View Full Version : This months adventure...begins Tuesday
04-11-2008, 05:31 PM
I'm going back out to sea and will post my adventure -and of course the fish, the time I do it depends on the shift I get. Leaving the pier in RI and headed north, likely into the Gulf of Maine area Tuesday15th-25th. I'll try to remember to bring my new Cannon onto the boat this time. (duh)
I will have to wait to download pictures until I get back. I'll bring my laptop with me to store pics so I won't need a bucket full of bytes.
And some background:
On each leg, up to 13 Center scientists and volunteers sample fish and shellfish populations and collect environmental data at each station. Throughout the 25-year program, data collection has occupied over 30,000 person-days. Universities and colleges, high schools, and state and Federal agencies have contributed personnel to this effort, and private citizens have also assisted.
Work is conducted on a 24-hour basis with two watches of 5-6 individuals standing 6-hour on and 6-hour off schedules. At each station the net is towed for 30 minutes at 6.5 km/hour (3.5 knots) relative to the bottom measured by the ship's doppler speed log. The catch is sorted by species, weighed to the nearest 0.1 kg, and measured. Age samples and stomach content observations are taken, and sex and maturity stage data are noted. Location, depth, time, weather conditions, water temperature, and trawl performance data are also recorded.
In addition to assessment-related applications, the surveys have provided data and sample material for countless studies on the biology and distribution of fish and invertebrate species which could not have been obtained from any other source. Cooperative work with researchers in other Federal and state agencies and academic institutions, including collection of plankton and pathology samples and observations on sea birds and marine mammals, has been a major responsibility. On a broader scale, the NEFC survey database is being used extensively for ecosystems research, focusing particularly on predator-prey relationships, recruitment processes, effects of environmental changes and impacts of pollution, oil drilling, and ocean dumping.
Since the autumn of 1963 over 60 standard bottom trawl survey cruises have been conducted, providing information on the abundance, biology, and distribution of the living marine resources of the Northwest Atlantic and environmental conditions affecting them. The resulting database is temporally the longest and most comprehensive of its kind. It also has proven invaluable for resource monitoring and biological research. Survey design and procedures have been basically unchanged throughout the history of the survey although technological improvements have been made as necessary to improve precision and operational efficiency.
I'll be aboard the R/V Bigelow which will replace the older R/V Albatross(1962) Currently the ships are conducting side by side calibration tests of gear, electronics, etc...
04-11-2008, 06:11 PM
Good luck on the trip. Stay dry but most of all stay safe. Maybe when you get back you could give me an idea of how one might volunteer to help on one of these trips? :)
04-11-2008, 07:08 PM
Hey John, have a safe trip. I look forward to your reports that come from your trips. :cool:
04-11-2008, 09:26 PM
Fair winds and following seas. Looking forward to the reports, I love the talk of all the different fish and such.
04-14-2008, 07:33 PM
Reelron check yer mail
04-14-2008, 09:40 PM
Reelron check yer mail
Got it John, Thank you.
04-15-2008, 12:11 PM
Left the pier @10am. I got the Midnite to noon shift again. If anything I'll post something after my shift and before I crash for the day. Forecast looks nice for the week to come.
04-15-2008, 06:34 PM
Since the ship(1964) we're out here to compare and calibrate equipment to is stuck at the dock with mechanical issues, there won't be anything interesting going on where I am until maybe tomorrow afternoon. We will likely be trying out some different equipment like getting the camera that they intend to put on the nets at some point - working. Probably won't catch any fish or risk losing a net until the other boat gets on site.
Good thing they plan on retiring the old boat...
probably shouldn't state how nice it is out here...
water temp 44degrees
dolphins wandering around the boat
beautiful sunset(the last one I'll see for 10 days with my shift?)
04-16-2008, 09:32 PM
At last both boats are up and running with the first nets hitting the water during my sleep mode. Catches are light right now... winter flounder, yellowtail flounder, a little halibut(don't know what kind), some small cod, herring,longhorn sculpins(one of my favorites) and some misc stuff.
To see where the ship is hit this link, enter shiptracker, and choose the Henry Bigelow.
04-17-2008, 06:58 AM
Aargh! The sea does not yield it's bounty easy.
After the first couple of tows one of the nets had half it's length torn away by the bottom. Then a couple of clean tows - but then all of the net and the gear on it worth $$ was no longer attached to the wire or the doors. The problem with random stations is that sometimes you don't get to tow where the clean, soft, sandy bottom is(or sometimes where the fish are). There are many stations where the capt has to search out an area to tow, there are even areas where we don't tow anymore due to gear loss. We spent a couple of hours trying to find the lost gear with no success and have rigged up another net and it's gear and will continue looking for "good" bottom. There are plans to get a better set of grapple gear from the other boat and go back to the scene of the crime and spend some more time trying to get it back.
04-17-2008, 12:20 PM
Not much in variety where we have been. Catches include winter and little skates, winter flounder, yellowtail flounder, windowpane flounder, longhorn sculpin, small cods, some red hake, just one or two dogfish, a couple of misc crabs and a 400+ lb rock.
04-17-2008, 09:25 PM
Forecast did call for 20 something knot winds, it got to at least 32 in my bunk(recorded was 55). Everything not bungied down flew across the room at various points during the time I was trying to get some sleep. There was rain and fog that I heard and lots of spray hitting the deck that my window is on and I'm on the 3rd floor above the waterline?
I still know that the "other" boat and it's crew has it much worse. I'm guessing that the boats had stopped working at some point during the day since it was so rough.
04-17-2008, 09:33 PM
love the reports, keep em comming.
thanks for your time and effort.
04-18-2008, 01:08 AM
yellowtail flounder, are they strictly a deep water flounder? i've heard of them but never heard of any ever being caught. just curious. love these posts as well keep them coming
04-18-2008, 02:39 AM
I believe yellowtail flounder are a north and deep species. They are more like winter flounder than anything else, no teeth. I'll check on the distribution.
Still rockin' out here but the wind has let up a little and work has resumed.
Catch of my shift so far 40 lb halibut.
04-18-2008, 07:04 AM
.....just one or two dogfish.....
C'mon back down here, we've got plenty of them for you!!! :D :D
04-18-2008, 12:16 PM
The rest of the shift was uneventful.
small red hake
small silver hake
a tiny wolf fish?(ID at another time)
Yellowtail flounder are caught along NJ coast(not in the fall) their diet must not be fish since they only have really small teeth. Biggest one I've ever seen was about 2 lbs. Their mouths are much different than winter flounder and yes they do have yellow on them, much more brown than yellow though...
Foggy out here all night and all day(so far). Seas calming down with a forecast for 10-15knot winds through tuesday(for now)
04-18-2008, 01:52 PM
Yellow Tail Flounder a would be a rare catch on hook & line. I have seen a few caught while on bottom fishing trips over the years. Used to see one occasionaly on a Quincy flounder trip yeasr ago. Not many though.
Do you guys throw back everything that isn't saved for research or do some things become dinner? :confused:
04-19-2008, 01:47 AM
Out East of Cape Cod in 530 ft.
some spiny dogfish
2 spoonfooted octopus(tiny)
and some misc stuff...
04-19-2008, 04:07 AM
560 ft off of Cape Cod and headed north.
Plaice have replaced winter flounder as the most abundant flounder.
skates: little, winter and now smooth.
More red hake and getting bigger.
a couple of haddock
some spiny dogs
04-19-2008, 12:02 PM
good luck safe trip and tight lines
04-19-2008, 12:59 PM
Most dominant fish today in 165 meters:
and some grey sole(not much meat on the flounders) I don't know how big they have to be to have them served for dinner.
link to info on acadian redfish(fishbase)
On another note... there are whales swimming around with the loons out here- I haven't seen the two together but there is a guy on the flying bridge doing a seabird/marine mammal survey.
04-20-2008, 07:32 AM
Out in the Gulf o Maine and headed towards Nova Scotia.
Water depth 718 ft on the next net set.
Overnight the catches included:
a few haddock
various small pink shrimp
a couple of tiny octopus
some other misc fish I didn't get to see....
Saw a few whales blowing when I went out during the afternoon break. The marine mammal guy said the closer to the Bay of Fundy we get - the more we should see. Still not bad out here, sunny and cold(40F?). No wind yet...
04-20-2008, 12:28 PM
Wandering back and forth into Canadian waters. Cold breeze, must have been in the 30's all morn.
Catches from this morning include:
a cod here and there
more acadian redfish
black bellied rosefish
lobster(retained for further analysis?)
a deep water red crab(not sure of proper name) more like a rock crab than anything else
and of course some fish I didn't even see since i was busy working on other fish....
04-21-2008, 12:47 PM
We've been in Canadian waters for most of my shift,air temps in the 30's.
Due to very harsh bottom, the fact that our ship has only one complete net rigged and the fact that this ship was built with the most advanced technology of any in use research vessel our shift hasn't set a net all night and into this morning. When I say harsh bottom... the area has a history of eating nets- and I've watched the depth sounders- craggy drop offs, ridges, shoals and the type of stuff that eats nets up. When I say most advanced, I mean the ship has the quietest "footprints" of any research boat, and the most advanced recording devices(really expensive fish finders) on any research ship.
There were lobster pots all over the area near Nova Scotia and it seem like a slalom course at times.
Our ship was recording fish instead of netting them. The other boat, which uses a different style of net, has been doing all the fish catching. Prior to the other ship setting the net our ship would scout out an area of the bottom for them to drag along.
Our last net of my shift did have the following:
and some others....
I can't download pics until I get back on land due to download restrictions, but I've got just a few to share.
04-21-2008, 01:28 PM
"There were lobster pots all over the area near Nova Scotia and it seem like a slalom course at times."
Kind of like trying to fish a reef in New Jersey!:D
04-22-2008, 01:22 AM
Turned the corner and headed back south, running offshore along Maine.
Catches in 600-700ft include:
small spoonfooted octopus
various small pink shrimps
04-22-2008, 05:12 AM
more of the same so far this morning..
fish of the day?
wrymouth: eel like with short sharp spines all along its dorsal(top) fin.
04-22-2008, 10:42 AM
Some more catches this morning included:
2 more big halibut
more pink shrimp(bigger but not cocktail sized)
some other misc fish that I didn't see came up but when I'm busy cutting ear bones(otoliths) out of fish that are used to age them I don't get to see everything.
Off Isle de Haut Island/Bay
04-22-2008, 12:38 PM
Some more of the same fish came up in the latest nets. Inshore/offshore Maine, last I looked Penobscot bay?
Any minute now there should be our weekly drills. Man overboard, fire drill and abandon ship drills. Get to struggle into my "gumby" survival suit, the newest versions are lighter but the neoprene on the cuff is so tight it's really hard to get it off again.
I got little of no sleep last night so I won't be lurking for at least the next 10 hours...
04-23-2008, 10:49 AM
the days are just getting meshed together, by friday @ 11am I'll be back at the dock
Offshore of Maine still, catches include:
Pink shrimp(not quite eating sized)
a halibut or two each haul- biggest 15 lbs
snow crab! not "dangerous catch" sized
and a few others...
04-23-2008, 03:08 PM
Due to some mechanical issues that need to get worked on at the pier we are headed back early and slowly. Apparently? out of the 4 engines we have been running on 3 and now the 3rd has issues.
I will likely download pics on Saturday sometime and may start a whole new thread.
Hey moderators where do you want the pics?
04-23-2008, 03:57 PM
04-23-2008, 07:09 PM
Looked at the ship specs and only see one prop, are they running all for engines to one shaft?
04-23-2008, 07:37 PM
Nice reports sandy hook research guy....was hoping you would catch some Halibut...score!
04-24-2008, 05:48 AM
I'll check on the "one shaft" question. I haven't been below yet, but was thinking about wandering down there with the engineer/gearhead that I've made friends with.
Machinery Plant Integrated Diesel Electric, 24-Pulse DC SCR Drive System
Two 1,150kW(1,542 hp) Propulsion Motors on a Common Shaft
One 720 kW (966 hp) AC Induction Azimuthing Bow Thruster
Two 1,360 kW Diesel Generators
Two 910 kW Diesel Generators
One 4.3 m (14.1 ft) Diameter Fixed Pitch Propeller
04-25-2008, 07:08 AM
04-25-2008, 07:36 AM
Nice Pic's, Keep 'em coming. By the way, do you think they would let us borrow that "little" boat ?:D
04-25-2008, 12:30 PM
04-25-2008, 12:40 PM
04-25-2008, 01:23 PM
04-25-2008, 01:28 PM
Great reports and pics
04-25-2008, 01:34 PM
04-25-2008, 02:00 PM
04-25-2008, 02:20 PM
04-25-2008, 02:28 PM
Too bad I didn't have this camera before the other trip I went on.
That's likely all the really cool fish until next year?
04-25-2008, 03:00 PM
Great pics! Is the witxh flounder the same as a grey sole?
Did you or the crew ever try one of those redfish?
04-25-2008, 03:03 PM
My fish of the trip may have to be the Wrymouth. Eel like, cool coloration, small sharp spines from head to tail on the dorsal fin, and an aggressive attitude.
I don't think any fisherman around here would want to deal with longhorn sculpins. Although the biggest I've seen under 3 lbs, the spines on them are evil. Picture a searobin on steroids...
I didn't have to deal with any Hagfish. I witnessed how squirmy, slimey and mean they can be from a distance. They're the fish I don't want to see at 100 lbs and swimming in the same water I am in.
vBulletin® v3.5.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.