Salmon and Eagles
Sunday, October 31 2010 @ 12:52 PM EDT
Contributed by: richardpitt
The eagles will soon return to the Chehalis River Estuary to gorge themselves on salmon. The camera tower is still in place and it is time to get the equipment back out to it and get it ready again. Based on the record run of Sockeye that has already gone up the nearby Fraser River (which the Chehalis is a tributary of via the Harrison) we're expecting great views of thousands of eagles this year.
While we have all of the equipment for this season, there will still be some fairly substantial costs involved in the installation and running of this camera for the season. The fuel cell methanol costs alone are estimated at over $400 as this methanol is super-refined and just the cost of shipping methanol to/from the refining and packaging companies is huge as it is a "hazardous" material (poison and flamable.) Recall from our last year's run-up to this site that the alternative was a propane generator and huge bank of batteries weighing over 1000 lbs., and themselves fairly hazardous to handle (NiCad industrial wet batteries.)
The equipment and cameras were removed from the tower at the end of last year. The fuel cell had suffered a malfunction, but the Spring sun kept the solar panels running enough that we got most day's images and video. The repaired fuel cell has been returned, and we will again put it to use. This year we'll only run a single camera at the tower, but also hope to run a second one on a piling near the eagle viewing area. We installed a power system to the eagle viewing stand last year and it will power the second camera.
Please keep those donations coming in - and if you know of a company interested in sponsoring this year's camera, please let us know.