Barbless Circle Hook News Barbless Circle Hook News

Moanalua Summer Fisheries Course - Blaisdell Pond Project

June 20, 2013

The annual Moanalua High School Summer Fisheries Course is in full swing. This year their hands-on summer project was a baseline study of the Blaisdell ponds at the Neil Blaisdell Center. The students were given the tasks of conducting basic water sampling and testing, identification of the algae and fish, tag and release of the resident uluas, and collection of baseline information from the tagging activity. The entire project tested their collective abilities to understand, plan, and successfully execute a scientific study. The final product was a report that analyzed and summarized the collected data.

As part of the study, the students participated in the assessment of the fish population in one of the ponds. Kawamoto was the fish ID advisor and tagging participant on the project. The students used a short seine net to round up the fish in the mauka diamond head pond for a fish ID, measurement, and count. They also participated in surrounding the uluas in the main big fish pond then scooping, tagging, and releasing them. Most of the large jacks were tagged and released with a few that were allowed to remain untagged as the control group. Lengths, weights, and tag numbers were recorded by the students. The tagged fish were then monitored on a regular basis to document the post-tagging recovery. Thus far all of the tagged uluas have healed up nicely. Observations on tag loss, algae coverage on the tags, tagged fish recovery times, and potential post tagging problems affecting the fish will help direct future tagging projects. This project represented a great monitoring opportunity as most fish are tagged and released, never to be seen again.