Our third day of sampling was cut short due to weather. I came home with ticks, poison ivy, bruised knees and more mosquito/gnats bites that were possible to count. Yea field work!
The days were long (15 hours) and the work slow. We had to carry the nets and equipment a good distance. It was just a quarter mile or so between sample sites but that’s a long hike when you are carrying a seine net and trying not to damage it when bushwacking around the stream. We try not to walk in the stream itself as that disturbs the fish populations that are being sampled. We are learning how to properly set up the block nets so that the fish won’t have any escape routes. The grad students are cautious when identifying fish and since we catch upwards of a hundred fish, this process takes a good deal of time.
Getting back to camp, sitting in a chair and being fed a hot meal is well earned. I don’t know how the grad students do this. They get up earlier than us to cook breakfast and then at the end of a long day of sampling they have to cook us dinner. This trip has two grad students but after this there will be a single grad student to do this work. By the end of the trip I see that all of us undergrads pitch in to help with breakfast and dinner.
It’s a good group of people that I’m working with on this project.