Sunday, June 12, 2016

Newport Estuary

Out by the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center is the estuary of Yaquina Bay.  A few years ago, we attended Hatfield's homeschool day, which was not our cup of tea at all except for the first activity.  They sent the kids out to the estuary with clam guns to see what they could find in the sand. Since then, we've been back on our own to do it ourselves. This is a really fun activity and reveals a vast, hidden world beneath the surface, teeming with marine worms, clams and lots and lots of bay ghost shrimp. The male shrimp have one oversized claw, and the females often have hundreds of tiny eggs clinging to their bellies. They do all possible to burrow back in the sand as quickly as they can, and we do our best to guard them from hungry seagulls until they succeed.  Clam guns are cheap and can be found online or sometimes for sale in coastal grocery stores.

Female bay ghost shrimp with eggs.

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