SMURF Weeks 17-20: It’s been rough!

As the SMURFing season winds down, the team has faced some last minute challenges in sampling the SMURFs at both the Otter Rock and Redfish Rocks sites. On the first attempt at Redfish Rocks in late August, the seas were just too rough to get out on the water. The second attempt got the SMURFers on the water, but then they were chased off shortly by… a LIGHTNING storm! – not a common sight in Oregon’s nearshore! (And not something you want to be out on the water for!) Attempt number three will happen this week. We will report on the success as soon as possible.

last smurf
The last SMURF at Otter Rock was picked up on September 15th. We’ll start SMURFing again in April 2018.

The sampling at Otter Rock last week was a success in that all the SMURFs were there, yet they only yielded 3 fishes total: two Cabezon and one Clingfish. The SMURF team was able to repair and replace some of the surface floats that mark the moorings and keep them upright. The team will head back out for the final SMURF sampling at Otter Rock before the incoming wind and swell have any chance to wipe out the last haul of the season.

Check back in next week to see how the season ends! As we pull out the moorings for the upcoming Oregon winter seas, we’ll reflect back on all we’ve learned throughout this thrilling (harrowing?) 2017 season!