Saturday, July 28, 2012

Placing the trees

from left, back row: Bill Robinson, Doug Ray, Walt Weber, Rod Lundberg, Byron Thompson, Bob May, David Illig, Tom Scoggins, Hunter Thompson, seated: Mike Gentry, Jim Ackerman, Ruger Thompson, Richard Hardy, Herb Thompson, Michael Ellis

On July 14th, TVTU members Mike Gentry, Rod Lundberg Doug Ray and David Illig, joined myself, my friend, Richard Hardy, and members of the Rainland Flycasters to place all the trees we have been collecting this Winter and Spring. The Rainland Flycasters were ably represented by Bill Robinson, Walt Weber, Bob May, Jim Ackerman and Tom Scoggins. The Thompson family contingent consisted of Herb Thompson, Byron Thompson, Hunter Thompson and Ruger Thompson. I apologize if I have inadvertently left anyone out.

A large pile of trees awaits placement

When we arrived, Walt Weber was already in the river taking a population survey of the area we would be covering with the trees. He counted about two dozen fish (fry and a few small cutthroat) in the area we were going to cover. 

we will construct the tree raft along the left bank

Walt Weber surveys the construction zone for fish

Walt Weber and Herb Thompson discuss the survey results

Mike and Rod got to work putting together the pontoon boats while everyone else put together a game plan.

Mike and Rod ready the pontoon fleet

Bob May talks over the anchoring method with the crew

We would tie the trees to a rope and use old milk jugs as floats. With this boom we would outline the slack water area we were going to cover with the trees. The pontoon boats would position and anchor the boom and then fill the middle in with trees. 

We tied the trees to a rope and used milk jugs for floats

The tree line grows

By the time Mike got in the water we were ready to start taking the rope across river.

Mike Gentry pushes off to begin building the tree corral
Mike is ready to grab the line 
Mike pulls the line across the river

Mike grabbed the end of the line and began to row. As more trees were added to the river the current started to have an effect.

more trees were added as the line was pulled across the river

Mike Gentry and Rod Lundberg pull the line down to the tie off point

                          we have the bottom of the line anchored and now are positioning the top end
It took a while to get the boom positioned correctly

it's looking pretty good now

As we filled the boom, we used the current of the river to move the trees
Byron Thompson, Rod Lundgren and Mike Gentry corral and wrangle the trees into the structure
Byron Thompson brings more material to the structure
The completed structuture
Doug Ray points out some fish activity in the newly created habitat

The fish were waiting for this. They started inhabiting the trees as soon as they hit the water