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2022 California Current Ecosystem Survey

August 02, 2022

The 2022 California Current Ecosystem Survey will be conducted from June 27 through September 23, 2022.

The 2022 California Current Ecosystem Survey will be conducted by the Fisheries Resources Division at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, from NOAA ship Reuben Lasker. The primary objectives are to survey the distributions and abundances of coastal pelagic fish species (CPS), their prey, and their biotic and abiotic environments in the California Current between Cape Flattery, and Punta Eugenia, Baja California, June 27 to September 23, 2022.

Leg 3

As of August 5, NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker does not have sufficient crew to begin Leg 3.

Leg 2

During Leg 2, F/V Lisa Marie and NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker will alternate transects to allow purse-seine catches to be compared to nighttime trawl catches in the same areas between Cape Mendocino and Bodega Bay. Nearshore sampling will then be conducted by fishing vessel F/V Long Beach Carnage between Bodega Bay and San Diego.

Leg 2 Scientific personnel: CUFES and trawl: Kelsey James, Emily Gardner, Bill Watson, Ed Weber, Andrew Thompson, and Kamran Walsh (UCSD), and Acoustics: Dan Palance (UCSC) and Shannon Dolan (UCSD). 

Leg 2 Support for setup and troubleshooting from: Ship’s personnel: SST Jackie Mazzella and ET Brian Thomas; and AST ashore: Dave Demer, Josiah Renfree, Kevin Stierhoff, and Dave Murfin.

Thursday, July 21
NOOA Ship Reuben Lasker left 10th Ave Marine Terminal and began a 750 nmi transited north to start scientific operations off Cape Mendocino for Leg 2.  Staff attempted ADCP calibration near the San Diego sea buoy but had to abort due to unusual POS MV and EK80 signals for GPS and attitude. They will try again later in the leg.

Friday, July 22
Staff attempted to recover the acoustic lander off Point Conception but were thwarted by seas >10’ and winds > 35 kts. They will try again at the end of the leg.

Saturday, July 23
Dan Palance optimized SX90 settings to track distant CPS schools to the ship and into the EK80 and MS70 displays. Dan Palance and Shannon Dolan tested the uCTD system in calmer seas, and the deck box lost power. Troubleshooting by CME Colin Davis, SST Mazella, and Scott Mau and Dave Murfin helped restore the winch to operation, enabling a successful cast.

Scott Mau and Dave Murfin helped restore the winch to operation, enabling a successful cast.
Scott Mau and Dave Murfin helped restore the winch to operation, enabling a successful cast.

Shannon Dolan reviewed EK80 data in Echoview, noting that the 38 and 333 kHz backscatter data did not have GPS data. Guided by Josiah, SST Mazella and ET Thomas installed a secondary GPS input to the EK80s, solving the Echoview GPS issue. Josiah also contacted Echoview to have support added for the GPS data type required by the ES150-3C ADCP.

Just south of San Francisco, the team conducted a test trawl to familiarize the new deck crew with trawling operations and discovered a number of glitches, which they were able to resolve. Even with the open net during the test trawl, they ended up with a large amount of pyrosomes (which no one was excited about).

The weather deteriorated on Sunday, July 24, but calmed again overnight. At midnight, staff set their first trawl at the seaward end of transect 129 off Cape Mendocino. It was a blind trawl since there weren’t any schools of CPS seen in the acoustics and no CPS eggs in the CUFES, meaning there were no known targets. Ultimately, they caught a few myctophids and salps and lots of wash-down pyrosomes from the previous day’s test trawl. 

Monday, July 25
EK80 GPS and attitude issues recurred at the start of the first transect (129C). Data from another source was used to process the acoustic data. The transect was completed mid-morning. 

Large fish schools were observed near the shelf break on Monday, July 25.
Large fish schools were observed near the shelf break on Monday, July 25.

The ship then slowed to troubleshoot SX90 software issues and resolve the EK80 GPS issues. Josiah, SST Mazella, and Simrad representatives assisted with troubleshooting. 

Midday, the ship resumed operations round lunchtime, initiating adaptive sampling on transect 128S, a saildrone transect. After finishing transect 128S, the EK80 GPS and attitude issues arose and then resolved again. During the last uCTD cast of the day, the winch lost power again. The CME investigated and his team helped recover the probe. The uCTD casts were suspended pending further investigation. A CTD cast was made prior to nighttime trawling. One trawl was set prior to midnight. 

Tuesday, July 26
The second trawl of the night yielded two sardine and five jack mackerel. 

Some additional exiting news is the introduction of electronic fish boards to this survey. This now allows staff to upload trawl data to the shipboard data acquisition software to further digitize data at sea and adding to the already present ichthyoplankton and CUFES data. A huge thanks to Ed Weber for all the time he’s invested to develop this program and help the teams reach this stage.

Wednesday, July 27
The third haul of the night caught 133 adult hake, along with a few sardine and jack mackerel. The hake were eating sardine in the net.

This year, FRD added hake to the sampling suite and measured 50 lengths, weights, sexes, and otoliths. Lengths were automatedly input to the database using the new electronic measuring board.
This year, FRD added hake to the sampling suite and measured 50 lengths, weights, sexes, and otoliths. Lengths were automatedly input to the database using the new electronic measuring board.

Thursday, July 28, 
Nighttime sampling included 3 trawls, a CTD, and a bongo. Catches included 100 small hake in the first trawl, a few sardines in the second trawl, and jack Mackerel in nearly all trawls. 

In the last 3 nmi of transect 122A, a large CPS school was observed at the surface, so the transect was extended by 5 nmi. Accordingly, transect 121C was extended by 5 nmi.

Using the remaining daylight while staying in the vicinity of the observed CPS schools, the ES150-3C ADCP was calibrated. The files were uploading for Josiah and Simrad to evaluate. Weather began to deteriorate, but was expected to improve in another day or two.

Friday, July 29
Catches from three sets included a few sardine and more jack mackerel. Scott Mau and Rachel Backman will join the ship via a small boat transfer at Point Arena.

F/V Long Beach Carnage is currently off San Francisco, observing anchovy schools and is heading to Bodega Bay to begin surveying the nearshore tomorrow morning. The echosounder system is working well. The high winds are expected to calm north of Point Reyes.

F/V Lisa Marie will finish transect 124 and start 122 tomorrow morning. After finishing transects 116 just north of Bodega Bay on August 1, the vessel will begin her 4-day transit back to Westport, Washington.

CUFES samples collected along the transit and first transects, mapped by Shannon Dolan, show anchovy spawning south of Monterey Bay, and mackerel spawning farther north. The few sardine eggs were found just west of the Northern Channel Islands. Between Cape Mendocino and Point Arena, the CPS backscatter was mostly nearshore, and the catches were mostly jack mackerel.
CUFES samples collected along the transit and first transects, mapped by Shannon Dolan, show anchovy spawning south of Monterey Bay, and mackerel spawning farther north. The few sardine eggs were found just west of the Northern Channel Islands. Between Cape Mendocino and Point Arena, the CPS backscatter was mostly nearshore, and the catches were mostly jack mackerel.

Friday, August 8

F/V Lisa Marie (green) and Saildrones (red and blue) sampled the northern area. Lisa Marie sampled 32 transects, from ~ 5 m depth to ~50 nmi offshore, with 41 purse-seine sets (triangles). NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker borrowed crew from Fairweather to begin sampling at Cape Mendocino (Purple).  F/V Long Beach Carnage began nearshore sampling at Bodega Bay (Orange), including six purse-seine sets nearshore (diamonds), and reached Morro Bay by the end of Leg 2. Lasker’s trawl catches (circles) included mostly jack mackerel north of San Francisco, and anchovy to the south. Lasker ended Leg 2 at San Diego, three days early, when Fairweather recalled her crew.

Planned transects from Cape Flattery, WA, to Punta Eugenia, Baja California (Dotted).
Planned transects from Cape Flattery, WA, to Punta Eugenia, Baja California (Dotted).

Leg 1

Originally scheduled to depart for Leg 1 on June 27, the 2022 Summer CPS Survey got off to a late start as NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker was unprepared to sail. Luckily, two Saildrones and fishing vessel F/V Lisa Marie were able to acoustically sample transects off the Washington and Oregon coasts for the first leg. F/V Lisa Marie also sampled CPS schools using a purse-seine net.

Previous: 2021 California Current Ecosystem Survey

Last updated by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on August 08, 2022