Reports from the Field – July

A surprise on our way out to the Cascade Head Marine Reserve on June 10th to set out oceanographic moorings. Check out this Killer Whale speeding alongside our research vessel. Thanks to our collaborators at OSU for helping deploy the oceanographic moorings and catching this awesome site on video.

ODFW Updates

Oceanography surveys

Oceanographic Monitoring: Our oceanographic mooring was set out at Cascade Head in mid-June by OSU collaborators aboard the R/V Kalipi. The mooring collects data on temperature, salinity, and oxygen to track changing ocean conditions. While hypoxic conditions have already been detected at Cape Perpetua this year by PISCO-OSU researchers, this mooring will tell us if low oxygen conditions are also happening at Cascade Head.

Sea Star Surveys: This month we conducted intertidal sea star monitoring at Otter Rock and found similar numbers of sea stars as last year, and very little signs of sea star wasting disease.

Fall Season: Staff are presently submerged in data analysis and writing which will continue through the fall. This is part of the development of the ODFW Marine Reserves Program Synthesis Report, which will report on the program’s activities and monitoring over the last 10 years. The Synthesis Report will be completed in December and released in 2022. Limited fall fieldwork will include retrieval of our oceanographic equipment and juvenile fish (SMURF) moorings.

Collaborator Updates

Fish and Crab Movement Study: In June, our OSU collaborators serviced the acoustic moorings currently in the water at Redfish Rocks. These moorings are part of a collaborative research project being led by OSU to study fish and crab response to noise generated from an NSF geological seismic survey, targeting the Cascadia Subduction Zone, that was being conducted off the Oregon coast in June.

Ocean Acidification Monitoring: This month, pH sensors were set out in rocky intertidal areas at Redfish Rocks, Otter Rock, Cascade Head, and Cape Falcon. This project is led by PISCO scientists from OSU, with assistance from local community members. The sensors will stay out in the intertidal through the summer months. Thanks to volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Surfrider Foundation, and the Redfish Rocks Community Team for getting the sensors installed.

Juvenile Fish Surveys: Our collaborators at OSU, with help from the Oregon Coast Aquarium, collected juvenile fish samples from the SMURF moorings deployed at Otter Rock this month. Take a sneak peek in the next segment at some of the results from the data collected so far this year.