Sunday, September 2, 2012

Progress report on the Thompson off channel wetland project

 Photos and text by Douglas Ray

August 23rd, 2012:

Please find attached a number of photos from today.

Herb is now in his OCWC “Yoda mode “where he more or less levitates and is in deep zen mode while digging, digging, digging and more digging! Kind of a habitat restoration karma aura field where nothing else matters to him except creating the highest function salmonid habitat possible!
It is accurate to say that with him thinking about this for multiple years and using all he/we have learned with the other 2 OCWC he has there ( this as you know has the ultimate goal to expand improve and connect the two not separated OCWC habitats) and Neitzel in the logistics/ sequencing for construction to maximize efficiencies and make the most diverse highest function habitat humanly possible.

 The proximity of the laminar ground water was as close or closer than I had expected, for those who came down for the Course woody material mass placement and walked the proposed expansion site on the tour.

We have significant lateral ground water flow having ONLY removed the upper silts and alluvial cobble to the now as you see in the attached photos the grade of pure alluvial cobble rocks and wood that Herb can now have the excavator walk and sit on without generating turbidity  then begin to excavate a diversity of depths, slopes, contours, and terraces to completely max out the potential micro elevations and establish the very best balance of deep to medium to shallow aquatic habitat depths to help separate by space and depth fry and presmolts in the late spring when there is predation interactions, and allow the greatest possible diversity of elevations for aquatic emergent algae and bio film assemblages for primary production.
Diversity does matter fry and parr use shallow habitats presmolts as they mature and prepare to leave for the ocean concentrate in the deepest areas ( that makes sense after all they are preparing to live in the ocean!) This project provides for all stages of fresh water life history requirements and considers predation interactions between age classes in time and space.

Thank you again for the generous support to provide funding for the diesel, we just today pumped in another 81 gallons of fuel that gives Herb 3 long days of excavating and some for the dump truck as well.
We have immediate need for a restoration work party to collect nearby bulrush seed heads and thatch to use as Best management practices erosion control and to initiate the fringing wetland cells throughout the new OCWC.

Within the week Herb will have completed all the final excavation to create deep pools and diverse depths and place wood and finish the edge of the area in the attached pictures.

I am asking with appreciation in advance, for any TU or Rainlander volunteers to come out for half a day to help collect transport and spread wetland seed and thatch as the final finish to this part of the complex as he moves south as far as he can get until the fall rains begin.

Attached are two pictures of how it was used  @ Neitzel farm project

The other pictures are from today but this area will be fully built out and need treatment as soon as next weekend.

Thank you all advance please share as you see fit with TU chapter and Rainlander club members to see the progress of their incredible generous but fantastic use of their conservation investment to support salmonids and habitat in the Necanicum watershed!

August 31, 2012:

 FYI this is yesterday the nearly complete dig out of the 1st of 3 large
OCWC cells Herb is building on to number 2 this weekend!!7' to 12" with
super diversity of depths all over intentional to max depth diversity for
habitat diversity. The laminar water input is cold enough to give you a
headache if you jumped I will get temps this weekend but likely the classic
49 F ground water temp cold enough to get your attention and so important to
have manifested to provide summer thermal refugia when the mainstem is going
to the mid 60's...