Fish Lab Newsletter - January, 2018

Posted on: Jan, 3, 2018

Grays Harbor College Logo

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes our new fish programs; our coho and chum eggs arrive this week!  The 5,000 coho and 10,000 chum will arrive as eyed eggs, which we will incubate on site.  Our fishes are expected to hatch, button up, and emerge into the troughs this quarter.  In fact, the chum will be released at the end of March.  If you would like to be a part of the early salmon life cycle, come visit us at the Fish Lab!

We have a lot of exciting events and opportunities planned for the next few months.  In addition to our regular hatchery work, water quality analysis, and research, we will be putting more focus on our K12 outreach activities.  Lead by AmeriCorp VISTA Brent Mitchel-Gaudet, educational activities geared toward a younger crowd are already in development.

While we will continue to send updates to our email list on a regular basis, we have also started a Facebook page so we can update you in real time.  It is just getting started, so feel free to add your own photos of your favorite Fish Lab activities as well.

Hatchery wall mural art

So what have we been doing lately? 

Toward the end of Fall and through the break, our team was very busy on several projects.  We have been caring for our trout program, which has included daily feeds, cleaning the troughs, water quality analysis, and keeping those pesky otters out!

We also did our quarterly aquatic species monitoring.  To do this, the research team headed out to our sample sites along Alder Creek to seine net and document the aquatic species, along with analyzing the riparian zone, water quality, and stream microbiome.  Did you know that you could help us collect data with nothing but a smart phone and a walk along our model watershed?  Check out our upcoming iNaturalist training to learn how.

Lastly, our senior volunteers worked round the clock on developing a video to share what we do with the Board of Directors of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.  Although none of us had experience with video editing software before we started, we were able to produce something that captures what we do.  Enormous thanks goes to Lauren and Maddie Thompson, Zach Deditius, Paige Pierog, Brent Mitchel-Gaudet, Joe Kalisch, Ted Elson, Rich Wenke, and Sarah Alvarez for all their help!  Thanks also goes to the many Fish Labbers who let us interview them.  If you don’t see your smiling face, please note that we ran into some technical difficulties as we learned, and we may come back to interview again at some point.  We plan on producing more video trainings and descriptions in the future.

Fish Lab Hours
Interested in getting involved with the Fish Lab? 

Everybody is welcome, all you have to do is show up!  We meet Mondays and Wednesdays at 3pm, and Saturdays at 8am whenever school is in session.  Dress for the weather, we are often outside.  Whether it is rain or shine, cleaning garbage from streams or doing research, we always have fun doing what we do.

Here are some of our upcoming events:

  • January 3rd, 3pm - The eggs arrive!  We will get our eggs settled in the incubation trays and going over standard care.  This is a great first day to join us, we’ll be giving tours of the facility to any first time Fish Labbers.
  • January 13th, 9am - Citizen Science Training Session.  Although we will be meeting at 8am for our regular fish care, we will be heading indoors at 9am for an iNaturalist training, then back out for practice.  If you love the outdoors and want to learn more about the countless organisms that contribute to a healthy salmon habitat, this is an opportunity to get involved.  All you need is a smart phone and a love for the outdoors.
  • January 15th, 8-12 - MLK Day of Service.  The Fish Lab is just one service opportunity available to honor Dr. Martin Luther King.  The Day of Service, coordinated by GHC Student Life, is a wonderful way to have a positive impact on our community. 

It is going to be a FIN-tastic Winter Quarter.  We look forward to seeing you at the Fish Lab!

Amanda Lyn Gunn, Ph.d.
Biology Instructor
Grays Harbor College