Blog on ocean conditions along the Newport Line and the northern CA Current.
Yesterday afternoon we crossed over into Washington State to sample our northernmost transect off Willapa Bay. It was like a whole new ecosystem up here – we continued to get the huge catches of age-0 hake (almost 14,000 in one haul and 6000 in another) but the real game-changer was that we finally hit the juvenile rockfish. We got them in all the hauls but one had 385 in total (six or more species but mostly widow rockfish and shortbelly rockfish) which may have been our largest rockfish haul ever. Seems like much more of a diverse fauna up here although the gelatinous taxa are still very abundant up here.
This afternoon we have no cool ISIIS pictures because....we successfully deployed an enormous new piece of gear three times instead. A coupled asymmetrical Multiple Opening Closing Net Environmental Sampling System (coupled MOCNESS) is a really cool fixed frame plankton and small fish sampler that is the only one of its kind in the world. The system consists of 5 MOCNESS-4 nets (7.5-m long × 4-m2 mouth; 800-µm mesh), 5 MOCNESS-1 nets (3-m long × 1-m2 mouth; 153-µm mesh), several environmental sensors, and an electronic flowmeter. Both sized nets are tripped at the same time from the acoustic lab of the Shimada. The nets can be opened and closed at various depths. We had hoped to use this gear every other transect line but some circuitry and software problems early in the cruise prevented the tripping mechanism from functioning properly. Even after we got a new circuit from the manufacturer during the crew exchange near Newport, it still is not functioning properly.