Some late winter storms have kept us on shore but we were able to get out on April 14 during an ideal weather window. The recent storms left the coastal range covered in snow and the waters clear.
Water samples collected from 1 to 5 nautical miles offshore were very sparse with phytoplankton. All three samples were dominated by diatoms Asterionellopsis glacialis and Chaetoceros species. Interestingly, we spotted a few Ebria tripartita at the two stations further offshore (NH03 & NH05). E.tripartita are phagotrophic, which means they engulf food particles, and are often associated with nutrient poor waters.
While we still have not transitioned to a northern copepod community, we are seeing an interesting mix of northern and southern copepods. For example, we are once again seeing the early appearance of very large Calanus marshallae, a member of the northern copepod community.