After assessing my location to potential testing sites and with the information provided by Wendy B. I chose a site within fifteen minutes driving from my doorstep (if I make the street lights). The site is on a stream that the MPCA has never received data from, is close to home and has a few albeit small trout but trout to watch just the same. Sites are usually at road crossings but they don’t have to be and because the three road crossings that were potential options all turned out to be shallow skinny riffles with no depth or fish for that matter I chose this site which is very close to the road that follows the stream.
Once onsite I took a visual assessment of the water and collected a sample from mid depth without kicking up sediment and poured the contents into the provided transparency tube. The MPCA sends a standard 60cm tube but for situations like mine where the water stays clear they can send a 100cm tube, I’ll be looking into this. I took a water temp and finished the data collection before collecting most of the trash along the roadside. I removed a large plastic fertilizer bag from the stream while picking rocks to find bugs. Picking rocks from the riffles upstream of the site location I found a large amount of mayfly nymphs in there very early instars, its like the streams around here go void of nymphs for a small time before they grow.
I will be visiting this place often so I will get a chance to get to know the fish that live near the wall. Close to twenty brown trout live in the deeper water near the concrete wall that gives me my reference point for the stream level measurement and although they are small they are still very fun to watch. I creep up from behind the concrete wall and peer over, they never see me coming, from this vantage point I can see them picking items from the drift. Trout, and fish in general for that matter, are just plain cool to look at.
The potential to catch one of these fish is there but the water is crystal clear and I have a feeling will be so most of the time, one reason to stay on top of rain events to get transparency data right away.