Education Home


Estuary Chesapeake

Exploring Nature

Wetland Ecology

Teachers' Corner


Contact Us




 | Objectives Content Standards Back To All Stations |  

Go to  
Go to  >Water Testing
Go to  >Oyster Bar Community
Go to  >Investigating Plankton
     Station 5: Seining

Station 5: Seining (Going Fishing)

About two hundred species of fish live in the Chesapeake Bay and about 40 in the Rhode River. Some are permanent residents and some just use the Bay during special times in their life cycle.

In the Rhode River, the fish are generally small, which reflects the role of the subestuary as a nursery for the Bay's fish population. Some of these smaller residents include the killifish, silversides, mummichogs, young spot and perch, pumpkinseed and striped bass. They are most often in shallow water away from dark depths and where the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) provides added oxygen and protection.

In this station, students will sample a near-shore fish community using a seine net in three micro-habitats (coarse woody debris, sandy open area, and shorline plants). The students will identify some of the common fish of the Rhode River and study the animals closely. Students will mostly catch fish, but there is a good chance they may also catch blue crabs, grass shrimp and comb jellyfish. Groups will have the opportunity to share any unusual catches with their classmates.

At the seining station, discussion emphasizes the common biological concept of form dictating function. Students can observe different physical characteristics of fish that determine behavior and lifestyle, like upward pointing mouths for feeding on food at the top of the water. 

 > Objectives
> Discuss:
    • How to catch fish using a seine net
    • Form and function in fish anatomy


    • Wear chest waders
    • Catch fish using a seine net
    • Safely handle fish
    • Identify common species of fish in the Rhode River
    • Recognize physical features of fish including coloring and mouth shape, and associate features with functions.


Return to Top


 > Content Standards

> Maryland Content Standards
Going Fishing Science Indicators:
1.0 Skills & Processes: 1.5.5, 1.5.6
3.0 Life Science: 3.5.6, 3.5.8, 3.5.9, 3.5.12
6.0 Environmental Science: 6.5.2, 6.5.3, 6.5.4

> Virginia Standards of Learning 
About Crabs Science Indicators:
Scientific Investigation, Reason & Logic: 5.1, 5.6
Living Systems: 4.5
Resources: 4.8

Return to Top