Ocean Seining

Texas Field ecology was a great trip, but I feel the most rounded day was when we kayaked the ocean and had the opportunity to do some salt water seining. The day started with a kayak trip through the mangroves. The trip out to the beach we had a very rough paddle, being the winds were high creating more waves than desired, and Danny was almost taken out by a local fishing boat. Once we reached the shore we were briefed on the area and some of the environmental impacts that happen from recreation and commercial fishing.

Once we had a history of the area we had the opportunity to seine fish in the ocean. This was a great experience because no matter what we caught it would be something I had never seen. Right away we pulled up a pipe fish which is something I had never even heard of, but it was very interesting to see something that peculiar looking. The next fish that caught my eye was a species of molly, which had an amazing pattern on the side.

Once done seining we started our paddle back, by this time the wind had died down and it was a much more relaxing trip. Here we got to explore the mangroves at our own pace. I finally got to see a Stingray right under my kayak. Near here is where we were able to see the oyster beds, which contain the flesh eating bacteria. The rest of the paddle was filled with birds and views of the ocean scenery. The Slow Ride Guide service was informative and friendly.

After the kayak trip we ventured to an area where we were able to fish and eat lunch. Here we got to see dolphins surfacing in the channel. After fishing and having lunch we got another opportunity to seine fish. Here we found species like flounder and pin fish. We also got our first experience with jellyfish. Dusty, a Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist, was there to help us identify the different species.

After this we ventured to the beach where we got to use the bag seine in the big open water of the ocean. This was an awesome experience, and to me one of my favorites for the trip. We didn’t catch anything at this location, but we got to feel the power of the water and not being able to pull the bag seine. Here we got to see more jelly fish and some of the same fish we had caught at the other locations.

Later that night we went fishing with not much luck all around, however I did get to see a landed stingray another fisherman had pulled in. after fishing till dark, we went out to eat in Port Aransas with the group. After a second wind, a small group of us went out crabbing until around 12 that night. We would wait for the waves to wash up the crabs, then find them with a flashlight and as fast as we could net them up. This was more fun than expected and the crab tasted great.

Dolphins surfacing

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