Sunday July 12, 2015 – an MLSS dive team recovered and replaced the Halkett reef sponge bed, thermochron logger. Note the 2 large temperature spikes in the data at the end of the graph.On casual observations the sponge bed did look healthy and seemed to be thriving. There was a large concentration of rockfish above the sponge, consisting of Quillback, Copper, and Puget sound rockfish in small schools. Also present were Kelp greenling and Lingcod. Visibility was running at about 50 feet and divers swam to the north end of the sponge bioherm, depth 110 ft, on a 4.5ft rising tide.
This project is ongoing at 5 different sites in Howe Sound. The process of data recovery will continue over the next 5 years to collect continuous time series of temperature data. Future data analysis will examine relationships between bottom temperature and other physical data (e.g., surface temperature, flow rates, sponge growth rates, and live sponge coverage) in collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium and academic partnerships.
Please help us with donations to continue our sponge research program 🙂