Come see our new display aquaria!

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Our new public display aquariums are up and running and getting rave reviews! By showcasing the diversity of marine life that is found in Baynes Sound right on our door step, we believe that we can help build awareness and in turn support for the local marine ecosystem.   Thanks to the generosity of a significant anonymous donor as well other community donors and after a year of planning, research, construction and generous advice from institutions such as the Vancouver Aquarium, Shaw Discovery Centre and Ucluelet Aquarium (thanks all!), our new aquariums are installed, running and getting stocked.  We’re pretty excited, distracted by them too and hope you’ll come and see for yourself.

more photos after the jump.

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Our right hand aquarium is meant to represent “hard bottom” habitats such as would be seem off  Denman Island or in particular Chrome Island, the iconic lighthouse island that marks the southern entrance to the Sound.  Artificial sandstone was specially sculpted by artist Peter Hiess for this tank based on the outcrops at Chrome Island.

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Our left hand tank is meant to represent”soft bottom” habitats such is found throughout much of the sound including around much of the local shellfish farms.  This includes sand and eelgrass habitats which many believe are not as interesting as rocky reefs,  we beg to differ.

We still have our touch tanks up and running and we’ve been expanding them as well!  See our website for information about general admissions here

We have some very cool local species and we’ve been doing some portrait photography of some of the critters that we are looking after now here is just a few:

Grunt Sculpin

Grunt sculpin Rhamphocottus richardsonii our hands down favourite  🙂 both in its seemingly ridiculousness of shape, but entertaining character and surprising voraciousness for its size and clown like appearance.

Puget Sound King Crab

Like a walking tank and the star of our hard bottom tank a relatively small but very impressive Puget Sound King Crab (Lopholithodes mandtii)

Rose Star

Rose star (Crassoster papposus)

Cushion Star

Cushion star (Pteraster tessalatus) and a beautiful chiton (Tonicella lineata)

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Rhinoceros Crab

Our very shy Rhinoceros crab (Rhinolithodes wosnessenskii) – usually hiding in the soft bottom habitat.

Feather Star

Feather stars (Florometra serratissima). crinoids or highly modified brittle stars (related to sea stars) in our rock habitat.   Special to us because fossil crinoids are found in the caves at Horne Lake.

Bay Pipefish

A school of Bay Pipefish (Syngnathus leptorhyncus) hiding out in the eelgrass are pretty cool. These are a close relative of seahorses and like the seahorse the males carry the eggs until they hatch.

Vermillion Star

Vermillion Stars..

Hermit Crab

Fun hermit crabs!

Spot Prawn

Spot Prawns…

Green Sea Urchin

Green sea urchins….

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