Yesterday, we spent the better part of the days sampling the Big RIver and Black River drainages for crayfish. All locations involved tipping rock and using hand nets. Two locations, owing to depth, required extensive snorkeling which was decidedly more effective even in shallow water. We had some trouble mobilizing ourselves into the cold water, especially when entire surface was covered in ice about 1.5" thick. A pain factor was involved as footwear was not up to the task. Visibility was excellent. Nets would freeze solid within seconds of removing from the water (ambient high low 20's F and most of time between 15 and 20 F). Crayfish collecting was faster than we ever experienced. What was really interesting is we found catching Smallmouth Bass and Shadow Bass was extremely easy. I caught a couple just to see what was under rocks and could have caught a great deal more. The best angler could not touch the rate I was catching them at. Also, distribution of those fish was not random. They do not appear to have been eating.
All said and done, today involves a great deal of pain. All attributable to footwear related issues. Current at a couple sites also a bugger because gloves degraded propulsion normally coming from hands. That is something I would not want to do every day unless I had a dry suit.