|June 22, 2000
Rain ends, bats are out and about
|The skies have cleared, our intermittant lake of a campsite has drained (more or less), and the levee held. What the deluge left behind was some juicy waves on the Gauley, which was up for the second time since our project started. Taking advantage of the coincidence that my kayak happened to be attached to the roof of the van, I decided to expnand our search for freshwater mussels at the ledge at Gauley Bridge. Unfortunately, the runoff was simply too murky to really survey well. I suppose I will have to wait for the fall dam releases for boatable and clear water. Oh well.
Above: A biiiiig wave at Gauley Bridge on the Gauley. 5,000 cubic feet per second? 6,000? I dunno, but it was rockin'. I surfed for quite a while, the strategy being that perhaps I would see some mussels flush by. Unfortunately, only milk jugs, tree trunks, and soda cans were noted.
Left: Another mussel survey technique I employed was to engage the boat into a dynamic stern squirt, which more ofen than not ended with the kayak floating bottoms up. At this point a much better view of the river bottom could be obtained, though once again efforts were thwarted by dank, muddy waters.
|Oh, yeah, bats....Pam and I went to set up along Cabin Creek. Upon arriving, we discovered that the area sucked even more than we remembered from the previous day. The stream is about the most repulsive sewer I have come across yet, complete with different flavors of stench depending on your location along the channalized, industrialized banks. The water was high and still completely muddy (or I like to think that is mud) despite surrounding streams which are almost clear again. We now know that any area with a billboard proclaiming "pollution control area" is best avoided from the start.
We found better habitat on the next watershed west on Slaughter Creek where we immediately nabbed a 3.5 (yes, 3.5) gram male pipistrelle. Soon afterwards we also caught a big brown and red bat, though these escaped before they could be completely captured. I beleive that because of a steady wind at the time, these bats were actually landing on the billiowing nets instead of falling into the bags.
Chris and Neil also deemed their site across the river from Diamond as trash, and ventured further west to the outskirts of Charleston where they caught two reds, some big browns, and one pipistrelle.
Left: A tiny male pipestrelle along Slaughter Creek.
Below: Infant northern long eared under the Route 60 bridge in Cedar Grove. The bat and the roost crevice is in the center of the frame.
|Tom and Dave returned to the Cedar Grove site and setup for any more bats emerging from the Route 60 bridge. Except for an infant northern long ear they had no other luck.
Below: Baby northern long eared outside its crevice roost.
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