Species Survey and Water Quality Monitoring of the Gulf River Estuary, Spring
and Summer 2013
Center for Student Coastal Research (CSCR), Cohasset, MA
Christine Guinee, Ann M. Thomae,
Ph.D, John C. Buckley, Jr.
-To identify anadromous fish in the Gulf River estuary
-To conduct essential water quality
monitoring using CSCR’s state-approved QAPP
Results: Few or no anadromous
fish were counted at the old herring run fish ladder located at Hunters Pond at
the freshwater upper reaches of the Gulf River.
The site closest to the mouth of the river reveals the most diverse
nekton. Species such as winter flounder,
sea star, and hermit crab were documented exclusively at the mouth. Significant populations of Atlantic silverside
fish and shrimp were found at all sites.
Mud snails, green crabs and mummichugs were detected at the mouth and
the other saline site, but generally not found at the more freshwater site.
Interestingly, the four and nine spine stickleback fish were predominantly
detected at the freshwater site. The
saline sites show low, healthy levels of enterococci bacteria except following
high rainfall events. However, bacteria
levels are consistently above safe levels at Hunters Pond, the more freshwater
location of the old herring run.
Physical and chemical water quality data were within normal ranges. Conductivity, salinity and pH data are
consistent with saline versus freshwater regions of the estuary. The more freshwater site has the lowest chl-a
Key Words: Gulf River Estuary, nekton, water quality
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