Above: A photo taken yesterday.
A juvenile bullfrog hops across a recently dried pond. A few feet away are hundreds of dead tadpoles. Some of which have developed legs and arms; Another week or so and they would have been able to leave. This has been the longest and hottest summer we’ve ever had. The damage to trees and shrubs is very evident. The mortality of fish in Gee Creek is likely very high. The mortality of all fish in Allen Canyon Creek is total since the entire creek went dry. The last significant rain we had was in the middle of June. It’s been almost three months. The summers here have been drier, warmer, and longer since 2014.
There is some relief on the way. The National Weather Service is predicting one to two inches of rain beginning early Friday morning. That will make a big difference if it happens. It may be enough to restore flows to Allen Canyon Creek and increase the very low flows on Gee Creek. NWS warns that it won’t be enough to end the fire season but should help. It will not end the drought unless there is more rain soon.
There are many construction projects in Ridgefield with a lot of exposed dirt. Some of them look vulnerable to erosion. The city needs to take steps to have contractors and developers double down on erosion control efforts. In the past, erosion control failures have have left a coating of mud on the streambeds. With low flows, streams will not be able to wash any sediment away.
BY Paul Snoey