On Wednesday, while eagerly awaiting the arrival of Alaskan sea stars, Kalia tagged along with the Hairston lab’s final lake sampling trip of the season. Cayuga Lake is midway through a prolific fall diatom bloom, the water a dark green color. Due to windy conditions, Lindsay focused on keeping the whaler stable while we dropped vertical plankton tows, sechhi disks, depth-integrated samplers and other sensors. Finally we dropped a sediment grab to collect live Diporeia. The grab (ponar) acts as a claw, held open by a pin that disengages when the device hits the bottom of the lake. Upon release, the ponar fires, scooping out a chunk of silt and recalcitrant material – and crustaceans. Pulling up a grab full of sediment without a winch is a workout, but it was well worth it: we came back to the lab with over 60 live Diporeia, a few carboys of lake water, and one happy TAV member.
Next steps? Challenge Diporeia with a mixed viral inoculate, check out their lipid content, and procrastinate by watching them ride the aquarium’s bubbler like an amusement park Ferris Wheel.
Thanks Nelson and Lindsay!