Aloha Trout Unlimited Members,
I just returned from Kokee after spending 10 days at the cabin.
I had perfect weather and accomplished a lot.
- I was able to hike the Kumuwela Trail – the one trail in the Kokee state park I had never hiked. It’s a lot of up-hill “Goat Work” as I call it to end up on the Kumuwela Road, from there it’s ¼ mile to the look-out. I had the Easterly family from Hanalei with me – Lorrin Easterly was busy cutting down ATF’s (Australian Tree Ferns) to rid the forest of this invasive plant. At the Kumuwela look-out you can pick up the Canyon Trail which leads to Waipoo Falls.
- I was able to get back on the Alakai Swamp trail and located two rare plants I was told were in the swamp area. One was the only endemic carnivorous plant in the islands. It’s like the Venus “fly trap” with sticky due drops on the pads that collect insects. This plant is only 4 to 5 inches in height so I was crawling through the swamp with my face just inches off the ground to find it – and I did – amazing. The other plant was the endemic Lobelia Grayana found only deep in the Alakai swamp – this is the plant the rare Kauai birds feed on, the I’iwi and the Apapane. I found the Lobelila but it only blooms in October and November so I got a GPS reading on these plants and plan to return in 2 months when they are in bloom to see these rare birds. Both the I’iwi and the Apapane are bright red in color. They are getting more rare every year. These are the only birds that pollinate the Lobelila – if they become extinct – so do the plants.
- I was able to get back to the upper Kauaikinana stream to visit the “Nursery” as I call it. This is the largest pool on the upper Kauaikinana stream and holds 10 to 15 wild Rainbow trout. They are doing fine, good color, and growing fast.
- I got back on the Berry Flat Trail and hiked along the dry stream bed to these HUGE 20 foot ferns I discovered last trip. They are way off the beaten trail. I have never seen ferns this tall in all my exploring on Kauai. I took more photos and got a GPS reading and will send the information to the botanists who might find this interesting. I do not know what species of ferns these monsters are and that peeks my interest.
- I returned to the 9 acre in-closure on the rim of the Kalalau valley. My goat buddies were there. I can find the big tri-color Billy feeding along the canyon rim. This guy is Trophy class – But I only shoot him with my camera.
Kauai due to its isolation, remote canyons, valley’s and swamps holds a lot unexplored territory and very possibly never before discovered species of animals, plants and insect life – And I want to find them.
I’ll be back on Kauai on September 29th through the 10th of October up at the cabin, exploring new areas. If any trout Unlimited members want some off-the-grid adventures you can contact me [email protected].
I will be in Montana on the Sioux Indian Reservation fishing the Big Horn River from August 31st till September 17th. The Sioux wants to make Donna a member of the tribe since she looks “local” – this should be interesting.
Until next month….
Deane Gonzalez signing off, Treasurer, Trout Unlimited Chapter #403