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Winter 2023 California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations Survey

June 06, 2023

The 2023 CalCOFI Winter cruise sailed aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker from January 6-26 to survey the distributions and abundances of pelagic fish stocks, their prey, and their biotic and abiotic environments in the California Current.

The 2023 Winter CalCOFI Survey will take place January 6-26, 2023, aboard NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker. Measurements taken at these stations entail chemical, biological and physical oceanographic measurements while underway sampling includes physical measurements, pelagic fish egg collections as well as marine mammal, marine turtle and seabird observations. This year’s participating institutions included the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Farallon Institute Advanced Ecosystem Research, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Craig Venter Institute.

January 26, 2023
The 2023 winter CalCOFI survey was successfully completed aboard the NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker 6 - 26 January aboard the NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker.  Due to ship personnel issues, the normal 24-hour daily operational tempo was reduced to a 12-hour operational tempo for the first four days of the survey.  This situation reduced the ability to occupy all of the 104 planned stations and limited completion to 72.  Measurements taken at these stations included chemical, biological and physical oceanographic samples. Biological sampling included Pairovet, Manta, Bongo and PRPOOS ichthyoplankton tows. Underway sampling included physical measurements, Continuous Underway Fish Egg Sampling, marine mammal and turtle observations, and seabird observations.

January 6, 2023
The winter CalCOFI cruise aboard R/V Reuben Lasker, departed San Diego on Friday, January 6, at 12:45 pm. The ship’s deck crew is limited in number and experience, and therefore, the first few days they were only able to conduct 12-hour. The Lasker crew worked really hard to get their new deck crew up to speed and were able to increase to the standard 24-hour operations by Monday, January 9. This increases the number of stations the crew will be able to sample during the cruise. 

The weather has been workable thus far and the crew hopes the next storm arriving this weekend won’t make the ride too bumpy for everyone. Check out CalCOFI’s social media posts on Twitter and Instagram (@CalCOFI) to see some fun pictures, including a Peregrine falcon that maintained a nearly 3-day residence on the cruise.

Peregrine falcon sitting on the Lasker railing.
Peregrine falcon sitting on the Lasker railing. See more photos and a description from our bird observer, Michael Force, @CalCOFI on either Twitter or Instagram.

December 16, 2022
The FRD CalCOFI Ship Operations team and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography CalCOFI team began loading and setting up the CalCOFI cruise gear aboard the Rueben Lasker in preparation for the winter CalCOFI cruise (January 6-26, 2023). These teams come together to load the ship nearly every December, often several weeks before the actual cruise to avoid a post-holiday scramble to get ready to set sail. This early coordination is even more important this go round because the Lasker will conduct at-sea Operational Readiness Training (ORT) January 3-5, which wouldn’t allow for any time just before the cruise to prep their gear aboard the ship. 

Last updated by Southwest Fisheries Science Center on July 19, 2023