Part of the Southeast Aquatic Resources Conservation Science and Practice Webinar Series, sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region
Sound sheds light: How side scan sonar helps advance the aquatic conservation mission
Wednesday, December 14, 10:00 am ET
With access to low-cost, side imaging sonar and the development of tools and techniques for processing and analyzing data within a GIS framework, the opportunity to investigate and develop applications that address pressing conservation needs in navigable aquatic systems has never been greater. Across the Florida Panhandle the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the use of side scan sonar to detect and enumerate large sturgeons as an alternative approach for monitoring long-term trends in abundance as the species recovers. Within a meandering portion of the Apalachicola River, we have demonstrated the use of this technology to define suitable mussel habitat and assess changes in habitat over time, and have used easily derived habitat metrics to model the distribution and abundance of an endangered species of mussel. In these cases, side scan sonar provided highly detailed, meso-scale level information about the subsurface environment; such information is critical to advancing our aquatic conservation mission in the 21st century.
Adam Kaeser* (USFWS – Panama City, FL), Frank Parauka (USFWS, retired), Reuben Smit (Auburn University)