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San Miguel Basin Forum
Nucla , Colorado
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June 30, 1988     San Miguel Basin Forum
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June 30, 1988
 

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t Fred Bellmire was ap- pointed to the West End School Board at the June 21 meeting. Bellmire will fill the vacancy which oc. cured upon the resignation of John Cain. Mr. Bell- mire was sworn in at the meeting and took his posi- tion on the board. In other board action, a decision was reached con- cerning contracting public nurses for the school year. Rachel Blair, of the Mont- rose County Public Nurses Office, advised the board that a school nurse or qualified professional is mandated to perform school screening of vision and hearing, and assess- ment of the handicapped between 5 and 21 years of age. The family plan- ning program at the high school is paid for by the federal government and not the school district. Therefore the School Board unanimously voted to contract through Mont- rose County with Rachel Blair for 3/8 time during the coming school year. Ann Hemme will continue to take the family plan- ning program to the high school. Superintendent Larry Swain updated the board on the asbestos testing in the District, on a new law effective July 1 concerning (Cont. on pg. 3)' II ~i~~- .o~. Thursday, June 30,1988 Issue 49 Volume 36 J The Division of Wildlife is stocking sterilized ko- kanee salmon fingerling in McPhee reservoir in an ef- fort to produce lunker sized salmon. "Kokanee normally mature in four years, spawn and die. Because they live such a short time they don't get very large. Their spawning success in Colorado is limited and is artificially maintained," according to Mike Japhet, Fish Biologist for the San Juan Basin. "We expect these steri- lized fish to live longer than four years. Such fish typically convert food into body mass rather than re- production and by living longer they should be able to reach lunker sizes." "Yes, sterilized fish do get larger," said Sherman Hebein,. Fish Biologist for the Gunnisorr Basin. He- bein examined the new 301/2 pound state record brown trout taken near Gunnison last winter and determined it was a sterile female. Her ovaries had never produced eggs. She was naturally sterile." The Divisio,; has sterili- zed over 200,000 kakanee salmon for the McPhee experiment at the Roaring Judy Hatchery north of Gunnison. After the eggs were spawned last fall they were soaked in a very mild solution of methyltestos- terone, a male hormone. After they hatched they were fed a diet that had minute amounts of the hormone. Now they are on regular food, growing and will be ready to stock by the end of June. The fish will be small "In another three months there will be no detectable level of the hor- mone above what the fish itself produces. The treat- ment causes the gonads to atrophy and become non- functiorlal," according to Hebein. He emphasized, "The treatment is FDA approved." Japhet said, "McPhee is and ideal reservoir for this experiment. This species of salmon require large amounts of deep water. Kokanee salmon have not yet been introduced. Since Kokanee feed primarily on the zooplankton (tiny or- ganisms), they will not compete with the other species of fish in the reser- voir. Zooplankton in this reservoir is very abundant. This project will be closely monitored by creel checks and gill netting. Japhet said, " We will know in about four years if we have been successful. Until then we won't stock anymore sterilized ko- kanee." The Colorado state re- cord kokanee is six pounds 13 ounces and 27.5 inches in length. Japhet said," We really don't know how much larger these fish will grow. We have the opport- unity to experiment and see if we can develop a trophy fishing opportunity There is very little addi- tional investment in these fish, Even if the experi- ment fails, fisherman will catch some big kokanee in another four years. If we are successful then McPhee could become a real trophy salmon fishery in ............. Bertha Daniels 1988 Water Days Queen Bertha Daniels has been selected as the Queen of the ] 988 Water Days Cele- bration. She will be riding in Bob Schweikhardt's 1934 Ford Phaeton in the parade on July 4. Bertha, who is 86 years young, first moved to Dry Creek Basin in the 1920's from Indiana. In 1928 she moved to Nucla where she has lived ever since, "ex- cept for gadding around". "Queen Bertha" has been actively involved in the Park Club for 60 years, is a member of the Union Congregational Church, was a long time 4.H leader, and is an avid card player. For all her activities, she still vividly recalls the lifestyle of "pre-clitch" days and has seen the many changes that have come about because of water available to the Park. And that's what Water Days is all about. J \ III I III I[I II IIII I = I