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Things have tamed down a little bit here at the Klamath Field Office. Most of the projects that usually take place during the season, aren’t, so Jeff and I have been delving into some new projects of our own.

One such project that I’ve started working on involves taking x-rays of sucker fish and categorizing them by number of vertebrates. Eventually, the x-rays that I’ve saved will be used in morphometric analysis in order to see the shapes of specific types of species of sucker fish! How cool!

Another project involves taking juvenile sucker fish to some designated ponds and performing an experiment to see what results in the highest levels of survival. We designed four floating cages with three smaller cages inside each of those. The cages will float at the surface of the water and the fish will be placed inside. Each of the smaller cages will provide a controlled environment where we can manipulate what is taking place inside. We are thinking we will have our control (nothing in the cage), a cage with vegetation, and a cage with only silt on the bottom. We are really looking forward to getting this project rolling!

From these same ponds, we have been collecting water samples and observing zooplankton under microscopes. We have looked at a LOT. OF. ZOOPLANKTON. They are incredibly interesting, though, and really get the wheels turning about how often you forget about this magical microscopic world that is happening all around you all of the time (and also of all of the strange creatures that swim in the water with you).

Yesterday, Jeff and I went electro-fishing at Gerber Reservoir in Northern California and it was my first time! We didn’t get any suckers, but we got a few minnows. It was great practice for future electro-fishing. We also came across some petroglyphs and got to do some hiking along a stream making observations and twiddling away in our notebooks.

All work and no play makes Marissa a dull girl.

Other than work shenanigans, life in Oregon has been pretty spectacular! I’ve been trying to explore as much as possible! Jeff and I just got some piercings, too (his ear lobe and my nose)! Klamath Falls is a fun city with a great night life and a lot of recreational activities in the area. I couldn’t ask for anything more 🙂

Marissa – Klamath Falls, OR – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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