Photo: Mack Bartlett

Lemmens Inlet Water Column Study

This pilot study started in June, 2017 with the goal of better understanding local water conditions. We are most interested in select biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living) features. Specifically, we are looking at plankton abundance and diversity, as well as monitoring the pH, temperature, and salinity throughout the water column.

We hope to be able to characterize this system and create a baseline data-set for the area. Additionally, we hope to communicate with shellfish farmers and other stakeholders about local conditions (and how they change over time).

Follow along with our project on this page!

Thanks to Cedar Coast Field Station and the Ucluelet Aquarium for boat and equipment use.
This project is supported by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust.

To learn more about this project, and other oceanographic monitoring projects in Clayoquot Sound, join us for a public presentation:


Learning from the Pros - June 28th, 2017
We spent our first feild day under the helpful gaze of oceanography expert Dr. Cheryl Greengrove of the University of Washington Tacoma.
Dr. Greengrove and her team offered us sound advice on techniques and field planning, which greatly shaped our project methods. One peice of advice Dr. Greengrove offered was to test as your methods before applying them on a long time scale. On this date, we sampled on both the incoming and outgoing tide to better understand the system we are studying: Lemmen's Inlet near the Tofino harbour.


Out on the water - July & August 2017

Sampling is well under way! We have added additional field days this summer to better refine our methods. It great to have the help of our summer interns! Once the summer is over, we will compare the different conditions and use this information to help select a single, monthly sample day moving forward.


Changing Communities - September 2017

We are noticing the abundance of plankton is dropping as the fall weather sets in.
Here are a few of the species we commonly see:

Noctiluca scintillans - A dinoflagellates responsible for creating the ocean later light up at night (commonly refered to as bioluminesence):

Coscinodiscus spp. (and a water bubble above it) - A beautiful diatom species:

A copepod (zooplankton):