USGS scientist setting up underwater video cameras in a Skagit River Delta eelgrass meadow at low tide (Image 1)
USGS scientist setting up underwater video cameras in an eelgrass meadow on the Skagit River Delta. Eelgrass grows in shallow marine and estuarine waters where it forms structurally complex habitats that support many other aquatic species by providing attachment substrate, food, refuge from predation, and nursery areas. In the Pacific Northwest, juvenile salmon and forage fish may sometimes depend on eelgrass but just how eelgrass supports them is not well understood. There is concern locally over losses of eelgrass and these fish, so better understanding would benefit both groups. The camera work is part of a study of juvenile salmon and forage fish use of eelgrass in delta tide flats and nearshore habitats. The work is funded by the USGS Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS) program and is a collaboration among scientists from three science centers: Western Fisheries Research Center, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, and Washington Water Science Center.
To learn more about this project and other related research you can visit the WFRC Ecology Section website.