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KRIS Garcia River: Picture Page

Area Lower Garcia / Estuary
Topic Tour: Garcia Estuary #3 Fish Samples and Algal Growth

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Steve Cannata (right) and Craig Bell prepare to work up sample from seine netting at Station 2 in June 1995. Fish were identified, counted and measured before release. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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This photo shows three species caught in a seine net at Station #3 (the Piling Hole), with a two year old steelhead, surf smelt and a shiner surf perch. Note that the steelhead is very silver, which indicates that it is smolting and ready for ocean entry. The Marine species were more prevalent as freshwater flows dropped and salt water intruded. Marine fishes often spawn in estuaries because predation is less than in the ocean. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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This juvenile steelhead was greater than 100 mm (4 inches) in length, indicating that it was likely at least one year old. Note that this specimen still has parr marks and stream coloration which may indicate that it is not yet ready to enter the ocean. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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This juvenile steelhead is less than 100 mm and likely less than one year old. Many Garcia River estuary steelhead were in this size class indicating good growth for young of the year. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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This photo shows an adult, male pipefish, which is in the seahorse family. The male has a zippered pouch in which he cares for the young. Small worm like organisms on biologists hand are juvenile pipefish which have come out of the male's pouch. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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Algae blooms coincided with intrusion of salt water and the habitat types changed from riverine here at the Minor Hole in June to more like a Bay subsystem (Starr, 1979) in August, which is depicted here. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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Algae with hollow leaves that fill with air (Enteromorpha) colonized parts of the floor of the estuary in late summer, providing excellent primary productivity and cover for marine fish juveniles. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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Steve Cannata holds the two types of algae in his hands, which colonized much of the Garcia River estuary as salt water intruded, later in summer. Enteromorpha is the species with light green leaves which trap air so that the species can float up near the surface for photosynthesis even when the tide is in. The unknown filamentous green algae (at lower right) tended to colonize shallower areas. Photo by Patrick Higgins.

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