Presenting my Project

Hello everyone,

For my project I would like to explain how the fisheries department at Point Reyes National Seashore in California conducts their surveys and fish population counts. Before my position began, I was largely unfamiliar with the life cycle of salmonids and how the parks service works around it in order to try to help the endangered Coho Salmon in the bay area. Although it is a year-round effort, I would like to focus my project on the summer season because that is what I am experiencing first-hand. I would start my project by explaining what Coho Salmon are, that they are endangered, and a little bit of background on their life cycle in order to provide context. Then, I would walk through the process of salmonids monitoring, starting in the spring with eDNA, then with habitat typing, snorkeling and electrofishing.

After eDNA sampling provides background as to what types of organisms are found in the creeks, we walk upstream and survey each body of water. As we venture upstream, we classify units in the creeks depending on their size and attributes. Among the units classified as pools, every fourth one is randomly selected to be snorkeled. Snorkeling provides a rough base estimate as to the number and species of fish in that pool. After a pool has been snorkeled for fish, the electrofishing crew blocks off both sides of the unit, and uses an electrofisher and nets to capture all fish in the pool. After each pass through the pool, the fish that are found are measured and weighed, with a few exceptions. If there are salmonids found in the pool, they are tagged with electronic chips so that they are able to be tracked.

After data has been collected for the fish, the team removes the nets and releases all of the organisms, leaving the creek just as they found it. This process of fish monitoring is quite complex, and largely unknown. Through a detailed presentation, along with an illustrative poster, I am hoping to educate and encourage my audience to participate in looking after endangered and threatened fish species.

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