Thursday, October 29, 2015

Citizen Scientists Deploy Mussels for WDFW Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program

Guided by the light of the full moon (and headlamps) on October 27, 2015, three groups of PTMSC volunteers patiently awaited the arrival of the zero tide. They, along with 70 other teams, are part of a collaborative project taking place this week, led by the Washington State Department of Ecology with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies. PTMSC teams placed cages full of mussels at specific shoreline locations in Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, and Irondale.

Mussels filter water to feed and in doing so, can accumulate toxins found in the water. In February the mussels will be collected, delivered to WDFW labs and tested for toxins.

Our mussel deployers were: Liz Hoenig, Aaron Walter, Charley Kanieski, Dave Sachi, Darryl Hrenko, Rebecca Mostow, Carolyn Woods, Katie Conroy, and Zofia Knorek.

Our mussel rustlers were Merce Dostale and Michael Tarachow, who journeyed to Penn Cove Shellfish on Whidbey Island to get our supplies.

Above: Jennifer Lanksbury, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at Penn Cove Shellfish with our supplies ready for pick-up.
Below: The mussels were kept on ice in cooler bags until deployment.
Photo Credit: Michael Tarachow and Merce Dostale

Above: Carolyn (L) and Zofia (R) assembling the mussel cage at Port Hadlock
Below: Carolyn Thor, deploying her mussels muscles!
Photo Credit: Katie Conroy

Above: Team Irondale (L to R: Rebecca, Darryl, and Dave), rebar pounding champions
Below: Cage in place--see you in February!
Photo Credit: Darryl Hrenko and Katie Conroy

ZOFIA KNOREK is the Citizen Science Educator and an AmeriCorps Member at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center

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