Southern Salish Sea ROV BRUV Exploration

Latest update August 24, 2019 Started on November 1, 2018

Using a BRUV (baited remote underwater video) or OpenROV to explore below normal SCUBA and close to home but never visually explored area (as far as I can find).

November 1, 2018
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In The Field

Out in Case Inlet a little farther west this time in 50m of water. A few different kind of Nudibranchs and eggs seen. Pacific Spiny Dogfish really seem interested in the ROV. Visibility was not great but never is still it's a beautiful place.

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Windy day on Hood Canal so stayed in Triton Cove. The visibility was poor from plankton bloom. But still a lot of things to see. Pacific Spiny Dogfish (S. suckleyi) seem to always be around along with Rockfish, goby, and shiners.

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Went to Triton Cove State Park on Hood Canal to see what the rocky point there had to offer. Very interesting place with lots of new animals to see. Final found an Octopus which I followed for 4min. Nice Spiny Dogfish that I followed too. Impressive fields of Sea Whips in deeper water. All the raw footage is on my YouTube channel as always.

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Trident ROV in Case Inlet again at 73m-50m depth. Large schools of Herring still here and Pacific Spiny Dogfish hunting them. A Nudibranch at 20 sec mark and I believe Nudibranch eggs at 5:30 mark.

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Great footage Robert. I see you operate from a kayak, correct? Do you anchor yourself?
yes I use a kayak and small anchor the current gets up to 1.5 knots. I did try once drifting it works okay but can't stop to look at things so only so useful.
any clump weight on the ROV tether?
no I don't use a weight was considering it might try at some point

Short dive in Hood Canal at north end of Octopus Hole Conservation Area after having problem with one of Trident ROV motors but still got some interesting video. S. suckleyi (pacific spiny Dogfish) in last half of video. They really seem to like the ROV.

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First ROV dive from kayak at Octopus Hole Conservation Area. Very interesting place the most Rockfish and Sea Whips I've found so far. Definitely going to have to make many more dives here to survey whole area.

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Trident ROV with new software in Case Inlet 56-67m (184-220') with white sea pens, sea whips, anemone, herring, Dogfish, and some others. Oh at the end of video a herring becomes lunch for Dogfish.

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Really cool to see the dogfish !

Went to Twanoh State Park on lower Hood Canal with Trident ROV to explore. Some interesting life more and bigger tube worms and a couple of Nudibranch. Short highlight video <3 min.

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Learning dive with Trident ROV in Carr Inlet off Penrose Point State park at 29m (95'). Massive amounts of shrimp out there. Need to plan dive closer to slack tide. This dive was with an incoming tide and after 45 +- minutes of dive found could not maintain any forward movement upon retrieving ROV found the cable had collected about 2 cubic feet of floating kelp with the 2 knot current. So another thing to account for when planning next dive ;)

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Trying out new 100m cable for Trident ROV in Case Inlet.
Trident did hour at 45m-61m (150'-200') no problems. Interesting see more ground then just one spot with BRUV. A list of the observed life and times in Highlight Video. *Geoduck (Panopea abrupta) 0:04 *Frosted Nudibranch (Dirona albolineata) 0:26 *Pink Tritonia (Tritonia diomedea) 1:05 *Staghorn Sculpin (Leptocottus armatus) 1:41 *Giant Sea Cucumber (Parastichopus californicus) 2:10 *Blackberry Eelpout (Lycodopsis pacifica) 2:17 *Pink Tritonia (Tritonia diomedea) 2:30 *Giant Plumose Anemone (Metridium farcimen) 2:57 *Tube-Dwelling Anemone (Pachycerianthus fimbriatus) 3:28 *White Sea Pen (Virularia sp.) 3:36 *Great Sculpin (Myoxocephalus polyacanthocephalus) 3:43 *Tubeworm?? 5:09 *Shrimp?? 5:44 *Slime-Tube Feather-Duster (Myxicola infundibulum) 6:04 *Snake Prickleback (Lumpenus sagitta) 6:11 *Graceful Crab (Cancer gracilis) 6:21 Full Raw Videos are on YouTube.

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Another short test in Hood Canal from shore at low tide. Giant Sea Cucumbers, Pile Perch, Plumose Anemone, Starfish, and some tiny fish if you look close. My driving skills still need to improve at the end I clogged up the props with seaweed and had to pull it back in. Side note have ordered 100m cable so more fun to come.

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Trident ROV did another learning test dive off the Allyn City Pier. It's only 4-5m deep but nice place to practice also some nice Giant Plumose Anemones. Thanks again to SoFar NatGeo OpenExlorer SEE initiative.

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Quick update received Trident ROV yesterday from SEE so big thanks to Sofar and OpenExplorer. Hopefully will get so great shoots with it. Short dive off dock at Penrose Point State Park. First impression boy is this fast and I need practice flying this ;)

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I went to Potlatch State Park on 3/23/19 to drop BRUV at southwest corner of Hood Canal.
Visibility still not great at 52m (171') was not helped with Spiny Dogfish stirring up the mud more. Also visited by Prawns, Crabs, and a lot of Shiner Perch. Full CTD.csv available on my google drive. All raw video segments 1-13 on YouTube.

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After a month of bad weather final did another BRUV drop in Case Inlet at 64.5m off of Joemma Beach State Park.

A few new wrinkles for unknown reason BRUV stopped recording after 3 hours I'll have to investigate see if I can determine the cause. It also looks like the Harbor Seals in Case Inlet have figured out the BRUV's lights attract fish they like. The visibility wasn't good to start but seals flying by makes it much worse.

Full CDT.csv available on Google Drive. All raw Video files are on YouTube.

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Drop BRUV in Dabob Bay on Hood Canal at 189m (620') on 1/26/19 for 4 hours. Spotted Ratfish, Rockfish, Spiny Dogfish, Pacific Cod, Pacific Prawn, Tanner Crab(?), and Harbor Seal came to visit the BRUV. Highlight video is almost 11 min. Full CTD.csv file. Raw video file 1 of 16.

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Case Inlet 01/14/19 @ 74m (242') visibility not great today (above and below).The Highlight video below has Cod, Sculpin, Crabs, Surfperch, and a Harbor Seal. There is a Second Highlight video that's composed of 75 minutes of raw video played at 20x speed to watch the fish and crabs interact. The Harbor Seal floated about 10'-15' behind Me watching Me pull up the BRUV. It follows behind me most times I go out in Case Inlet always entertaining watching it watch Me. The full CTD.csv here as always and the 1st of 14 Raw Video files. Weather forecast doesn't look to be as kind next week or so but more when possible.

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Hood Canal just south of Eagle Creek @ 111m (364'). Prawn, Sole, Arrow worms, and lots of Plankton coming to visit BRUV. Impressive clouds of plankton with many different kinds drifted by. First of eleven raw video files here. The complete CTD.csv here.

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Case Inlet by Joemma Beach State Park in shallow water (4.7m-3.1m). 3+ hour drop. Video below is first 90min at 20x to see all the snails and crab movement. Here is 2nd half of drop at 20x, Raw video 1 of 13 here, and

Full CTD.csv file here.

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2nd update from drop in Case Inlet on January 5th. This video is 90 min of footage at 20x to see all the action. It's from #6-#11 of the raw videos.

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Case Inlet BRUV drop at 62m (203'). Water clarity is down from last week. BRUV's bar that holds bait box fell on a Bay Goby's burrow (sorry). Large number of Staghorn Sculpin (some large ones) and Dungeness Crabs coming for the Herring bait. The first squid came 2+ hrs in. There is 3+ hrs of raw video with first segment here. The raw CTD.csv file here. Another update coming soon with 90min. of video sped up 20x to make it more easily viewable.

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Case Inlet deployment at just under 50m (163') for 2 1/2 hrs on last day of the year.
A few interesting things in this observation. The number of white sea pens, how fast they can withdraw, and how few are still out by end of video after being bothered by the crabs. The plankton seem to be gone? Surf perch are eating herring bait instead of feeding on plankton that have come to the lights on all previous drops in Case Inlet. Finally there is a feisty little crab trying to keep his place on the bait against a crab at least 4 times its size. To see raw videos 1st of 11 Link to the CTD.csv file Unfortunately broke a wire on my BRUV when going to charge batteries. Weather doesn't look good for a while anyway so time to fix. I'm working on next version of my BRUV that should fix this from happening again. fingers crossed.

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Returned to close to same place in Hood Canal north of Eagle Creek. Ended up a little north of last drop (current and wind). Deployment only lasted 2 hours since weather was deteriorating. BRUV reading a depth 142M, temp 10.4C, and salt 27.7PSU. Observed Spotted Ratfish, Juvenal Octopus, Arrow worms, Isopod, Shrimp, and Squat lobster in the 5 minute highlight video below. 1st video segment of 8 segments. Full CTD.csv file.

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Dropped BRUV north of Eagle Creek in Hood Canal. Chart says depth 106m (348') but BRUV says 150m (492') and I agree with BRUV put out all line on my 152m (500') reel. Unfortunately connector between 2 reels line got caught on buoy and I think made BRUV fall over. BRUV on it's side looking up did get some interesting video of Comb Jellies, Plankton, Arrow worms, and some fish. Will do another drop at same place hopefully without falling over again. Highlight video 12:43 from 3+ hrs of video. Link to 1st of 13 raw videos on YouTube. Full CTD.csv available.

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Dropped BRUV in Case Inlet Nov 18 at 53m. This is shallow point between two holes down the channel in Case Inlet. First sighting of a Skate with the BRUV. the 3:24 highlight video from 2 1/2 hrs raw video. 1st raw clip of 11. the raw CTD available.

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Really cool ! Have you thought about adding a hydrophone to your BRUV ? This would be very neat !

I've been looking into adding one. I agree it would be cool.

Neat! It looks like sea pens or tunicates perhaps? And some very territorial, hungry fish! I hope to see more!

BRUV deployment in Hood Canal at Eagle Creek.
47 28' 30"N 123 4' 27.5"W @ 161m on 11/06/18 embedded video is highlights with Spotted Ratfish, Spiny Dogfish, and Arrow worms. Raw CTD.csv file There are 9 segments of raw video 2+hrs on YouTube. Segment #1


Chimera! Very strange and oddly beautiful fish.


As you can see from the background post this has been in prep for a couple of years but now I've gotten my camera working to point I need to organize and focus my videos. I am still improving my camera setup. Hopefully adding sound and multiple views soon.

Expedition Background

I've spent the last 2 years developing my DIY BRUV with a CTD (CTD gives salinity, temperature, and depth readings). I'll be starting in Case Inlet and Hood Canal doing 2-3 hour videos in new locations and a couple reoccurring (looking at change). Example video from Oct 17th in Hood Canal at 161m (528') of Spiny Dogfish All the raw videos and a high light video will be uploaded to YouTube. A CTD.csv file will also be available to download. 1-2 drops a month (depending on weather) is the plan.


I am thinking of adding bait to my hydrophone array. Is there a bait you would recommend based on your experience ? I'll be deploying on the BC side of the Salish Sea.

Herring brings most verity and enthusiasm for sure have tried multiple types of cat foods brings some fish but don’t stay around but much easier to handle

Nice Project, excellent videos !

Nice Project, excellent videos. Could you include some details of your DIY BRUV?

Yeah I was planning on doing a post on new version I'm working on fixing something and improving others. current version on hackadayio. I'll update it there and here when I finish new version.

Thanks! really cool. Congratulations !

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