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The North Platte River below Guernsey

As you look upon this river, you think how beautiful it is. But what you don’t see beneath the ice there are brown trout slowly dying. They naturally spawn in fall, unlike other trout. On the Platte, they establish their spawning beds only to have the water lowered (from 400 cubic feet per second to 25 cubic feet per second) killing their offspring, then slowly their habitat shrinks as pools go away and come March those who have survived the starvation wait for the water.

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Diagram of the effect of the reduction instream flow on the Brown Trout

On the Platte we have Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and Piping Plovers (Charadrius melodus), What makes one endangered or threatened species more important than another? A crane lives and trout and a natural river starve to death to support it’s artificial habitat. I’m going to keep watching this river, photographing it, asking questions and see where they lead me. Of course the reality about conservation is there are often only the best choice among bad options.

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My puppy experiencing springtime in Wyoming