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A Summer of Sampling: Reflections From the Field

Sep 22, 2016
Fall 2016

Each summer, research associate Adam Baukus (pictured) helps lead a team of interns out on the water. Together, they collect samples for our long-term monitoring effort in Casco Bay.

With the interns now returning to school, Adam shares his reflections on another successful field season:

"The Casco Bay Aquatic System Survey (CBASS) is a 10-year effort — so there is a lot of repetition each year. It’s always refreshing to work with our interns, because they bring new energy and excitement to the work. I love showing them areas and animals they have never seen before.

We’ve learned so much about the area since the beginning of this study. Now, we’re noticing annual differences both big and small. Our most unique observation this year was large schools of menhaden.

Standing on the skiff and watching thousands of menhaden swim under you is awe-inspiring. Parts of the bay were boiling with activity at the surface. And we weren’t the only ones who noticed; fishing boats, seabirds, and seals were all chasing the fish.

This is our third year of data collection, so we can now start looking for changes over time. This winter, we’ll head back into the lab to compare our information about fish abundance and distribution to other data sources, such as prey species availability and water quality.”