7:00 am - T.J. Turnage and I departed Midland.
11:00 am - Arrived at the IBWC office in Presidio. Met with John Lee (Project Mgr).
11:30 am - Witnessed Tony (IBWC) test Rio Grande water samples for a type of fecal bacteria. This bacteria is a result of human raw sewage illegally being released into the river from Mexico. If the concentration exceeds a certain threshold the Mexican government is notified and the sewage gates are closed. The current concentration is so high that the IBWC is advising the Rio Grande water around Presidio is unsafe for use of any kind. The further downstream you go the safer the water.
12:00 noon - Lunch with John Lee.
12:30 pm - John Lee served as our guide as we toured, video taped and photographed the gaging sites along the Rio Grande from Candalaria to Presidio 5SE. This included CDET2 (Candalaria), PIOT2 (above Presidio), PRFT2 (Cibilo Creek...discontinued USGS gage site at Presidio), PRST2 (Presidio Int'l Bridge), PRBT2 (Alamito Creek), and PRDT2 (Presidio 5SE).
Info obtained while on Presidio tour...
6:00 pm - Completed our Presidio tour. Checked into the Three Palms Inn.
MARCH 19, 1997
*All of the sites visited listed below were video taped and photographed.
7:00 am - Departed Presidio.
8:00 am - Arrived in Lajitas (TGAT2). Met with our Coop Observer Roger Gibson. After visiting with Roger and inspecting the gage site, we discovered there was no way to read the actual river stage until it reach ~9 ft. Roger expressed a desire to have a lower staff section to read as he gets calls daily for the current stage. We agreed to put one in. For a "foundation", we put an 8 ft long 4x4 into a 5 gallon bucket in concrete and let it set. We would be back to anchor it into the river on the 21st.
11:30 am - Arrived at Panther Junction. Met with Scott at the Big Bend Dispatch office. He sent us over to their maintenance area where we concreted an 8 ft. long 6x4 into an 8 gallon bucket. We would be back on the 21st to anchor it into the river at BOQT2 where the low section staff gage has been "missing" since 1/8/97. We then proceeded to inventory hydro equipment that had been stored there back in 1991. Only a couple of 4x4's and a few blank 5 ft staff gages were found. We brought the staff gages back with us.
1:30 pm - Checked into the motel. Ate lunch.
2:00 pm - Arrived and repainted the lower section of the NWS staff gage on the middle support beam along the Terlingua Creek Highway bridge in Terlingua (THWT2). This is not a forecast point but stage information would be helpful in forecasting river stage downstream at TLGT2 and at the forecast points along the Rio Grande downstream from Terlingua Creek. In search of an observer, we met with a worker from the Texas Highway Dept. whose office is located next to the gage site. Names and phone numbers were obtained of the foreman who also lives next to the THD office. His name is Angel. We also learned that Angel reports daily rainfall to Joe Subiate of the Presidio office of the THD.
3:30 pm - We began a tour of the gaging sites within the Big Bend Park, including: THWT2 (Terlingua Creek at Terlingua) - See above. Not a forecast point. No official bankfull or flood stage. Unofficial stages: bankfull=15.4 ft, 15.9 ft La Kiva restaurant would begin to flood, 16.5 ft would begin to flood THD tanks and land on west side of creek, 17.6 ft entrance to La Kiva Restaurant flooded, 19.2 the highway approach on the west side of bridge floods.
Big Bend sites toured:
8:30 pm - Completed tour of gage sites in the Big Bend Park with the exception of BOQT2. We would be working at that site on the 21st. Stayed at Big Bend Motor Inn in Terlingua.
MARCH 20, 1997
6:30 am - Departed Terlingua.
8:30 am - Arrived at Heath Canyon. Met with Justin. Justin works for Andy Kurie (our official observer) and is often the one who actually reads the river gage.
9:30 am - Began our work. Dug out mud and silt around the lower section staff gage on U.S. side of river. This gage often silts in with mud. You also have to go halfway across the La Linda bridge to Mexico to read this gage. Due to these factors we decided to paint a staff gage on the middle support beam of the La Linda bridge. The rest of the day was spent painting this gage which included several coats. We were able to paint from the water level (~3.5 ft.) to a height of 10 ft. The site was video taped and photographed.
6:00 pm - Returned to the Big Bend Motor Motel.
MARCH 21, 1997
7:00 am - Departed Terlingua
7:40 am - Arrived at TAGT2 (Lajitas). Roger Gibson inquired about wind equipment. Information is being sent.
8:30 am - Purchased additional bags of concrete from hardware store in Lajitas. Attempted to anchor 4x4 post set in concrete in river ~2 ft. from the near bank. Unable to stablize. Returned to hardware store where a 6'-4x4, 2 8'-2x4's and additional concrete was purchased. Set 4x4 in concrete on bank and attached the 2x4's to both 4x4's for support. Made gage much more stable. Proceeded to use level to find appropriate heights for new gage. 5' staff sections and numbers were then attached to 4x4 in the river. Site was video taped and photographed.
1:00 pm - Departed Lajitas.
2:00 pm - Arrived at Panther Junction. Loaded 4x6 set in concrete into truck furnished by Al (Park Ranger). Al indicated he would deliver it to the Boquillas gage site around 3 pm.
2:30 pm - Found old gage 8 feet from the water's edge and 5 ft. deep in mud. Too much to dig out. Dug out spot near old gage to anchor new 6x4 set in concrete.
3:20 pm - Al delivered gage. Investigated area for better gage site. Found vertical concrete pier away from mud near water pump pipes as an ideal place to install a staff gage. This will be done on the next trip. Successfully anchored 6x4 set in bucket of concrete into river. Put enameled staff gages on upstream and downstream side of 6x4 so that the gage could be read from either side. Put numbers on each enameled gage and pernament numbers on side of 6x4 facing the bank. Unfortunately, due to the shifting nature of the bank at this site, gage was subject to becoming silted in at a later date. Site was video taped and photographed.
5:30 pm - Departed Boquillas. Left behind 2 4x4's taken from storage shelter and placed them next to pump house.
6:00 pm - Stopped by Panther Junction to report what we had done to Joe Gonzales at dispatch. Joe assured us that he would remind the rangers once again to take daily readings. He also thanked us for reestablishing the site as they get many requests for the stage at BOQT2.
6:30 pm - Arrived at Terlingua to use public pay showers before heading home.
11:00 pm - Arrived in MAF. Dropped T.J. off at home.
1:00 am (3/22/97) - Arrived in LBB. Home at last!!