Tuesday, July 23, 2013

StevieMarie LaMonic Lovells Island

July 15, 2013

Today we met up at Boston Harbor Fun's boat at the Courthouse Dock, ran by Captain Charlie and his mates, John and Christian.

The skies were clear, the weather was hot and humid and the water had decent clarity at the beginning of the trip. On our way to Lovells Island we made a stop to fish, hoping to catch some stripers. As we were hanging out near Castle Island, we ended up catching a few fish; stripe bass, black sea bass, mackerel and perch.

We caught a 30" striper; the minimum size to keep is 38" - woohoo! One of the bass we caught was a black sea bass, with a beautiful turquoise stripe on its head. I learned that all black sea bass are hermaphrodite; born female (with the turquoise stripe) and then as they turn into an adult, they transform from female to male, and also grow a bump on their head and turn completely black.

As we were hanging around fishing,

we noticed the water clarity had reduced; this was caused by the diatoms in the water. We learned that diatoms are a major part of algae and are also one of the most common types of phytoplankton.  Apparently diatoms float to the top of the water then they are dying.


Once we reached Lovells Island, we took a walk to a nice shady area with a bench, sat our stuff down, and took a walk down to the first tide pool (it was quite rocky). Once we stepped into the tide pool, and even on the way down, we noticed several residents of the island; snails, periwinkles, crabs, hermit crabs, birds, steamer shells, green algae, and barnacle. It was pretty cool getting to see hermit crabs in the ocean, rather than in a tank at a pet store. I was a little nervous about stepping on these little guys, including the periwinkles, snails and little green crabs, but I wanted to get as up close and personal as I could. I wish I was able to snap a few shots, but with the luck I had that day, scraping my foot on barnacle, I probably would have dropped my camera or phone in the ocean! 

After we observed the first tide pool, we went back to the shady area, had some lunch, talked about what we saw, and headed to the 2nd tide pool. On the way there, we found some pretty cool land snail shells; one being purple with a whitish blue stripe going across it, and the shell was a decent size and round; it brought back memories of me being a kid, growing up in Winthrop and around the harbor. I'm pretty sure these were moon snails. 

I didn't notice anything different in the second tide pool than what we saw in the first. After we were done with the 2nd, we quickly viewed the very small salt marsh and then headed back toward the dock, checking out the life on the island. As were were walking on the path, Professor Berman noticed some snails that were hanging out on the leaves of trees, etc. He mentioned that these snails could actually be taken home and kept. From the looks of what I was able to see, they looked like grove snails, which can be found in Massachusetts. 

Around 2:30 we boarded back on the Boston Harbor Fun boat with Cpt. Charlie and his crew. Professor Berman decided to fillet one of the bass we caught, which was a little too much for me to handle, so I avoided it as much as possible. Those that were interested, got to take some of the bass home to "experiment in the kitchen" with. 

including your identification of the species we observed - including the
land snails.

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