|One tiny walleye pollock in his new home|
In the dark of night, Mara lowered a bright light into the calm, black water. At first, all we saw was blue water and the glare from a huge net lying in wait below. Then, there was movement. A small gray speck squiggled towards the light. It was joined by another and another until there was a thick swarm of crab larvae following the light. Next came the fish. Juvenile walleye pollock, some only a few centimeters long, began to creep towards the center of the net. Bright green and orange gunnels slithered passed, pipefish effortlessly floated by, and tadpole sculpin frantically swam in the midnight sun. Like flies to a porch lamp, the life in the eelgrass bed below was inescapably drawn towards the glow. Undulating shadows signaled the arrival of more mysterious creatures. Bizarre polychaete worms squirmed and burrowed into the net, a solitary squid jetted away, and kelp isopods flew by, silhouetted like bees in the sun.
|Fish in the exhibit: Walleye pollock, shiner perch (giving birth!), and a painted greenling|
REBECCA MOSTOW is the Marine Exhibit Educator and an AmeriCorps member serving at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
The Marine Exhibit is open for Summer Hours! Come say hello to the resident animals, and get ready to meet some brand-new critters! The exhibits are open every day from 11 am -5 pm, except Tuesdays.