The I-Minus river system presented challenges unforeseen via Google Earth as we planned our fish passage antenna locations. The IM2 antenna station, for example, seemed perfectly situated between two converging streams, giving us access to two sites using only one data logger. Today’s surprise, however, materialized as soon as the helicopter settled on our proposed site. Willows of all sizes covered the area, presenting a fire hazard for our R44, which needed to relocate to higher, less flammable ground. Because the I-Minus outlet stream hosts at least one very large grizzly bear, we’re on high alert for signs of bear activity as Tom Glass and I installed and tuned the two fish antennas. I’ve seen willows effectively conceal large grizzlies and moose, as if swallowed whole before my eyes. Bear spray at the ready, we managed to install both antennas and tune one of the two before rain, thunder and mosquitoes took charge.
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