We will be working on a fence repair project to improve riverine habitat for deer, turkey and upland game. In addition we will be fishing and documenting our catch along the South Fork Kern River to provide fisheries data to the BLM.
The work will be similar to our Sierra Nevada riparian restoration project last year, including cutting brush away from the fence, repairing lengths of cut-fence/slicing, un-twisting fence, replacing t-post clips and fence staples, re-tightening loose wires, installing stays, installing additional t-posts, and improving some braces. Some new work challenges are using a chainsaw or two (or axes) to cut deadfall off of the fence (some DBHs of up to 30+"), and there are two river crossings (shallow and can be waded across) that will require complete replacement of the t-posts of where it was washed out. In addition to installing dead-mans to serve as braces in several spots due to sandy soils.
The stewardship work will be a 2 day job:
1st day = cut brush and prep a couple fence areas for re construction, and small odds and ends of untwisting, replacing t-post clips and fence staples, re-tightening loose wires, and installing stays on the lengths of fence that do not require reconstruction.
2nd day = reconstruct the river crossing portions (2, east side and west side)
In addition, in the afternoons we will be conducting a fish survey. We need the folks to bring their light tackle/fly rods and lets see what we can catch out of the SF Kern over the 2-days. BLM would like to identify, measure, and take a picture of the fish we catch. Per BLM's request catch and release is highly recommended, so good C&R release tactics will be expected...i.e. using wet hands and promptly returning the fish after information is recorded. Our BLM project lead will create a print-out and sheet for folks to take with them and fill out. Photos will be sent to the BLM with the date and identification so they can match them up with the paper records.
Equipment needed from folks:
Gloves, waders to cross the river (you can take your shoes off and wade if you don't have any), glasses, sun protection, sunglasses, fishing/fly rod and tackle, lunch, and a good attitude. If anyone wants to bring fencing supplies and/or chainsaws, feel free.
Other notes: no poison oak was noted during the recon today. There may be stinging nettle, however.
Also, thanks to a generous donation from Kern River Brewing, we will toast the success of our project with a keg and campout nearby so we are going to need your help!
This is a great opportunity to improve public land habitat for wildlife, fish an iconic California river and enjoy fellowship with other public land owners in the region.
Please RSVP so we have an idea of what our headcount looks like.