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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

My likely last herring-counting gig

I did my 7th or 8th (I've lost count) herring-counting gig yesterday, and saw 5 more of the elusive critters.

I am slightly jealous of the counters who saw hundreds at a time; I maxed out with 30.

Yesterday's low count --- 5! --- was due to some obvious factors.

For one thing, a flotilla of cormorants guarded the base of the fish ladder, doing their best to thin out the migrating herring.

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In fact, as I was getting prone to begin my count (camera not yet ready, alas), a cormorant noisily surfaced with a flapping herring in its mouth, not 10 feet from my shoulder.

It would have made a great shot, but it was over in a second or two and, as I said, "I was getting prone;" a feat that, for me, is becoming less and less acrobatic.

The upstream end of the ladder was equally herring-hostile. Gulls, more cormorants, and an osprey all were fishing the upper lake.

And they weren't alone: This is a straight-down view of the counting board at the top of the fish ladder. Note the large fish patrolling the ladder inlet. I think it's a bass --- yet another predator looking for herring-flavored lunch.

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The large fish a little hard to see, even though I color-tweaked the image, so here's a circled version:

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BTW: Here's a normal, untweaked, straight-down, fishless view of the counting board at the top of the fish ladder. As you can see the counting board is getting dirty now, and has several water weeds growing on it. That makes fish spotting harder.

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The migration is drawing to a close, and my schedule is filling up, so I probably won't do any more counts this Spring.

If I'm still in the area, I'll do it next year; it was interesting and an odd kind of fun. :)