Being a Tale of Success

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A successful day for Team Animal Behavior! This was especially exciting after a washout yesterday. Our primary objective was to dive in Willow Lake to gather courting and parental males and observe color patterns on them. But with the wind and clouds yesterday, no such luck, and we were forced to return early and wait for better weather.

2Today, however…today was sunny and warm, just the sort of weather needed for this work. It was an early start for us in order to get to Willow Lake at a decent hour. Once there, Susan and Dianne suited up while Lily prepared the equipment in the rear of the car. For the next three hours Susan and Dianne patrolled the shallows for males, and Lily and I performed the tests on the fish, which culminated in dropping them in antacids and stringing them up with needle and thread. Those three hours alternated between Susan and Dianne catching more fish than we knew what to do with and us waiting for more fish to be caught, which left time to enjoy the sun on the lakeside.

A future trip would be nice, considering most of the eggs had just been laid. However, I’d still count this as a win, based on how yesterday went!

The next stop was a brief trip to South Rolly Lake in search of pike. The hopes were to confirm that pike were in the lake so that the lake could be used for future research projects. Susan and Dianne were (understandably) tired from three hours in the water so it fell to Lily and I to do the exploring.

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Well, as Lily had already spent time in the waters of British Columbia, she knew what she was doing. Me, not so much. The dry suit I used was leaky and rather too large. I could feel the water creeping in as I searched for the elusive pike. The quest was in vain, though I encountered large numbers of stickleback.

When I returned to dry land some twenty minutes later and removed the drysuit, I was utterly soaked. For all the good it did, I might as well have jumped in without it. So a quick return back to home base was in order to get me into something warm and dry.
On the way back, we saw a female moose grazing at the roadside (no pictures; we were going too fast. But take my word for it!)

Here’s hoping the good weather holds out for us. Tomorrow is Cheney Lake: the search for more males!

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