On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, members of the El Dorado Chapter of Trout Unlimited (EDTU) met with Eldorado National Forest (ENF) biologists and their interns at a restoration project in Calf Pasture Meadow. Our goal was to relocate trout from an unnamed tributary downstream to Bassi Creek. The stream was to be impacted by the meadow restoration.
ENF fish biologist, Maura Santora, handled the electro-shocker for the first segment of the project, followed by ENF fish biologist Jeff Mabe, swapping places with her. Soon the interns had an opportunity to handle the electro-shocker.
As you can see, the narrow tributary was clogged with willows which inhibited the use of nets to capture the stunned trout. The path to the trout had to be cleared by the interns using loppers to open the waterway. Later, a sawyer was called in to expedite the clearing. The team developed a bucket brigade to carry the fish downstream to the main part of the Bassi Creek and refill the homer buckets with fresh water. The team worked for roughly 6 hours to relocate these brook trout.
There was still approximately 100 yards of the tributary to shock which was left for the next day. The interns did a great job of handling all aspects of this fish rescue. The team had relocated roughly 60 small brook trout.