Detailed Lingcod Nest Census Protocol

Introduction to the Lingcod Nest Census Procedures

The behavior of lingcod in the EUWP is observed throughout the year by members of the Lingcod Census Group and by the volunteers maintaining the park. Male lingcod start occupying potential nesting sites in September. A close watch for egg masses is started in November. The earliest an egg mass has been found in the park is November 27.

Lingcod eggs masses are present in the EUWP from late November to April of the next year. Spawning seasons are identified by the year in which they end, e.g. the spawning season running from November of 1996 to April of 1997, is referred to as the 1997 season.

Each spawning season every lingcod nest site in the park is located and marked with an identification tag. A nest site is defined as the nesting territory defended by one male lingcod and that has one or more egg masses where an egg mass is defined as a contiguous volume of eggs.

Formal Census surveys are started in late November or early December and are continued until late April when new algae growth obscures nest identification tags and even the egg masses. The park has been divided into areas, referred to as “routes” which can be surveyed one dive. Volunteer divers conduct Census surveys on specific “routes”, mainly on weekends and holidays. The results of each survey are emailed to the database manager and the other surveyors are informed of which routes have been surveyed. A flexible rotation schedule is used to ensure that all portions of the park are visited on a regular basis with a goal of observing each egg mass several times within its maturation period.



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