The 2016 Field Season Begins!

After weeks of preparation, the last Friday of April saw two vessels worth of food, equipment, and field crews depart the Queen Charlotte docks bound for Limestone Island and the beginning of the 27th field season for the Laskeek Bay Conservation Society (LBCS). Leading the charge was Captain Jeremie Hyatt, whose sailboat Kode Isle brought volunteer crew member Ryan and Limestone volunteers David, Reina, and Avasouth to Laskeek Bay, mostly under sail. LBCS staff Viv and James departed shortly afterwards in the ELI skiff, and both vessels enjoyed smooth seas and a light northerly wind for the remainder of the voyage. The sunshine and favourable conditions would stick around long enough for the boats to unload and most of camp to be set, but it was not to last. Jeremie and Ryan were set to depart early the next morning, but the rising south-easterlies kept the Kode Isle at anchor and for the time being there were two extra bodies to assist with camp setup. 

Ancient Murrelets

The field season this year began earlier than most and extra time was allowed for camp setup. Within a couple of days of arrival, preparation for the first of the major projects had begun: monitoring of Ancient Murrelet chicks. These seabirds lay their eggs in underground burrows, and within days of hatching the chicks wander through the nighttime forest and out to sea where they will spend the coming months learning to feed and survive with their parents. To monitor the numbers and sizes of chicks, a system of short plastic fences is set up to funnel the chicks into central locations – counting stations – and then they are off to sea.