Anodonta Adventure on the Eel River

My latest Trail Signs project is one I worked hard to obtain - the Mountain Lake Restoration within the Presidio. I lowballed my pitch to the Trust because I really wanted to tell this story. It worked. This body of water is probably the most famous within San Francisco. It was because the Spanish soldier's in the De Anza Expedition of 1776 found fresh water for their horses here, crossing a sea of sand dunes, that the Presidio was even founded.
Mountain Lake has been punched in the gut ecologically for centuries - literally halved when Highway 1's approach to the Golden Gate Bridge was put in and a dumping ground for non-native pet turtles and fish.
Jonathan Young, a wildlife biologist/herpetologist with the Trust is working with others to restore historic species to the lake.
I joined he and a mollusk/water expert named Niveen Ismail yesterday in collecting California Floater Mussels ( Andonta californiensis )
along the South Folk of the Eel River ( Mendocino Co.) Once part of Mountain Lake, these mussels will have a great deal to do with stabilization, filtration and sustainability of the finished restoration. The Fish & Wildlife permit allowed for the removal of 35 of these Species-of-Concern. This creature has a parasitic relationship with the Three-spined Stickleback fish (which we saw this day and will be restored to the lake as well). It's this relationship I'm excited to try to paint and the Trust seems cool to allow me to try to tell the more obscure stories there. ( No slur to the Birding Community, but if I'm asked to paint one more Great Blue Heron for a trail sign, I'll barf.) The California Floater ( so named for it's behavior of floating to the top when it dies...) turned out to be much more beautiful than I imagined: bronze tones and muddy greens. It was in amongst the more common Western Pearlshell mussels ( Margaritifera falcata ). I played shore su chef to the experts, immediately putting each Floater in a cooler as they came up from snorkeling along the edge of the river, passing me each with trembling hand from the extremely frigid water. I was SO HAPPY I wasn't the one in a wet suit.
Got to explore and iNat cool stuff in a part of California I'd never been to: is there really any better way to spend a day?

Anotado por robberfly robberfly, 21 de octubre de 2013 a las 06:42 PM

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Espinocho (Gasterosteus aculeatus)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Septiembre 11, 2013 03:28 PM PDT

Descripción

I've been hired to illustrate some Trail Signs for the Mountain Lake restoration. This freshwater native we found in Lobos Creek.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Cangrejo Señal (Pacifastacus leniusculus)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 11:40 AM PDT

Descripción

Jonathan told me this was the Rusty Crayfish, not the common invasive one normally sees in CA.,

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 11:35 AM PDT

Descripción

Collecting trip to the Eel River for Anodata Mussels for Mountain Lake. These were the other large, freshwater mussel present.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 12:08 PM PDT

Descripción

The target species: the permit allowed for the collection of 30 of these. They have a parasitic relationship with Stickleback fish.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 12:13 PM PDT

Descripción

We thought these might be chubs?

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caracol Cuerno de Borrego de Pantano (Planorbella trivolvis)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 12:36 PM PDT

Descripción

Ram's Horn Snail

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Arañas de Jardín Y de Granero (Género Araneus)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 12:41 PM PDT

Descripción

Sitting out on a pipe. Seemed oblivious to my approach. Size of a half dollar.

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 12:57 PM PDT

Descripción

Pulled this guy out of the Eel River....

Fotos / Sonidos

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 01:02 PM PDT

Descripción

Native freshwater snail...

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Rana Toro (Lithobates catesbeianus)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 01:03 PM PDT

Descripción

Herptologist told me to throw it on the banks. I didn't have the heart...which was stupid considering how much damage they do to the natives...

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Salamandra Delgada de California (Batrachoseps attenuatus)

Autor

robberfly

Fecha

Octubre 20, 2013 03:13 PM PDT

Descripción

Jonathan said there are many species within this genus ....

Comentarios

Sounds like a great adventure, Liam. Thanks for painting us the picture (sans blue herons). I ♥ the Eel River - it's nice to learn a little more about its natural history.

Anotado por wildmarin hace cerca de 9 años (Advertencia)

Good work!

Anotado por lg_price hace cerca de 9 años (Advertencia)

what a wonderful adventure! Keep up the great work and enjoy.

Anotado por taogirl hace cerca de 9 años (Advertencia)

Most fantastic.

Anotado por sterling hace cerca de 9 años (Advertencia)

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