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Tuesday, January 26 • 11:40am - 12:00pm
Development Of An Unmanned Submersible For Benthic Larval Fish Sampling

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AUTHORS: Dylan Olson, UW-Milwaukee

ABSTRACT: Rocky, benthic habitats are important components of many aquatic ecosystems. They commonly harbor diverse and abundant invertebrates that are important forage for fishes. Additionally, they are actively sought by fishes for shelter and spawning. The ongoing dreissenid-driven benthification of Great Lakes food webs has made robust benthic sampling techniques for rocky habitat fauna more important than ever. Unfortunately, many common benthic sampling techniques—such as seine and trawl nets, and ponar grabs—are ineffective in rocky habitats. We built a pair of inexpensive remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) with modifications for electroshocking and suction sampling. These ROVs were effective collecting newly-hatched round gobies in Lake Michigan. The diet of larval and early juvenile round gobies was derived from these samples. We found that they feed primarily on harpacticoid copepods and benthic cladocerans. In other preliminary work, we found that ROVs were also effective at sampling larval lake trout.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 11:40am - 12:00pm EST
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