Duane Fagergren: This bag of Olympia oysters on a rack at -2.5 ft. elevation has quite an assemblage of plants and invertebrates. Red, green and brown algae settle on the bag, and shrimp exited the bag as the tide receded. The Graceful crab is in molting condition and sought refuge on top of the bag until the old shell can be shed.
April Duane Fagergren
Duane Fagergren: Wash water from one longline bag of seed shows a sample of fish and invertebrates that use oysters inside bags as prolific habitat. In this one partial sample are shore crabs, amphipods, copepods, crangon shrimp, and snake prickleback (fish). Foraging fish such as Coastal Cutthroat trout, sculpins, flatfish and sea perch congregate around the bags as well.
March Scott Smith
Scott Smith: As it turns out, humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy feasting on Pacific Oysters. This octopus crawled into our oyster tub in Mud Bay on Eld Inlet. We released him back into the bay, but we found him the very next day in the same tub feasting away again. Smart guy! He knows good food when he finds it.
February Richard Turner
Richard Turner: Native Spiny Scallops growing in homemade pearl net provides safe spot for native Green Sea Urchin to grow. The urchins graze on the algae growing on the scallops and pearl net. Scallops are natural filters of phytoplankton. Zooplankton help keep water clean of algae blooms.
January Audrey Lamb
Mussel farms provide three-dimensional habitat for other critters. In this photo, caprellids, or “skeleton shrimp” look like seaweed, but they are actually crustaceans that live on mussels. Caprellids cling to mussels suspended on ropes and ambush prey when it floats by. They are a food source for surf perch, shiner perch, jellyfish, and nudibranchs.