Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gnat Creek

We've arrived! Gnat Creek Fish Hatchery has been our destination since we left Colorado. We are signed up to volunteer here for two months. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has 30 hatcheries around the state where volunteers can park their RVs for the duration and help out in any way they can. We know nothing about fish hatcheries, but at Gnat Creek hosts mainly help maintain the grounds while the full-time staff takes care of the fish.

Gnat Creek is 19.2 miles (our Garmin mapping GPS is very exact) east of Astoria on US Hwy 30. We are in Oregon's temperate rain forest, so everything is very green. It is amazing how rich the soil and how fast things grow. We have spent most of our first three days of work cutting grass, pulling weeds and marveling at the rich, loamy soil.--nothing hard and rocky like we experience in Colorado.

Our site is great—wide, level concrete, with 50 amp electric, good water that has good pressure. We also have a storage shed! That is something we have not had before. We can store some of the things that would usually fill up the RV basement, plus keep our bikes out of the rain. And it does rain a lot here. That is why everything is so green. Our site overlooks the hatchery tanks.

Yesterday they vaccinated the young Coho salmon. Yes, they vaccinated fish that look to be about three inches long. To do that, they lower the water level in one tank, use screens to herd the fish to a small area of the tank, then dip about 20 pounds of fish at a time out with a net, immerse them in medicated water for 30 seconds, then release them into the larger end of the tank. It is hard work and took three staff members over five hours to complete. Two at a time were standing in knee deep water for long periods. The water is cold; the air temperature was below 50. We were glad our job was to clean flower beds.

No comments:

Post a Comment