I have great news. We went fishing this past weekend to Lago Pollollo with Rigo and encountered another species, Aplochiton zebra (in Wulaia we found A. tenatius). If you need info on these fish try fishbase.org. That’s really exciting because they seemed to be living happily with the trout which Bob McDowell (osmeriform expert) didn’t expect. Also, puye seem to be a plenty on the island. So I don’t think you have to worry to much about the trout – but there were definitely more puye on Hoste (2500 in one reach of 100 m long and 3 m wide – I’m serious on that one.) We did a site at Puerto Inutil – no fish, but we did see some puye in the coast and the fishermen caught some robalo with gill nets while we were working, Wulaia – only puye and A. tenatius, Douglas (2 sites) – puye, rainbow and brown trout, 2 sites on Murray Channel – one had no fish and one had puye and small browns and 3 sites at Kanasaca – one had 2500 puye, and the other two had less puye and brown trout.
By the way, the puye do seem to like beavers – the sites with the most puye have a beaver pond just upstream. So there’s lots interesting going on. We’ve done about 22 sites and have 3 left – if the weather is good. Oh one more interesting thing – we went upstream of the dam at Robalo today – no fish – we sampled both sites. Probably due to the dam.
I hope all is well in the United States. I have just gotten back for an awesome trip collecting fish in the Murray Channel and on Isla Hoste. I have attached some photos, but don’t worry I have tons more. At one site, we came across a different species (I’ve attached a photo for the fish nerds) which was very exciting and at another sites we caught over 2500 galaxiids in 100 meters of river – the native fish – and the river was less then 2 meters wide. We were counting fish until 12:00 at night. We also had an asado one night with various fishing boats – which was a wild experience – cooking the freshly killed lamb over the fire and then devouring it with our hands afterwards. And one of the fishermen happened to be the cousin of another scientists I have worked with here in Omora. How strange to be at the end of the world – at an estancia in the middle of nowhere and run into another person who knows one of the 15 people I know in Chile – raro! (Although they probably thought it was strange there is a gringo in the middle of nowhere shocking fish in rivers). Well I hope everyone has a good week.
Un abrazo para todos,
I hope all is well in the Northern Hemisphere. We’ve been working hard down here on the other end of the world and catching lots of fish. I’ve attached some pictures so you can see me at work (and at play – I went on a great hike the other day). Friday I leave for a week to go sample the western and southern part of Isla Navarino and Isla Hoste – I am really excited to go back to the glaciers another time. If the weather keeps up, it will be an incredible trip. So four of us (myself, Paul (my helper) and two fishermen (Ricardo and one yet to be named) will pile into a fishing boat for a week. It should be an adventure. I will definitely send pictures when I get back. Have a good week!
It is really exciting to be here on Isla navarino studying fish and the relationship between the native and exotic species. We have started sampling streams on the island and we are already seeing a dichotomous distribution between the presence of the natives and the presence of exotics. It appears that the introduced trout has eradicated the presence of the native galaxiid (G. maculaus) in most streams, but there are some streams dominated by galaxiids where only a few small trout are present. This is exciting to see and I look forward to sampling many more sites to find out what environmental mechanisms are related to this distribution. I´ll keep you posted.
Talk to you soon,
I hope this email finds you well and in better weather. It has been cold and rainy due to a low pressure system off Cape Horn since I have arrived. Luckily the work we are doing at the moment doesn’t require nice weather (although sun always makes for a better day in the field). I heard it has been very nice in North Carolina – how funny is that.
Otherwise, all is well. I knew when I was flying over the Cordillera Darwin, looking out at the majestic glaciers and mountains that I was really lucky to be back. I also had good luck in the technician I hired, he is very enthusiastic, hard working, and speaks english (a plus since my spanish is only so so). So hopefully both of our second languages will improve by the end of the month. There is a good group of scientists working here now – most are studying the introduced mink and birds- so it is wonderful because we can all learn from each others work. In fact, I have my first fish without electrofishing – my coworkers found some galaxiids swimming in a lake the other day and brought me a sample and I found mink tracks and Carpinteros (Magallenic woodpeckers) and took photos and GPS points for them. It is nice because we all help each other out.
I forgot to bring photos with me on my pen drive today, but I will send a photo next week – maybe after we catch some fish.
Have a good week, Michelle