23 June 2009

East Coast Lagoon is alive!

Located in a heavily used park, next to a large hawker centre, a major highway, opposite the Marine Parade estate, AND currently used for wake-boarding, it is hard to imagine any kind of life in the Lagoon.
But Kok Sheng discovered seagrasses there during his earlier recce of the area! We had a closer look at it today.

There is a surprisingly large expanse of lush Needle seagrasses (Halodule sp.) in the Lagoon! Many patches were seen near the edges where the water was low and clear. A closer look showed most had the typical 'bat ear' tip so they are probably all Halodule uninervis. This seagrass is a pioneer and among the first to settle on sand bars, so it's great to see them in this man-made lagoon.
And among the seagrasses were all kinds of large fishes!
There were several of these Shadow gobies (Acentrogobius nebulosus). They were about 10cm long, the largest Shadow gobies I've ever seen! (Although it seems these fishes can grow to 18cm ... wow!)
There were also several filefishes, including this very handsome Fan-bellied filefish (Monacanthus chinesis), clearly showing its fan-shaped fin on its belly.
Much of the pool was filled with scummy furry green stuff which might be some kind of green seaweed or cyanobacteria. But these didn't seem to bother the fishes much. In fact, many fishes seemed to be foraging among the clouds of scum.
These yellow fishes with bands could be damselfishes, possibly Bengal sergeants (Abudefduf bengalensis).The concrete sides of the lagoon were encrusted with empty shells of dead oysters, as well as other encrusting lifeforms, some of which were still alive. Among them were hordes of busy sea slaters (Ligia sp.).
The abundance of happy fishes and marine life in the Lagoon is quite surprising given the splashing and stirring up that must go on when wakeboarding takes place.

But the place is quite tranquil when these activities are not happening.
As Kok Sheng mentioned, it seems a nice place to bring a family to fishwatch and give an easy introduction to our marine life.

We were really tired by the time we got to the Lagoon, so we didn't explore it thoroughly. Must come back again another time!

2 comments:

  1. The yellow fish with bands are green chromide (Etroplus suratensis), a brackish-water cichlid native to southern India and Sri Lanka. This introduced species has become established in mangroves and many estuarine habitats in Singapore, and was brought here as part of the aquarium trade.

    http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=4681

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  2. Thanks Ivan! Those fishes sure looked happy in the lagoon.

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