Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Florida Master Naturalist Field Trip to Tigertail Beach

Last Saturday I took my Florida Master Naturalist class to Tigertail Beach on Marco Island. If you have never been to Tigertail, its a must see in Collier County!! Its a great example of how dynamic and diverse coastal environments can be. Its got mangroves, seagrassess, mudflats, coastal strand, dunes, and beaches!We first explored the lagoon by doing a little bird watching. We sawWilson plovers, black skimmers, white ibis, reddish egrets, great egret, snowy egret, laughing gulls, and osprey. Next we did a little  species sampling by pulling seine nets through the seagrass, one of my favorites. We collected pinfish, pipefish, anchovies, scaled sardines, sheepshead minnows, goldspotted killifish, silversides, mojarras, mullet, mosquitofish, longnosed killifish, sailfin mollies, and Gulf killifish. We also collected lots of shriimp and swimming crabs, ceriths, coffebean snails, crown conchs, and lightning whelk.We then headed over to the beach side to seine some more; this time in the surf. I like to have students compare and contrast what we catch in the nets when sampling in different environments. The diversity, as expected was much lower than in the seagrass. We caught whiting, pinfish, mojarra, scalled sardine, silverside, and one tiny mullet!!! After seining the class dug for mole crabs and coquina clams, which neither were in short supply!! It was another great trip. A big thanks for Brooke Carney from Rookery Bay who helped me lead the trip, in addtion to our excellent, knowledgeable, and self-motivated class who made the trip a success as well!!!

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