Restoring fish habitat

A fish rises during the early hours.
Wild parr from the pond.
The confluence of two small streams.
Wild cutthroat from the pond.
Labor Day weekend was spent driving around Washington visiting friends and honoring my wife's birthday wishes. Instead of a gift, she opted to get out of town and spend time on a friend's farm outside Sedro Woolley and another friend's land outside Cle Elum. The beauty about having friends with property is that on a busy weekend we have a place to camp. Of course the kayaks went along and so did our new springer spaniel, Nik. I had wanted to visit the farm for some time and it proved to be a wonderful experience. My buddy Chuck dug a 1/4 acre pond on the farm and stocked it with some trout several years ago. The goal was to provide entertainment and fresh fish. After a couple years, the fish disappeared despite his regular feeding. Recently,  resident cutthroat trout found the pond and are now reproducing.
My new kayak dog Nik, enjoys a ride in the Hobie Outback.
The pond is 6 feet deep at the deepest point and averages about 3-plus feet. There are bugs, trees, a nice grassy shoreline and a very small, but year-round stream that starts from a spring on his land and provides a constant source of water. His land is near the Nooksack and because of the spring-fed stream and another stream on his property, he was asked to be involved in a habitat restoration project. I had the pleasure of seeing some early results of this project when I caught some fish in the pond. Both were about 4 inches long but one had the distinct markings of a cutthroat trout, while the other had the markings of a salmon or steelhead parr. Now I am not sure that the parr wasn't the result of breeding fish from the original stocking. However, because both streams flows into the Nooksack and the Nooksack has all five species of salmon, it certainly is possible that this was a parr or smolt from an errant Nooksack pair of fish. I will need to do more research on this. regarding other fun, Nik discovered water and took his first swim. He also discovered swimming takes some practice and Chuck and I had to pull him into the kayaks. The great thing is that I now know I can lift him into the kayak without it tipping over. I guess I may have a new kayak buddy.


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