Already October

I am finishing up my internship here is Klamath Falls. This was my last full week! That means that my project at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge was pretty much complete. We spent the last couple of weeks checking out some of the other projects that are going on in the office.

Last week we got to see a pretty cool project happening in the Freemont- Winema National Forest. There is a creek that has both endangered Bull Trout and invasive Brooke Trout. Over the past several years it has been the site of a massive Brooke Trout removal process. It successfully eliminated Brooke Trout from several miles of the stream.

In addition to the removal, there is a joint restoration project occurring with the Forest Service and the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust. One of the biggest components was adding large woody debris to aid in creating riffle and pool habitat, which is really important for fish populations. The wood also helps the conductivity of the stream and helps retain smaller gravel, all really important for maintaining fish habitat. We went electrofishing to make sure there were no Brooke Trout or any other fish that could be endangered by the dropping of large woody debris. We found no fish, which was exactly what we were hoping for!

We also got to spend the day with a restoration biologist in the office. She works for the Partners Program in US Fish and Wildlife, which is a program that works directly with land owners to implement conservation projects on private land. We saw several channel reconstruction, where straight channels are reconstructed to streams with natural curves and winds, and got to help plant sedges along the banks of one of the project. Every one of her projects helps ranchers better utilize their resources in ways that also benefit the environment. It was really great to see another program in US Fish and Wildlife and get a feel for other career paths in conservation biology.

We also got to do some more sucker work! We got to see the monitoring effort US Geological Survey is undertaking in another population of suckers. Most of the work we were doing this summer was with the population in Upper Klamath Lake.  This week we got to see the effort to recapture tagged adults in Clear Lake. It was really good to see some adult fish again! USGS also explained their work with understanding how suckers are moving through both the lake and the river systems.  It was an informative day. We also got to help collect genetic samples from another population of suckers. To do this, we went electrofishing again and took fin clips. All the fish we captured were from Klamath Large Scale suckers, a non-listed species of sucker that is hybridizing with the endangered Short Nosed Sucker. It was really great to be out in the field again after report writing! My internship is finishing up next week, so you guys will get to hear from me again soon to wrap up my experience.

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