In July I was fortunate enough to participate in the bimonthly salmon seine! The community salmon team and Waldron Citizen Science come together on the island and monitor the local juvenile chinook and coho salmon - where they're coming from, what they've been eating, if they have any injuries or parasites.
So, the boat came around with a 120 foot seine and gathered together a sample of an aggregation of fish - in this particular sample - a whole bunch of herring! The community came together with nets to find the salmon amidst all the herring and place them in a separate net. Then the salmon are measured, their caudal fins clipped, and then a gut lavage recovers what they've been eating. On this day, nearly every salmon had eaten about 3 herring, but the following seine it was mostly insects and the occasional sandlance - so fascinating! This data is all documented, as well as any parasites, which are then removed. All of the results allow for a better understanding of the early life histories of the salmon, demonstrating whether or not they have fish to eat, or are having to resort to insects, whether they are hatchery fish or not.
I felt so thankful to be a part of such an amazing project - such an awesome way for the community to come together and connect with the landscape and wildlife around them. I mean, it took about 14 people just to haul in the net alone!
Thanks to Milla for inviting me and you can find out more about it on Kwiaht's page here!