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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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Florida Master Naturalist Field Trip to Tigertail Beach!

Yesterday I took my awesome Florida Master Naturalist Class to Tigertail Lagoon and Beach on Marco Island. I can honestly say it is one of my favorite spots to visit in Collier County. Its a great example of a tidal lagoon ecosystem complete with mangroves, seagrassess, and mudflats. If you are into birding, its a great spot to test your knowledge of shorebirds. I'll have to admit I got stumped on a few yesterday, but some of the birds we saw included: Black bellied plover, dunlin, sanderling, willet, Wilson plover, semi-palmated plover, least or western sandpiper (can't say for sure), laughing gull, osprey, great egret, snowy egret, tri-colored heron, little blue heron, white ibis, great blue heron, and brown pelican.
We did one of my favorite all-time activities....seining! Its such a great way to explore the amazing biodiversity associated with seagrass communities. The water was a little chilly, but we brought in some good hauls. I had the class try to identify some of the fish species using a Seine Net Species ID Sheet I created. I said the group is awesome for a reason- hey knew their fish!!! Some of the critters we caught in the lagoon included:
sheepshead minnow, goldspotted killifish, rainwater killifish, sailfin molly, orange filefish, white grunt, lane snapper, bay anchovy, silverside, mullet, mojarra, pinfish, shrimp, and blue crab.
We then went to the beach side to pull the seine net along the shoreline. Its a great way for students to compare/contrast the diversity from the two communities. Our catch included mojarras, scaled sardine, anchovies, planehead filefish southern puffer, pipefish, and whiting.
Perhaps the catch of the day though came from a student named Kelly who grabbed a gray triggerfish out of the water with her bare hands!!!!!!!!! Very impressive!! Enjoy the pictures (click on them to see them enlarged).

seining in the lagoon

examining part of our catch

Round 2 of seining

Tigertail Lagoon consists mostly of Shoal Grass. Notice the mangroves
lining the edges

Kelly seemed to be quite efficient at finding sea stars
and other marine life!!

seine netting along the shoreline

Kelly's Bare-Handed Grab....Gray Triggerfish!!!

Exploring a tide pool on Tigertail Beach

Tigertail Lagoon at an extremely low tide; notice the shorebirds
feeding along the mudflats

No field trip is complete without a little hike across the lagoon!!

1 comment:

  1. Brian,

    Once again a fantastic article! I will share your Seine Net Species ID Sheet on our Live Bait page under the Seine section. http://www.floridagofishing.com/fishing-live-bait.html

    Liz Lombardi