Question: Will high turbidity levels affect the babylegs trawl?

stevie is asking a question about water-quality
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by stevie | June 23, 2020 17:37 | #24023

I was wondering if a stream that is filled with a lot of sediment would affect the Babylegs microplastics trawl. Do the tights foul in murky water? Will I be able to monitor for microplastics using this tool in a river like that?


I misread the title as "turbulence" and thought, yeah, perhaps you could add weight to the floats somehow, to stabilize the mouth of the net.

But sediment, or any particles, could eventually clog the mesh, at which point you would begin to capture smaller particles. I observed this with fish, during a master's research project--once the cod end filled, with algae or the sample was more likely to capture smaller fish that would normally pass through the mesh.

so if your sampling protocol involves allowing smaller fish, or particles, to pass, you should sample for a series of shorter runs (.i.e short enough to avoid the clog) until you pass enough volume of water or time to make the samples equivalent to the non-turbid samples.

if you are looking at percentages of plastic / percent type of plastic, i'm not sure if you would have to split runs in order to get a comparable volume.

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