By Dan Crowther, Crew Leader
On June 20th, the HW stream sampling crew (a.k.a. the X-Stream Team), joined by Project Manager Dr. Eric Knudsen, embarked on the Cathy G for a six day circuit around Prince William Sound. On this reconnaissance cruise, we finalized the list of pedigree streams that will be sampled for spawned salmon DNA during the summer, and subsequently for salmon alevins (emerging young) in the spring. Starting from a list of ten streams, we whittled the list down to six by identifying which streams would have the most access and least snow cover next March, and therefore would be most practical to sample. The decision was easy at streams like Wickett Creek where the snow was still piled 7-8 feet high, completely covering sections of the stream. The X-Stream Team also beta tested digital tablets and novel data collection software, discussed sampling protocols, and enjoyed the unusually sunny weather. The Cathy G will be a great research vessel on which to live and work- plenty of room to stretch out and relax after long, intensive days of hiking up remote streams and collecting samples from rotting salmon.