Event Title

Fish assemblages associated with eelgrass in south Puget Sound

Presentation Abstract

Seagrass is a marine flowering plant that is an important indicator of ecosystem health by providing vital habitat for fish in marine ecosystems. Unfortunately, seagrass is currently experiencing a worldwide decline due to multiple stressors including shoreline development and pollution. Eelgrass (Zostera marina), a seagrass species native to the Salish Sea, provides vital habitat for important commercial fishes including herring (Clupea pallasii) and salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). A loss of eelgrass coverage could potentially harm vital food fish stocks. Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has transplanted approximately 500 m2 of eelgrass to Joemma State Park (JSP) in South Puget Sound as part of their goal to increase 20% total eelgrass coverage in Puget Sound by 2020. To determine the effect of transplanted eelgrass on fish abundance and diversity, video data was collected to compare fish assemblages at JSP and a natural eelgrass bed at Dupont Warf. Unbaited underwater video cameras were deployed biweekly from June to August 2017. A two-minute video was recorded every ten minutes after initial camera deployment at low tide. Video was recorded for 24 hours, but footage after sunset was discarded due to low light. This data was analyzed to quantify fish abundance and diversity at each site. Results will describe fish assemblages that use eelgrass beds in the South Puget Sound and provide information on how fishes respond to transplanted eelgrass at JSP. Video data of fish assemblages at transplanted eelgrass will help determine if the transplanted eelgrass at JSP is providing functional habitat for fishes.

Session Title

Posters: Habitat Restoration & Protection

Conference Track

SSE18: Posters

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE18-76

Start Date

5-4-2018 11:30 AM

End Date

5-4-2018 1:30 PM

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 11:30 AM Apr 5th, 1:30 PM

Fish assemblages associated with eelgrass in south Puget Sound

Seagrass is a marine flowering plant that is an important indicator of ecosystem health by providing vital habitat for fish in marine ecosystems. Unfortunately, seagrass is currently experiencing a worldwide decline due to multiple stressors including shoreline development and pollution. Eelgrass (Zostera marina), a seagrass species native to the Salish Sea, provides vital habitat for important commercial fishes including herring (Clupea pallasii) and salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). A loss of eelgrass coverage could potentially harm vital food fish stocks. Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has transplanted approximately 500 m2 of eelgrass to Joemma State Park (JSP) in South Puget Sound as part of their goal to increase 20% total eelgrass coverage in Puget Sound by 2020. To determine the effect of transplanted eelgrass on fish abundance and diversity, video data was collected to compare fish assemblages at JSP and a natural eelgrass bed at Dupont Warf. Unbaited underwater video cameras were deployed biweekly from June to August 2017. A two-minute video was recorded every ten minutes after initial camera deployment at low tide. Video was recorded for 24 hours, but footage after sunset was discarded due to low light. This data was analyzed to quantify fish abundance and diversity at each site. Results will describe fish assemblages that use eelgrass beds in the South Puget Sound and provide information on how fishes respond to transplanted eelgrass at JSP. Video data of fish assemblages at transplanted eelgrass will help determine if the transplanted eelgrass at JSP is providing functional habitat for fishes.