Sense of place at Salmon Hole

Posted in Uncategorized on November 12, 2019 by arose

One’s sense of place is forever growing and changing. This is evident in the phenological changes of Salmon Hole. At this point, most of the leaves remain attached to their trees but are dead. It is a reminder that change is the only constant, and even beautiful great things like the fall foliage at Salmon Hole come to an end. This change is allowing me to witness the seasons change in Vermont, which is the first time I have gotten to see this. Watching this change has made me feel more deeply connected to this place. In larger terms, watching Vermont make this transition and even having the first snowfall of the year has made me feel like a real Vermonter. I am beginning to feel less like a visitor or a tourist and more like a part of this great state. In terms of history, it is interesting to think about what this river would have looked like before the installation of the dam. The water level above the dam is significantly higher than that of the water level below the dam, yet there are developments along the banks above the dam. What would all of that look like if the dam was gone or before the dam was installed? It is also an important thing to note that the form that the river takes can have a large effect on what plant life will grow along its banks. The forest surrounding the river is still relatively young, so this makes me wonder if the river had drastically changed its course in recent history. This has an effect on my sense of place in Vermont because it is a reminder that things can change quickly on different scales from personal to ecological. My time at Salmon Hole has made me feel a deeper sense of place here in Vermont.

Field Notes 11/2/19

Recently, Salmon Hole has undergone some drastic changes. With the recent rain event that caused the Winooski to flood, much of the plant life that called the rocky river bed home is now no longer visible. The river is still at about 25,000 CFS. It is safe to say that many of these plants have been washed away. The river is completely covering the dolostone slabs that allow you to walk out into the river at this point. Leaves remain on trees but are mostly dead.

Mapping and Charismatic Species

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2019 by arose
There are a few species that stood out to me at Salmon Hole. These species include salmon, buckthorn, dogwood, sumac, glossy privet and mushrooms. I’ve discovered that an app called picture this is very useful in helping identify plant species. All you have to do is take a picture of the plant and it identifies it for you. This made identifying the species at Salmon Hole a much more enjoyable process. First, I chose Salmon (or in this case, a dead Salmon’s skin) because we are at the tail end of the Winooski Salmon run that happens every year. I fly fish and spent a lot of time casting in the hopes of catching a Salmon. As far as plant species go, I chose the species that stood out to me as the most unique. For example the Red Osier Dogwood’s berries are a stark white that are contrasted again red twigs and leaves. I frankly just thought that it was a beautiful plant. This applies to all of the plant species I chose, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground at this point, so many of the species I chose have berries that remain on the plants. The soils at Salmon Hole are very shallow and rocky, so all of the species that are present have to be able to do well in disturbed soils. Lastly, I visited Salmon Hole the night after some light rain, so the trails down to the water were dotted with mushrooms. Mapping this place reminded me of just how close it is to very developed areas, and how lucky we are to have such a beautiful place in a developed suburban sprawl.
Glossy Privet at Salmon Hole
Red Osier Dogwood at Salmon Hole
Alder Buckthorn at Salmon Hole
Staghorn Sumac at Salmon Hole
One of the mushrooms that I encountered on the trails at Salmon Hole
Yours truly casting at Salmon Hole

The Character of Salmon Hole

Posted in Uncategorized on October 24, 2019 by arose

The Salmon Hole is a dichotomous place, it is a beautiful nature area situated within eye shot of Winooski’s main stretch. This makes this place unique. Right now, there is a small salmon run going up the Winooski river, this is what has given this place its name “Salmon Hole”. Geologically, Salmon Hole is also quite unique, it has exposed slabs of dolomite bedrock, contrasted by large limestone cliffs that show years and years of erosion, sedimentation and the history of this place. The fluvial geomorphology of Salmon Hole can tell us a lot about the species that inhabit it as well as its history. Salmon hole has fast moving rapids, deep pools, shallow pools, as well as deep fast moving currents. Salmon use the fast moving rapids to direct themselves up stream to where they spawn, bass and perch live in the deep pools and come to the shallows to spawn, and trout “hold” in the deep currents during the winter and “hold” in shallower currents during warmer months. It is frankly so cool to me that something as simple as a river carving bedrock over time can create habitats that are suitable for so many different species. Another interesting thing about Salmon Hole is the Salmon lift. It is another example of how closely nature and humanity are related. The salmon that live in the Winooski River spawn further upstream than Salmon Hole but, there is a dam in the way. To combat this, Vermont Fish and Wildlife installed a fish lift. It puts out a current that forces the fish to jump into a basket. Once a day, a ranger comes by and records the lengths and species of the fish in the basket, then raises the lift and moves them upstream. This is a great example of how humans can fix a problem that they have created.

Field notes from 10.24.19 2:30pm

-River is at 2800 CFS (Not observed but important to not when fly fishing)

-little to no bird species present

-light rain and wind, 60 degrees fahrenheit

-water is clear to tea colored

-fall foliage is in full bloom

Field notes from 10.10.19 3:30pm

-River is at 1800 CFS

-62 degrees fahrenheit

-raptors, gulls, and waterfowl are present

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 10, 2019 by arose

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