Protecting and Restoring the Morro Bay Estuary.

July Field Updates

July Field Updates

 

Fulfilling our mission to protect and restore the Morro Bay estuary for people and animals requires a lot of hard work in the field. Read on to see what our staff and volunteers have been up to during the month of July.

 

Eelgrass Surveys

We had an exciting month of eelgrass surveys in July. Our monitoring staff helped CalPoly Professor Jenn Yost collect eelgrass samples for genetic analysis.

Our field technician Evan was one of the snorkelers, diving down to collect subtidal eelgrass. Dr. Yost is interested in seeing if there is a difference in genetics between subtidal and intertidal eelgrass.

Our Field Technician, Evan, was one of the snorkelers, diving down to collect subtidal eelgrass. 

Thanks to Tenney Rizzo from Cal Poly for some great group shots!

 group shot-Tenney Rizzo

group shot 2 - Tenney Rizzo

Fish seining at Windy Cove

We also got to help CalPoly graduate student Erin Aiello seine for fish at Windy Cove. This seining was done in conjunction with the Smithsonian “Bitemapproject to look at the population of fishes inside and outside of eelgrass beds to help develop a global map of feeding activity by fishes.

Here, we are hauling the net back in. A seine net is a big net that hangs vertically in the water, with floats on the top and weights on the bottom edge that you move through the water to encircle fish.

Here, we are hauling the net back in. A seine net is a big net that hangs vertically in the water, with floats on the top and weights on the bottom edge that you move through the water to encircle fish.

Once we caught the fish, we quickly put them into buckets of water and sorted by species. Each fish was weighed, measured, photographed, and then released back into the bay.

Weighing, measuring, and photographing the fish.

Weighing, measuring, and photographing the fish.

Fish 1

Shiner Perch (Cymatogaster aggregate), photograph by Dr. Jennifer O’Leary.

Topsmelt by Jennifer Oleary

Topsmelt (Atherinops affinis).

 

Fun with bugs

Karissa attended the Saturday Scientists Macroinvertebrate workshop at the Morro Bay Natural History Museum. Over 25 members of the public attended this fun, family-friendly workshop to learn about aquatic macroinvertebrates and what they can tell you about your water quality.

Macroinvertebrate specimens

The table is set for science!

 

Equipment swap

Karissa and Shane pulled out a pressure transducer, a sensor used to measure water levels, from one site and will be installing it at a different site later this month. Turns out there is a lot of equipment involved!

Karissa gear

Monitoring Coordinator Karissa holds the pressure transducer.

 

Shane holds gear

Monitoring Coordinator Shane holds additional equipment, including a staff plate, used to measure water depth.

 


Did you enjoy these field updates?