The conservation report will focus this month three areas.
1. Grant Creek
2. Willow planting three.
3. Crawfish removal
In the past few weeks, Robin has put out a number of photographs, maps, and before and after shots relating to Grant Creek, the damage from the fires in the Pinaleño mountains recently, as well as their aftermath from the summer monsoon storms.
The current plan is to go back up the creek on 21 April with Scott Koktay, Bonnie Wood (wildlife biologist Safford Ranger District USFS), Scott Bonar (Fisheries Professor U of A) and hopefully a Game and Fish person, to put together a monitoring protocol after the visit and begin monitoring this summer or spring.
At this point the general consensus is it will take nature decades to recover the stream. Scott Bonar is interested in seeing if there is anything that can be done to expedite that process, such as planting replacement vegetation etc. Step one is to start the monitoring, step two is to upgrade the monitoring when conditions are favorable for in situ interments, step three is to assess the monitoring results at some point or points in the future to see if intervention is an option, step four is for our kids or grandkids to get trout back in the stream.
Please check out the slide show Robin put on our Old Pueblo Trout Unlimited Facebook page with the stream before and after images. Also, check out the video from a drone of the damage. Each of these can be viewed by clicking them. Stay tuned.
It is our understanding that the forest service is still trying to get the appropriate clearance to plant the remaining willows that they have. It is questionable whether or not it will be obtained this year, but hope springs eternal. There is some talk of Willow plantings or exclosure building on a couple of smaller creeks during the summer and we will let you know as soon as we have that information.
The board has been discussing some opportunities for crawfish removal in the west fork of the black river and it’s tributaries within the national Forest. We have done a great deal of this over the years. Currently there is support from Game and Fish for this undertaking. We may set up a couple of dates either in June or August to try and make that happen.