Friday, August 2, 2013

Katlyn: Week 6- Crazy Adventures with Fish and Boats!

A Sea Nettle jelly at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

Mammal food preparation station
This last weekend I had to opportunity to go on a backstage tour of the Oregon Coast Aquarium with Natalie, Luc, Waldo, and Waldo's wife, Clare. It was so exciting to see what happens behind the scenes at the aquarium and what goes into making the exhibits possible. We were able to see where they raise

Top view of the "Deep Sea" exhibit
Strawberry anemones and barnacles on exhibit 
some of the jellys that they have on exhibit including Moon jellys and Sea Nettles. We also got to see the huge walk-in freezer where they store all the food for the animals (except filter feeders) on exhibit. After that we saw where the food is prepared for the mammals at the aquarium. It was interesting to see how complicated the feeding regimen for these animals is. We continued our tour by seeing the top view of the "Deep Sea" exhibit. This area was where the divers go into the tanks to do any necessary cleaning or feeding. Being able to see what the tanks looked like from above was a neat experience because before this tour I had only seen the exhibit by walking through the tunnel that visitors use. The final stop on our tour was the area where the mammals are taken when they are not on exhibit. The facility had many toys in this area so the animals are challenged daily and do not get bored, and it seemed like a nice place where they could get away from the visitors. When our tour was over, we were able to stay in the aquarium and look around at the exhibits. This was also a lot of fun because I always like going through the aquarium.
A sea otter on exhibit
This aquarium visit was only the beginning of a very exciting week. Another experience that made this last week so great was the "fish cutting party". This is where people from Hatfield get together to dissect juvenile salmon and save specific pieces of the body for different research projects. Each fish had a specific list of body parts that needed to be kept for research. Some needed the stomach, fin clip, intestines, kidney, and otoliths (bones in the inner ear), while others only needed two or three of these. The fish cutting lasted for three days, and I participated in two of those days. I am glad I got this opportunity because it allowed me to see the different parts of the fish and learn what goes into some of the research projects at Hatfield.

Fish being dissected at the "fish cutting party"
The final adventure this week was going out on a boat with Waldo, Ella, and Mo. We went out on the Miss
The beam trawl in the water
Yvonne, which is a commercial fishing boat. The weather was very calm and the boat had a much smoother ride than the Elakha, so I had a much better trip than the last time. This trip was also a lot of fun because we were collecting bottom-dwelling fish with a beam trawl. This made for a great trip because we were able to see numerous amounts of different marine life. We saw some sea stars including the sunflower star and brittle star. We also saw crabs, nudibranchs, juvenile squid, shrimp, krill, and many different types of fish. We through back everything except juvenile flatfish and other fish that were under 150 mm SL (standard length, from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail). This was an excellent experience because Ella and I were able to see what went into retrieving all the data
One of the catches complete with sunflower star and
numerous flatfish
that is in the binders that we are entering into the database. The data is no longer just names and numbers on a page; it is now connected to a real animal that we have seen with our own eyes. 
Bobtail squid
Me holding a large dungeness crab 

No comments:

Post a Comment