More From Roger's Trip to Austria


This is a male Austropotamobius torrentium that Reinhard and I collected in a small, cold water stream down the road from his house.
Reinhard has established a colony of this species in a deep pool fed by a spring at the top of the ravin. The pool is constructed in such a way that wild crayfish can not get in so the population is protected from the crayfish plague. Individuals can escape from the pond and re-colonize the stream. It is proving to be a good way to keep the
species alive in the area. That Reinhard is one smart guy!

Reinhard also raises sturgeons. This is one we transfered to a pond. The idea is to get the sturgeon to muddy the water and kill the algae. Once the algae is reduced the pond will be ready for other fish.
Reinhard's buddy, Hannis, owns the ponds and runs a trout hatchery there. This sturgeon is about three feet long.
There are all kinds of neat things running around in the Alps at
Reinhards. These are lizards, legless lizards. They've lost their legs through evolution (I think they spend a lot of time in burrows) and have taken or a snake like existence. Who needs legs when your slithering through holes in the ground?

From this picture you can see their lizard like heads. Close up you can see the vestigial legs protruding from their bodies. That evolution stuff is cool! These boys were under a board in Reinhards crayfish hatchery. I didn't know the color variation was this extreme.

I talked Reinhard into taking me on a hike one day. Way down on the road is our car. We weren't quite to the top at this point. Reinhard's car is really quite interesting. I called it a "Microsoft Office" car. As we would be driving up into the mountains every once in a while the car would start running rough and begin to slow down.
When this would happen, Reinhard would turn the car off, then turn it back on and it would run fine. This of course made the trip into the mountains really interesting, would we get the car back on before we started rolling down the hill. Reinhard does a good job of following the environmental ethic of reducing consumption. He thinks he can get a few more miles out of the car.

This is the stream that runs next to Reihard's hatchery. I'm not sure you can see it in this picture but there are lots of Brown trout in the stream. The water was very clear and the substrate was clean. Perfect trout habitat.

Reinhard Pekney and one of his pet sturgeons.