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 Post subject: Help / Observe Smith River sampling 3-5 Aug 10
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
Great opportunity to help or observe the DGIF folks as they do their annual sampling / shocking at 10 different sites along the Smith River. They will be there from about 9:30am Tuesday, August 3rd until finished on Thursday, August 5th, 2010.

VA DGIF Biologist Scott Smith and crew always welcome your help and your questions.

I will post more details, ie projected locations, etc as the time draws closer.

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 Post subject: Re: Help / Observe Smith River sampling 3-5 Aug 10
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:55 am 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
Another reminder they will be sampling the Smith River next week. They always welcome observers. If you want to help, don't forget your waders.

Scenario depends on generation schedule but they generally start up near the dam in the mornings and down below Bassett in the afternoons. They will start behind the Mirror Factory at about 10am on Tuesday the 3rd if generation allows.

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 Post subject: Re: Help / Observe Smith River sampling 3-5 Aug 10
PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:19 am 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 5:09 pm
Posts: 387
I linked up with the DGIF sampling crew on the last morning they were on the Smith River. (Not sure why some folks could not find them but must report most of the volunteers were from out of town so maybe it has something to do with the direction following ability of the locals ) The last site was just downstream of the "Lemon Hole" - Lots of State trucks so you could not miss them.

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We set up the fish processing station and then proceeded downstream for about 100 yards - Water was real chilly and gave off so much fog that we lost site of our put in point.

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Things came to a halt before we got started when one of the voltage conversion machines would not put out the right voltage. After about a half hour of tinkering it was back in service.

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The scenario was for two barges containing a generator and voltage conversion machine and large aerator tank to be pulled upstream with four hand held electronic probes on each barge fanning out abreast up the river. Each probe handler also had a net and he or she was backed up by other net handler who helped transfer the fish from the probe handlers, who usually scooped up the fish, from net to net until they were in the holding tank. Not many fish escaped this onslaught. You could see fish shooting ahead but they would come up against a ledge where the current would momentarily stun them so they could be scooped up.


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Lots of fish in this section. My guess is more then last year and that figure was about 800. The fish are all processed by measurement and weight. This data will be compared to prior years so DGIF can assess the health of the fishery.

I spoke with the DGIF biologist who is responsible for monitoring the Smith and was told he is cautiously optimistic that things are improving. It is impossible to tell until they get back to the office to compare data but it looks like the average size of the fish has grown about an inch in the past year. He also told me that on the 2nd day of sampling they moved approximately 150, nine and ten inch brown trout from the Bassett area of the river to below the Martinsville Dam. This section below the MV Dam will be included as designated trout water under a proposed regulation change which is available for public comment at the DGIF website. The fish which they moved were carefully weighed, measured and their adipose fin was removed so they can be identified and followed in future studies.

DGIF asked me to pass on their thanks to all who helped with the sampling this week. Never think you're in the way or intruding on their work. They welcome your help and are always eager to answer questions.

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