By Jim Sauter
The Dog Days of Summer have arrived. Technically, the Dog Days of Summer are from July 3 to August 11 soon after the summer solstice. Usually, these are the hottest and most unbearable days of the year. But where did this term come from?
According to Greek mythology, Sirius was the dog of the hunter Orion, and the ancient Romans placed the star in the constellation Canis Major (Latin for “Greater Dog”). The Romans thus referred to the sweltering period when the rising of the sun and Sirius converged as the “dies caniculares” or “days of the dog star.” By the 1500s, the English world began to call the same summertime point on the astronomical calendar as the “dog days.”
Due to a wobble in the Earth’s rotation that shifts the position of the stars in the night sky, the dates of the “dog days” now fall several weeks later on the calendar than they did thousands of years of ago. Eventually in the distant future, the “sky dog days” will be during winter months. (Source: Christopher Klein, The History Channel)
The implications of this time of year for stream monitoring and fishing is that our air and stream temperatures are at their peaks. Fishing early morning hours or at dusk is a good strategy. On extremely hot days, it may be best to stay home and tie some hoppers. Our highest water temperatures during this last month were recorded on Belle Creek and the Little Canon River at a toasty 68 degrees. The lowest water temperatures that I noticed on a metro streams in July wer 59 degrees on Hay Creek and Eagle Creek. I did also notice an amazing 51 degree reading on Trout Creek on July 24th in southern Wisconsin.
Streamkeeper Tip of the Month: Accessing Wise H20 Stream Observations
Recently a TCTU member asked, “Is there a way to view Wise H2O observations made on various streams? I am specifically looking to see if temperature can be viewed from observations made in western Wisconsin and SE Minnesota.”
Yes, there is a way to view WiseH2O observations on streams. You can access water quality data from streams and stream temperatures. Here are the steps:
Even by clicking the TCTU preferences for monitoring sites, you may be able to get some of the readings from other areas. For example, I just looked at an observation on the South Branch of the Root River near Forestville State Park. The observation was taken on July 28 and the stream temp was 68 degrees. All other tests came back with good results except for nitrates.
I hope that helps. Sometimes you need to be patient and start zooming in and out to see the blue tabs and readings. We even have access to some of the stream readings from Wisconsin, Iowa, and beyond.
Our “targeted” Streamkeepers are monitoring Belle Creek, Eagle Creek, Hay Creek, Little Cannon, Mall of America Creek, South Branch Vermillion, and Trout Brook. Below are some recent chemical readings on these streams.
Mall of America Creek
South Branch Vermillion
“General” Streamkeepers are busy conducting more random and spontaneous monitoring of streams in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
General Streamkeepers - Minnesota
Middle Fork Whitewater River
South Branch Root River
South Fork Root River
West Indian Creek
General Streamkeepers - Wisconsin
Borst Valley Creek (2 Readings on the same day)
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