September 06, 2006

Jasper Lakes and Canyons

Day three of our fall camping trip dawned clear and sunny, so we took the road to Maligne Lake near Jasper.

Medicine Lake looked a bit eerie in the early morning light.

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We walked some of the trails near Maligne Lake and observed a large brook trout in the Maligne River. The river runs cold and clear.

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A cute chipmunk munched on some natural food.

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We hiked the Maligne Canyon trails as we did two years ago. You never get tired of the magnificent views. We spotted trout in several of the deeper pools.

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We took the high trail back to the main parking lot, appreciating the expansive vistas along the way. It was the first time we'd taken this trail for there was a cougar warning in the area on our previous visit and we had seen cougar tracks. Yumi snapped me at a spot popular with hikers for photos.

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It was hot and we were tired so we went back to Whistlers campground for a bit of relaxation. After dinner we decided to check out Patricia Lake and Pyramid Lake near the Jasper townsite. We had not visited them before and were enchanted with their beauty. We saw lots of fry (baby fish) in Pyramid Lake. Here's Yumi cooling off in Patricia Lake.

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Posted by Paul at 04:21 PM

September 05, 2006

Clearwater River to Jasper

On the second day of our September camping trip we got up early, packed up our gear and headed back to the Yellowhead highway from Clearwater Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park. We stopped at several points of interest along the way to check out the Clearwater River and several falls. At Bailey's Chute we saw chinook salmon attempting to leap the falls after swimming up the Fraser and Thompson rivers. It's an amazing sight to see these magnificent fish strive to overcome the chute before dropping back to spawn lower in the river.

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Dawson Falls are just a short walk from the road.

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We came across a black bear and her cub along the Clearwater road.

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We stopped at Swift Creek in Valemount on our way to Jasper to check on the world's longest chinook run, however it was over and we only saw a few carcasses and many huge redds (nests of eggs). These chinook travel 1,280 km from the mouth of the Fraser River to spawn! Further down the road we were rewarded with a magnificent view of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The mountain is often obscured by mist and clouds, so this was a treat.

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Posted by Paul at 03:34 PM

September 04, 2006

September Camping Trip - Clearwater Lake

With summer over, we headed out on Labour Day for an eight-day camping trip. We prefer taking a vacation after the summer rush has subsided. Day one we camped at Clearwater Lake in BC's Wells Gray Provincial Park, and the lake certainly lived up to its name.

We hiked along the trail from the campground to the boat launch and back, enjoying several marvelous views along the way.

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This was the first of many days that we regretted not having brought our canoe along, but there simply isn't enough room in our Outback for all our camping gear and supplies for a longer trip, plus our canoeing gear.

Posted by Paul at 03:18 PM

September 02, 2006

Fraser Fishing Sees Bullhead, Squawfish, Carp

Cousin Stacy took Yumi and me out on the Fraser River today. It was sunny and hot, and while the sockeye were running, we didn't catch a single salmon. I struck first with a small bullhead, Stacy followed up with a slightly larger squawfish, and Yumi topped us both with a carp. All the fish were released.

We fished from the boat and we fished from a bar. We bounced various lures along the bottom, we trolled, we spincast... And the salmon skunked us, though we saw several jumping. Hope to try again soon!

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Yumi behind the boat.

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Yumi's carp.

Posted by Paul at 07:55 PM

September 01, 2006

Mink Spotted Near Byrne Creek

When we were salvaging fish from the Byrne Creek spawning habitat sediment pond today, a small, dark mammal about the size of large house cat trotted out of the bush, scampered along the edge of the sediment pond, checked us out, and then disappeared back into the bush. I managed to get a couple of shots from a distance, and looking at them at home, it appears to have been a mink!

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Posted by Paul at 06:53 PM

Pre-Sediment Pond Cleanout Fish Salvage

The sediment pond in the Byrne Creek spawning habitat needs to be cleaned out this year, so Burnaby city staff, Envirowest staff, and Byrne Creek Streamkeepers have been salvaging fish by netting them, and releasing them downstream. It's always a fun activity, albeit stressful on the fish. Yet it's better than trying to get them as the water is pumped out -- that's really hard on them.

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We were pleased to find several coho among the preponderance of cutthroat trout. Most of the fish were in the 7-12cm range, however we did get a nice cutthroat that was 21.5cm.

Posted by Paul at 06:41 PM