As the summer heat has picked up, so has the number of people on the water. It has been interesting to watch the almost exponential increase in floaters on the river following the Fourth of July weekend. This increase in river use will ultimately provide us with good data for our recreational river use survey, but as of right now, it is proving to be a mountain of data for us to sort through. We had to change the timer intervals at our sites to capture the nearly never-ending stream of people coming down the river. This was especially important at Big Springs Boat Launch where we theorized that our instruments were simply not quick enough to capture everyone putting in at the boat launch at the same time during the busiest parts of the day. As you might expect, these busiest parts of the day also happen to be the warmest parts of the day when nothing sounds better than a cool, relaxing float downriver. As I mentioned before, by making the capture time more frequent, we subsequently bombarded ourselves with a lot more files to sort through for the survey. Apart from the mountain of data to push through, this is good news because we now can be more certain that we’re not missing any of the faster floaters who manage to get through before being counted. Our other instrument is a bit of a different story because it is located in a much wider section of river and we have theorized that it may not be counting some of the smaller crafts that float through on the further side. To test this and gauge a margin of error for our calculations, we have recently been alternating four-hour shifts of manually counting people that float down the river at this location. That said, if you see one of us sitting in a lawn chair with a notebook by the river, give a friendly little wave… you might just make one of our days. Trust me, with some of the heat we have been getting recently, I wish I was out there floating with you. Regardless, our hope now is that we will be able to compare some of this data obtained manually with the data from our instrument in question to determine a reasonable margin of error for how many people may not be getting counted as they float through this section of river. Ultimately, this will be extremely helpful in our statistical analyses to help us distinguish between the actual amount of traffic that different segments of the Henry’s Fork are receiving.
In other news, the watershed festival was last Friday, and I was selected to grill up some stellar burgers. We had a great turnout, and it was awesome to see people snatching up burgers as quickly as I could put them out. From what I heard, it sounded like the stations throughout the building were a huge hit as well. I got to watch the watershed model being set up briefly before the festivities began, and that looked pretty sweet. I’m stoked that everything went so well, and I hope that the festival continues into the future!
Peace, love, and no fish under 20”,