, feel free! Not THIS weekend… the 25, 26, and 27. I’m not sure when the flight is Friday or Monday though so if you don’t reach me, that’s probably why. Guess I have to charge up my phone cause I’m expecting A LOT of phone calls! :-) Just kidding. I’ll probably call people before they call me. My birthday was pretty low key… we hung around for a while, then went out in the boat for a bit and Adam fished, but it wasn’t that great cause the water was a little choppy. Hard to read in those conditions. I decided to forgo having a cake baked for me and celebrating with a lot of people. A bunch of people are out of town anyhow. So Adam and I bought all the fixings and decided to have an ice cream sundae extravaganza! It was good! We had a plane the Friday before my birthday and Adam flew in a bouquet of flowers for me, which was fabulous! They look great still, almost a week later and there are still a few flowers yet to bloom. They are white and bright pink/purple lilies that smell GREAT, some smaller purple lilies and a few purple snapdragons. They are really nice, and the first flowers I’ve ever gotten, which makes them so much better!


Umm… well I guess I can’t really think of much else to say. If you are looking for something interesting to watch on tv next week, the new Survivor starts. There is a guy on it who is the father of a kid Adam grew up with. It’s a little cool! Again, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes, cards, and gifts! I loved them all! You guys have fun! As for me, I’m eagerly awaiting next week, when a FABULOUS movie that I pre-ordered should arrive (The Sex and The City Movie), and then I get to head to town (where I’m sure it’ll be boring but atleast I can wander around!) That’s all for now!

Here are some pictures...

I love these guys... really! The picture doesn't show the effect of how cute it was when mom was standing over both of her cubs while they were eating. The other cub is in the back.

So last week, maintenence was working on the deck to the duplex. These are the stairs on our side... the day before, they replaced the stairs and stained them nicely. Well the bears had their fun that night, licked all the stain off of the lower stairs (Notice how they get darker as they go higher... the top stair is fine.) There are some strands of bear fur stuck there and that 2nd step down had some bear claw marks through the stain.

I just thought this was cool.

So I wrote all that last night, but the internet wouldn't work right to post it. Today, I have a weird bear story. This morning Adam noticed some bear by the weir net that was acting weird... kind of dragging it's butt. Well it wasn't moving for a while, even though there were two bears that were standing there waiting to get around it. After a little while it moved but we didn't see it. Well, it managed to move itself to the middle of the grassy area behind the lagoon. This time we noticed it was definately messed up. Using the binoculars, we saw that it was dragging itself. It couldn't use it's two back legs which were both just dragging behind it. We felt so bad for it! It was pulling all it's 500+ lb. weight on it's two front legs. We're not sure how it got that way or what happened to it, or even which bear it was. He would drag himself a few feet and then looked like it had to rest and was panting. It was so sad! Eventually we didn't see him anymore because he pulled himself out of sight but I have a feeling we won't see him again... probably won't make it. I wish I knew what happened to it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Just another week...

So I'm sitting here slightly bored and I think, "Maybe I should write a blog..." But then I realize, "I've got NOTHIN! I don't really even have any good pictures!"

Well I do have a few pictures but that's about all.

We haven't been doing anything lately except feeding fish. Our boss came back from vacation a few days ago and even he hasn't really thought of anything good to do. But for the past few days, I've been helping Adam out with the Cost Recovery efforts. There are ALOT of Coho around, though they aren't ready to spawn. So we have a boat that seines them up. Lately, they've been putting them in the broodstock pens that we have out there to keep them alive, then we have a processing boat come and they net the fish out, cut their gills while still alive, and then the fish go down in the holds and taken somewhere. I guess they get more money for them this way, as apposed to the boat seining them up and just putting them in the hold of their boat (and they probably die?) Anyhow, I'm not sure how the whole money thing works out but since it's "cost recovery, " our company gets the money instead of the seiner (though they get paid for helping us out.) I guess we're getting $2 per pound... and the fish are averaging about 8 pounds (some bigger). So that's $16 a fish on average... We're talking a half a million dollars worth of fish here... or more. SOOOOOO... it's pretty essential! All I've been helping out with though is putting the fish into the pens from the seiner net.

Well that's literally about all I have to say! Here are a few pictures...

So the other day, this bear was right outside the window just eating a fish. It's the tagged bear that likes to come on site and cause problems. He really hasn't done anything except steal a bucket, but he shouldn't be on site. He doesn't seem to get scared away either. But I took a video of him through the window with him knowing I was there because I was making sounds. He wasn't fazed.

These are the two tiny baby cubs! Aren't they so adorable!? I call them my twin babies. See the size difference between mom and the two... I love watching them cause they are so clumsy and funny.

AWW!! Look at that cute stomach! :-)

Well that's all I have... next weekend is my birthday and Adam and I might head to town. We're still not sure yet though because he has to do rounds at night (meaning he has to make sure things are still working by walking around every night around 8... and he has to be on site all week) So unless he can change a few days with someone, we might have to put that trip off for a few weeks until the plane schedules work out again. I'll let you know so you all can call me on my phone! :-) If you feel the need to send me a birthday gift, I'd like some Red Vines (they are like twizzlers but a little different) I don't want twizzlers though... RED VINES! Maybe some gummy bears... and Adam would like some Reese's cups.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE WEEK - If you are looking for a good movie, I have a few.

If you want more of a kid-friendly movie, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a good movie! It's about a 243 year old man that owns a magic toy store. I thought it would be more KID-like and more animated but it is a pretty good movie!

If you are looking for a pretty funny PG-13-ish movie, What Happens In Vegas is really funny and good! It's about two people that end up getting married after a crazy drinking night in Vegas (after knowing each other for a day), win a $3mill jackpot, but end up having to live as a married couple for 6 months in order to get their share of the money. Well it's a funny, funny movie, and I recommend it! It's brand new.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chum and King Spawning... check!

I guess it has been a little while since I posted a blog… sorry about that.

Well, what’s new? A few days ago, we finished up with spawning. It’s definitely been a weird year… we didn’t get all of the eggs we needed but we should have enough anyhow. We were shooting for 19 Takatz incubators full of eggs and we only got 11, but we got all of our Hidden Falls eggs. We took eggs for the Deep Inlet program across the island, but we may end up stealing some of those for ourselves. We were supposed to take some amount of eggs for the Port Alexander hatchery also but… well that didn’t happen. Anyhow, after chum we are supposed to do Kings but since things are so screwy this year, we ended up taking a few day break from chum and doing the kings. Then we went back to chum. Towards the end of the chum spawning, it seemed we had more OTHER fish coming up instead of chum… kings and coho and a few pink salmon. The coho are a later spawning fish but they are coming in THICK right now, which is pretty crazy. Even though we finished up the kings, there are still a lot of those guys coming up into the raceways too, so while we are trying to get as many chum done as possible, you end up spending more time on the table sorting out the coho and kings and looking for tags and just trying to get them out of the way. This is such a pain too because the kings are really big and we have to cut most of them in half before we can send them down the grinder.

Last Friday, we had a tender (a boat that takes fish from all the seine boats and brings them to town) come to take all of our coho that were coming up. See, the coho are coming up into the raceways but they are really nice, bright fish right now and not ready to spawn. That means their meat is really nice, and instead of grinding a few thousand great looking fish, might as well get some money for them. So we had to load coho up into fish totes (plastic insulated boxes similar to bulk boxes for fruit) to take out there. They were taking the kings too, so those got loaded also. Well, this doesn’t sound so bad… BUT… there’s always a but! We normally shock the fish in the shock box and then bring them up, but that will cause bruising to the nice fish that we are trying to sell, so we couldn’t do that. For a little white, we were shocking them just a little bit but I think they determined that was still bad. So they started bringing them up live, which is pure chaos when you have 50 or so live fish going nuts on the sorting table! Thankfully I wasn’t a part of that “hitting squad.” Well, after a few of those boxes of live fish, the shock box decided to stop working. That means no more transporting fish onto the table. The plan, then, was to just turn off all the water in 4 raceways, all the coho and kings would go into totes and we’d spawn all of the chum, but that meant lifting each fish onto the table one at a time by hand. Lemme tell you, that was one of the most miserable, STUPID days I have had here. This all sounds so morbid, but after a while, the fish run out of oxygen in the raceways so they all pretty much die. That made it a lot easier but for a bit, they were rather crazy. We had to get all of the chum out of the raceways before we could take lunch, otherwise the eggs would go bad. Unfortunately, the stress of the whole thing made a lot of the fish just freak out and drop a lot of their eggs, so we didn’t even get THAT many eggs that day. Eventually we took lunch around 1:30 or so, but we had to come back and deal with all the rest of the fish. We are just talking about a few hundred fish… we are talking about a few thousand fish! One by one… lifting them out of the raceways. It’s not so bad doing the few random chum left and the coho because they are a small, light fish… averaging like 5 pounds or so. But the kings average like 20-25 pounds!! And there are definitely some in the 30+ pound range. One fish at a time… Sure didn’t need to work out THAT day. I think we were out there until about 7:30 getting fish out… I’m not sure how many… a lot of them went to the tender but a lot we had to just cut and send down the grinder. I know we sent 13,500 pounds of coho and 13,500 pounds of king salmon to the tender… which, at about 25 pounds, is about 550 kings. I know we also had to lift about 600 kings out of the raceway to be cut and ground up. All in all, it was a pretty ridiculous day that I’d never like to repeat again! Anyhow, so the water is off so no fish can go up the ladder. That day, too, Adam hurt his foot in the morning by dropping a fish tote on his foot that weighed around 50 or 60 pounds. He was out for the rest of the day and it swelled up a bit and was pretty sore but he was alright. It’s a little sore now, a week later, but he’s good.

Well the next day, Saturday the 16th, was the spawning party (even though we weren’t done spawning at that point). It was a pretty fun night! The weather wasn’t very nice but no one seemed to care that much… a little rain never hurt anyone. I spent the earlier part of the day making sugar cookies in the shape of salmon and bears. Adam, the day before, made my potato salad for me, and made smoked salmon dip. I also made a chocolate cheesecake for Adam’s birthday the next day. The party started later with a feast of Hidden Falls proportions… that means lots of meats and some other stuff. Then we began our horseshoe tournament (which we never did finish, but Adam and I won our game). Then, our came the amusement. See, a few days before, I was telling Jess, one of the seasonals from last year, that I was going to be making a cheesecake for Adam’s birthday. Somehow, piñatas came up… the next day she said she was going to buy one. So she did… A Superman piñata that they decided to stuff with some random candy and miniature booze bottles! It was supposed to be a secret but Deena told Adam… so he had to act surprised. So the day of the party, Jess and I tied Superman to the forks of the loader and Shannon drove it out. Watching Adam swing at that piñata with his eyes covered and using a little spawning bat (looks like a Police bat) was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen! Shannon was moving it around so he couldn’t get it… then once it hit Adam in the back of the head as he’s swinging wildly! Finally he whacked it and the whole thing flew to the ground but didn’t break, but since Adam was blindfolded he just kept swinging at the air like crazy. They tied it back up and I think that’s when he took down the blindfold and just whacked it and mini booze bottles flew everywhere! It was hilarious and a pretty funny way to turn a piñata into some good ol Adult fun!


Lots of viewers for the horseshoe tournament...


Ready to attack!

So after the piñata shenanigans, we did our spawning games. Pretty much the same as last year… the bucking contest (umm shooting the contents of the male fish), the chum toss (literally throwing a chum), and a second chum toss as pairs. I was ready to win in the bucking contest this year and I was in the lead with a distance of 20 feet 4 inches for a little bit, but Dan and Deena both beat me by a good two feet… so I got a t-shirt for coming in third place. I got a video of it for Dad, since he thought it was really funny and wanted to see. Then I ALMOST won the girl chum toss… I jokingly blame Jess for beating me because she stole the fish I was going to use! The boys were funny though… Clay ended up throwing his behind him into the bushes and Scott’s fish flew over the spawning shed and down the roe shed roof. Then we did the pairs chum toss… two people held the corners of a towel and had to throw the fish using that towel. Most pairs just ended up twisting the towel around the fish. Pretty funny stuff! Then we just stood around the fire all night, with Benji watching for bears. The next day was Adam’s birthday so we had a chocolate cheesecake feast. It turned out pretty good too for my first real cheesecake!


This is our nice firepit... it's a half of a metal bouy that is big enough to fit a pallet in. Angie made and cut the design in it, and I thought it looked pretty cool with fire.


Chum cookies...


Adam made this "bear eating salmon" cookie... with blood and everything...

I've never showed the babies at Hidden Falls yet... this is Lora, Steve's wife, with their 7 month old daughter Eliza. She's a pretty big baby!

These are Josh and Brandi's two little boys, Tytus (in the back - 2ish) and Leif (in the seat - 8 months old?).

The bear traffic the past few days has really picked up! Last night we saw 11 bears at the weir at one time. The bears are starting to pick on each other a bit too! Last night I watched a bear steal fish from another bear a few times! It was pretty daring of that bear too since he was stealing from a mom with a few cubs. But he did it a few times! There was some fighting too… mostly like “Get away from me and my fish!” fighting, but Adam saw two bears actually standing up and slapping each other around a few times. Apparently some bears are starting to walk around on site during the day now… the mom and triplets were today. We’ve decided it’s going to be pretty crazy here when the fish start to go away… that means I’m never leaving my house! :-) We just saw one on our side of the water when we came back from the bunkhouse and Adam shot it with a rubber bullet to scare it a bit, but it didn’t really seem fazed. There has been about 20 different bears around, according to one of the seasonal’s count. Lots of them mothers with cubs… We have 3 different mothers with two cubs, one with three, one with one and the rest are single bears. There are a few pretty big bears too… but we’ve also seen some pretty tiny ones for bears on their own. We’re just going to have to keep our eyes opened at all times.

Lately the weather has been CRAP! It has been really foggy, rainy and cold for the past few days but thankfully we have been doing inside work. We’ve been getting all the incubation stuff done. This year we got a bunch of those metal box incubators so we didn’t have to use the R48s but we still haven’t received them all. We’ve been setting up as many as possible though. They put in longer water systems so now instead of rows of 16, we have rows of 24. Incubation looks pretty packed.

I know you've all seen the eagles but I'm pretty proud of this picture! Now that's a good National Geographic shot!

This is a sockeye salmon aka a "red" salmon. It's just a stray salmon that got lost or something... we only saw one and didn't see any last year. Pretty cool looking though. That's what they look like when they are ready to spawn... big hump and the big hooked nose...

Well, this was a long one… I originally planned to NOT relive that day of picking up hundreds of king salmon from the raceways but it all just spilled out. I hope it all made sense.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Weekend for the Record Books

So I must start out with some Non-Hatchery business… as most you probably don’t know, this past weekend was the Drum Corps International finals in Indiana. My drum corps, Phantom Regiment, has an amazing show this year (so I’ve heard) so there were high expectations. They went into Quarterfinals performing in the 4th place position, but after scores, rose up to 3rd. Semifinals the next night, they got 2nd place. Well, Satuday was finals… AND THEY WON! By 0.025 points!! It was an amazing night for the corps and all the vets who have marched in that corps. When I heard, I had the most amazing feeling come over me and I couldn’t help but tear up with pride. So, I say SUTA to you, the 2008 DCI WORLD CHAMPIONS, THE PHANTOM REGIMENT!

Back to hatchery business... There is probably a week more of chum spawning. Last weekend, they even set a new daily egg take record of 9.6 million eggs! We average somewhere around 7 million to 8 million eggs a day though. A lot of King salmon are starting to come up the ladder, though, which means they are ready to go. However, we do them after chum so…. “YOU GUYS ARE TOO EARLY!”

OK so I wrote that the other day… due to the amount of king salmon coming up, we decided to start spawning them and continue doing the chum at the same time. King spawning usually only takes a few days so we’ll be done with them fairly soon. Chum however… they aren’t cooperating very much. We just started Takatz incubator #5 out of 19 and it almost seems like we are going to run out of fish like… SOON! So that could be a very big issue in the coming days.

Friday we had a few visitors that came to the hatchery… maybe you have heard of them. Umm…


It isn’t as exciting as it sounds really... There was a camera crew that set up at the weir that taped the salmon jumping up in the water coming out of the weir. We thought they were pretty lame actually. They didn’t even come to check out the spawning or anything… come on, that’s the coolest part! We talked to Angie a little later, who talked with the camera guys. Apparently, our salmon are going to be world famous! There is a movie that is going to be coming out, in theaters even, called Oceans in like 2010. So somehow, the footage of our fish is going to be in there. That’s pretty cool I guess but it would have made a cooler story to tell you guys if I was going to be in the National Geographic magazine or something!

Those are the camera guys being boring...

Friday we also had a funny bear experience. The other day, the boys had to go over to the creek across the lagoon and try to catch the fish that had made it over there past the lagoon barrier net. Well they got some and they were using this little boat, which is now tied up near the fish ladder. Well Friday morning, I was walking to work when I noticed a bear over near that boat. There must have been some delicious fish eggs in it because the bear climbed halfway into the boat and was licking it out. He kept looking up and around for people, but never saw us. We were far away though. Finally he ran away when Adam and Clay started to throw some rocks at it. Crazy bears!



The bears have been staying away lately, since there have been some fish over in that creek. I guess being in the creek is just farther away so they probably feel safer. Probably easier to catch over there too. So there hasn’t been much bear action lately, besides boat bear. Adam spotted some bears way across the cove today, a sow and 2 cubs, and he said they looked tiny. Using binoculars, we did see them and they were REALLY REALLY TINY! I hope they come around here so I can see them better. They looked puppy sized. They are definitely this year’s cubs and one’s we haven’t seen before. I thought the 2 cubs that we see around here all the time were this year’s because they are small too, but they must be last year’s.

Bear tracks at the beach... I thought they were pretty cool.

And they were fairly big. Actually this probably wasn't even a very big bear... My foot is big sooo.... This bear has the Moser feet!

OK this is a really random picture but I thought I'd show you what chum meat looks like right now. Good salmon meat is a really dark orangey "salmon" color. This is really light and pale. Adam was using this as bait.

Alright, due to the fact that I started writing all THAT up there a few days ago (except that spawning update I just wrote) and now it’s two days later, I’m not sure what else to write… Considering you probably won’t read this until TOMORROW or the next day…

This weekend is the spawning party, which should be fun. I’m going to make potato salad and my salmon cookies. OK before you get grossed out… they are just sugar cookies made with my brand new salmon shaped cookie cutters. I have bears too… not sure if I’ll use them this time. Adam is going to make his delightful smoked salmon dip. He went diving Sunday for some sea cucumbers so we could eat them at the party. We eat them as little strips of meat deep fried and they are pretty good. So he spent forever cleaning about 70 of those slimy buggers. I think we are also going to try to get another animal to roast… like a pig. Last year we had a lamb. Oh and Sunday is Adam’s birthday so I’m going to try my first attempt at making a cheesecake… a chocolate cheesecake.

Well, that’s all for now!

SHOUT OUT OF THE YEAR – This couldn’t go out to anyone else right now but the Phantom Regiment for making so many people around the world the proudest people IN THE WORLD! What you guys did this year was something for the record books! SUTA!

Oh and By the way, don’t bother asking what SUTA means… it’s a Phantom Regiment thing and I won’t tell. ;-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Spawning Week 1

One week of spawning down.... uhhh HOW long to go!?

Spawning has been crawling by. The fish seem ready to go and there are alot in the ladder but... they don't want to come up into the raceways. So, instead of a full 8-hour day of spawning we are lucky to get 4 or 5 hours. Today, they got 5.1 million eggs and that is the highest we've gotten so far. Last year we had a 9 million day. Needless to say, it might take a little while if we don't get a full-days fish up in the raceway. But besides the fish, things are going well. The newbies have jumped into spawning with enthusiasm. I've been having a pretty good time, except my darn finger hurts. The same darn finger I hurt last year too... doing the same thing. A finger injury from bucking fish. Not an injury you hear very often!? :-D Anyhow, I just wrap some duct tape around it to immoblize it and I'm fine. I think it's just a strain on whatever muscle, tendon, ligament, something on the bottom part of my right pointer finger. On my left hand I have a few blisters that I noticed yesterday. Also from bucking I think but from where the spawning gloves rub on my hand in certain spots when I grab fish tails. Yesterday I worked the table sorting fish with Scott and, not gonna lie, I had a good time! It's fast paced... you are whacking things... I was even proud of myself to find a few partially popped out eyes on a few females. Creepy sounding, I know.

Today we had a bunch of tours walking around the hatchery. A big boat holding 100 people came and Scott, Adam, and Steve gave tours... 5 tours of 20 people each. We knew this boat was coming for a while though... I guess the company got some money for allowing these people to come in and check out the place. Scott said the cruise started in Japan and they visited Russia and I guess then came to Alaska... something like that. So I hung around the spawning shed for a while, talking to the spawners in between tours. Most of the tourists were older, 60s and 70s but there was a few in there 20s and a few in their teens. It was funny to see their reactions to what was going on and seeing the scenery. One lady was sort of standing back for a bit and then scooted closer to take a few pictures but when she moved back to the back, she was sorta making some faces like "eww gross." A few people asked me questions and things... the usual questions you get. "Do they feel pain?" What do you answer to that!? "How do you clean that stuff up!?" asking about the blood all over. Another lady walked up to me and was like "Alright, what the hell is going on up there!?" She was kind of funny, but seemed a little grossed out.

So what else is new? The bears... well... they seem to be off doing other things right now, despite what I said about them being crazy around here last week. We did have some fish that got past (or through) the barrier net in the lagoon, so I think the bears have been over there catching them. That's good though because otherwise we are just going to have to get them out when they are good and rotten in a few weeks. The weather the past few days has been really nice, and right now there is sun shining through the window as I write this. Hopefully it stays that way for a while. Earlier in the week, though, we had had alot of rain so the water in the lagoon was REALLY high and pouring over the concrete part of the weir. There was so much water pouring out of the opening in the weir, it looked like whitewater rapids! Especially at low tide.

I guess it's a little harder to see the water over the concrete in this picture but you can see it pouring down onto the rocks on the right side of the picture. And the tide isn't real low so the water doesn't look like it's raging.

The rest of my pictures I have are just the usual animal shot... Nothing real special.



Such a cute little guy!

OK so I guess this isn't a normal animal shot. We were eating lunch the other day and Adam looked out and said "Hey, a one legged sea gull!" So I snapped this picture, but I wondered if it really was, or if it was just on one leg. So I threw something at it to make it fly away and, boo... it had two legs.

Alright, well that's about all for me. Dad wins the award for the best blog comment from last blog when I was talking about all the different bears.

"Get yourself a paint ball gun and shoot the damn bears in the ass with a different color so that we really can know who all the characters in the bear stories are!"

HA I laughed at least. He wins the award for the longest email too! Anyhow, thanks for the emails back, in response to my "Neglected and Ignored" email that I sent to some of you. I was just bored and needed some stuff to read. Plus I wanted to make sure you guys read that blog. I know it's hard sometimes because I write sporadically. Would it help if I emailed you everytime I blogged?

Well, I guess that's about all.

SHOUT OUT OF THE DAY - Have fun in Brazil, Melissa! Also to you and Mike, Happy Anniversary!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Spawn-A-Thon starts now!

Let the Spawning Shenanagans begin!

We started spawning Sunday afternoon. But Monday was our first full (well, almost full) day of spawning. The fish seem to be ready but they don’t want to come up into the raceways. So we finished the raceways at lunch, then did some other things and came back to spawn at 3. Sunday afternoon, Adam and I weren’t scheduled to work but we ended up anyhow. Somehow, I got pushed back into my last year role as bucket runner. See, last year if you remember, I hurt my wrist. I hurt it trying to be Superman and carry too many buckets into incubation at one time… ironically, that was the only job I could do after I hurt it until it got better. How does that work out, you ask!? Well, I realized I was dumb, and that it wasn’t so bad if I carried only two buckets at a time. No one liked running buckets anyhow, so it all worked out. Well, that was my job yesterday and I feel like I’ve sort of taken responsibility for the happenings in incubation and the set up and things so that’s ok.

Monday, we jumped into spawning, preparing for a full day. I took my position at the front in my FAVORITE job… bucking fish. It was fun times, really. At break, Deena told me something funny, about myself. Adam from the table sent down a severed salmon head down the male fish area (probably cut off from getting fish in the shock box). Well I thought the head was sort of funny, thanked them for the fish head with a big smile apparently. While walking to break, Deena said “You know it’s sorta funny… you are the girl who loves reality tv shows and Cosmo magazine… and then you get all excited when someone sends you a fish head!” I told her “Well… that just means I’m a well rounded girl!”

Well, we did some random stuff after lunch, and then went back to spawning. I decided to tackle a job I never did last year. I never cut females last year during spawning… I only did it when we took roe for caviar. I didn’t really have a problem during roe, but I was still a little nervous. You have to be a lot more careful that you get out bad eggs and to get all the eggs out of the fish. Oh, and then there’s the issue of holding the fish! That was my issue. My plan to grab the fish over the head and in it’s gills didn’t pan out, so I had to grab it in it’s mouth. It all took a bit of practice grabbing them but eventually I got faster. That sure puts a lot more strain on your body than any of the other spawning jobs. My arm started to hurt because the fish are heavy and you have to hold the fish up to your chest so it’s high enough. Then your fingers start to hurt and actually, they pretty much just went numb after a while, which made it easier oddly. That’s also a job where you really start to be thankful for your rain pants! They still don’t protect your clothes from all the blood and gore but mostly. On one hand you have a glove, which you need to duct tape around the thumb because the fish teeth will cut through your glove. The other hand is just plain covered in blood... hopefully not your own!? The fish is pushed up against your chest so your shirt is slimy and bloody. It’s a crazy time.

So that’s that… let spawning begin. Only 140,000,000 eggs to go! Seriously… :-D

The bears are out and about, but mostly staying on their side so far. The sow with the 2 cubs doesn’t seem to be very people shy and isn’t easily scared away, so I think she might be an issue this year. I did see the sow with the one cub, whom I’ve named “One Cub” – mom and “Patches” – cub, smack around my favorite bear, a poor single bear named Blondie. I woke up to some loud bear hollerin at about 5am and saw that Blondie had walked up behind One Cub and Patches while they were fishing. One Cub is very skiddish and doesn’t like other bears around so she wasn’t happy… smacked Blondie around alittle. Besides that, we’ve determined that the Sow with 3 cubs is pretty ornery, which is understandable... 3 cubs and all. I’ve seen her growl at her own cub before. But her really dark, almost black cub, is pretty funny to watch. It’s definitely a loner, but is always stealing the fish that mom catches and running off to eat it himself. If mom or the other 2 cubs come up, he runs away with it. It’s pretty funny. Anyhow, I’ve got some bear pictures for you but not too many…

This is the Sow and 2 cubs... they are always on our side of the weir. Adam took this picture, then the bear got spooked and looked like she was going to come right at Adam who was on the deck. The bear turned, but he wasn't sure what she would do.

This is One Cub and Patches. You can see the little patch on the cub's neck, hence Patches. I think this was that morning, maybe, that One Cub smacked Blondie around. MMM... fish chunks.

This is just alot of bears. It was really weird to see them all around together looking around at the same thing. This is the Sow with 2 cubs (closest... the cubs are small) and the Sow with 3 (the biggers ones behind). There are 7 bears in there...

SO that's all... the weather's been crappy lately, so no good news there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Love of my Life

Lemme just tell you all that I am IN LOVE with my new camera! Despite the fact I can't figure out how to take a good clear picture in dark or dim lighting (aka at Ginger's wedding!) It works FABULOUSLY out here! I have been taking so many pictures. Really that's all I even have to talk about in this post...

I've been taking lots of bear pictures! The bears are back... and they are back more than last year I think. I can't remember seeing so many bears around the weir at one time. Maybe there are just more cubs this year which ups the count, but the other day, we had 8 bears (5 cubs and 3 adults) out there at one time. They didn't stick around together and play or anything... they are all a bit weary of each other, especially when it's mothers with cubs. They come and go pretty often... usually running off with a fish and then returning for more. Today I think I've seen... 11 or 12 different bears? We have the mom with 3 cubs, the mom with 2, the mom with 1... and then a few single bears walking around. There has even been a pretty BIG bear walking around... first time I've seen him. I'm pretty sure it's a him... he sure is bigger than any of the mother bears and built alot bigger and stockier.

Anyhow, my pictures...

First, I want to show you how fabulous my zoom is. :-) This is as far as my zoom will reach... they were dumping broodstock into the adult net pens, and then they'll go into the little cove.


THIS is where I was standing to take that picture. Nice right!?


Eagle shot... up in the tree across the weir.

This one is alittle grainy but still decent. The eagles are pretty large... compare the eagle to that crow behind it. And we have pretty large crows around here!

OK now some bears. This is the mom with 3 cubs... this set intrigues me because as you can see, mom and two cubs are brown and that 3rd cub is really dark brown and has a cool white/grey stripe across his chest. I don't really think this is the same set of 3 cubs as last year but I don't know. They are probably cubs from last summer though. I think the mom is on the rock?

This is the mom with 2 cubs. These are definately this year's cubs because they are pretty small. And super cute! She's a really tiny mom too.

Just like a little dog.

7 bears at once. Mom with 2 and Mom with 3. I was hoping to see some kind of mother bear stand-off since they are so protective over their cubs, but they stay away from each other for the most part.

I think this is SOOO cute! I love it when the little cubs stand up on their hind legs! Looks just like a little teddy bear.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE DAY - Almond Poppyseed muffins... they are fabulous. I made some good ones so if you want the recipe, email me.