Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Barges on the Coos River, Oct 25, 2010

Five scientific divers from the Oregon Coast Aquarium inspected two barges for invasive tunicates on the Coos River on October 25th, 2010.    Because the barges were suspected of hosting the invasives, the owners had towed them eight miles up the Coos River to soak in fresh water.   This inspection was to check on the results of the two-weeks of fresh water soaking.

Monday, November 15, 2010

USFS Invasive Tunicate Survey: The Triangle-Winchester Bay, OR 9-28-2010 & 9-29-2010

Underwater surveys for invasive tunicates of the Triangle at Winchester Bay were undertaken by a USFS team of scientific divers on Sept. 28 and 29, 2010. They searched specifically for the non-native colonial tunicate Didemnum vexillum. D. vex has the potential to establish large colonies on firm natural or artificial surfaces. It can overgrow invertebrate life and make feeding difficult for species that depend on prey that has been smothered.

Friday, August 6, 2010

USFS Mussel Survey: Cleawox Lake, 8-3-2010

Beginning in 2008, scientific divers have been conducting an ongoing US Forest Service underwater survey of lakes along the Oregon coast to note the presence or absence of native Oregon Floater mussels (Anodonta oregonensis). Since the melting of the Ice Age glaciers 6,000–14,000 years ago, these freshwater lakes have been alternately joined and separated due to the changing sea levels, sediment influx and dune formation. They are known as depression lakes because they have formed in depressions in the sand dunes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

D. vex research at the Triangle - July 24th, 2010

Two Oregon Coast Aquarium divers returned to the Triangle, the appropriately named area of protected ocean waters between converging jetty lines at the mouth of the Umpqua River. We know the invasive marine invertebrate Didemnum vexillum to have been established since at least February, and we came in part to do a trial of one possible eradication method.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Invasives Survey at Oregon Oyster Farms - July 10, 2010

A team of Oregon Coast Aquarium scientific divers received a lesson in aquaculture then went in the water at Oregon Oyster Farms, 6878 Yaquina Bay Road, to survey the docks' fouling community.

The operation grows both Pacific and Kumamoto oysters, utilizing old oyster shell as substrate. After allowing oyster spat to recruit on the shells, they are suspended by strings or in bags from floats, or they are broadcast onto the sandy bottom of the river channel. Bottom cultured oysters are later harvested by dredge.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marina Walkabouts from Coos Bay to Charleston - week of June 28th, 2010

Monday, Lorne Curran walked marinas and boat ramps starting from the town of Coos Bay and ending in Charleston. Thursday, Lorne, Sam Chan, Bruce Hansen, and ODFW biologist Scott Groth collected samples of known Didemnum vexillum colonies and deployed underwater surveillance systems to search for additional colonies.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Yaquina Bay Invasive Tunicates Survey - May 30, 2010

Four divers from the Oregon Coast Aquarium surveyed the southwest tip of the LNG tank peninsula. They found the invasive tunicate Molgula manhattensis growing abundantly on the bottom of the spud barge moored there.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

South Beach Marina Walkabout - May 2, 2010

Spending time walking the docks at the South Beach Marina situated below the Yaquina Bay Bridge yielded clear examples of an invasive bryozoan new to our surveys-Cryptosula pallasiana. Readily accessible on the bottom of floats, it competed for space with Botrylloides violaceus.

B. violaceus demonstrates remarkable resilience to adverse environmental conditions with mature colonies two feet up in the air at low tide here on pilings and on rocks at the first jetty finger west of the bridge. A later recreational dive much further west, beyond the turnaround along the south jetty, showed the botryllid to be common not only in the crevices subtidally but out on the rock faces as well, despite the swell and surge in this exposed location. Colonies could also be found on suitable substrate out on the river bottom.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


(OSU News Release 5-13-10)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – An aggressive, invasive aquatic organism that is on the state’s most dangerous species list has been discovered in both Winchester Bay and Coos Bay, and scientists say this “colonial tunicate” – Didemnum vexillum – has serious economic and environmental implications.

Its propensity to foul surfaces of boats, fishing nets, water intakes, docks and buoys could make it costly to control, and its ability to smother shellfish beds and sensitive marine environments threatens other marine life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hatfield MFC Experiment Maintenance, and, of course, Invasive Tunicate Survey - May 7, 2010

Vallorie and Lorne inspected and performed maintenance on one of OSU's chambered benthic microbial fuel cells (MFC), located subtidally in Yaquina Bay. With the experiment dependent on anaerobic activity and supplemental biomass, they checked on the integrity of the housing and injected algae.

Yaquina Bay Invasive Tunicate Survey - May 7, 2010

A scientific diving team from the Oregon Coast Aquarium conducted a survey for invasive tunicates at Yaquina Bay, Oregon on May 7th, 2010. The target for the day: South Beach Marina. Five divers examined the west breakwater, the brewery dock and docks A, D, and G.

Botrylloides violaceus was found to be pervasive. An invasive sponge, Halichondria or Haliclona, was also noted. The two invasives were more abundant at A dock than the other locations.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Yaquina Bay Invasive Tunicate Survey - April 19, 2010

On Monday, April 19, 2010 a team of divers from the Oregon Coast Aquarium conducted an invasive tunicate survey at Yaquina Bay, Oregon.  Three buddy pairs dove at the Embarcadero Marina.  Two pairs surveyed docks and boat hulls while the third pair examined the breakwater jetty wall.  On the breakwater an invasive bryozoan Watersipora subtorquata was found at 18 to 25 foot depths.  The Watersipora was strongly present at the east end of the breakwater and lightened westward.  Perhaps a 100 foot section of the breakwater wall was surveyed.  The invasive tunicate Botrylloides violaceus was also noted at the breakwater.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Winchester Bay Invasive Tunicate Survey - April 26, 2010

On Monday, April 26th, 2010 an Oregon Coast Aquarium science diving team surveyed for invasive tunicates in Salmon Harbor at Winchester Bay, Oregon.  We selected some dozen sites within the harbor as well as the navigational markers at their entrances. Teams surveyed by shore and by boat.  Later in the day, three teams reinforced their training in Didemnum vexillum identification by viewing known examples on different portions of the oyster farm and rock jetty (south wall of the Winchester Bay jetty).