March 3, 2018
The effects of the recent thaws were evident at Salmon hole this week. The large blocks of ice that covered the banks had mostly melted. The melt water had carved an interesting pattern in the sandy soil, which had been filled with a fresh layer of snow from the night before. The blocks of ice caused plenty of destruction, leaving evidence in the form of organic litter, logs and branches snapped and left to rot.
There was further evidence of my beaver friend this Saturday. In addition to fresh teeth marks on a tree there was a perfect cast of a print.
The thaw must have made the soil soft, capturing the animals foot and preserving the print as the soil froze once more as the temperatures dropped.
The river was also the highest I’ve ever seen it, swollen with melt water, threatening to submerge the sandy shore.
Considering Wetland, Woodland and Wildland I would classify Salmon hole as an Upland Shore, specifically a Riverside outcropping. I think that the topography and hydrology of the spot make this pretty obvious. There are spots were the shore is entirely dominated by
exposed bedrock where there is no plant life. These spots were most likely caused by the swift moving currents of the Winooski, and the ice flows that push against the rock in the winter time.
However, beyond the immediate rocky bank, nutrient rich and well drained sandy soil permits for excellent plant growth. I believe that the majority of the shore is a Silver maple-osterich fern Riverine floodplain forest, as the dominant tree species here is Silver maple.
According to biofinder, Salmon hole is home to a high priority animal species which I believe to be the sturgeon, which spawn there. It classifies the spot as a rare upland ecosystem.