Thursday, December 6, 2012
Well... I don't want make fun of people. Especially people that have never seen the water this high before, because it has been awhile since it has been this high. The river was clear over the road at Kimtu. Apparently that's a big deal nowadays. It used to be pretty routine to see water that high. The people that live in kimtu are pretty used to driving through some water up over the road, but not so much anymore. The water being over the road at Kimtu made photos in all of the important blogs and most of the local papers. It came as a little surprise to me that it was "news". Hmmmm....
The river has been moderately high, but not close to flood stage for a few years now. The river used to reach flood stage at least once or twice every year. I figur' it's global warming, that's what causes everything now. Global warming has been going on for close to 200,000 years, so you should expect to see things getting be really bad, shouldn't you?
Last year, or maybe sooner, I was musing about the moderate rainfall that we have been having and how clean the river was getting. All of the old traditional fish resting holes were clearing out, the gravel was moving out to sea, and the light rain was not causing too many great slides like we used to have every winter. I boldly stated the river was looking good and we could expect some pretty fabulous fish runs. (you could look it up)
The river was full of fish this year, but we had some pretty late rains and the run was delayed a little. When the fish finally got enough rain to head upstream, the water was not high enough to make it up some tributaries, so most of the fish spawned in the mainstream. I'm not sure how the spawn will fair in the high water we are having now, but it must be very destructive to the fish roe. The good thing is that there were thousands of fish spawned in the Eel river this years. (yes thousands!)
It is strange what mother nature will do. The old tradition fish resting hole under the bridge below Garberville, on the way to the airport, was full of salmon. Some reports said up to 200 fish at one time. The resting hole is not nearly as good as it was when the local folks saw it before 1964, but the salmon still choose to rest there. It must be genetic.
This year, environmental groups were having their praises sung for their great work in restoring the fish runs. Again, don't get me wrong, we need people to be concerned about the river and the fish, and we especially need people with the autority to stop fish habitat destruction. However, having seen the whole cycle, it was Mother Nature that caused the two major, and several minor floods that destroyed the quailty of the river fish habitat. It was also Mother Nature that brought the resting holes back.
I wish that I knew how this year's spawn is doing.
Posted by Ernie Branscomb at 10:55 AM