Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fishing/Diving day in Port Orford

On February 18th, the weather in Port Orford FINALLY gave us a break.
A van full of Heppellians including 4 research certified divers in the lab headed south to volunteer their time to help complete video recompression work on rockfish.
As a part of the Port Orford tagging project, we used a recompression cage with an attached underwater camera to watch fish, specifically gravid rockfish, as they were lowered back to 1 atmosphere (~33 ft). After release from the cage divers followed the fish until they could no longer see it, or until the fish came to rest.
The day was a great success, sans the broken camera and the impossible surge towards the end of the day. We were able to capture two visibly gravid (pregnant) china rockfish and watch them as they returned to depth.
A huge thanks to the volunteers; Tom, Kenny, Sarikka, Scott, Stephanie, Ali, and Luke. Thanks to our wonderful charter captains, Aaron and Evan, for showing us a great day.