From 2006– 2015, A.I.S. Inc. (AIS) was contracted by multiple companies to complete fishery and water quality field-sampling for the Taunton River Desalination Plant. The plant, located in Dighton, Massachusetts, 14 miles upstream from the mouth of the Taunton River, has the capacity to supply five million gallons of potable water per day.
Biological Science Technicians, with experience working on small boats and knowledge of brackish water fish species, deployed sampling equipment and assisted clients with completion of two main components of the survey. The first included a detailed baseline monitoring program targeting the collection of icthyoplankton and finfish. Under the direction of a field leader, the staff completed in-river work aboard a 19-foot Carolina skiff and water quality and icthyoplankton plankton sampling inside the plant. Typical sampling included the deployment of a plankton trawl, seine, and collection of water quality measurements (turbidity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity, PH) using a YSI meter. Work inside the plant involved icthyoplankton sampling at various locations.
The second component, which ended in 2015, included monitoring water quality parameters in the vicinity of the Desalination Plant during its operation. The AIS technicians completed surveys to estimate the relative abundance of resident and migratory species within the Taunton River, as well as collect and synthesize water quality data using a YSI meter. The techniques used included river icthyoplankton sampling, deploying a plankton net towed by a power boat and finfish sampling conducted using fisheries sampling gear, such as plankton nets, beach seines, gill nets, shrimp trawls and fyke nets.