See if you can guess what I’m feeling after a fourth dedicated day as a failed fish stalker along Ballona Creek. Here’s a hint: Trout rhymes with… ______? Yeah, you got it: doubt.
For those of you perhaps just tuning in, I was intrigued last weekend to learn from the L.A. Times’ lean, clean and green Emerald City blogger Siel that some envirotist with the one of those agency/alliances whose name is usually long and includes “Watershed” and/or “Conservation” had spotted and photographed steelhead trout up the creek in the vicinity of Overland Avenue in Culver City. Since part of my bike commutes to and from work use varying lengths of a 3.6-mile stretch of the creek’s bikeway (and includes the spot where the steelies were sighted), I decided to keep an eye on those very waters as I pedaled hither and yon. Mostly yon.
A truly patient and experienced naturalist would look at the combined 30-ish mobile minutes I’ve accumulated over the 96 hour span and laugh at the abject amateur silliness of such expectations — hell I even pffft’d at them myself. But still each time I boarded the bikeway I thought, will this be the moment when our paths intersect? The answer each time has been a resounding “nope” followed by a “duh” or two.
To give you an idea of how keenly eager I am, consider this moment when I had just biked under Duquesne on my way to the bike path’s terminus by McManus Park at the National/Jefferson junction. Off my starboard shoulder I heard and caught site of a distinct anomaly — a plop on the surface. Skidding to a stop I scanned the water for something, anything. Behold! Another plop sounded near to the first, but immediately thereafter I found the source wasn’t a steelhead flipping in the shallow stream, but instead pigeons lightening their loads from their place upon the powerlines strung across the channel.
In the history of my long life, this is the first time I’ve ever been brought to a full and complete stop by pigeon poop. Sheepishly I got move on.
Previous Troutwatch posts: Day 1 & 2; Day 0. And during a creekside respite yesterday afternoon I captured this vidclip of something moving downstream. A black-crowned jellyray? A midnight eel? Nah, something far more familiar I’m afraid.