GSM 2014 August North Dakota - Day 7
Apr 8, 2017Public
Photo: Early Saturday morning: Our campground near Garrison Dam on the Missouri River. You might recall that the previous evening was quite pleasant. It did not stay that way! We got around 5 inches of rain overnight with driving wind, and not much sleep. My tent in particular was tested beyond its capacity: It withstood the wind, but was not very effective holding out the rain, and my air matress was surrounded by water by morning. It was the last night I used that tent. (It was over 35 years old, and had served me well.)
Photo: Fortunately, none of us was so foolish as to pitch our tent in the low areas, which were bone dry the evening before. Here Diane & Mary Kay are packing up their wet gear before heading back to the Twin Cities that day.
Photo: All of us who remained on the field trip for the final day decided that a motel was the place to be Saturday evening; no one considered trying to camp the last night.
Photo: Our first stop Saturday was the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery, which is the world's largest walleye and northern pike producing facility and also works to restore endangered species, such as the pallid sturgeon.
Photo: The fish prefer to congregate where the water is aereated.
Photo: Roxy bonds with the caretaker's pooch.
Photo: Maria checks out the fish near the feeding stations. Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery (NFH) plays a key role in providing quality fishing opportunities throughout the Great Plains Region and in restoring the endangered pallid sturgeon in its northern range.
Photo: This Federal hatchery is challenged with meeting fish stocking requests from several states, providing in excess of 10 million native fish annually for restoration stockings or balancing fish populations in hundreds of waters. Garrison Dam NFH produces in excess of 25 tons of trout and salmon annually for stocking into North Dakota waters as well. State game and fish agencies in several states such as North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada do not operate hatcheries for cool water fish species such as walleye and pike, and rely on the National Fish Hatchery System to produce these species.
Photo: Where fish food is kept. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead Federal agency responsible for stewardship of the nation’s fish and wildlife resources. Although there are some fisheries that can be maintained through natural reproduction, most fisheries today cannot keep up with existing fishing pressure and habitat changes. National Fish Hatcheries have the ability to provide fish necessary to meet the growing needs of the resource and the angler.
Photo: Native species like walleye, northern pike, pallid sturgeon, shovelnose sturgeon and non-native fishes such as chinook salmon, and brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout, are raised at Garrison Dam NFH annually, each for specific stocking purposes.
Photo: Since 1998 this hatchery has released over 275,000 pallid sturgeon fingerlings (3-13 inches in length) and 800,000 larval sturgeons in the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers from Montana to Missouri. Many other fingerlings and eggs from this facility have been transferred to other hatcheries for further growth and stocking.
Photo: Working with pallid sturgeon is not like any of the many other species we raise here. The early years were associated with a steep learning curve. First, female sturgeons do not spawn every year. They also do not exhibit sexual dimorphism – you can’t tell between the sexes unless you use ultrasound or a biopsy technique. Getting wild captured pallid sturgeon to spawn in a hatchery is also difficult. We rely on hormone therapy to initiate ovulation and spermiation. If the timing is improper, the released eggs are non-viable and we have lost the opportunity for an endangered species to contribute its genetics to the recovery of the species. So we monitor egg development over time by collecting egg samples with a catheter or biopsy. The position of the nucleus in the egg is monitored to determine the correct time for hormone injections. Stress can have a tremendous impact on the response and we are not always successful. Males undergo a similar hormonally induced spawning process but with males we have an advantage. Males are able to spawn annually and through research, cryopreservation techniques have been developed to successfully freeze milt where it can be stored for years at -321 degrees Fahrenheit. Genetics considerations are of course critical in the recovery of any species. The DNA from every adult broodstock is evaluated using small fin clips to ensure our mating strategy is appropriate. The analysis also provides the opportunity to select for fish that may have unique alleles that could possibly enable them to adapt better to the changed river.
Photo: Visit to frack sand facility: The first secret we learned isn’t really a secret but frack “sand” often isn’t really sand.
Photo: The high quality sand at this site is actually a collection of tiny and perfectly spherical pieces of ceramic. Our guide listed advantages to using ceramic rather than natural sand: less dust, resulting in increased safely for workers; and increased porosity, allowing more oil to flow between the pieces. The ceramic sand gets to this facility by rail and leaves by trucks, out to the oil fields, but first they put it in a huge pile, one of the few things we could get a picture of.
Photo: Our tour guide at the frack sand site impressed upon us the need for discretion. The frack sand industry is fraught with secrets, leading to the need for us to take pictures only of the sand itself - no other pictures in the building and definitely none of the packaging.
Photo: Frack sand in three different particle sizes. We got to touch them to feel the difference and to feel how clean the sand is. Sure enough, there was none of the normal sand dust on our hands after we put the ceramic frack sand back.
Photo: Stone wall along Arthur St., Stanton, ND
Photo: Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site. The Knife River Villages served as an important major central trading and agricultural area. The Native Americans served as middlemen in the trading business, stretching from Minnesota, to the Great Plains of the south to the Pacific west coast. Their trading business largely consisted of furs, guns, and metals such as copper.
Photo: Reconstructed Hidatsa Indian Earthlodge (poorly focused). With their mastery of agriculture, tribes living in the Upper Missouri River Valley developed a unique earth and wooden home to fit their sedentary lifestyle. The result of centuries of innovation and adaptation, the circular earthlodge of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people was the perfect home for life on the Northern Plains.
Photo: An earth lodge is a semi-subterranean building covered partially or completely with earth, best known from the Native American cultures of the Great Plains and Eastern Woodlands.