[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: NANFA-- Arkansas River sponges

Dwight Moody asked:
> BTW, Jay - any interesting inverts in your neck of the woods 
> that inquiring NANFA minds might want to know about?

I've seen bryozoan colonies in shallow ponds just like the ones
discussed on this list recently.  It was entertaining to read comments
from Jan Hoover and Jeff from Chattanooga and others.  When I first saw
them I thought they were bullfrog egg masses.  Some were large enough to
fill both of your hands.  However, I'm almost always in streams, not
ponds or lakes.  There are a few freshwater mussels in some of the
slower streams, and lots of aquatic insects.  We don't have many slow
water-loving species in these rivers.  This is probably because rivers
in western WA become torrential several times a year and our life has
evolved under those conditions.  These rivers are also quite
unproductive (except when full of salmon carcasses).

Now-- interesting marine invertebrates we have.  Pacific Northwest
marine waters are quite fertile.  I love going to the coast at low tide
and exploring rocky or sandy beaches.  The invertebrate life in these
two areas is very different.  Deep, permanent tide pools form in
sheltered areas, and they're teeming with anemones, nudibranchs, crabs,
shrimp, chitons, mussels, urchins, sea stars and more.  Invertebrate
inhabitants of rocky beaches are hardier because they have to survive
constant wave action, so there aren't many of the delicate ones like
anemones, shrimp and nudibranchs.  There are lots of crabs because there
are lots of hiding places.  

Each year our NANFA region goes on several trips as I've mentioned
before.  Earlier this year we went to some sandy tide pools near
Newport, Oregon.  We saw the inverts I mentioned above, and we collected
several fish species-- shiner surfperch, striped surfperch, walleye
surfperch, fluffy sculpin, tidepool sculpin, tidepool snailfish,
prickleback gunnel and penpoint gunnel.  Joe Middleton is our resident
invert expert and he identified 6 species of nudibranchs.  I think Joe
will have an article on the aquarium culture of Pacific NW invertebrates
in the next American Currents. 

This coming weekend we are going to Netarts Bay, Oregon.  It's on the
north Oregon coast near Tillamook (home of Tillamook ice cream-- might
even have to eat some.  Shucks!).  We're going to stay in a secluded
cabin on the bay and spend our time fishing for rockfish, collecting and
identifying inverts and fishes in the bay, and just hanging out and
relaxing.  I can't wait.  Whether you're in NFC or NANFA or The Audubon
Society or none of them or whatever, all of you that are interested in
aquatic life should try to meet people in your area and go into the
field with them.  If you're ever in western WA or OR, contact one of us
here and we'll see if we can meet as a group with you and show you some
neat areas.  We're not a demanding group and we're not experts, but
we're friendly.

Happy collecting in your part of the world.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA, USA