A USCB research team is monitoring fish spawning activity via underwater hydrophones thanks to a grant from LCI.
In April 2016, Dr. Eric Montie (biology professor at USCB) and his students began a fish research project thanks to a grant from the LCI. The research team has been maintaining underwater hydrophones deployed in two locations in Chechessee Creek and one in the Great Salt Pond on Spring Island. Monthly recordings are downloaded from the hydrophones and analyzed for fish spawning calls, which can be recognized by species based on the sonography patterns. They are also seining (netting a section of creek) in these areas bimonthly to document the kinds and abundance of larval fish found in the areas near each hydrophone. These data will allow Dr. Montie to evaluate the significance of each of these three areas as spawning/breeding habitat for important sportfish as well as compare fish activity in the Chechessee area to the May River where he has done previous studies.
Long-term acoustic monitoring o fish calling provides baseline estimates of reproductive time-lines in the May River estuary, southeastern USA (Monczak et al. 2017, Marine Ecology Progress Series)