Hooligan Fishing.

Hooligan (Thaleichthys pacificus), otherwise known as “eulachon” or “candlefish”, are a type of anadromous smelt that makes its way into a number of rivers in Alaska during the spring spawning run. They arrive in some river systems in the hundreds of thousands, and are an important forage species for eagles, gulls, bears and other species. The fish is found from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, and the name “eulachon” is thought to derive from the Chinookan language. “Hooligan” is thought to be a derivative of the Chinookan name.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.56.57 AM.png

Hooligan are of interest to subsistence fishermen, who net them out of rivers in the spring. The fish are eaten dried, smoked, canned or pan-fried. In years past, they earned the name “candlefish”, because when dried, the oil content of the fish was sufficient to allow it to burn like a candle. Hooligan were formerly harvested and rendered for their oil, which can comprise 15% of their body weight during the spawning run.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.57.06 AM.png

Hooligan make their spawning run in May, with the males usually coming in first, followed by female fish a few days later. Males develop two fleshy ridges along their sides, and most hooligan die after spawning. They lay their eggs in sand or gravel, and the eggs hatch in roughly a month. The fry make their way to saltwater immediately, where they live for four to six years. They do not always return to the same stream where they were spawned, but they do return to the general area. They prefer slower rivers without a lot of current velocity, as they are fairly weak swimmers.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.57.53 AM.png

Hooligan average between eight and ten inches in size.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.58.21 AM.png

Hooligan are typically caught by dipnet, a long-handled net with a bag that has fine mesh in it. The fish school up in deeper pockets, and in these places hundreds of hooligan can be caught. At this writing, a dipnetting permit is not required, and anyone with a valid sport fishing license can catch hooligan. There is no bag limit on hooligan.

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Hike 2/52

I am counting my runs as hikes. They meet most of my made up criteria. A few friends, Amanda, and I went running at Campbell Tract. There are over 730 acres to play in. It is across the street from work. We ski the trails in the winter and run there in the summer. It is outstanding. Bears, moose, birds, and all of the other Alaskan wildlife can be seen here.Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.47.10 AM.png

In fact, there is a part that is closed when the salmon are in the creek because of the high bear activity. We ran 8 miles and had a great time. We did not see any large mammals, but that is always okay with us. They probably see us and we get to see them when we are least expecting it.

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Secret Lake

I am a little hesitant to mention the name of this hike or where it leads. Maybe I won’t mention it here, but if you ask I will tell you the name and it will be easy to figure out how to get there with a little research. We went on the afternoon of a holiday. Luckily, I didn’t have school, or I would feel guilty about not studying.

The hike started at an unmarked trailhead. We passed through many different kinds of environments.

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The birder is always busy.

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There were beautiful marshes and meadows.

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The dogs were well behaved as always.
Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 7.50.06 PMWe eventually made it to a beautiful lake where the clouds would come rolling in over the mountains and restrict the visibility to just a few feet. Then as fast as it started, the wind would push the clouds away and the trees, lake, and surrounding peaks would be visible and inspiring.Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.38.31 AMThe wildflowers were beautiful in the meadows on the trail leading to the lake.Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.39.56 AMAt the lake there is a cabin that is open to the public and stocked by generous hikers. There were three cots, a guitar, Ramen, canned foods, and a spinning rod. Screen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.38.49 AMScreen Shot 2015-06-13 at 9.39.32 AM

Brazilian Waterfalls.

When I was in Brazil‬ I hiked into the rainforest‬ and would swim under these‪ beautiful‬ waterfalls‬. Some local kids were there wondering why these non locals were wandering into the forest on their own. They followed us into the jungle. Communication was difficult as they didn’t speak any English. After a couple different waterfalls I kept inviting them in to swim and they constantly refused. I didn’t think anything of it. Eventually we saw a small snake‬ and through hand signals, I think they said that they don’t swim in the creeks because of the large snakes that could eat you. That made me pause and remember where I was. Holy shit. 20 foot anacondas. Man eaters. I had no thought of that while giddily jumping off waterfalls into unknown pools.

Brazilian waterfalls

Mason Lake – Ira Spring trail

A few future nurses headed out to explore on our spring break. We were fresh from school and recently completed an ACLS course. Feeling like being outside, I took the dogs (Obi’s first hike), and we met at the trailhead. It starts off easily enough through the trees.Mason Lake TrailNot long after that, the views really expand and the hiking gets a little more strenuous. It was nice to be sweating in the sunshine when we should be knee deep in snow. It was still March after all.Ira Spring PanoramaIra Spring Memorial TrailWhen we first arrived at the lake, it was mesmerizing. I love the alpine lakes. The water was calm, clear and looked good for fishing (which is always on the back of my mind). We were amazed that there was no snow to be seen. It wouldn’t have been surprising if the lake had ice on it this time of year.Mason LakeI couldn’t stop taking pictures. Panoramas were almost as popular as selfies this day.Mason Lake, Washington.

I am not afraid to admit that I was given a selfie stick and I used it. The BSB (blue shirt boys) were in full effect on this hike.Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 5.45.48 PMThanks as always to my hiking companions that show up and don’t complain. Also, if you hike in Washington State, you probably know about WTA, but if not, check them out as they have more information than you will know what to do with. Become a member.Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 5.49.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 5.48.35 PM