Gas and Shanties


Sucker Brook Delta with gas holes marked in yellow. The blue marker is the entry point for Sucker Brook. These positions were measured in 2010.

A couple years ago I had an interesting talk with a fisherman who regularly fishes on Lake Dunmore in Vermont.  One place he has reliably found fish is off the Sucker Book delta on the east side of the lake.  The delta is well known for a line of gas holes just off shore.   He had occasionally heard the sound of gas coming out of a fishing hole as the drill broke through but did not think much of it.

One fine morning he invited his wife and couple friends to come out later.  He put his shanty in a place where he expected to have good fishing, fired up the gas heaters to make the shanty comfortable for his guests and started drilling fishing holes.  As the first hole broke through he heard the quiet hiss of gas.  About a second later it ignited.  The resulting womp removed one side of the shanty and left him with singed eyebrows and arms as well as a bit shaken.  His friends in a nearby shanty heard it ran out to see what had happened just as he stumbled out of his suddenly dilapidated shanty.   He does not mix gas holes, shanties and ignition sources anymore.


PS: gas holes are particularly common over deltas, especially deltas from high gradient streams.  This appears to be related to wood buried in the sediments.