Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Database

Acceptance and utilization of LTER data requires that:

(1) The Principal Investigator be sent a notice stating reasons for acquiring any data and a description of the publication intentions.
(2) The Principal Investigator of the data set be sent a copy of the report or manuscript prior to submission and be adequately cited in any resultant publications.
(3) A copy of any resultant publications should be sent to:

Principal Investigator
Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Dataset URLs:METADATA: HTML, Rich Text, XML(EML compliant)
DATA: Comma Delimited, Excel file with Metadata and data
Dataset ID:HTL-VA-SB2009survey.01
Dataset Title:Counts of tagged striped bass at forty sites throughout Plum Island estuary conducted July-October 2009 using acoustic telemetry.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Martha
Last Name:Mather
Address line 1:Kansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit
Address line 2:Division of Biology
Address line 3:205 Leisure Hall
Zip Code:66506
Associate Investigators:Cristina Kennedy
Keywords:PIE LTER, Plum Island Ecosystems, Massachusetts, Rowley River, Parker River, population dynamics, fish, striped bass, abundance, acoustic telemetry
Abstract:Manual survey data was collected to measure striped bass distribution in Plum Island Estuary during the time period that they are in New England during their summer foraging migration. Acoustic telemetry was used to tag and track individual fish and provide measures of abundance at sample sites distributed throughout the estuary.
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Online URL:
Data File URL
Data File Name HTL-VA-SB2009survey
Beginning Date 7/6/2009
End Date 10/7/2009
Number of Data Records 320
Other Files to Reference
Availability Status Type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description Survey complete for year 2009
Log of Changes: Version 01: March 19, 2013, 2009 data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Research location name and description updated.Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/14/13 12:02 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description Various sites throughout Plum Island Estuary, see data file for specific latitude and longitude information, includes lower reaches of Parker, Rowley and Ipswich Rivers.  
Location Bounding Box    
West Bounding Coordinate -70.84301  
East Bounding Coordinate -70.77318  
North Bounding Coordinate 42.76655  
South Bounding Coordinate 42.69143  
OR if single point location    
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Morone saxatilis
The distribution of 50 striped bass (mean total length = 510 48 mm; range = 403 to 597 mm) was quantified with VEMCO V13-R64k coded acoustic transmitters (frequency of 69 kHz, a ping rate of 60 to180 s, estimated tag life of one year). Striped bass were caught via hook-and-line on June 17-18, 2009 (N = 30) and June 29 (N = 20). Using clove oil as the anesthetic (1.5 L of clove oil/L of water; mean application time = 8.9 min, SE = 1.1 min; Cooke et al. 2004, Pautzke et al. 2010), fish were first weighed (g) and measured (TL, mm). Tags were then surgically implanted (Bridger and Booth 2003) using a sterile scalpel to make a 23-cm incision 2 cm above the ventral midline and approximately 1.5 cm behind the pelvic fin. Through this opening, a transmitter was inserted into the peritoneal cavity and the incision was closed with three stitches using sterile dissolvable sutures (Ethicon Monocryl violet monofilament suture with 3/8 curved cutting needle). After tagging, each striped bass was injected with oxytetracycline (0.1 mg/kg of fish; Liquamycin; Pfizer, New York; Callahan 2009) and placed in a recovery tank filled with ambient temperature estuary water until the fish swam upright (mean recovery time = 21.3 min; SE = 1.2 min). All tagged fish were released upon recovery at the approximate site of capture.

A VEMCO VR100 tracking receiver with a VH-165 omni-directional hydrophone was used to manually survey tagged fish at forty sample sites once a month from July-October, 2009. The sites were chosen to cover all regions and habitats of the estuary. For one week each month (July-October, 2009), with the hydrophone about 0.5 m below the boat, fish detections were recorded for 15 min at each site. All 40 sites were visited on both an ebbing and a flooding tide each month. Sites were divided into five groups and the order of visitation for each group was randomized for each survey. All sites were visited within six days.

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Date Sampling Date   datetime     DD-MON-YYYY    
Time Sampling Time   datetime     HH:MM    
Location Survey location name, arbitrary names for forty sample sites, name has no meaning other than being a particular location   nominal          
Latitude Latitude of survey location degree ratio   real      
Longitude Longitude of survey location degree ratio   real      
Tide Whether the site was sampled on the flood or ebb tide   nominal Ebb = ebbing tide | Flood = flooding tide        
Count Number of individual tagged fish detected during a sample number ratio   whole