First trips out in the boat

I have now been in Sweden for just over a week, and so far I’ve explored Visby, spent some time in the country, and of course spent some time at the field station and on the boat, collecting fish. We’ve had some really beautiful weather the past few days, and it really feels like spring!

Spring cowslips

Spring cowslips in Visby

We’ve gone out on the boat twice now, the first time to see if the fish were there and the second time to catch some fish to bring them back to the field station to practice marking them. The first time we went out, we caught 6 female and 8 male Syngnathus typhle, the broadnosed pipefish, which I’ll be doing some mark-recapture work with. We also got lots (maybe 100) Nerophis ophidion, the straightnose pipefish, which are really pretty with blue markings on their faces. I’ll be collecting those later to do some population genetics work.

Nerophis ophidion

A Nerophis ophidion (viewed from the top, so the blue isn’t visible, sorry!). In the background you can see the seagrass/fish ball from the trawl.

Bucket of Syngnathus typhle

A bucket of 16 Syngnathus typhle.

 

Yesterday we also practiced tagging the fish. To tag them, we mix up a colored plastic (elastomer) tag and inject it right below the skin of an anesthetized fish. We’ll be tagging every S. typhle that we catch before returning them to the population. After practicing a few times I got the feel for it, and I think it will work out really well. Now we’re monitoring the fish we caught because we want to make sure that they aren’t negatively impacted by the tags before tagging an entire population. 

tagging pipefish

Sander, a masters student helping with the project, is tagging a S. typhle

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