The first week in November the Anglers of the AuSable conducted a survey of brown trout spawning beds in the North Branch. The efforts of a couple dozen hardy volunteers were organized by Terry Lyons, with Jerry Lake providing the instruction and specialized tools.
Some North Branch Foundation board members and North Branch residents participated with the teams to locate, identify and measure these “redds”, as an indication of the trout population and the health of our river.
The information can be used for a better understanding of our river and help locate improvements, including DNR approved protective cover for the fish. It was a terrific learning experience for me, particularly as I was teamed up with Joe Hemming (Anglers President and its attorney on the fish farm fight) and Terry Lyons, the project organizer. Terry taught us to distinguish brown trout redds from similarly polished stones made by geese and ducks rooting around to feed.
Terry also pointed out recently placed fish protection structure, which I thought was natural. He described the evolution of such structures so that they work better for the fish and the river. And the newest design works! He pointed out several where there were already redds adjacent to the structures.
Thanks to the Anglers for leading this effort for our river!