Rutgers University Marine Field Station

The Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) is a field facility of the Rutgers University Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences (DMCS). It is a working lab with on-going graduate and postdoctoral level research occurring year-round. RUMFS is uniquely situated, across from the Little Egg Inlet in the Mullica River-Great Bay estuary: one of the most pristine estuaries on the east coast. Please use the links above to learn more about the facilities and research here at RUMFS!

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>> Visiting scientists looking to conduct short-term research at RUMFS during 2017 may apply for a Visiting Scientist Award. <<


Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see all of our videos! The most recent uploads are here: Check out some of our field work from last summer! This video was created by a former intern and current technician, TJ Johnson, to supplement his poster presentation at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Chapter meeting of the American Fisheries Society.

Using a GoPro camera underwater, we filmed a cooperating commercial scallop dredger in action during normal scallop fishing and introduced pauses to some (but not all) of the haulbacks to see whether flatfishes (which are often caught in commercial scallop dredges) would wriggle free while still underwater. This work was funded by a grant to Drs. Grothues and Bochenek from the NOAA/NMFS Scallop Research Set-Aside program. Check out the video on YouTube to read the full description and get more info on the importance of this research!


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The major goal of RUMFS, and the parent institution, the Rutgers University Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences (DMCS), is to create a corridor for research, from the upper reaches of the Mullica River drainage basin, down through the Great Bay estuary, to the inner continental shelf.

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Much of the current activity by resident scientists at RUMFS is focused on the life history and ecology of fishes, with special emphasis on the role of habitat as it affects recruitment success for the dominant species in the estuary and on the continental shelf. Much of the emphasis is on the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JCNERR) at Mullica River-Great Bay.

In order to improve our ability to manage fish resources in the Middle Atlantic Bight, it is necessary to enhance our understanding of the life history of fishes. We aim to do this through the following objectives:

Using the relatively unimpacted JCNERR as a baseline,

  • Continue long-term monitoring of larval and juvenile fish abundance and assemblage structure (Some projects currently on-going for 26 years)
  • Make functional comparisons to other, more impacted estuaries
  • Evaluate effectiveness of large-scale marsh restoration by determining fish response

Enhance understanding of the life history of fishes, with emphasis on fish habitat ecology

  • Examine recruitment of estuarine fishes based on the relationship between larval supply and abundance of settled individuals
  • Develop techniques and data to determine habitat quality for fishes in the estuary and on the continental shelf including submarine canyons
  • Determine relationship between fishes and their habitats using various equipment (towed camera sleds, fixed underwater cameras, autonomous underwater vehicles, submersibles, etc.)
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