Herring after the storm

Saturday, November 8, 2014:

The Pisces has continued making excellent progress since our last update, and reached Cape Cod well
before Friday, so we continued working north into the western Gulf of Maine, with an eye on the approaching storm which did finally reach us on Friday night. With winds reaching as high as 40 to 50 knots, the vessel turned towards the coast and after reaching a station off of Portland, Maine in the wee hours of Saturday morning was able to continue working in the sheltered inshore waters.

cruiise track for PISCEs 1405

Track (in red) for PC 1405 cruise as of late morning November 8, 2014. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

A midwater trawl made with an Isaacs-Kidd net on Friday near Wilkinson Basin did not produce any fish, but a tow made with another shallow-water midwater trawl off of Portland this morning yielded some one year old herring that appeared viable enough for the oxygen consumption experiments planned for this cruise.

crewmen retrieve Isaacs-Kidd midwater trawl

Crewmen retrieving the Isaacs-Kidd Midwater Trawl. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

retreiivng the mid-water trawl onto the Pisces deck

The shallow water midwater trawl being retrieved onto the aft-deck of the Pisces. The box inside the net is a PVC frame to prevent captured fish from being squeezed by the net. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

These have been placed in an on-deck holding tank for use later today.We did not see many strong signs of fish on the acoustics while we were on Georges Bank and there were almost no larval or juvenile fish seen in the bongo tows there either. This morning, while crossing the southwestern corner of Jeffreys Ledge, there was a strong signal indicating adult herring near the bottom. The CTD water profiles continue to show well mixed water columns at most of our stations, particularly shallower ones, but Wilkinson Basin, which we sampled last night, had bottom water that was cooler and more saline than the surface.

herring being removed from the cod-end of thje midwater trawl

Herring being removed from the cod end of the shallow water midwater trawl. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NEFSC/NOAA

Biologist Chris Taylor transfers live herring to a holding tank

Biologist Chris Taylor transfers live herring to holding tanks on the aft deck of the Pisces . Photo by Jerry Prezoioso, NEFSC/NOAA

With a favorable forecast for the next several days we are planning to leave the coastal waters of Massachusetts as the seas subside and head east and offshore, to cross the northern edge of Georges Bank and work our way north into the Gulf of Maine. Updates from this cruise will be posted on the nefsc.wordpress.com website maintained by Shelley Dawicki and Jarita Davis, together with photos of our activities.

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
PC 1405 Northeast Pelagic – Ecosystem Monitoring Survey

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