Tracey Calleen

Abundance, Assemblage, and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton Around the Saco River Plume, Maine

Located in southern Gulf of Maine, the Saco River Estuary System has been recognized as an important nursery area for many fish species. The ecosystem is highly unique due to the shallow freshwater Saco River plume that drastically alters abiotic conditions in Saco Bay. However, the ensuing effects of this plume on biota are not well understood.

The goal of Tracey's research is to better understand how the Saco River plume may be affecting larval fish in Saco Bay. Surface and subsurface plankton tows will be performed in addition to collecting biotic and abiotic data in order to determine how physical and biological factors may be influencing the ichthyoplankton assemblage around the plume. Stationary plankton nets set at different depths within this area may also elucidate the larval fish spatial distribution throughout the water column. Information gained from this study is crucial for understanding this complex ecosystem, and will allow for better management of the area in the future so that it continues to be an important nursery area.

For more information regarding this research, please contact Tracey at