The Trout Also Rises

"A blog upon my estutcheon" A weblog about fishing, hunting, hiking, cycling, books, beer, and other random musings. Any humor contained in this site is entirely unintentional and has not been tested on animals. e mail aaaaargh at msndotcom

Location: California

A hunter and fisherman, fascinated with books and history.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Benford analysis

It is a little known secret that Troutman is a financial examiner who works for Arnold (i.e. the State of California).

Tim, over at the Englishman's Castle, posted about Benford's Law recently. Basically, the law says that more non-random numbers will start with one than with any other number. This is a great tool for discovering fraud, since the perpetrators will usually pick numbers (for instance, for unauthorized checks) that do not fit the natural pattern the Benford discovered. This makes it easy to catch them, unlike trout. To justify my exorbitant civil service salary, I have resolved to use Benford's Law in the near future.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Trader Joe's Bock, Bohemian, and Vienna beers

Great news for beer people who live near a Trader Joe's. The monolith is selling German and Austrian style beer under its own label.

I've tried the Hofbrau Bock, a medium amber beer with a dry finish, brewed in the Central European style but without the sweetness often found in Bavarian beers. Give it eight out of ten points.

The Bohemian lager (seven out of ten) is also a fine, dry product, and is a fairly successful attempt to recreate a low cost version of Bohemia's famed Pilsner Urquell. Urquell, obtained fresh, is an incomparable drink, truly a nectar of the gods.

I've yet to try the Vienna Lager, but will add a post upon completion of that mission. The Trader Joe's beers are brewed on contract in San Jose, California (anybody have any ideas on who might be doing it for them?). Get them now. TJ's management is ruthless about dropping products that don't sell well in all of their stores. I hope that TJ's does not attempt to go into extreme value microbrews, like they did in the wine trade with Charles Shaw wines. Beer is already a good value (except in some supermarkets), and we don't need anything that would drive smaller producers of interesting brews out of business.

Update: Reader Alexis thinks that Gordon Biersch is brewing on contract for TJs. They are located in San Jose, and specialize in Central European style beers. I wanted to visit their brewpub in Orange County, but it closed before I had a chance.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Piru Creek trout in danger

The State Department of Water Resources is proposing to reduce the flows in this Southern California stream to protect the endangered Southwestern Arroyo Toad. High stream flows are allegedly causing a proliferation of bullfrogs which are among the toad's predators. The DWR assumes that lower flows will reduce the number of bullfrogs. That it will also reduce the number of native trout does not matter to them.

A full report can be found here.

I encourage every fly fisherman to email the responsible staff at the DWR. The email address of the DWR's executive director, Lester Snow is:

You should also contact the Department's senior environmental specialist, Dr Eva Begley:

Here is a suggested text for your message:

I am concerned about the DWR's impending decision to reduce flows in Piru Creek to "protect" the Southwestern Arroyo Toad. It is uncertain whether the reduced flows will actually benefit the toads, but it is certain that reduced flows will negatively impact the native trout in the creek.

The state has recognized the value of Piru Creek by designating a substantial portion of it as a wild trout stream. Citizen volunteers have spend countless hours in improving habitat and clearing out trash.

I am opposed to any reduction in historic releases from Pyramid Lake. The Department should seek to help endangered species without harming native trout and recreational resources.

I also encourage you to contact your state legislator about Piru Creek.