Grandson Jake and I ventured down the block to Beatty Creek the other day. He had never seen the stream before, and I was curious to see how it might be holding up during this extended drought. What a shock! The creek was dry as a bone.
We decided to head down stream to see if could find a puddle or two. Sure enough, just a few dozen yards closer to where the stream makes its confluence with Mclane Creek, we found a couple small pools crowded with small fish. The idea that these little critters were likely going to end up dying of suffocation didn't set well with either of us, particularly after we discovered there was a much large pool just another fifty feet downstream. I promised Jake I would return the next day with a bucket and a net, and move them to the larger pool.
Next day, net and bucket in hand, I went down to the creek bed and began scooping out the juveniles in the first pool.
I stopped at one point and examined one to see if I could identify it. As near as I could tell they were chum salmon, which was consistent with the only sightings of mature salmon I've made in the last two years.
I was about half way through the process when I realized that the knee I had placed next to the pool was soaking wet. I started pulling back gravel in several places, each one further from the puddle. The sand below was filled with water, and wherever the hole I'd dug was deep enough, it began to fill with ice cold water. It then dawned on me that, although the puddles were quite small, the water was very cold and crystal clear. I let all that sink in for a few minutes. Then, as gently as I could, I put the little critters back in their puddle. Nature ALWAYS knows best, and almost always needs less help from us than we need from it...even today.