Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Newportal Blog

A gateway to oceanographic adventures from the Newport Line and beyond

map showing Newport line We are a group of NOAA Fisheries and The next link/button will exit from NWFSC web site Oregon State University scientists that sample the Newport Line fortnightly to understand changing ocean conditions.

Follow us as we share the fun things we learn about this region and other areas of the North Pacific Ocean.

These plots display the most recent oceanographic data collected off Newport, Oregon. Scroll through these plots to see how quickly the ocean can change! Learn more about these plots and our research program.
Enter no. of points to graph (539 max.):
Data above are from 50 m water depth from a station located 5 miles off Newport, OR. Dashed lines are the summer (blue) and winter (red) averages from 1996 - present. (Click chart to enlarge)

Biological Spring Transition

By Samantha Zeman
July 26, 2018

We've been seeing some friendly faces in our bi-weekly plankton samples. A dramatic shift occurred in the last few months; our samples have been full of Pseudocalanus, Acartia longiremis and Calanus marshallae. These are copepod species that have boreal water mass affinities, indicating that we have our biological transition!

A welcome arrival! Pseudocalanus female in a recent NH-5 plankton sample. 

Seeing large abundances of these species marks the arrival of a cold-water copepod community off our coast. These cold water copepods are lipid-rich and represent a productive food chain for higher trophic levels. This is especially exciting because in recent years (2015 and 2016) we never saw the copepod community transition from a warm winter community to a cold summer upwelling community, and in 2017 the transition occurred very late in the season.

Pink plankton samples (top) from recent Newport Line trip. The pink color is indicative of a sample full of crustaceans, as opposed to samples dominated by gelatinous organisms as have been the case over the past few years. Some krill (bottom) from an offshore sample. 

We've also been seeing a healthy abundances of adult krill in our recent offshore samples.

These are all good indications that the zooplankton community is transitioning back to a more 'normal' state.

Go to Top

Research aboard the R/V Sally Ride

By Samantha Zeman
July 16, 2018

Last week, I returned from a cruise aboard one of America's newest oceanographic research vessels, the R/V Sally Ride.

The R/V Sally Ride (background) looms over our research vessel R/V Elakha (foreground) at the OSU docks. (Photo credit: Mark Farley)

Scientists aboard the Sally Ride were taking part in a multi-year project studying mesozooplankton food webs in the northern California Current. Transects off Newport, OR and Trinidad Head, CA were sampled with a high-resolution imaging system and coupled MOCNESS tows to examine plankton abundance and distribution and gather net samples for diet and biomarker analysis. The science crew included marine scientists from institutions all over Oregon, including OSU, UO, PSU, and NOAA. So many knowledgeable people on one boat!

The Mighty MOCNESS. Retrieving the coupled MOCNESS with large (4m2) and small (1m2) mouth openings used to capture fish larvae and their prey at discrete depths. (Photo credit: Mark Farley)
Back deck with sampling eqiupment, including the ISIIS imaging system (right). (Photo credit: Mark Farley)

At Trinidad Head, near-shore waters were green and cold with max fluorescence at 15.5 mg/m3 and SST at 10°C. Plankton nets and the ISIIS imaging system were also capturing a large amount of adult krill. This contrasted with sampling at the Newport Line with steeper clines and SST near 17°C! Pyrosomes were clogging up the nets and adult krill were not as abundant.

CTD cast from NH-5 equivalent station. Check out that temperature and salinity! 

Now that the samples have been collected, the real work begins. I look forward to following the plankton teams progress and future sampling trips. 

Go to Top

See more blog entries:

May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
See All