The Big Moment!

ODFW Adventures: VII

This weekend, instead of just cooking my food, I went out into the wild and caught it myself! Nicole, a fellow intern, and I went out crabbing on Friday night. Luck struck us as we pulled up our nets and to find four worthy male crabs, who we named Nacho, Maximus, Philip, and Fatty. We got slightly attached to our new pets, but hunger took over as we boiled them thick with seasoning the following afternoon. Cracking away for nearly two hours, we each ate one crab and cracked another to make crab cakes in the future! Not only was it a delicious meal, but one we both worked hard for!

In the office, I had a very exciting week. Why, might you ask, was this week so much more exciting than all the other typing and fish-egg counting weeks? Well, I would like to inform you all that I have OFFICIALLY determined the herring fishery quota in the Yaquina Bay, Newport!!! After starting the maps last week by downloading the points to GIS I made polygons of the areas in which spawn was found and then recorded their area and converted them to shape files. With the newly determined area and estimated percent coverage and rock size recorded on the sample tags for each area location, Ali and I calculated the density (eggs/ft squared) and “corrected area” including the other factors such as rocks (area x percentage x rock are conversion factor) for every area. Using the calculation for the corrected area, we multiplied it by the density to get the spawn (total eggs in the area), which we then divided by 144 (the approximate number of eggs each adult lays–but remember that only females lay eggs, meaning they lay around 288 eggs for both them and the male) to get the herring biomass, which we converted to tons. Then we calculated 20% of the biomass for the quota, meaning that with 10 minutes of hard work after all of the data was organized, we had our quota! I would categorize this as being in the top 10 moments of my life. I mean really, how many people get to determine the quota of a fishery, even if it is a small one?! So there you go, the main task of my internship has been accomplished, and it’s smooth sailing from here on out! (Actually not really…but it’s a motivating thought!) With the shapefiles, I created a density map of the spawn in the Yaquina bay, making two different maps, one of February and one of March, due to the overlap in area of the spawning events. Although it took me an entire day to make the maps just right, it was one of the best days I’ve had in the office so far, and my final product certainly is beautiful!

Since I was so busy with the herring project, I once again did not do a lot for the Nearshore Strategy Update. I worked a little bit more on the annotated bibliography, but I still have a long ways to go on that project. Let’s find out how many more journal articles I can read in the remaining three weeks!

With the time I have left I will also be writing up protocols for nearly every task of the herring project, as it has become a project that is passed around the office in the past few years, and a protocol would make it a much smoother process for the next herring person. I will be writing up how to make the maps, determine the quota, and likely revising the egg counting protocol as well. So hopefully whoever gets to do this next year will have an easier time of it!

What a great week!!

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3 thoughts on “The Big Moment!

  1. Wow – that is super-exciting! I can’t wait to see your beautiful maps. Good luck writing the protocol – that is no easy task.

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