One fish, two fish, red fish(!), bluefish

Sunset over Sapelo (©2014 R. Guy)

Sunset over Sapelo (©2014 R. Guy)

Matt and I just finished a 7 day (5 days of sampling) stint on Sapelo Island at the National Estuarine Research Reserve.  This is a break from our trawling efforts to try and define how much our catch might change within a small area of sampling between small areas and over days – otherwise known as in site variability.  I chose two feeder creek systems that drain into a larger channel, Dean Creek, on the south side of the island. Each creek has approximately the same amount of channel while one is much longer and straight while the other is shorter without a lot of capillary branches (i.e. dendritic).

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Matt and the “North” Site seine net set, Sapelo Island (©2014 R. Guy)

We set up seine nets across each feeder creek at slack high tide and let them run until low tide so that everything that was in the creek at high tide would collect in the bag part of the seine as they tried to leave the creek.  We suffered through some of the hottest temperatures (97F, 108F HI) of the summer lugging wet 50-100lb nets out of the water onto the squishy marsh surface. Grit our teeth through fire ant bites, ornery crabs, and stabbed hundred of times by sharp shrimp rostrum.

But oh, what a catch.

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Spotted Seatrout (Cynoscion nebulosus): Adult and two juveniles. (©2014 R. Guy)

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Red Drum: Red Fish, Sciaenops ocellatus (©2014 R. Guy)

The species we observed:

  1. Blue Crab
  2. White Shrimp
  3. Grass Shrimp
  4. Bay Anchovy
  5. Striped Mullet
  6. Sailfin Molly
  7. Mummichog
  8. Striped Killifish
  9. Marsh Killifish
  10. Ladyfish
  11. Silver Perch
  12. Spot
  13. Atlantic Croaker
  14. Spotfin Majora
  15. Spotted Seatrout (Adults and juveniles)
  16. (drum roll)…the first Red Drum!
  17. Bluefish

Preliminarily, it looks like the dendritic site had higher biomass on average with greater biodiversity, but I will have to analyze the data to be sure.  A fantastic sample effort, and now we are just waiting for the ferry to the mainland.

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Bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix (©2014 R. Guy)

 

 

 

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