Rookery Bay Reserve’s water quality monitoring program manages seven sample sites across the Ten Thousand Islands. When we pull up our data logging equipment, called datasondes, we usually find small critters like porcelain crabs and grass shrimp using the equipment and tubes as their homes. But Nick and I never expected something as big and cool as what we saw in the tube at our Fakahatchee Bay site last week.
Goliath groupers, which can grow to be the size of a small car, and stone crabs, an extremely valuable commercial species, use estuaries in the reserve as nurseries and apparently appreciated this tube as a micro-habitat. Not sure how the grouper got in that small tube, but we were glad to get it out!
Julie Drevenkar, Water Quality Program Coordinator