Coming off a relatively dry weekend we showed up Monday morning at the workcenter in Hoodsport eager for what mothernature and the Forest Service had in store for us. Mothernature came through on serving us up some typical Olympic Pennisula fall weather (Rain), the Forest Service threw us a curve ball.
We got a really cool oppurtunity to spend some time at one of the Salmon Hatcheries in the Skokomish Valley taking part in a Nutrient Enrichment Project. This encompassed wrangling the Chum Salmon from the holding pond, seperating them by sex and harvesting sperm and roe for artificial fertilization and carting them off the the incubation tanks. The fun didn't stop there though, now to complete the life cycle totally. We hauled the fish carcasses up the valley and tossed them into several of the tributaries that feed the Skokomish River. This was helping to simulate the depositing of all the nutrients Salmon help fix back into the system after they spawn. Providing for little critters in and out of the water, not to mention the trees that have rely on them too.
Tuesday went much the same way, but this time week hooked up with the Forest Botanist and a WCC crew to do some caching of some willow spikes for a re-vegataion project slotted for next year at Pine Lk. We had spent some time earlier in the Summer working on a weed control project. It was really interesting to see how much the lake had been transformed by the fall rains and to know that we would help crews in the spring get a head start on the this project
Now two days into our hitch it was time to get back to our bread and butter.... TRAIL WORK!! It was back to the Skok to finish up a retaining wall that we got rained out on last hitch. The weather was cooperating and we were able to finish it up and complete a couple other tricky areas that needed fill and some TLC.
Our experience with the last log retainer came in very handy with the next big project on our list. Another log retainer in an area that had several problems. We quickly set to work though and with out even noticing we were in the groove, collecting timber, preparing the site, skinning logs and making notches. Our wall began to take shape and the problems in the trail rapidly became a thing of the past. Before we knew it we were finished and taking pictures and patting ourselves on the back.
Our quick work out on the Skok gave us time at the end of this hitch to do some much needed tool maintenance and a chance to spend some time out along the canal replacing some rotted kick rails at Seal Rock CG.