Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bridget Begay - Week 5: More "Butter" for the "Soul"

Hello everyone,

    So this week began with a couple of days in the NOAA Lab. From the July 11th R/V Elakha cruise, I assisted with classifying fish specimens, including the measurement (mm SL) and weight (g) of each organism. The sample was extracted at 8:21 a.m. at MB 30 station with a depth of 31.8 meters. The species found in the sample were Pacific staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus), butter sole (Isopsetta isolepsis), dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister), English sole (Parophrys vetulus), Speckled sanddab (Citharichthys stigmaeus), Pacific tomcod (Microgadus proximus) and snailfish(Liparidae spp.). With this sample, the Butter sole dominated more than half of the sample's count. Besides sorting through the 350+ fish specimen sample, I learned how to differentiate between Butter sole and English sole transitional larvae by observing the blind side. Flatfishes consist of two sides: an eyed side and a blind side. To know the difference between the two species, the Butter sole will have black speckled bands that cross the lateral line, but, the English sole will have black speckled bands that don't cross the lateral line completely. When the bands become less visible and when they grow bigger, we concentrate on the lateral line on the eyed side. The Butter sole will have an arched, longer lateral line that extends into a accessory branch above the gills and towards the dorsal fin. On the other hand, the English sole will have a lateral line that is less curved, shorter above the gills and doesn't extend towards the dorsal fin. 
     Another highlight of this week was a visit from COSEE PRIME interns from the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) Exchange Day. It was great talking to Coral, Peter, Leyia and Jezzi, especially knowing what kind of project they are involved in. Throughout the day, we toured Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife - South Beach Annex Offices and taking a trip to Otter Rock. We all ended the day with a BBQ at Itchung's house, which by the way has such an amazing view of the waterfront and is also occupied by a cute cat named, Jackson. I look forward to visiting all of them at OIMB and checking out the campus!

     This weekend I assisted the wonderful, Cindy at two locations: Otter Rock and Cape Perpetua. On those two trips, it's refreshing to see the landscape change along the Oregon coast and meeting new people all the time. Cindy and I met a nice volunteer, Elton, at Devil's Churn in Cape Perpetua. He was very friendly and informative about this location, so definitely look for him if you visit anytime soon!

The view of Cook's Chasm at Cape Perpetua. 

      That's all for now and thank you for reading! :)

Bridget B. 


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