Aerial and Field SAV Observations

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Lower Choptank River, 9-3-08

September 10th, 2008 by Peter Bergstrom · No Comments

Peter Bergstrom, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (Quad 44)

Laura Murray took me with Karl Blankenship and Deborah Shafer to see one of her research sites in Irish Creek off the lower Choptank.  SAV area in that segment (CHOMH1) peaked in 1997 and 2002 at about 2600-2800 ha and has fallen in recent years to only 400-500 ha (select CHOMH1 at this link), driven mainly by changes in widgeongrass (Rm) area.  Laura’s research with Mike Kemp (partially funded by my office)  has explored increasing species diversity at 3 sites in the lower Choptank by planting redhead grass (Ppf) and sago pondweed (Ppc) in and near widgeongrass beds, using (1) plants generated from rooted plant-sediment turfs, and (2) shoots produced from planted tubers.  The 3 planting sites were Irish Creek, near Hamberton Island, and Broad Creek. Irish Creek had natural Ppc already, so they only planted Ppf there.  They have had some success with planting both species.  

On this visit to Irish Creek, we could only find patchy sago pondweed (Ppc, note bayonet) and a bit of short form widgeongrass (Rm), neither of which were planted, but none of the Ppf they planted there.  See the map.  Secchi depth was mediocre (0.85 m with a milky look) and salinity was 12 ppt with many sea nettles.  We also found some Ppc outside the creek that was also not planted (photo) that had shoots growing along the stem that Laura & Mike have used in planting experiments.

Tags: SAV Observations · SAV Restoration

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