Saturday, May 28, 2016

Down to the Delta...

Went down to survey the Delta River at the Black Rapids (Back to the Black...10/10/15). My friend Mike was already there when I arrived. He had the data logger running, so we just needed to survey the elevation and then launch the boat for the hydro survey. But when we finished the ground part of the survey and checked out the river at the boat launch, it was obvious that the river was higher than we thought. After discussing the options, Mike decided to pass on launching the boat there.

High water on the Delta River creates pretty spectacular hydraulics. By comparison, Black Rapids Creek, in the background, had a lower flow.

So we drove to a place up river to launch the boat at Phelan Creek. There we could run the river to the survey site above the glacial inflow. This so-called clearwater section of the Delta River has an important fisheries and Mike's project is documenting the flow regime. Had a bit of a search to find a place to launch the boat, the shore ice (aufeis) blocked the usual spots, but eventually found a launching site. No problem running upriver at this high of a flow and were able to complete all the survey work there. When things go well, these trips are a lark, you almost shouldn't get paid for it. Oh, that's right, I don't anymore.
Mike and his namesake boat, two hardy characters. It's always great to get out and work with him, one of nature's gentleman.

Didn't get any photos of the work, too busy I guess, so here's some shots of the scenery.
The Delta River flows through some pretty spectacular  mountains.

Another mountain, near the confluence with Phelan Creek.

Nearby Summit Lake is striped with ponded water on top of the ice. A few more days of sunny, warm, and windy weather will probably get the breakup started.

Here's a photo Mike sent me that he took at the upper Delta River survey site:
Trying to spool up the tangled survey tape; sometimes the routine things are the hardest part.


  1. Great looking photos, thanks for the share. Always enjoy reading your blog.

  2. Appreciate that, glad you enjoy it!

  3. Looks like a great trip! Thanks for the share.

  4. Thanks for your comment!