Hearing from our pilot, Keaton, that this morning’s pea soup fog would delay our departure to the Oks headwaters provided a break from the usual stress of working within the helo schedule. Departing at 11 am, with the fog slightly lifted, Tom and I travel upstream to install and check antennas, while Cam and Becca travel downstream to do the same. Goal: Divide and conquer multiple sites in one day. Once at our site there’s only so much we can do, as we have to wait until the fog lifts further for our heavy gear to arrive via sling load. In the meantime, we take a hike upstream to Zev Lake to check and troubleshoot the outlet antenna. Methodical yet creative problem solving pinpointed a faulty solar panel linked in parallel with the others as reason for our low battery charge and data logger shutdown at this site. Solution? Remove the faulty panel from the parallel bus and “Voila!” We’re back to charging at full capacity. New tuner boxes, labeled “Easy Tuners” turned out to be trickier than advertised. Rather misnamed, we’ll need to bring the tuners back to the lab for some methodical, creative problem solving.
With the fog still thick but lifting, Tom and I take off to the Oksrukuyik headwaters with our trusted pilot, Keaton, to manage and install fish passage antennas.
We can only do so much antenna work without our other gear, which will arrive later after the fog lifts via helicopter sling load.
While, hiking upstream to Zev Lake, we pass our pressure and temperature logger and our iButton temperature logger. Both are still in flowing water, but barely, as the river is almost dry here.
A juvenile Lapland longspur hops among the willows. Further on, we find two siblings darting about, as well.
The smallest fish passage antenna I’ve ever installed. It’s adorable! : )
Our “Easy Tuner” boxes won’t tune the antennas to a frequency needed to read fish tags. So, we’ll have to take them back to the lab for some not-so-easy troubleshooting.
Purple monks hood and some yellow flowers besides create an eye catching color combination.