The Nearshore Survey is a long-term research study (1991-present) examining the interactions between native grass shrimps (Palaemon pugio, P. mundonovus, and P. vulgaris) and their common predators in the Rhode River. Research is carried out at multiple locations within each of two sites in the Rhode River (Canning House Bay and Fox Point) every summer from June through August, using three methods: seining, dip-net sweeps and tethering.
Seine Survey - Our monthly seine net survey characterizes the presence and abundance of fish and crab predators in the nearshore zone (shallow waters where shrimp seek refuge from these predators). All fishes, crabs and any turtles are identified, measured, and returned to the water.
Shrimp Tethering - Tethering involves placing shrimp tied to lines in 1 foot (30 cm) of water for several timed intervals and measuring relative predation. It allows us to examine the predator-prey interactions between the shrimp and their fish and crab predators. We use this information to assess the relative effectiveness of the nearshore zone as refuge habitat.
Dip-net Sweeps - Grass shrimp distribution and relative abundance is monitored monthly at permanent ten-meter-long transects at each site by pushing a long handled dip net along the river bottom. Shrimp are collected, identified, measured, examined for parasites and reproductive state, and returned to the river. These data allow us to quantify the fluctuations in grass shrimp parasite load and population dynamics.
This project involves volunteers. If you are interested, please contact Stacey Havard or Alison Cawood.