On August 25th three and a half Deep Creek members and two and a half FRVC members, went up to Bear Creek to change out the Angler Survey Box on 1N09. There was John White, Kevin Zydzik, Gary Applebee and Bill Reeves. Bill Reeves is the half because he is a member of FRVC too. Sherri Craig, George Shearer and Bill Reeves were the FRVC volunteers. Six of us total.
Angler Survey Box
Angler Survey Box
We started the day early because it was going to be hot. We got to the angler Survey Box on 1N09 at 9:00. Our goal was to replace the Angler Survey Box signs with the new regulations and move the sign to a better location. Then we were going to Slide Lake to replace the signs there.
The sign on 1N09 was on a berm that kept getting bigger when the USFS graded the road. The box was only about a foot of the ground. Jennifer Hemmert felt that people were not filling out the Angler Survey Forms because they had to climb the berm.
We spilt up with Sherri Craig and Bill Reeves going to Slide Lake to replace the sign there. John White, Kevin Zydzik, George Shearer and I stayed to move the sign. We split up into two groups of two guys digging the sign up and the other two dug the new hole. John and Kevin dug around the old sign. As they dug they found that the sign was installed with big rocks as well as dirt. George and I started digging the new hole. This is by edge the riverbed. As George and I were digging it was equal parts big rocks and dirt. The hole we dug was 42 inches deep. But because of the rocks it got to be about three feet in diameter.
This is the hole that John and Kevin had to dig to get the post out. We had to take the berm down to move the sign and replenish all the rocks and dirt after we were done so it looked like there was no sign there at all. Then we carried it over to the new hole that George and I dug.
It took us about two hours to dig each hole. We were all sweating a lot and drinking a lot of water. The new place was about three hundred feet away from the other place on the berm. Sherri said she was told the sign was 200 pounds. We used a rock bar on the heavy top end and one guy carried the lighter end.
Then we tipped the sign up and held it in place. While one guy packed rocks at the bottom of the sign to install it. Of course you know what happened? When we lifted the sign up a bunch of rocks fell in the hole. So we had to climd in the hole while two of us held the sign to take the rocks out.
After the sign hole was filled and set up we shook the sign to make sure it was secure. Then we packed big rocks around the base to make sure it was more secure and discourage vandalism. Then George painted the sign post. FRVC paints the sign posts every year so they don’t rust. FRVC also stocks the Angler Survey forms and puts pencils in the box so the forms can be filled out.
Most people that see these Angler Survey Boxes don’t realize the importance of them. The forms don’t ask where you fished on the stream. The form asks what your experience was like. Since there are different size classes of fish. What size fish you caught. Did you keep or release the fish. What type of fish you caught. The CADFW uses this information to monitor the stream. If there is a big drop in fish population or size of the fish caught. They will come out to see why there was a drop in size or number of fish caught. The DFW will look at things like has there been a flash flood in the area that has moved the fish downstream. Like in 2018. They might take a water quality test to see if there is something killing the fish. There have been illegal pot farms leaching chemicals into the stream in other parts of the state. The aquatic vegetation might be growing more from the fertilizers and other chemicals and taking out the oxygen in the stream. When it gets really hot, like the weather we have been having the oxygen levels and temperature of the stream rise up to put a strain on the fish. All the forms taken get logged and looked at by the DFW. That’s why it is important to fill out the forms when you see an Angler Survey Box.
I have been helping Jennifer Hemmert from the Region 6 DFW office for several years. She is the only Cold Water Fisheries Biologist in the southern area of Region 6. Region 6 goes from the Mexican border to Topaz Lake. We have been doing Presence and Absence studies in the creeks in the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Jacinto Mountains. As more opportunities come up to help Jennifer I’ll be sharing them with the club.
The crew installing the new signage and moving the Angler Survey Box. Somebody had to take the picture so I’m not in it.
FRVC is a conservation organization that works with the US Forest Service to. monitor the Wild Trout designated Streams. Deep Creek and Bear Creek are the two in the San Bernardino National Forest. They check the Angler Survey Boxes and do some water quality testing as well as patrol for abuses on the streams. If you are interested in doing some conservation work with them you can talk to Bill Reeves or get in touch with Sherri Craig their San Bernardino National Forest Coordinator or go to www.frvc.net.