Oregon State University

June 2013 Salmon Survey Underway!

June 20, 2013:  Our researchers just left for sea to conduct oceanographic surveys in order to answer questions on the ecological effects of the Columbia Plume on our fisheries.  

researchers on boat

For those of you new to the survey, the plan is to conduct physical and biological sampling at 6-8 stations on each of 8 transects, that are spread out from the northern tip of WA to central OR.  If you are inspired enough to locate the transect that are mentioned, they are so named relative to geographical features on the coast line.  The survey is scheduled as below:

June 20: Father and Son 
June 21: La Push 
June 22: Queets River 
June 23: Grays Harbor 
June 24: Willapa Bay 
June 25: Columbia River 
June 26: Cape Meares 
June 27: Newport 
June 28: port in Astoria

Day 1 Update: Conditions have been good up off of Father Son transect.  Swell is down, wind tolerable, everyone is doing well.

Bycatch!:
FS4: few herring, some loligo, and chrysaroa, not in the net but lurking just out of range: sea lion, dolphins 
FS7: wolf eels, loligo, tow 17 min (not 30) due to mammal sighting, they were successfully avoided, and ultimately everyone was glad it was a short tow
FS9: river lamprey
FS12: mostly salmon, few herring

Chum, which have dominated catches are big, in the 130mm to 160mm range, one up to 170mm's.

Nearshore temperatures around 15.5 degree Celsius, as of 4pm at FS17 it was 14 degree Celsius  

chris with salmon

Plankton: easily handled, however FS17 it was "brown goopy stuff" and needing to go into larger jars

Day 2 Update: La Push transect.

Bycatch:

LP4: herring, enough to bulk weigh, basket counts.  
Rounding out the species! present:  Surf smelt, Chrysaora, Red Irish Lord, Black Rockfish, Wolf eels, River lamprey

Non-fish: shearwater, puffin, fur seal (out of range, waved as boat went by, not curious or inquisitive, stayed away)

Crew doing well.  Weather cooperating, thankgoodness!  Focus is on finding/preparing more salmon tags and fixing a fussy CTD - which results in not much other info regarding plankton, food and physical measurements.  To say the least our friends at sea are VERY busy.

Day 4 Update: Grays Harbor transect. 

mola

Nearshore stations GH 03 and 06 were dominated by anchovy mixed with large Chrysaora jellies (big! 300 mm/September size/why there/now?).  Took 3 reference baskets to get the necessary number of jellies measured, and "lots" of basket weights after that.  

Everyone was predicting the nearshore stations would have loads of salmon, however, they really hit those on GH 16 instead.  

GH21 was disrupted by dolphins, and the two minute tow had 18 salmon, so the next tow times were reduced.  
The GH transect is a long one and they ran out of daylight to go any further (not past salmon).

For those of you with a bit of spare time - check out MarineTraffic.com.  You can see what a transect looks like by going to the Frosti (CA) and clicking on "show track line"  Its kind of fun, and you can get a sense of where/what/when for the boat and those on board .  They are now in a zone that they should be tracked all the time, so hopefully you can see them.

Day 5 Update: Willapa Bay transect.

Plume waters definitely heading north.  Ocean temps in the 16 C range.  Sablefish captured a WB23 and 30.  Salmon numbers plummeted.

hormiphora beroe

Day 6 Update: Columbia River transect. 

CR04 = 1 english sole.  Everyone convinced the net was behaving like it was full of baitfish so pulled it 2 minutes early.  You can believe a fisherman only so much!  Relentless teasing unleashed. 
CR10 = 15 sablefish, 1 herring, 1 sardine, 1 anchovy, no salmon
CR20 = 56 sablefish, 6 sandlance, 18 loligo, no salmon.

Day 7 Update: Cape Meares transect.

Weather starting to cooperate ever so slightly.  Large swell off Cape Meares Wednesday, however long period which makes it a bit more tolerable.  

Salmon catches continue in the low range (4 vs >1k in the beginning).  Sablefish were the fish of the day
CM05: saury
CM10: 400-500 sablefish, 60 saury, 1 herring, 1 sardine, "handful" of anchovy
CM15: only sablefish
 
No salmon makes it possible to hit the rack a littler earlier than normal.  Lipid patties and parasite sampling on the agenda for the after dark entertainment.  Super tiny salps have complicated the patty making, they were smaller than the screen used to keep them out.

Salmon catches continue in the low range (4 vs >1k in the beginning).  Sablefish were the fish of the daysablefish
CM05: saury
CM10: 400-500 sablefish, 60 saury, 1 herring, 1 sardine, "handful" of anchovy
CM15: only sablefish 

No salmon makes it possible to hit the rack a littler earlier than normal.  Lipid patties and parasite sampling on the agenda for the after dark entertainment.  Super tiny salps have complicated the patty making, they were smaller than the screen used to keep them out.

Day 8 Update: Newport transect.

No salmon and few other species.

 

 

 

 

Contact Info

Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 SE Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365
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