By Catch By Golly

Happy 4th of July

Hello and welcome back!

I know the REU’s had a great 3-day weekend to catch up on some much-needed rest and watch fireworks. Everything’s back in the swing of things as several of us launch projects this week. All the REUs are willing to help each other out when needed, it’s really been amazing how eagerly everyone lends a hand. I’ve seen a number of students happily get up to their arms in muck cleaning and sorting oysters for a fellow REU’s project when they have an hour free!

REU student Austin Allen displays a crab pot that he has modified to reduce the inadvertent capture of fish and diamondback terrapins.I’ve been working with Dr. Rom Lipcius and his lab during the last few weeks, modifying 20 crab pots. I’ve installed by-catch reduction devices in half of the pots’ openings, in addition to attaching funny looking chicken-wire “chimneys.” The chimneys will allow any caught diamondback terrapins to survive. I’m setting the pots in 10 locations up and down the York River of the Chesapeake and will be looking at how by-catch reduction devices affect crab catch, fish by-catch, and terrapin catch. All this work will be put into fruition tomorrow as I climb into the creeks and place the crab pots. I’m planning on getting extremely filthy and smelly before the day is done. I’m looking forward to it!

This summer is flying by, as I’m sure everyone else would agree, but I’m looking forward to enjoying the next month, especially our sampling trip on the RV Bay Eagle, which I’m sure you’ll hear about later!