April 9th – 10th: Sea Lions and Endangered Fish | Derek in the Field

So far the weather has been amazing and Monday started out humorously with a male sea lion barking at the group as we hauled gear to the boat.  Seeing sea lions perched out on the docks is a common site around the docks and are no danger unless provoked.

Caroline walking to the far left of the sea lion.
The sampling Monday and Tuesday went very well, especially up in South Bay where the catches are becoming more diversified.  We are now catching the usual salmonids in addition to hatchery coho, bay pipes, tube snouts and a variety of other species.  Tuesday was particularly exciting in that an endangered bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) was caught in South Bay, normally it is illegal to capture bull trout but the researchers have the required permits to capture and take fin samples from each bull trout caught.
James handling the bull trout before release.
In addition to the bull trout we also began to come across  hatchery released coho salmon such as the one below.  These fish are substantially older (2years) and larger ranging from 120 – 135mm compared to the wild coho size averaging 40mm.  This brings interesting questions around competition, resources and habitat use that I will be looking into as the project continues.  Also, notice the erosion of the dorsal fin and the blunt face on this hatchery coho, this is caused from the concrete wells the fish are reared in.

from Internship Journal – Salmon Estuary Habitat Use http://bit.ly/HJlNUp

via tumblr http://genefish.tumblr.com/post/20950371109

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#derek, #scicomm