2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

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yolodave
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2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 3rd, 2016, 6:55 am

It's that time for a Spring herp survey in the Yolo Bypass. I served as the manager of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area for 12 years and moved over to the Monterey Bay Coast about 5 years ago. At Yolo, we'll be looking at coverboards I placed at three separate locations.

Let's meet at the Yolo Bypass headquarters at 10 AM on April 2nd. It is located at 45211 County Road 32B, Davis, Ca. This is also known as Chiles Road.

Bring water and lunch. We'll carpool to the sites, and there will be opportunities to leave early if necessary. We'll spend the day walking on flat but uneven ground. Boots are a good idea. I'll be leaving from Monterey County in the morning. Contact me if you would like a ride from Santa Cruz or Santa Clara county.

Here are some examples of what we might see:
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Hope to see you.

Dave

Zach_Lim
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Zach_Lim » March 3rd, 2016, 7:31 am

I'll be there Dave!

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Owen
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Owen » March 3rd, 2016, 8:36 am

With all the rain scheduled for March, any chance your boadlines will be floating?

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 3rd, 2016, 9:06 am

Right now, there is lot's of room in the reservoirs lining the Central Valley.

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Lake Berryessa has about 50 feet to go before it hits the glory hole. We'd occasionally get a sleeper flood from Putah Creek when lots of rain fell between the dam and the Bypass. That could happen but it wouldn't be sustained.

Anyway, I'm told that flooding is unlikely this year. The reservoirs were that low.

These board sets are high enough that they haven't moved since 2007. We had at least 3 other board sets that scattered in 2010-11. I was bummed, that was where we were going to find Batrachoceps.

The view in 2011, looking southeast towards the Umbrella Barn - the end of the "ridge.":
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Dave

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Porter
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Porter » March 3rd, 2016, 2:28 pm

Have slenders ever been found there at the sites Dave? I know they are out there at same elevation. I found one about 8 miles from your boards lines. It flip flopped away and disappeared into the leaf litter like racer in a tree :lol:

Wasn't there a rumor or hear say about a contia find somewhere out there in the delta mud flats? I think I may have been the first to find a Western Toad for that area and enter in the database. I was pretty stoked on that :mrgreen:

Also, there is a floating Propane tank, shop vac, and some other large floating object in the creek near the road. just on the other side of the barbed wire. I attempted getting that stuff out from the legal side of the fence with a long-handled fishnet, but I couldn't reach it .it only sunk down and pushed away from me. Anyone going to the survey should bring some kind of long pole with a hook at the End to get that stuff out of there. it's in the creek that runs east to west in the field that normally ends the survey ( or at least was the last spot the one time I attended) it's on the East side where the boards are same field and where that large shed that covers the haystacks. I most likely will not be able to attend so good luck guys and find a melanistic garter snake garth damned it ;) :)

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Porter
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Porter » March 3rd, 2016, 2:53 pm

Also, nice visual displays Dave :thumb: That racer shot is a timeless pic and still my favorite YBR photograph :beer: cool how it drops down to the right and then back to the left with the striper close up

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Steve Bledsoe » March 3rd, 2016, 3:18 pm

Owen wrote:With all the rain scheduled for March, any chance your boadlines will be floating?
That would be interesting. I wonder if you can find Thamnophis and Nerodia under floating boards? :roll:

Here's a photo of a couple of pieces of AC we set up in AZ a few years ago for Oxybelis. Haven't seen anything under them so far, but we're not abandoning hope! :lol:

Image

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 3rd, 2016, 3:30 pm

Nice strategy Steve.

There are Batrachoceps scattered throughout the area. I'm sure we just haven't found them yet. There are a few neighborhoods in Davis with them, most in the areas where remnant channels of Putah Creek once flowed. I had one about two miles north of the Yolo Wildlife Area office near the dump. I'm sure they are along Putah Creek, just never put the effort into the Putah Creek channel. The area east of Mace Blvd (Co. Road 104) along Putah Creek would be worth searching.

Perhaps local boy Elliot has more information. Keep in mind this area gets baked in the summer.

I heard of a Sharp-tailed Snake in the Delta near Courtland but that was second hand.

Dave

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klawnskale
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by klawnskale » March 3rd, 2016, 4:55 pm

Was just there working in the maintenance barn last week prepping equipment for our survey. Saw lots of Sceloporous and saw and heard lots of Pseudacris.

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yoloherper
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yoloherper » March 3rd, 2016, 5:01 pm

I was worried I was going to miss this one, but I think that April 2nd should work for me!
In the valley, I've only ever seen batrachoseps at that spot near the dump. I think we talked about it once Dave and I had found them under the same set of logs you had. I found a few while birding one day, but didn't take any vouchers and I haven't looked since. They're common in the western part of the county so I think your hypothesis about following old creek channels into select valley localities is pretty likely. Contia are definitely at one spot in west Davis, but I've never seen or heard of one east of 113. There are 5 records from Yolo but they don't have habitat or elevation so it's hard to guess where they were found. This was a great reminder though because I actually vouchered a DOR Contia last summer in western Yolo that I forgot to enter until now.
So now there should be six!
Image

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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by hellihooks » March 3rd, 2016, 5:37 pm

One of the first ever albino Ca kingsnakes came from Davis... I was at (then) Big Game Hunter Bob Howard's house when it arrived... he paid $600 for it... which was a LOT of money in 1976... :shock:
Bob is now a big-time Bighorn sheep conservationist :)

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Owen
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Owen » March 3rd, 2016, 6:51 pm

Thanks Dave. I'm pretty sure I want to go, but would love to explore some of the canals as well that are away from the prairie boards to mix it up a little.

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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Calfirecap » March 4th, 2016, 7:00 am

If anyone out there is considering attending who is squeamish or scared of snakes this is not the outing to attend. ;) One previous participant even said he saw more snakes that day than he had seen in his entire life.

Sign me up :)

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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by hellihooks » March 4th, 2016, 7:25 am

what are the chances of striped gopher? i just wanna see one... :)

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 4th, 2016, 8:17 pm

I'd say this is one of the better places to see striped gopher snakes.

That said, we haven't had one in the last four years.

Dave

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 10th, 2016, 4:16 pm

Appreciate the warning about snakes Lawrence.......

Forget what I said, parts of the Bypass will be flooding this weekend:

SACRAMENTO RIVER AT FREMONT WEIR (CREST 33.5')
1:00 PM STAGE: 31.8 FT
FORECAST TO BEGIN OVERFLOW LATE SATURDAY MORNING (OVERFLOW DEPTH OF 0.1 FT)
THEN OVERFLOW DEPTH AT WEIR INCREASING TO 0.1 FT LATE SATURDAY MORNING
THEN OVERFLOW TO REMAIN NEAR DEPTH OF 0.2 FT THRU SATURDAY NEAR NOON
MONITOR STAGE: 33.5 FT, FLOOD STAGE: 40.8 FT, DANGER STAGE: 41.8 FT

This shouldn't impact the parts of ranch we will go to, but we'll see what develops.

Dave

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Porter
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Porter » March 13th, 2016, 7:42 pm


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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 18th, 2016, 7:59 pm

As of today (March 18), we still have access to the areas I was going to.

Dave

mark buck
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by mark buck » March 30th, 2016, 11:56 am

any updates Dave?

my dad and I will be driving up for this.

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » March 30th, 2016, 12:14 pm

I just checked in yesterday and we are still good to go.

Dave

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » April 3rd, 2016, 5:48 pm

Two hundred and ninety two cover boards, innumerable pieces of wood debris, and there we stood at the very last cover board watching Buck and Mark flip this beautiful specimen.

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Wonderful day in the field. Conditions were certainly drier than I expected.

Totals for the day:

10 Gopher Snakes
13 Racers
2 Juvenile Racers
2 King Snakes
9 Alligator Lizards

Including these interesting mammals:

7 Ornate Shrews
2 River Otters

Here are a few photos:

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Hope to see you next year.


Dave

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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Calfirecap » April 3rd, 2016, 7:05 pm

I wish I could have been there, clearly another successful survey and great photos dave.
Well done.

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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by hellihooks » April 4th, 2016, 5:09 am

arghhhhhhh... had a feeling you'd get a striper... :x rebuilding my honda taking longer than i had hoped (what with working every day) and too much gas/$ to take my work truck... :(

Hope some of you can make it to Tejon next week... :thumb:

mark buck
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by mark buck » April 11th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Posting this a little late but nevertheless...

My dad and I decided to spend the weekend in Sacramento so that we could attend this,
needless to say it was well worth the drive.

Here's some of my photos from the day...

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Big thanks to Dave for putting this together, it was a great time.

Mark

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yolodave
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by yolodave » April 11th, 2016, 6:22 pm

Nice shots Mark. That last one was a beauty!

Dave

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Ross Padilla
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Re: 2016 Yolo Bypass Survey

Post by Ross Padilla » April 12th, 2016, 4:28 pm

Awesome stuff, Dave and Mark. :thumb:

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