Forage Fish Monitoring
Forage fish are a critical part of the marine food web and there is a large regional effort underway to characterize populations of the two species that spawn on Puget Sound beaches: Pacific sand lance and surf smelt. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently conducting wide-scale surveys and needs local partners to support their efforts and expand the impact of their study.
The goal is to survey two local beaches (including one index site sampled monthly, depending on volunteer capacity) for forage fish eggs to support statewide sampling and to inform future shoreline restoration projects. The MRC will utilize the recommended protocols available through WDFW, including: Bulk Sediment Sampling (Moulton and Penttila, 2006) and the vortex methodology for separating eggs from sediment.