“I was the First to Discover Megalopae in our Light Trap!”: #3

by Nina Dobbin

Nina Dobbin – first to observe Megalopae!

I usually check the trap at Heather Marina with my family and other volunteers, but on this Friday the day got hectic and it ended up being just me there on my own. I had checked the trap enough times that I felt pretty confident that I could do it.

I pulled the trap out of the water slowly and maneuvered it onto the dock. When I first emptied the trap into the bin I noticed just one pipe fish and another small fish. It looked like another standard catch. I rinsed out the trap with some more seawater and poured that into the bin too. 

That’s when something caught my eye, something that looked different from all the other times I had checked the trap. There were two creatures moving around, with faintly visible legs, a triangular dark body, and black eyes on either side of the head. I remember in the training session I did with Matt Whalen, he assured us that Dungeness Megalope look distinctive and that we would be able to identify them when we see them.

Could these be them? My heart sped up a bit. 

I searched the supply container for a picture to compare to, and confirmed that these look right. I captured a pile of pictures to share. As I continued the rest of the process, documenting everything in the app and changing out the battery, I kept pausing to watch them again, wondering how these tiny creatures could have possibly found their way into our trap. It seemed so unlikely but yet here they were. 

First Megalopae observed at Heather Civic Marina!

I joined this project on a whim after seeing it mentioned in the Between the Bridges newsletter. I enjoy being involved in my community and strive to be connected to the land and sea around me. 

I have found it so rewarding to be involved in a small way in this project, and getting to discover these first dungeness megalope was such a special experience. 

Nina Dobbin, False Creek Friends Volunteer