Surfer trip to MOSS
The Salmon Surfers are comprised of high school students from Cottonwood Prairie High School. It is an after-school program that provides students an opportunity to work alongside BLM River Rangers on the Lower Salmon River, helping with beach clean-ups, learning about the river and white water rafting. Students are also introduced to working scientists and get to learn different subjects that they may not be exposed to otherwise. Recently six Salmon Surfers went to the McCall Outdoor Science School for a 9 day "Water Resources in a Changing Climate" program. Six students from Mountain Home's "Wild Idaho" program also attended. Here are some highlights from the trip.
- July 6th- Arrive at 1- meet each other, get to know each other and the program, and move in.
-July 7th- Meet with Gina Bonaminio, a fish biologist with the US Forest Service. Students learned about her research, looking at human impact on sediment in Salmon spawning areas. We learned how smaller sediment can effect the growth of Salmon eggs and how different types of public use can effect the amount of sediment in Lake Creek (north of McCall. Lake Creek feeds into the Secesh river). Students sifted rocks to take percentages of different rock sizes to see if the ideal habitats were being found.
-July 8-10- Rafted between Hammer Creek (White Bird) to Taylor's Beach (Cottonwood). We teamed up with Wild Science Explorers for this portion of the trip, making several exciting stops. Our first major stop was at Shorts bar to check out a series of pictographs, including the pictograph that goes along with the BLM "Love it and Leave it Clean" logo! Our next stop was at Pine bar to meet up with with scientist Colden Baxter, from Idaho State University, to study macro-invertebrates . On our last day we stopped at the archeological dig site on Graves Creek road and learned about what they are finding.
July 11th- hike up to Boulder Lake and learned about hydrology.
July 12th- 11 mile hike to Loon Lake, North of McCall, which was the site of a B-23 Bomber crash in January of 1943. Students enjoyed a scenic day hike and also learned about survival skills.
July 13th- Students broke into two groups to design their own experiments based on the scientist they had met and what they found interesting. They decided to break into "Biotic" (living things) and "Abiotic" (non-living things) study groups.
BIOTIC EXPERIMENT: These students studied how algae effects the diversity and number of species of macro invertebrates in the North Fork of the Payette River. In their studies they found that an area with more algae and slower moving water had the most amount of macros and a higher diversity in species.
ABIOTIC EXPERIMENT: This group asked : " How does water flow affect the sediment composition in pools and eddies? They found that areas where the water is moving faster has less sediment than still areas, which supported their hypothesis.
July 14th- Students presented their projects to the other group and instructors. After lunch the challenge was on to create a boat from recycled materials that could support the most pieces of firewood. Students were given an hour and a half in two groups to build the best recycled boat! The winning team used wood, duck tape and plastic bottles and held 56 pieces of fire wood as they raced their boat attached to a canoe in Payette Lake!
July 15th- sadly time to go home but all students had a great time and made great connections and new friends with Mountain home students and enjoyed learning science and all the other adventures they had!
At the bomber crash- left to right Doug, Evan Roberts, Nick, Jeremy Garlock, Trish Hendrickson, Sarah Betwinck, Dakota Wilson, (lower) Colton Hardwick, Drew Cochran, Torin Dalgliesh, Katherine Nida, John C. (top), Cory Coffman (lower), DJ Walker, Kayla Johnson.
Salmon Surfers rafting! - Left to right Ryan Hygon (river ranger), Katherine Nida, DJ Walker, Drew Cochran, Dakota Wilson.
Drew Cochran loading up his teams winning recycled boat- it held a total of 56 pieces of firewood!