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By Olav Ormseth
9/22/2013

We are heading out of Juneau into a “storm force front” to begin our fall inshore surveys. With these conditions we are having to alter our itinerary, working our way through inside waters to Salisbury Sound so that we can avoid the 20+ seas that are currently battering the outer coast. Sampling during the fall is always a challenge; we are pretty much guaranteed to not be able to sample in all the areas we would like. So we just have to come up with plans A through G and see how it goes. A big focus on this trip will be to get some better descriptions of the nearshore habitats that we sample with our seines. We want to know how far these vegetated areas extend. This will allow us to make at least some basic estimates of how many fish are in the bays, by taking the density estimate from our seine hauls and multiplying that by the total area of that particular habitat. To facilitate this work, I built a couple of “underwater viewing scopes” out of plumbing pipe and plexiglass, that will allow us to cut the surface glare and quickly assess the habitat below. Old school science, in direct contrast to our fancy acoustic and oceanographic instruments!