Monday, February 17, 2014

Placing Christmas trees at Chapman Ponds

Phil Hager (l) tosses a rope to Jon Pampush (m) and Melyssa Haeger at Chapman Ponds, Seaside, Oregon.

On February 25th, volunteers from Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited and the Northwest Fly Fishers met up with volunteers from The Necanicum Watershed Council to place trees into Chapman Ponds to provide habitat for coho salmon fry. This pond. located in Seaside, Oregon, holds a large number of coho fry each summer but due to the lack of cover, the fry are eaten by birds all summer long. Christmas trees can help with that!

Phil Hager rows trees out to the middle of the pond.

The weather was incredible for February with temperatures approaching 70 degrees and no wind. It was so nice to be out and not have to be all bundled up. There was a large pile of trees to be put into the pond which were collected in Portland through TVTU's Christmas for Coho project. The trees had been dumped on site by Recology who we had contracted with for the hauling. Now we had to get them spread out into the pond.

TVTU volunteer Bob Mucken hauls more trees to the pond.

TVTU volunteer Don Kaster hauls more trees to the pond.

Volunteers place Christmas trees collected by TVTU in Portland in Chapman Ponds in Seaside.

Phil Hager amongst the christmas trees.
It was pretty easy to get them into the pond but moving them around proved to be a bit harder. We came prepared with a row boat and a pontoon boat but Phil and I noticed that the water level seemed to be dropping and we were running aground more and more as time went by. As luck would have it, the tide was going out.

Phil Hager, in rowboat, watches as Jaime Craig and Greg Fritts haul a load of trees from the pile.

We ended up using a rope with the people near shore attaching trees and Phil and I pulling them out into the middle of the pond. We managed to get all the trees into the water but weren't able to disperse them to our satisfaction. I think that tidal action will move the trees around though and we feel sure that they will provide a lot of cover for the baby coho to hide from all the birds.

The volunteers from left: Don Kaster, Phil Hager, Jon Pampush, Jaime Craig, Bob Mucken, Melyssa Graeper, Greg Fritts and Michael Ellis.

Thanks are due to the volunteers who turned out for this fun day of work: Jon Pampush, Bob Mucken, Phil Hager, Melyssa Graeper, Don Kaster, Greg Fritts and Michael Ellis. Thanks also to the Necanicum Watershed Council for their help working with the City of Seaside to make this placement possible.