Aloha Trout Unlimited members-
I just got back from Kokee, Kauai on July 4th.
Here is the news from Kauai.
I had great weather for the 10 days while I was up at the cabin. It was very dry. Waipoo Falls, normally flowing to the delight of the tourists, was just a trickle of what it normally is. Normally, you do not get to see it like this very often. The Kokee stream feeds the Waipoo Falls and the stream was LOW. Dry conditions prevail all over Kauai this July, as well for all of the islands.
I took a drive to the Puu Lau Reservoir. It was 30 feet below normal, I have NEVER seen it this low and it is a mess and now looks like a big mud hole. The trout were under stress from the lack of oxygenated water and the high temperatures. There is going to be a die-off of any remaining trout at the reservoir if it doesn’t start to rain soon.
The Rice cabin was in good shape but needed some plumbing done to fix a few leaks. I also installed some stepping stones down to the Kokee stream, changed a few light bulbs and fixed a few flash lights. We did have one power failure but it only lasted for 3 hours. Now you know why we have flash lights in every room, “just in case” and that happens a lot up there.
I hiked to my “secret spot” on the rim of the Kalalau valley. The Ohia Lehua blossoms were in bloom and the rear Apapane birds were feeding on the blossoms. This is a rare sight! I also watched some mountain goats on the sides of the canyon. It is amazing how they can walk on such sheer cliffs!
I checked out the Kauaikinana stream one day, hiked to the “Nursery Pool” which is above the bridge crossing the stream. Water flow was good, considering we have the drought conditions and the water was crystal clear, which is another sign of no rain in the upper Alakai swamp area. Water tempt was 70 degrees and I counted 10 trout in that pool. The trout was very “slow”, (lethargic might be a better word), they were not darting back and forth as I approach the pool. That is a sure sign of warmer than normal water temperatures, but, there were there, a good indication that Kauaikinana stream is still producing wild Rainbow trout.
Tourists, well they are back in numbers as a lot of the parking lots were overflowing into the two Waimea Canyon lookouts.
I typically call tourist “Day Trippers” as they all go up to Kokee from 8 am to 1 pm, then after about 3 pm there is a mass migration down the mountain (they need to get to that 6pm hotel buffet). By 5 pm peace and quiet return to the mountain.
I did hike the Berry Flat trail and the Water Tank Trail, clearing it of over grown ginger and cutting down some ATF’s (Australian Tree Ferns) I found along the way. I also did some hiking in a valley off the Berry flat trail that I had never been in before. Massive groves of native ferns that I am sure the “plant people” do not know they are there. One thing about Kokee, I am always finding new things. Especially off the beaten path, few fear to tread.
Next trip to Kokee is August 5 through 15th. Let me know if you need a place to stay. Remember, the cabin sleeps 8 and we have two full bathrooms.
Until next time,
Deane Gonzalez Treasurer – Trout Unlimited chapter #403