Juvenile Surf Smelt Surveys in Central Puget Sound, Washington
USGS Western Fisheries Research Center scientists Lisa Gee, Collin Smith, and Ryan Tomka display a bycatch of perch collected in a beach seine while conducting a survey for juvenile surf smelt on Bainbridge Island, WA.
Washington's Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem directly adjacent to a robust metropolitan area that scientists from the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center study. Recent surveys have looked at juvenile surf smelt, small forage fish, near Bainbridge Island, to determine what types of nearshore habitats and environmental conditions that juvenile surf smelt are using. Surf smelt are a key link in the food web that are consumed by predators such as salmon, orca, and many marine birds. Scientists also dissected a sampling of smelts to determine what the young fish were eating in nearshore areas.