Aug. 13th CSMP Visit

August 14, 2009

Quick visit to my CSMP sites today at noon over lunch, took pictures quickly. Water temp 61-62 degrees. No rain just weekly visit, I’ve been trying to go on Thursdays. Note: several fish are showing sings of growth, three fish are getting to be good size. All brown trout although this creek has brookies in it, oh and I kicked up a blue heron trying to get dinner on my way out.


Rainfall between 6am and 2pm.Fished early this morning attempting to find Trico’s hatching. Water temp was 56 degrees upon arrival and the stream was tea colored making for good conditions but no real hatch to speak of. I saw a rising trout and put a Trico pattern on it for a strike but a miss on the hook set. I was hoping for more from the trico’s but no luck so I swapped for a nymph rig. Caddis and Sparkle Larva on my line makes for a deadly fly factory.

I left the camera battery at home which may have been a blessing in surprise as the rain began at alittle before 9am and did not let up, I can see myself getting it soaked. I fished with my soon to be brother-in-law this morning who has only fly fished for trout once before. He did well and I only had to tie a few knots, for the most part Joel was on his own. The rain let up and the sparkle larvae out fished the caddis larva five to one. I took seven trout from a single run of twenty feet, that was sweet. I’m catching fish after fish and I look over and Joel has a fish on, and what a fish! He took the size prize landing a 15in brown for his second trout for the day. We left at noon walking out in the mud and rain, I loved it. The streams need the water, so does my garden. At home I checked the rain gauge at 6am when I left the house, nothing. By 2pm we’ve had more than a half an inch of rain which is more precipitation than we’ve had since I started taking daily measurements on July 1st. I will have to swing by my CSMP site tomorrow.

Meet My Stream Buddies

July 16, 2009

Looking Downstream at the WallI visited my CSMP sites today for my weekly visit and took this photo of the fish that inhabit the area near my first location. I counted close to twenty fish, all brown trout, as I sat watching from behind the concrete wall. I’m pleased that I haven’t found much in the way of trash since I was here last. As the site is near the roadside I expect to see a fair amount of trash accumulate in the rocks that form the bank closest to the road. I took my typical readings and during periods of no rain it remains fairly constant, recently a rain fall event of .39in found the stream transparency to be affected even the next day. This stream will remain quite clear most of the time and to get more accurate measurments of stream transparency the MPCA sent me a longer transparency tube. At 100cm, what seems crystal clear may not actually be as clear as you think. 

My Friends

I decided to sample and monitor a second site downstream from this site at a bridge location to see the difference between the two sites as rain fall events occur. I have added a second data sheet and will include the second set of data when turning in the total summers data. I have begun to really enjoy this time near the stream and the trout, with fishing not typically on my mind I find I approach the fish wanting only to observe, get to know my new friends and after a while I might have names for a few of them, at least the biggest brown.

CSMP Work Continued

June 30, 2009

Rock Wall at Site Location to Assess Appox. Stream DepthAfter assessing my location to potential testing sites and with the information provided by Wendy B. I chose a site within fifteen minutes driving from my doorstep (if I make the street lights). The site is on a stream that the MPCA has never received data from, is close to home and has a few albeit small trout but trout to watch just the same. Sites are usually at road crossings but they don’t have to be and because the three road crossings that were potential options all turned out to be shallow skinny riffles with no depth or fish for that matter I chose this site which is very close to the road that follows the stream.

Site LocationOnce onsite I took a visual assessment of the water and collected a sample from mid depth without kicking up sediment and poured the contents into the provided transparency tube. The MPCA sends a standard 60cm tube but for situations like mine where the water stays clear they can send a 100cm tube, I’ll be looking into this. I took a water temp and finished the data collection before collecting most of the trash along the roadside. I removed a large plastic fertilizer bag from the stream while picking rocks to find bugs. Picking rocks from the riffles upstream of the site location I found a large amount of mayfly nymphs in there very early instars, its like the streams around here go void of nymphs for a small time before they grow. 

I will be visiting this place often so I will get a chance to get to know the fish that live near the wall. Close to twenty brown trout live in the deeper water near the concrete wall that gives me my reference point for the stream level measurement and although they are small they are still very fun to watch. I creep up from behind the concrete wall and peer over, they never see me coming, from this vantage point I can see them picking items from the drift. Trout, and fish in general  for that matter, are just plain cool to look at. 

The potential to catch one of these fish is there but the water is crystal clear and I have a feeling will be so most of the time, one reason to stay on top of rain events to get transparency data right away.

Starting My CSMP Work

May 25, 2009

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency works with volunteers that live near, or visit often, water that needs monitoring. Volunteers request a kit and work with the MPCA to choose a good testing/assessment site for which to collect data. I received my CSMP Kit yesterday.

Materials From MPCAThis includes:

  • Instructions/Data Sheets/Laminated Cheat Sheet for Field Work
  • Rain Gauge with Mount
  • Transparency Tube

The Minnesota Pollution control agency uses data collected regularly by volunteers to help assess the water quality of the lakes, rivers and streams. I will be choosing a regular site to visit weekly and daily after significant rain occurrences. Using the transparency tube I will take measurements that help determine the turbidity of the flow at a specific time. Recording this over time I believe helps the MPCA assess the streams reaction to rain runoff. The MPCA sends volunteers a collection envelope each fall to gather the data sheets. 

Clear PlacementPart of the deal with this is daily rain fall readings logged and sent in with the stream assessment data. To make the job of taking a daily reading at a similar time easier I placed the rain gauge along my walk to the truck out our back door. I will keep the data sheets in the truck and record each morning when I get in. Deciding an optimal assessment location on a stream within 20 miles of my doorstep is the goal for next week. Photo’s and information to come later.