Well here we are back in Bella Bella after our first week out on the Goose Island Group. We arrived on Snipe Island off the south end of Goose just before the rain and wind picked up on Monday morning. We spent the day setting up camp with the rain motivating us to put up the tents and tarps in record time! By dinner we were settling in nicely to our home base for the next
seven weeks.Christina smiles for the camera during an intertidal study
On Tuesday morning we finally got to get our hands dirty in our fieldwork. We stayed on Snipe and performed intertidal surveys while the tide was low and the weather was still too poor to travel. After collecting their specimens, the interns sought shelter from the rain under a tarp and poured over guidebooks to identify all of the species that they had collected. Later that afternoon we joined the Coastwatch field crew to complete our first deer pellet survey across the island.Crashing through the Salal during a deer pellet survey
On Wednesday morning the tides and weather still dictated that we stay on Snipe. We used compasses and GPS units to map out the eelgrass beds around the island. Late in the afternoon the wind finally died down and the sun came out, so the entire Goose Island crew piled into the punt to enjoy the weather and to get to know the rest of the area that we will be studying.Louise sizes up his hand next to a wolf print
This week we also hiked through the lagoon at low tide to set up trail cameras. We saw lots of deer tracks and a large doe, along with fresh wolf tracks. Hopefully our cameras will catch some wolf and deer activity! We’ll be checking the cameras each week and moving them to new locations periodically.Christina installs a trail camera in the lagoon
The last piece of research that we began this week was our marine mammal survey. We will be recording all our marine mammal sightings throughout the summer, as well as performing weekly counts of the Steller sea lions on the Gosling rocks.Richard counts sea lions from the boat
Despite the poor weather for the first half of the week, it was definitely a successful trip. I’m quite impressed with how hearty and hard-working each of the interns is. And there’s no way I can complain about ending a long day of work with fresh halibut (thanks, Dennine) or fresh deer (thanks, Jordan). I can’t wait to get back out into the field with everyone on Monday morning!