Dredge (and Rainey) Report, August 19, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

This morning, I headed out to the dredge early in the new boat while Timmy did a few things around camp. Last night’s storm had blown the dredge about and loosened one of the anchor lines. As I was tightening the cable and pulling it up off the bottom, I noticed something was hung up on it. As the cable came up, so did a very confused alligator that was hanging by its armpits! It finally managed to slip off awkwardly, and I laughed so hard I was unable to do anything for a while!

When Timmy arrived, the water level had come up enough to access the shoreline so we went over to the pond. Water level was still too low to take the canoe out yet, and the shallow, hot water had killed many of the fish that had been trapped by the outer containment. The results of the week’s pumping could be seen in the muddy plume that reached all the way to the dock area. The fluid mud completely filled Cell 4 at the current water level, and it was obvious that no more would stack.

We took the airboat around for a better look. Some beautiful mini deltaic and alluvial features were formed as a result of our efforts. Flow patterns were obvious and showed a variety of channels radiating away from the outflow, including the escape channel through the reed containment at the south side of Cell 4. The water has to go somewhere, and the sediment that escapes at this point is filtered and captured by the nearby SAVs in the greater pond, so should build up just outside of the containment. It is not of concern at this point.

The outfall is in the center of the marsh at the top of the photo, with channels radiating out from that point. The view is toward the northeast with the dock at the top left corner and Cell 5 out of the picture to the right.

An escape channel is obvious through the reed containment at 4c.

We then took a ride over to the test site again and were amazed at the vegetative growth. The Bacopa was continuing to spread, spikerush was everwhere, Scirpus was expanding more into the new mud, and the Spartina alterniflora was also starting to send out tillers. New grass which we think is Spartina patens is starting to sprout out in the middle of the pond.

The test site showing green everywhere.

Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) sending out new growth.

New grass, probably Spartina patens, is starting to sprout in the middle of the test site near the former location of the upright outflow spreader, inbetween Bacopa and spikerush clumps.

A short ride through the nearby ponds showed the variety and abundance of wildlife in the area.

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