Monday, July 28, 2014

Bridget Begay - Week 3: R/V Elakha Cruise Day Trip along the NH Line

Hello Everyone!

This week was quite exciting, especially my projects summer cruise that happened this past Friday. The OSU research vessel that we aboarded was the R/V Elakha on Friday and the crew cruised along the Oregon coast, specially the Newport Line. 

 The Newport Hydrographic Line located on along the Oregon coast.

We visited the following stations on the cruise: NH 3,5,10,15 and MB 30, 40. I looked forward to this trip because it was the first time I would be out on the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast and get to see live fish samples. To collect data at each station, the CTD was deployed, which measures the Conductivity (or Salinity), Temperature and Depth of the seawater, then the beam trawl net was sent overboard to drag across the sea floor at 1 knot for 10 minutes or more. The beam trawl nets was equipped with an HD camera, tickler chain, laser ruler and measuring wheels. The tickler chain agitates the soft-sediment sea floor to disturb the hidden flatfishes and allows the organisms to be caught by the mesh net. The reason for the laser ruler and HD camera is to conduct in-situ observations, this is to measure any fish that didn't get caught and to observe the activity of the sea floor organisms. Also, the measuring wheels on both sides of the beam trawl measure how far the net has traveled (meters) along the sea floor. 

Leaving early from Yaquina Bay and Matt preparing the beam trawl. 

Myself, Matt and Gonzalo awaiting the first station. 

Bobby Ireland, ODFW, getting ready to aboard the Glider.

One of the several organisms caught in the beam trawl. 

The OSU Glider is in sight and ready to be picked up!

A hag fish was caught at one of the last stations visited. 
All pictures from the cruise are credited to Dr. Lorenzo Ciannelli, College of Earth and Atmospherics Sciences at OSU. 

From the net samples, I recognized flatfishes/fishes, sea stars, sand dollars, sea pens, octopus, mussels, krill, jellyfish and crabs. What I learned over the cruise is visually seeing the distribution and abundance of different organisms among the benthic zone because there is so much more outside a classroom and actually engage in the environment. One of last things to be conducted on the trip was to pick up the OSU Glider, a Glider group representative aboard  R/V Elakha was Gonzalo. The main purpose of the glider is to record ocean data including temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, light levels, dissolved oxygen and water velocity. 

The research seminar this week was presented by Laurie Weitkamp, a Research Fisheries Biologist, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Her presentation was about how important the Pacific Lamprey ecological but also culturally important to the Oregon's Native American tribes because of their population has decreased significantly within these last several decades. This research is definitely an example on how I would like to engage in Pacific Northwest tribal fishery issues. That's all for now and thank you for reading! 

Bridget B.

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