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Epibenthic Invertebrate Sampling

Small macro- and meiofauna called epibenthic invertebrates live on the substrate of the intertidal zone and make up an important component of juvenile salmon diets. Samples were collected to characterize and quantify the species and abundance of these organisms during juvenile salmon outmigration (April through July) in 2008 and 2009.

An epibenthic pump (14.8 cm diameter, 150-um mesh size) was used to collect mobile macro- and meiofaunal invertebrates from the surface of habitat test panels.  The pump works by vacuuming invertebrates inside a cylinder of known volume from the surface layer of submerged substrate. 
Stratified random sampling was performed on the lower elevation (approximately 0’ to 2.5’ MLLW) of each habitat test panel. Epibenthic pump composite samples were collected to characterize species assemblage and density on both vertical and sloped surfaces.  To minimize microhabitat variability, vertical and sloped strata were sampled separately.