Blurred Vision

It’s been a crazy busy week and I hurt in places I didn’t know I could hurt. Who knew your hands could hurt badly enough that picking up a coffee cup could be difficult. I spent three days this week working in two different programs. One day was spent collecting pink salmon out of Centennial Creek. Big nets, not so big fish, but still a slog when you are up to your knees in a flowing stream trying not to slip and fall on rocks as fish thrash around your ankles and you try to move across with a net full of struggling animals.

Then spend two days sorting through several thousand much bigger Chinook and spawning about 500 females and probably 600 males to collect and fertilize about 2 million eggs. The admiration that I have for the people that work full time in these programs is huge. While I think some things could be improved, it doesn’t lower how impressed I am by the hatchery staff. I’m smart enough to admit that I simply could not do what they do on a daily basis. But I enjoy the opportunity to be a part of it. (

Even though I took this photo the day before I put in three days of smelly, slimy, physical work, it perfectly addresses how I felt at the end of it. Going through the adults is hard work, and the carnage is sometimes awful, but when you go into the incubation room and run your hands through those buckets of beautiful orange jewels to mix the eggs and milt…. and then pour them into the incubators to start the next cycle, it makes it all worthwhile.

Can’t wait to do it again!