Lake Ontario Shipboard Science: Day 5

July 13, 2018

What was your favorite part of the day?

There were so many favorites, how do we pick just one…

Our day started with some excitement just after the clock struck midnight when we collected the mother-load of all Mysis pulls.
Dragging the Tucker Trawl horizontally for 10 minutes at a depth of about 30 meters resulted in an astounding sample of over 400 grams of Mysis shrimp.
Since only 5 grams are needed for each mercury test, we produced enough to provide samples for for a wide variety of tests for contaminants.
Morning saw us bright eyed and bushy tailed at port in Oswego, NY, where we spent the remainder of the day.  First stop was the USGS Lake Ontario Biological Station.
Here we learned about coded wire tags inserted in the heads of stocked Lake Trout.  When these fish are collected at a later date, these tags give crucial information such as the age of the fish and which hatchery in the US or Canada stocked the fish.
Another favorite was retrieving fish ear bones called otoliths. The rings can be counted like the rings of a tree to determine age.
Next we ventured to the SUNY Oswego science lab of Dr. Jim Pagano, the final destination for our Mysis shrimp collection, where they will be tested for mercury in a biomagnification study.
At this time our bellies were growling so off to lunch at the legendary “Rudy’s”.
Our final stop for the day was a walk in the wilderness at Sterling Nature Center.  A high point of this location was the Great Blue Heron’s nesting ground, where we saw this beautiful specimen in all its glory.
With so many wonderful experiences, how could anyone possible choose just one favorite.
By: Sarah Christopher and Andrea Inserra