|Serrasalmus rhombeus – Red-eyed piranha. Photo: Jensen Montambault|
"You can use piranha as bait to fish for piranha,"
Ernesto cheerfully explains as he slips a bit of meat – so fresh it's still moving – onto the hook and tosses it into the still lagoon-water.
Almost immediately he has another bite.
We were at Ceiba Lagoon where predators abound. This was the first time we had sampled a body of water that was closed off from the river channel. The forest floor was covered with a thick mat of detritus, indicating that the whole forest was flooded during the time of high water. The trees were filled with black and russet colored hawks and kites. When scientists stepped on a rotting log, clouds of tiny bats billowed up before settling under another log to roost.
The dissolved oxygen in the lagoon was very low, but the water was teeming with life, including two kinds of piranha and many leeches. Not exactly a great vacation spot, but certainly interesting.
PEOPLE: Meet John Sparks, chiclids specialist.
TOOLS: Learn about the reporting tools used to record the team's work.
SPECIES: Not just oceangoers, shrimp are plentiful in the Caura.
ISSUES: Fishing nurseries and commercial fishing.
Later that afternoon, we sampled in the middle of the Río Caura, under the blistering, tropical sun. Two speedboats of California-looking tourists raced by, making a "Hang-Loose" sign to our boat drivers. It's the Discovery Channel gone Bay Watch. Clearly, we were approaching civilization.
AquaRAP team poses for a photo on the Upper Caura.
Photo Credit: Jensen Montambault
— Reported by Jensen Montambault
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