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...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Slowing down...

Forgive me Reader, for I have sinned. It has been one month since my last blog.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much to tell. We had our spawning party with a pig we roasted over the fire, finished up king spawning, fed a lot of fish, started building a barge that will become the new Chinook house… it’s been a pretty slow time.

The only thing I feel like I’ve been doing lately is take water temperatures and play with water. Scott sorta put me in charge (sorta) of the water in Chinook incubation. We have two different water lines. One is warm water and one is cold water… by warm and cold, I mean 9-12 degrees Celcius (48-54 degrees F) is warm and cold is about 4.5 Celcius (40 F). Since we took eggs on different days, they are different “ages,” so we try to catch them up to each other so they are all the same age. This can be done by changing the water temperature. Warm water makes them “age” faster. We figure out their “age” in temperature units. So say a batch of eggs has been in 10 degree water for 5 days… they would have 50 TUs… We just add up the temperature of the water everyday to get their temperature units. So I’ve been working on figuring out when certain groups of eggs need to go on warmer water and been doing the water changes. Now all the eggs are caught up and we are just waiting until they are old enough until we can handle them and do otolith marking. We can start handling and mark them after 300 TUs. Today is the first day to otolith mark one group of fish and the rest of the Chinook will start this week on their certain day. The chum eggs are getting to that age too so marking will start for them maybe next week. We have kept the chum eggs on the cold water and the Chinook eggs were mostly on warm water so even though we took the chum eggs first, the Chinook eggs are technically “older” because of their warm water. Confused!?

Playing with all this water has helped me out a bit with learning the water system here. When you are a seasonal, you don’t really have to know much about that stuff. Now I’m expected to know alot about it. I’m also now expected to start driving the heavy machinery! AHH! It’s a little scary but I’m warming up to the idea a bit now. I’ve driven the small forklift twice and the really big front end loader once, with Adam’s assistance. The loader was actually pretty easy to drive. I was confused with the forklift, though, the first time, but I drove it today and it made sense. It was the whole clutch thing…

What else…? Well I guess the biggest thing lately has been some big money purchases we’ve made. We gave in and bought a tv! I’m watching it right now. We haven’t received our cable box yet though so it’s a movie. It’s a 37” LG flat screen and it’s very nice! Adam also bought a Wii, technically for my birthday. :-) I can’t wait to get it! On my birthday, I put in my large purchase to JCPenney for curtains, valances and some curtain rods. It cost a lot but apparently I ended up saving like $125! I should get those on Monday. This whole place is going to look different, new curtains, pictures and frames, tv. I also finally broke down and got that dog shock collar that I’ve been threatening Tucker with. It has been working pretty well, unless you don’t put it on him.


This is our tv... it looks bigger in person than in this picture. I think it is because the movie that's on is in widescreen so part of that darkness is screen and part is the outside of the tv.

Lastly I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes and presents! I had a fun birthday, though I had to work. There was no cake… but there was an awesome ice cream sundae extravaganza held at the bunkhouse. There was lots of ice cream and TONS of toppings! It was a lot of fun. I even got a present from Ben and Jacquie, a picture frame and some small candles. Scott came back to the party after rounds and sat down next to me with a box. He said “I didn’t know what to get you for your birthday so here…” I knew it was going to be something alive so I was hesitant, and there was a big toad in it. I didn’t even know there were toads up here, but it was funny. Besides a toad and the Wii, I got some money, candy, an awesome basket of chocolate deliciousness which had the biggest caramel/chocolate dipped apple I’ve ever seen, and some Subway letters. It was good... so thanks!

Since the blog was short, here are some pictures.


I can still hold him like a baby... an 80 lb. baby! Actually I'm not sure his exact weight but it's over 75lbs.


He really is a big ol baby though!


I thought he looked funny sitting like this... he sits like this alot...


He looks like a killer right!? He's even got a sweet scar under his eye to make him look cool. OK That's just blood from licking a fish but he got it all over him!


This is the new trick that some of the bears have learned! Instead of walking around the net, they realized they could climb through this gap in the net. We were shocked the first time we saw them do it! They are so agile... that metal he's on is only an inch or two wide.


I think this is that same bear... I just thought this looked cool. He's about to jump... the weir was raging like a waterfall.

RECOMMENDATION OF THE MONTH – If you are looking for a really great chocolate pie, I’ve got the one for you! Marie Calander’s Chocolate Satin Pie is soooo good. Usually I’m not a fan of crusts on pies, but this one has an Oreo cookie crust and it’s amazing! So go buy one!