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Ghost shrimp has scientists’ attention

Posted: Friday, May 31st, 2013

Waldport’s Larry Larson and Tim Caldwell (far right) prepare to motor out to sand spits in Alsea Bay to harvest the prized ghost shrimp (inset), which surface and are then netted when sand is removed by a pump. OSU scientists have discovered a decline in the crustacean’s population in the estuary, but not to an alarming degree. (Photos by Dennis Anstine)

There has been concern that the mortality rate of millions of ghost “sand” shrimp living in the Alsea Bay estuary is increasing, which could threaten a fishery that provides bait for catching salmon, steelhead, perch and sturgeon.

Scientists estimate that there has been a 20-percent decline of the approximately 20 million sand shrimp living in the bay, a population that has been estimated to be as much as 90 percent of all of the tiny crustaceans found in Oregon’s many bays.

According to John Chapman, a professor of fisheries and wildlife at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, surveys have revealed a decline but not an exact cause or causes.

For the complete article see the 05-31-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-31-2013 paper.

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