Blog on ocean conditions along the Newport Line and the northern CA Current.
One week down, one to go! The small boat exchange of scientists went smoothly about 4 miles off of Newport and we are back to work with the new crew. We welcomed on board Daniel Ottman and Paul Chittaro for the rest of the trip.
Today we sampled the Lincoln City Line with ISIIS and appear to have entered less stratified waters - a 20 m deep mixed layer was quite persistent throughout the transect. The fluorometry signal (indicative of phytoplankton biomass) is especially mixed down to ~20 m followed by the chlorophyll max of 0.08 volts- a stark contrast to the past few ISIIS tows that contained thin, dense subsurface layers creating huge peaks in the fluorometry signal (the Heceta Head maximum was 50x our maximum on the Lincoln City Line).
There was a dense but thin layer of Pandalid shrimp (~35 m) in the offshore waters and a deep (~90-100 m) doliolid salp layer as we moved inshore. The latter was of lesser magnitude and less persistent compared to previous observations in the southern lines.
We were able to capture a clear image of the flatfish previously thought to be either a slender sole (Lyposetta excilis) or flathead sole (Hippoglossoides ellasodon). With the help of Toby Auth, we have determined that this beauty is likely a flathead sole!
Finally, we saw our 3rd potential brachiolarian larvae - positive identification to come!
Although the sea is getting a little rougher as a moderate storm passes through, we are having a great time and are excited to see what the change in weather will reveal in the plankton the next few days!
Kelsey and the ISIIS team