Sunday, March 24, 2013

Warm water and drainages

Green frog tadpole in pool at base of outflow pipe
What: Last fall the DOT put in a culvert running under I-89 about a quarter mile north of the Patchen Road bridge. They put a bunch of monkton quartzite boulders down to control flow below the culvert. The culvert is actually two pipes, one of which has a significantly slower flow. I was absent mindedly staring into the water watching detritus float whimsically downstream when a flash of movement caught my attention. It took a while for it to move again and when it did I was really surprised at spotting a tadpole!

Ecological notes: Green frogs, bullfrogs, and mink frogs (mink frogs are only found in the northeast kingdom) all have tadpoles that will overwinter. These little guys are green frog tadpoles. There were also some unknown (at least to me) species of fish. One that I was watching had its head pointed straight down into the muck (for more on what that muck was, you can visit one of my favorite websites).

Where: I-89 & Patchen Rd in South Burlington

Unknown fish species enjoying the relatively warm water (probably ~50 degrees) 
Other notes: Ground water temperature is roughly the same as the average annual temperature of that area. Here in Burlington it's roughly 45oF. So if you're a fish and the air is 27, it makes a lot of sense to huddle at springs and culverts where ground water meets the surface.

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