Thanks to my mentor Dirk, at the end of July I was able to go out on a backpacking trip with 2 fish biologists from the forest service. With 3 other ladies from California fish and wildlife, we hiked 16 miles to Stella Lake. This lake is right on the eastern border of Yosemite and is right on the PCT! The purpose of this trip was to continue an ongoing project called the high mountain lakes project that is designed to remove fish from alpine lakes in order to help restore populations of the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog. This frog is endangered due to a combination of factors including predation by invasive fish and due to outbreaks of the Chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Our team spent a week at Stella putting in gill nets in order to catch and remove rainbow and brook trout. During our time up at the lake, there was an active forest fire in Yosemite called the Ferguson fire. This made the visibility pretty awful and sometimes made breathing a little difficult.
I really valued my time with these women because they didn’t mind me asking all of the questions that I could think of! I learned so much about the project and about their jobs in general. I am very grateful that this internship has allowed me to meet such a diverse group of people.
US Forest Service, Sparks NV