Round Gobies in Lake Huron

March 31 2017

Fifteen educators from around the Great Lakes will spend a week on Lake Huron aboard the EPA R/V Lake Guardian living and working alongside Great Lakes scientists. They’ll use an OpenROV Trident to assess fish abundance and distribution on rocky substrates where bottom trawling isn’t feasible.

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March 31 2017

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Expedition Background

The Center for Great Lakes Literacy, Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host 15 4th-12th grade teachers and
non-formal educators to work beside scientists performing Great Lakes research July 8-14, 2017. Stops in ports (including the NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary) will include additional science experiences. The workshop will offer first-hand explorations of Lake Huron ecology, geology, geography, weather and biogeochemical processes, with particular emphasis on human impacts. Participants will collect planktonic and benthic organisms as well as conduct water quality data collection and analysis.

Part of this research experience will demonstrate to teachers how ROVs can be used for scientific work. One difficulty in assessing fish abundance and distribution in the Great Lakes is sampling on rocky substrates, because bottom trawling isn’t feasible. There is particular interest in assessing round goby abundance on these habitats to get a better idea of what their potential ecological impacts could be and whether or not they have displaced native species, such as mottled or slimy sculpin, for example. The research team is excited to use the OpenROV Trident to examine these areas where typical sampling methods can’t be used.

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This sounds incredible! I'd love to hear more about how you do your fish abundance surveys? What are the technical aspects of that?