It is always encouraging to hear about EstuaryWatchers inviting friends and family to attend EstuaryWatch monitoring. It is particularly exciting to hear tales of the younger generation trying their hand at EstuaryWatch. Here is a short story from Michael and Dawn Gibbons, Spring Creek EstuaryWatchers.
When our Grandson, Jack (8 yrs old) came monitoring with us for the first time we expected his interest to be short-lived. But not to be..
He asked lots of questions in the lead up about what we were going to do and why. His eyes lit up when he saw the EstuaryWatch equipment and he wanted to do it all. Jack was in charge of carrying the witches hats and the sampling pole.
First off we got him to monitor the depth of the water column with the weighted rope then he collected the first water sample and filled the turbidity tube. The highlight however was lowering and retrieving the Van Dorn, the strange contraption EstuaryWatch use to collect water samples.
Jack particularly enjoyed it when other kids came along and were watching us conduct monitoring. It was then that Jack went into over drive with activity and seriousness. He felt very important!!
Later that afternoon, we went fishing not far from the Spring Creek EstuaryWatch monitoring sites. Previously when we have gone fishing together at Spring Creek we have only caught little ones to release. This time we had a bet, whoever caught the biggest fish would shout the other a drink. Within 10mins, Jack had pulled in a whopping Bream. He originally got a fright and wanted me (Michael) to reel it in but I coaxed him into doing it himself. Jack’s rod was bent nearly in half!!
It was hard work for him trying to stop the fish from running back under the jetty. The fish’s intention was to tangle and bust off around the jetty pylons but we managed to reel him in. We had a fish ruler with us and the Bream measured at 38cm. What a whopper! Jack immediately asked me to ring his Grandmother (Dawn) to tell her of the catch. We stayed for another hour. I got one little tiny Bream I had to put back. I then took Jack to the café to pay my bet………..a chocolate milkshake. So, all up, Jack had a great day on Spring Creek.
Thanks to Michael Gibbons, Spring Creek EstuaryWatcher for providing this story.