Aquatic Ecology Research- Part I

This this part 1 of a series of posts that will document a specific student’s research project. B. Hinson, a student at MCC, is in the initial stages of building a lake at the Dale Earnhardt Leadership Campus at Oak Springs. He will be conducting aquatic ecological research. This research will include establishing several types of fish shelters in a newly constructed 23-acre lake and also building and monitoring wood duck boxes. The objective is to understand how to properly maintain a healthy and sustainable fish population. The following includes some of his initial work building the fish cribs:

By Hinson
So far Gene and I have put in about 30 hours gathering materials and trying to figure out the best design and location for our fish cribs. We decided to go with all natural building materials. There has been a lot of chainsaw work and stacking logs, so far I have one full size model that we are happy with.  I plan to drill holes and put rebar through them to tie them together. I will then weld in caps and support to keep the structures sturdy enough for me to transport them to the lake bed.

Monday and Tuesday of this week, Gene and I will be gathering cedar poles to make stake beds for the second type of fish shelter I plan to build. I hope to get some more drilling and welding done on the cribs as well.

After some slight design modification, we stacked logs and drilled the corners to run rebar through the holes. I welded a stop on the bottom of each rebar. Once we built the cribs as tall as we wanted, I heated the metal with a torch while Gene bent the metal to secure the logs. Another Biologist (Kim Baker) kindly volunteered about 8 hours hard labor cutting, drilling, and welding. Once we finished the crib I was able to pick it up with our tractor and transport it to the lake basin. We are very satisfied with the cribs and the work we were able to get done this week. One crib down, 3 to go! Biology is way more labor intensive than I would have guessed!

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