Tiger Salamanders returned to the frozen surface of Eagle Nest Lake for a second round of winter limnology. With the ice thickness averaging 13 inches, we had some work to do to bore through the ice for our samples. We were on the lake to also experience the wild world of ice fishing during the annual Eagle Nest Ice Fishing Tournament. Fishing appeared to be very slow, so we took our cue from the competitive fishermen and focused our time on the plankton, benthic invertebrate life, and water quality measurements. Our plankton catch was HUGE! More impressive, no one was afraid of the “lake thunder” that rumbled underneath our boots. The cold hasn’t slowed down these Salamanders, but warmer waters lay ahead as we plan spring water quality sampling, fishing, and a snorkeling adventure!
A group of 50 students from Taos High School spent the afternoon of October 22nd exploring the science of the Red River at the Red River Fish Hatchery near Questa. From water quality tests and electro-fishing, to fly tying and casting skills, students joined with volunteers to learn about fishing techniques and the ecology the Red River. The day’s successes culminated with students putting their new fishing skills to work when with rod and reel kits provided for them by NM Game and Fish and Enchanted Circle Trout Unlimited. Many thanks to the coordination and generous contribution of time and expertise by RiverSource, NM Watershed Watch, NM Game and Fish Department, Enchanted Circle Trout Unlimited, and the Red River Fish Hatchery. The volunteers helped the students truly enjoy the beautiful afternoon on the river and have an awesome learning experience!
July 1, 2014. Students from Taos High School, Questa High School, Taos Academy and Taos Charter School joined in an effort to enhance a natural fish barrier to protect native trout populations in Columbine Creek. Members of the Enchanted Circle Trout Unlimited (ECTU) group and George Long and Michael Gatlin, biologists with the Carson National Forest (USFS), organized a rare opportunity for students to take part in a hands-on project that will help protect a native cutthroat trout population. Many thanks to ECTU and the USFS biologists for their ecological expertise, guidance, and for modeling how a team can move mountains! (..or at least lots of boulders and logs)
Congratulations to Taos High School’s Earthletes
for their top-rankings in the 2014 New Mexico Envirothon Competition! The Earthletes dedication to learning more about the natural environment helped them place 2nd in the Sustainable Agriculture category. The group’s willingness to plan and problem-solve as a team earned a 3rd place in the Oral Presentation Category.