Marine Reserves News: Rise of the Jellyfish, Upcoming Meetings: STAC/OPAC

A Deeper Dive


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Click on the video above to check out large swarms of sea nettles that researchers are seeing.

Sea nettles tend to be more abundant when ocean productivity is high. This year’s big upwelling helps explain why they are more common right now (there’s lots of food in the water for them to eat). Recently, ODFW habitat researchers ran into swarms of these guys while doing acoustic marine habitat surveys just south of Cascade Head Marine Reserve (click on the video above). 

Interestingly, researchers have noticed higher sea nettle numbers this past spring, relative to 2016. The lower sea nettle numbers last year were likely a byproduct of the warm water ‘Blob’ that resulted in less productivity off our coast.

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Join us for a presentation by Ecological Research Project Leader Dr. Lindsay Aylesworth on "Evaluating Oregon's Marine Reserves." The talk will be today, Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Hatfield Marine Science Center ED 30/32 from 3:30-4:30 PM. We will be discussing the multifaceted approach to evaluating marine reserves in Oregon. 

In 2023, the Oregon Legislature will review and evaluate the Marine Reserves Program to determine whether, and how, Oregon's marine reserves may be used as a nearshore resource management tool in the future. How do you evaluate the outcomes of marine reserves? How does this evaluation differ if we consider social and economic impacts in addition to biological ones? There are numerous ways to evaluate marine reserves and we are looking to start a discussion about the evaluation in Oregon.

We welcome the opportunity to share our ideas and brainstorm with the larger community about issues of marine resource management and conservation. 



The Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) will be meeting in Corvallis on Thursday October 26, 2017 from 9 am - 3 pm at the Hatfield Marine Science Center Seminar Room in Newport, Oregon. STAC will be discussing their role in the Marine Reserves Program evaluation, as specified by the Oregon Legislature, and be discussing further guidance to ODFW on ongoing human dimensions research. A full agenda is available here

Additionally, the Marine Reserves Program will be giving an brief update at the next meeting of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 from 10 am - 5pm at the Holiday Inn Express in Astoria, Oregon. Updates will include Marine Reserves Program highlights from 2017 and an overview of our longline vs hook-and-line gear comparison study recently published in the journal of Marine and Coastal Fisheries.



SMURFing has wrapped up for the season. Okay wait, what’s a SMURF again?  SMURF stands for the “Standard Monitoring Unit for the Recruitment of Fishes” and is a sampling tool we use to collect information on juvenile fish. Tracking how many juveniles use nearshore habitats is helpful for understanding any changes we see in adult populations in the future. This work is done in collaboration with our partners at Oregon State University.

SMURF research is conducted weekly and be sure to check out our most recent posts on a few challenges before the season ended and take a peek at some final juvenile fish counts (spoiler alert - the numbers from 2016 vs 2017 were very different). The 2018 season will start back up again in April.


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Three days of video lander and SCUBA surveys were conducted at Cascade Head Marine Reserve and the associated comparison areas. 


Completed the final four days of longline and hook-and-line fall surveys at Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and associated comparison areas.

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Conducted intertidal mussel bed surveys at Otter Rock Marine Reserve and Cascade Head Marine Reserve.


Conducted the remaining four days of hook-and-line fall surveys at Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and associated comparison areas. 



Completed our surveys for juvenile fish recruitment surveys (SMURFs) at Otter Rock and Redfish Rocks (by OSU, ODFW Marine Reserves Program, Oregon Coast Aquarium). Mooring were removed this month and this study will continue next spring. 

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