And there always more.....
Here's the latest news as of today from our Deep Throat sources working right on the dam itself:
-The contractor has completed most of the work on the 16" & 24" lines in the gate chamber.
-The right side emergency gate valve went in it's slot on 2/17.
-The mechanical, electrical and hydraulic connections are scheduled to be completed on 2/18 & 2/19.
-Much of that work is in very tight, difficult to access locations.
-Contractors are working extra shifts during the week and also on weekends to expedite the installation and commissioning process. They are being pushed hard and are well aware of the precarious situation.
-Dam Tenders have done a snow survey at 6 different locations in the upper watershed. Right now there is approximately 53" of snowpack on the ground with 6+ inches of water equivalent.
-Present opacity in the lower river waxes and wanes with the in-stream flow rates.
And that's the way it is.
Cautious optimism? Perhaps. Keep your eyes & toes crossed for another months worth of good cold weather in western Maryland and continued good progress by the on-site contractors. Perhaps we'll even see repatriated Green Drakes on the lower river in the not too distant future.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
No rising trout were seen today. I almost forgot this is supposed to be a fly fishing journal.
Metal edged Trak backcountry ski's with an 85-70-80 sidecut to facilitate turning on steep slopes. Salomon boots and bindings.
Up the Detweiler. It's not for the timid or faint of heart.
Believe it or not, spring is just around the corner. Yep, I can almost here those little Baetis tricaudatus nymphs stirring in their little shucks.
Disclaimer: Please don't try this at home folks. I'm a highly trained professional and I get paid lots of money to do nonsense like this.
These posts were brought to you by the good folks at Velbron carbon fiber tripods, Canon L-Series glass and Spatola's pizza.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 6:27 PM
The Halfway Ski Trail in R.B. Winter State Park is composed of two interconnected loops, a shorter one of 2.4 miles and a longer more challenging one 8.4 miles with a couple of connector trails in between. We did parts of each circuit since this day was just a warm up for our real deep snow adventure the following day even further south in the Rothrock State Forest.
A small spring fed tributary that enter the lake from the east.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 6:13 PM
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Keep your fingers crossed for a coupla Mid-Atlantic style dumps for the good folks out West. And on the positive side, if present trends continue then there should be some purty good dry fly fishing this year to those sufferin' salmonflies in one of your favorite canyons from Island Park to Cyde Park. Still I'd still rather see a lot more snow on the pole at this point in the season for all those concerned.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 10:20 AM
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
It's been one of the better years for all around winter based recreation that I can recall since, well I don't know, maybe '86 or '87? Truck loads of snow along with consistent cold temperatures to keep the pack in place, at least in the higher elevations of the more northern latitudes, and even the southern part of our region got a Donner Party Dump last weekend. If you have cabin fever this winter, it's your own damn fault.
Why suffer for nothing? Suffer for something.
So strap on your snowshoes, grab your boogy board, file the edges and fill the gouges on the bottom of those ski's and get your sorry butt out there with a map & compass and make some trax and bust some drifts. Don't miss out on yet another opportunity for some clean, fresh mountain air, good old fashioned exercise and a chance to test your mettle against Mother Nature in one of her finest dresses. Your heart, mind and body will thank you. And don't forget those water bottles & hydration bladders either.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 5:58 PM
Monday, February 08, 2010
And still there's more...for all you Savage River lovers out there.
Click Here for the Maryland DNR version of this story.
It goes without saying that I would never post the contents of a private e-mail message in the public domain. However, today one of our sources of information on the poor doin's on the lower Savage, let's call them Deep Throat, has kindly provided us with a recent update on the situation, of which I'll summarize some of the more salient points. Some of them are cause for cautious optimism, some of them are not.
-As of today, the river has cleared just a bit.
-A trout or two was actually spotted in the river.
-The work at the dam is still not completed and there are 3 feet of snow in the mountains with even more on the way.
-There are unstable dunes of silt 30 feet thick on the reservoir bed that erode like crazy with any kind of runoff.
-After the work is completed and the reservoir finally refilled to pool level, high flushing flows will be needed so the bug life can recover.
-If the trout did indeed take a heavy hit then the Maryland DNR will transplant wild heritage strain brook trout from the surrounding state forest prior to the spawn next fall.
-If we're real fortunate then there will be some trout left in the river even if the DNR has to transplant them there.
-The DNR seems poised to do whatever it takes to recover the fishery in the lower Savage but it's possible that it may take a year or two.
There ya go. Let's everyone keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best and maybe we'll be back to normal sooner rather than later.
Many thanks to Ken P, and Mike B. (you guys know who you are) for the accurate, reliable and informative update.
See you guys on the Savage real soon, I hope. Have fun and please find a designated driver on the way home.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 7:57 PM
Friday, February 05, 2010
We didn't want no trouble, but trouble is what we have. Anyone who is familiar with the ongoing repairs to the valves at the dam on the Savage River has been dreading the following Yin-Yang scenario playing out in the back of their minds all winter long.
Over the past 2 days there have been reports slowly trickling in from our field correspondents here at WRWT that one of the finest trout streams in the the northeastern United States has taken a devastating hit to it's mind boggling habitat, sparkling clean substrate & resident aquatic fauna. Specifically, the macro-invertebrate habitat and quite possibly the robust wild brown & brook trout population.
A recent warm spell coupled with heavy rains, an ample snowpack in the surrounding mountains and a drawn down reservoir have transported a virtual slurry of mud and silt from the now exposed reservoir mud flats down the lower river channel to the tune of 2,000 CFS over a duration of 24 hours. I've yet to see any photographic evidence, but it's been reported that the river's riparian zones now resemble a huge mudslide where there once was a world class trout stream.
And if all that wasn't enough, then just wait until the runoff from this weekend's mega snow storm propagates through the reservoir system.
Right now my heart is sick and sad so I don't really feel like typing anymore but stay cybered and I'll post any additional information as it trickles in.............Sigh.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 3:31 PM
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Thanks to the dedicated work of a small group of far-sighted individuals and the infusion of an enormous amount of cash from a short-sighted Canadian mining conglomerate, the headwaters of Soda Butte Creek will once again be viable nursery habitat for the rapidly decreasing stocks of Yellowstone Cutthroats in the Upper Yellowstone River headwaters. Suffer no illusions that Les Habitants' ponied up the dough out of the goodness of their hearts, so please support the local Beartooth Alliance instead.
Posted by Wade Rivers at 12:44 PM