Welcome to this year's blog detailing our field season at McMurdo Station, Antarctica! We are a team of biologists from Portland State University who study the fishes of the extremely cold waters of the Southern Ocean. We will be collecting fish from McMurdo Sound, an icy body of water that borders the Ross Ice Shelf at 78 degrees south latitude. Our studies are focused on the impact of increasing water temperatures on the physiology of these extremely sensitive and ecologically important species.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

That's why it's called "fishing" and not "catching"

Yesterday, Brad and I (Sandwich) went out to check out our various fishing sites. We checked up on fish hut 6 to make sure the hole hadn't frozen over and to see if any borks were around. 

...needless to say, the borks weren't home.

We then cruised over to a new site, Arrival Heights, to fish an open dive hole there. We ran into Henry and Steve, who were in between dives. Henry has been making underwater films this season for Dr Gretchen Hofmann's ocean acidification project, and has worked on many other underwater films in McMurdo Sound and the Ross Sea region. I told Henry that I always thought that fish were attracted to my lure, but would miss it every time I jigged. He offered to film our lures as we fished near the bottom. This would also give us an idea of the fish that were in the area, what the bottom looked like, and what other creatures were there.

It was exactly as I had suspected! The fish in this video are likely T.pennellii, and possibly too small for our hooks, however, Brad did successfully catch one.

We then drove out to Cape Evans Wall for the first time this season. It is a place where we were very successful in catching borks last season. The Cape Evans Wall is at the base of Mt Erebus, where the glacier meets the rock.

After profiling the dynamic crack in the sea ice between Erebus Glacier Tongue and Tent Island, we blazed a trail out to the Wall. The drive was extremely bumpy due to ungroomed sastrugi. We drilled two holes with the jiffy drill, and within 45 minutes caught twenty borks.

Our Pisten Bully at the glacier at Cape Evans Wall

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