Another beautiful sunny day in the 80s down at south Reeds Beach, probably one of the last few days like it. So, with the warm sun on our backs we gathered under the tent with our magnifying glasses, Peterson field guides, and sieves to identify and count the critters living in the reef. Among the mud crabs (Panopeus herbstii, Rhithropanopeus harrisii), mud dog whelks (Nassarius obsoletus), and grass shrimp (Palaemonetes vulgaris) we typically find, two species of fish were identified that day, one of which we had yet to see in our reef. One was a juvenile oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau), also known as an oyster cracker. It also seems that the American eel (Anguilla rostrata) is enjoying our reef quite a bit. Shane Godshall, Habitat Restoration Coordinator, got a glimpse of them splashing around the shallow water at the base of the reef.
We are also excited to announce that we saw our first whelk shell connected to another whelk shell by oysters! Our oysters are getting to be a decent size and taking over the whelk shells. As the monitoring season continues and the oysters get bigger, we hope to see more of our shells connecting.