This blog originates on the banks of the Atchafalaya River, in Louisiana. It proposes to share the things that happen on and by the river as the seasons progress. As the river changes from quiet, warm, slow flow to rises of eighteen feet or more, there are changes in the lives of the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles that use the river. And the mood of the river changes with the seasons. I propose to note and comment on these things.

My Photo
Location: Butte La Rose, Louisiana, United States

I transitioned a few years ago from a career as a water-pollution control biologist. I want to do this blog to stay in touch with a world outside my everyday surroundings, whatever they may be. I like open-minded company and the discussion of ideas. Photo by Brad Moon.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Shrimp Study

Ray Bauer (ULL) is doing a study on the river shrimp, Macrobrachium ohione, and one of his sampling locations is here on our dock. He just made a collection tonight. I do go down to the river with him to help even though he doesn’t need it. It was 38 degrees tonight, cold with your hands wet. Reminds me of the ten years I spent commercial fishing in the Basin using trotlines. Cold wet hands, running in an open boat, cuts hurting all the time – makes you appreciate life in an office, almost. Ray got about 50 shrimp out of my traps tonight and I guess that’s enough to note their reproductive stage, although the same four traps would give about ten times that in warmer seasons. Amazing that so little is known about an animal that is so abundant, and so much a basic organism in the food chain. So, Ray to the rescue!

Spent the day in the Basin today (sounds funny to say that, realizing that we live there). One of our friends died two weeks ago and Gene Seneca and I went to his camp on Grand River to collect some hundred-year old lumber that Lee had not used. Some of it will find its way into the 301-year old birdhouses that I make. Working on number 102 right now, the previous 101 having been given away to interested friends. My motor was running rough, my fault for using old gasoline, I think.

River stage is 1.3 feet at the Butte La Rose gauge. That is LOW WATER. What little water there was got pushed out yesterday by the strong north wind. The Mississippi is rising very slowly and it won’t help much in the foreseeable future. We could see about another foot in the Atchafalaya in the next five days, but that’s all. We need a snow pack in Ohio and Pennsylvania to get us some water in March, so far that’s not happening.

Rise and shine, Jim


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