Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lagoon 12/13&14

We sampled Lagoon Pond this past monday and tuesday - in the wet and cold. Promises for the weather we will see this winter. Everything went smoothly and we worked well with each other. We caught an adult winter flounder (over 14 inches) in one of our beam trawls!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sites on the Vineyard

At left is a scenic view of Menemsha Pond taken from the Wampanoag Tribal Hatchery in Aquinnah (Gay Head) looking towards the mouth of the pond. Below is the West Arm site in Lagoon Pond with Danielle and Mike's boat in the background.

A Successful Start

This project is off to a successful and promising start! First we had the training workshop for project participants (Nov. 10-11) at the UNH Marine Facility which was led by my lab and hosted by NH Sea Grant. Groups from both MA and NY as well as representatives from the NOAA Aquaculture Program, Sea Grant, and the Coastal Conservation Association attended. The workshop was primarily geared towards those involved with this project on a daily basis. Mornings were spent discussing implementing responsible stock enhancement strategies and programs, the importance of knowing as much as possible about potential stocking sites, and how to culture fish destined for releases. Afternoons were dedicated to hands-on training in the field and in the hatchery. Project participants learned how to beach seine, fish a beam trawl, and operate a sediment corer. A tour was given of the UNH Coastal Marine Laboratory where winter flounder are produced each year and participants got to tag juvenile fish with both elastomer and t-bar tags.

The week following the workshop, Nate Rennels and I visited both groups on their home turf to help get the field work started. First working with the Martha's Vineyard crew, we selected 4 sites each in both Menemsha and Lagoon Ponds which will be surveyed for one year. We were very impressed by the eagerness, readiness, and communal spirit of the group. It seems when Warren Doty, the Vineyard project manager, gives the order for all hands on deck, EVERYONE responds. We have no doubts that this group will get things done!

Next Nate and I continued on to East Hampton, NY where we did a repeat. Four sites were selected in both Napeague Harbor and Lake Montauk, and sampling was started. We were pleased by the support from the Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson as well as the encouragement and help from the Town Trustees and assistance from harbormaster Ed Michels and his crew Jim and Dale.

Now the winter flounder stock enhancement project is in the hands of these two groups. As they sample and collect data, we at UNH will process and analyze the information which will be used to determine future stocking strategies.