A group of enthusiastic light trap volunteers go through their sample on the Miners Bay dock.

New Addition to Miners Bay

If you’ve been to the Miners Bay dock in the past couple of weeks, you might have noticed something new in the water. Our light trap has been deployed and will stay floating beside the dock until this September. Not to be confused with a regular crab trap, this light trap fishes for the young, nearly microscopic stages of a Dungeness crab’s life cycle, and pulls up some other really interesting ocean creatures along the way!

How Does the Trap Work?

Light trap out of the water.

The trap is a homemade contraption that consists of a float, a water jug fitted with funnels, and a sample collection compartment. There’s a light inside with a timer signalling the light to turn on when the sun sets and off when it rises. Many larval stages of fish and invertebrates are attracted to light, and they can fit through the funnels and get caught in the trap.

Although it’s still too early in the season for Dungeness larvae, we have been catching marine worms, juvenile fish, krill, and black claw crab larvae, among other things. Once we’ve searched through the sample to count the Dungeness larvae, we put all the living creatures back into the water. We’re looking forward to seeing our first Dungeness later in the season!

Marine worms and all sorts of other creatures are attracted to the light in our trap.

Want to Learn More?

For more information on why we’re interested in Dungeness crab populations and distributions, visit our article about this project. Partnering with the Hakai Institute’s Sentinels of Change Project allows us to contribute to a larger network of research happening throughout the Salish Sea!

If you’d like to see the trap in action, feel free to wander down to the dock around 9 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, when our volunteers will be pulling up the trap.

Coordinators from the Hakai Institute testing out the light trap.

Volunteers Make the World Go Round

We couldn’t be doing this project without our dedicated volunteers. The enthusiasm they’ve shown for marine conservation and citizen science is truly inspiring! Thank you to everyone who is participating in the monitoring, we’re looking forward to seeing what we pull up together this summer. Want to get involved? Click here to register, or email our Stewardship Coordinator Katie (katie@mayneconservancy.ca).

Volunteers will be checking the light trap throughout the summer.


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