This week starts our 6th sampling event at Wreck Pond. We've had a very successful year so far, catching 199 alewife to this point. This is more than we have ever caught since we began sampling, and only second to the most ever caught using the same methodology (229 in 2006). Hopefully, we can catch a couple more this year to break that record. Besides alewife, we have also caught lots of white perch, white suckers, and gizzard shad. If you are interested in volunteering during a sampling event, contact Zack Royle at firstname.lastname@example.org
In our work at Wreck Pond, we often come across different animal tracks (deer, fox, racoons, etc.). This past week, we decided to set up a trail camera to capture some images of these animal residents. Check out some of our results below:
Before being tagged, all captured herring are scanned to detect if they had been tagged in a previous season. One fish that was captured during this sampling event showed what looked to be a scar from a previous tagging, however, no tag was detected when scanned. Due to the location and precision of the scar, the team feels confident that this fish had been previously tagged and has returned to the pond in the 2019 season.
Other fish sampled included white perch, gizzard shad, striped killifish, and grass carps. Additionally several Spring-time fowl have arrived back at the pond including: ospreys, double-crested cormorants, egrets, and oyster catchers. The team is happy to welcome Spring and all it's seasonal residents back to the pond!
Sampling Event #4 begins with a net set on the evening of 4/17/19 with sampling events happening twice a day between 4/18/19 and the morning of 4/21/19. For more information on our sampling events or the Wreck Pond project, please contact Zack Royle, email@example.com
Hi All! My name is Sydney Sheridan and I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. Through my conservation ecology course capstone project for the semester, I am getting involved with local citizen science. I was lucky to discover the Wreck Pond project and am excited they have welcomed me aboard! As a Belmar resident and lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore, I am eager to help out our local wildlife and contribute to restoring this important ecosystem. Over the next couple months, I plan to participate weekly in the sampling sites at Wreck Pond by collecting citizen scientist data on water temperature, water level, salinity, and site observations. I also intend to help the Wreck Pond team potentially expand upon these parameters, log and assess the data collected, participate in upcoming training sessions, and guest blog here from time to time! If you see me down by the pond, please come by and say hello!
Next week marks the start of our 2019 fish sampling season. Throughout the spring we will be setting up our fyke net underneath the railroad bridge in hopes of catching migrating river herring moving upstream to spawn. Last year was our most successful year to date as we caught 149 adult alewife in our fyke sampling and 146 juveniles in our seine surveys.
This year we have revamped our PIT tagging program. We’ve added an antenna to the inside of the culvert. This antenna will help us answer questions such as: what time of day are river herring traveling in the antenna? Are they swimming with or against the tide? And how fast are they swimming? See several pictures of the antenna below.
We have also changed the design of our antenna that we place at the opening of the culvert. This antenna is designed to float on the surface of the pond. It is our hope this antenna will be more resilient to the high flows experienced there.
Stay tuned for more updates on our PIT tagging and sampling results!
Happy New Year from the American Littoral Society and the Wreck Pond Restoration Team!
The American Littoral Society wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season. Spring sampling is just around the corner! For more information on the the Wreck Pond Restoration Project, please contact Zack Royle, zack@littoralsociety,org. For more information on the Citizen Science Monitoring program, please contact Julie Schumacher, firstname.lastname@example.org
The most unique find to date was captured and released on Thursday 9/20/18. Identifying the mysterious specimen stumped the team, so images were sent to Sandy Hook NOAA fish lab staff for help. They replied confirming the identity of the creature, a Wreck Pond first (large image below), a juvenile mahi mahi! Mahi can be caught off the coast of New Jersey, however, finding such a small juvenile in Wreck Pond was certainly an exciting and special find for the team.
If you are interested in participating in any of the remaining sampling events, please contact Julie Schumacher, email@example.com for more information.
While we may have lagged recently on our blog posts (our apologies) the Society has nevertheless been very busy at Wreck Pond. In mid-June, we started our river herring young-of-year (YOY) monitoring. As its name implies, this monitoring targets river herring born earlier in the year, and is complementary to our spring fyke net sampling: whereas the spring fyke sampling lets us know when and how many adult river herring are coming into Wreck Pond to spawn, the YOY monitoring lets us know if the spawning has been successful. The results of previous years’ work indicate that at least some YOY river herring migrate downstream in Wreck Pond in early summer. Because of this, the Society has expanded the timeframe of YOY monitoring to start in early June instead of September as was done the first two years of the survey.
On July 12, 2018, the Society caught 142 YOY alewife. This is a fantastic catch considering the most we have ever caught for an entire season was five. Further, the following week we caught nine more. In addition to alewife, we have caught a number of other species including Atlantic silverside, stripped killifish, mummichog, northern puffer, and one short bigeye.
Short Bigeye, Pristigenys alta
Juvenile alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus
That’s a wrap folks! This morning we completed our last fyke net sampling event for the season. We would like to thank all of the volunteers who came out to assist us this spring. Your time and help is truly appreciated, as we could not do the job without you. While we are still analyzing all the data collected, we do know that we caught over 150 adult alewife this year, more so than in any previous year except for 2006. We also caught a large number of other species including gizzard shad, white perch, bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullhead, white suckers, golden shiners, striped killifish, yellow perch, a largemouth bass, black crappie, painted turtles, and one large ornery common snapping turtle, who - judging by his picture - will be happy to see us gone.
But while the spring fyke net sampling is completed, our other work is just beginning. This summer and fall we will continue to seine for juvenile alewife. We also will be taking macroinvertebrate samples in the Wreck Pond Brook Watershed, and working on the construction of a fish ladder over Old Mill Dam.