In addition to hosting visiting research projects, CCFS maintains a variety of in-house monitoring programs in order to establish long-term ecological baseline data.
Biodiversity surveys help us establish ecological baseline data so that we can monitor changes in local plant and animal populations over time. These surveys throughout intertidal, bog, and forest biomes provide an opportunity to identify invasive species that may have been introduced to the area, and monitor native species that may be at risk of extirpation. These surveys also provide a great educational opportunity for visitors of all ages to participate in ecological research.
Marine Mammal Surveys
Cedar Coast Field Station contributes to the B.C Cetacean Sightings Network by reporting each marine mammal we see in Clayoquot Sound and surrounding areas. Visit http://wildwhales.org to find out how you can play your part in the conservation and management plans of whales in your area!
Motion sensor cameras take photos of animals passing by and record the date, time, and temperature of the siting. Reviewing the data helps us develop baseline data for the diversity and abundance of local animal populations. Wildlife cameras also help us monitor changes in diversity, abundance and animal behaviour over time.
CCFS stream keeping will focus on local salmon bearing streams, including Ahous Bay and Keltsmaht. This monitoring will involve a variety of activities including water quality testing, aquatic invertebrate identification, fish population counts, genetic profiling, and stream restoration when necessary. Stream keeping will also provide a valuable opportunity for education groups to gain hands on experience in coastal field ecology, while learning the cultural and ecological importance of Pacific salmon.
As part of our stream keeping initiative, CCFS is contributing to the Catch, Clip, Release program by collecting salmon genetic data. As part of this program CCFS will collect fin clips from salmon in rivers to gather genetic baseline data for local Pacific salmon populations. The baseline data will ultimately be used to inform local and large scale management practices. This is another great opportunity for educational groups to participate in ecological monitoring. For more information, visit the Catch, Clip, Release website to learn how salmon genetics can help in the conservation of Pacific salmon along our coast http://catchcliprelease.org
Juvenile Salmon Monitoring
We are monitoring juvenile salmon in Clayoquot Sound to assess their health and sea lice loads as they migrate through the corridor to the ocean. Sea lice are known to significantly decrease the marine survival of juvenile salmon, as they do not have the immune system or size to withstand sea lice infestations. There is currently a massive outbreak of sea lice being reported in Clayoquot Sound. Salmon farms in the region are experiencing the highest levels of sea lice in British Columbia. Juvenile salmon that out-migrate from fresh water to the ocean in the spring are traversing past open net pen farms and are being exposed to high levels of sea lice.
“To preserve ecological health through place-based research and education that celebrates the cultural and biological diversity of Clayoquot Sound”