Zenfolio | mdmarcus photos | Valle de Oro NWR 2017-04-27

Created 28-Apr-17
Modified 28-Apr-17
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16 photos
This is the third set of photos during high flows in the Rio Grande taken at the Valle de Ora National Wildlife Refuge south of Albuquerque. The first photo shows the irrigation works that is crossed over from west of the most SW parking area on the refuge on the way to the excavated pond, seen in the next photo. Due to the continued high Rio Grande flows and increasing groundwater levels, the pond showed an increase in water, relative to last week. The nest photo is just of an interesting tree group along the trail starting near the NW edge of this pond leading to the Rio Grande and the start at the north end of a high flow channel excavated along the east edge of the river. The next two photos show the start of this channel. This day’s Rio Grande flow approached 5000 cfs. At this flow, similar to what is seen in the photos from last week, but now the high-flow channel provided even fewer areas of very quiet water for spawning, resting, and grow-up habitat. There were observable and very often strong currents at most locations along the high-flow channel. In addition a strong wind was blowing (sometimes it was difficult to stand steady), producing noticeable ripples and accumulations of surface “scum” along the east shore of the channel. Channel flooding greatly exceeded that occurring last week with one section of the road along the channel now under water, shown in Photos 829-831. Photos 827 and 831 show that the flooding had decreased from what was occurred earlier in the day. The photos of the young and larval fish, now grown from last week, clearly show most or all of these fish to be Western Mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). There were no clear observations of larvae or fish near the inlet to the channel, where most were observed last week. Most were observed in a quiet pocket of the channel near the south end of the flooded road. In total very few larvae or fish were seen. The last photo shows the top few inches of a Jetty-jack, indicating the amount of channel aggradation (sediment buildup) that the Rio Grande has along this reach. Note, these photos may be downloaded for your use, but please provide credit.

Categories & Keywords
Category:Science and Technology
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Albuquerque, New_Mexico, Rio_Grande, Valle_de_Oro, fish, grow-up, habitat, high-flow_side_channel, resting, spawning