Cameron Fletcher, Student Technican
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Posted on July 8, 2011 | Permalink
Second Week On the Job
Who knew that there was such a diverse group of fish in Maryland! Through my surveying jobs this week, I was fortunate to catch and examine all types of fish that I never even knew lived in Maryland. The survey consisted of three locations and two different netting techniques. On Wednesday we traveled to Mattawoman Creek and Piscataway to trawl, and on Thursday we headed to Nanjemoy to trawl and seine. On the Mattawoman, our fish count was the lowest. We suspected that the heavy amount of sub-aquatic vegetation may have had some effect on the fish populations. The Piscataway was the river that surprised us the most. Each time we brought in the trawl there were hundreds of fish that we had to sort and count. One of the biologists said that it was the most fish he had ever seen in the Piscataway, and certainly more than last year. Some of the species consisted of: white perch, spottails, hog chokers, American eels, pumpkin seed and bluegill sunfish, blueback herring, gizzard shads, striped bass, bullhead catfish, and even a few yellow perch, which are rare to see this time of year. At the end of day one, we were pretty pleased with the amount and the diversity of fish that we had caught.Day 2 was our trip down to Nanjemoy where we did a similar sample, but this time we seined in addition to our trawling. Our seine nets caught a few different species, in addition to the ones that the trawl caught. Those included: spotted gar, needlefish, blue crabs, golden shiners, mummichogs, and one fish that looked to be a walleye, but will be examined in the lab to make sure, as walleye havenít been seen in the Nanjemoy. Trawling caught most of the same species with a few new ones like the blue catfish and anchovies. Again, the number of fish was much higher than last year, which is a great sign that these river systems are becoming more productive. Hopefully next year we will catch even more!