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Boots on the beach – Citizen science in action


Tuesday June 7, 4pm, 2022

Join Dianne Sanford at Friendship Park in Trail Bay for a hands-on experience in the process of forage fish sampling, a citizen science project on the Sunshine Coast to determine absence or presence of forage fish eggs on our local beaches.  Until recently, this information has been non-existent.

We will be going through the sampling process looking for eggs from Surf Smelt and/or Pacific Sand Lance.  These little fish are two types of forage fish that spawn in the intertidal area of sandy beaches, just two of the many that are food or forage for larger species.

During this process we will:

  • LEARN and HAVE FUN!!
  • Wear our gumboots so that we can collect water for the sieving process.
  • Set up a sampling area within the high intertidal area about 30m long
  • Collect a four liter sand sample from this area
  • Process the sand sample by washing it through a series of sieves to remove all but the coarse sand.
  • Take the coarse sand sample and further process that through our vortexing equipment to a 2-3 tablespoon sample of organic matter – hopefully including some eggs!
  • This sample will then be examined in our volunteer’s lab for absence or presence of eggs.
  • Ending by 5:30pm at the latest, we will have a Q & A session to tidy up any remaining questions.

Please bring your mask, and remember to sign in with Dianne when you arrive.

Email if you have questions.

Additional resources:

Surf smelt (top) and Pacific Sandlance
Forage fish: More than just some little fish

Watch this webinar for an introduction to the wonders of all the little fish.