Before I start with the pictures from our Keys fishing trip, first….the amazing view from our apt balcony….. Ahhhhh….. Love it!!
Sunrise. I saw more of these last week than I have in the past 3 years combined.
Now, onto the fishing trip. Five of us (sans boss man!) drove down to Long Key with the boat in order to catch stingrays and sharks for our experiments. We were not super successful, but didn’t come back empty handed (and didn’t lose anybody, sink the boat, jack knife the trailer, or crash the truck)! Woo! We fished at sunrise and sunset every day and snorkeled for stingrays and bait every afternoon. Here are some of the more spectacular sunrises/sets…
Here are 2 of our volunteers, Joey and Dana, pulling in the gill net
Gill net while set
We also long-lined for sharks. We use large hooks with large pieces of bait in order to target a particular size of shark. We did catch 3 sharks. I was apparently too busy handling the sharks to take pictures of them. We also got a lot of little lizardfish. They should be too small to ingest our hooks, except for their enormous mouth. So this is what happens…. Sorry, little guy!
Look at that mouth!
What a cute face
Lastly, we caught 8 pregnant (not on purpose) female yellow stingrays. To do this, we snorkeled around a reef and dove down ~20ish ft. with a net when we saw one. I did not realize how long I could hold my breath underwater! One of the females pupped (gave birth to) 4 baby stingrays on the way back to the lab. Soooooo cuuuuuuuuuute!!
Their pattern is awesome!
Baby stingray! They have these folds of skin around their spiracles, which look like giant dumbo ears.
We will continue fishing for the remainder of the summer, and hopefully will be more successful in the future. I am dangerously close to having all the animals I need to finish the data collection for my dissertation!! Ahhhh!!
Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!!