The “At the Jetty” exhibit spotlights survival issues of coho and chinook salmon, explaining their life cycle and their tremendous journey from streams to the ocean and back again. Extending into the Aquarium’s courtyard with a large wall-to-wall viewing window, the 35,000-gallon exhibit is one of the Aquarium’s larger indoor displays.
Made up of impressive basalt boulders, the exhibit replicates the habitat of the Yaquina Bay jetties, between which salmon must pass on their annual migrations. Large white sturgeons are also featured. Considered ancient fish, sturgeons have been around for some 200 million years. They can live as long as 100 years and can reach lengths of 20 feet. Aquarium visitors enjoy watching these gentle giants poke around the sandy bottom in search of food. The “At the Jetty” exhibit was made possible through the generous support of Spirit Mountain Community Fund and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde.
Coastal Waters also houses a moon jelly exhibit, which occupies an acrylic cylinder eight feet in diameter. The jellies are consistently named by visitors as one of the most popular animals at the Aquarium. A second jelly exhibit in this gallery features sea nettles. Other highlights include a 5,000-gallon kelp forest harboring offshore fishes and invertebrates and a 9,100-gallon coastal reef exhibit. The gallery holds a total of 16 exhibits.
The Blacksmith is a small, thick-bodied fish common to the Eastern Pacific, especially off the coast of California. Blacksmiths can be identified by their blue-black bodies with black dots that run toward the forked tail.
The morays comprise about 120 species, all living in the tropical and subtropical seas. They usually grow to be about three feet long, with the largest moray (which is also the largest eel) reaching about 10 feet in length.
The Leaf Barnacle is identifiable from other members of its species because the capitulum (top of the stalk) is covered with at least five cream-colored plates and surrounded by several whorls of overlapping scales.
Leather stars usually have five wide arms surrounding a large, high disc. Their upper surface is blue-gray, mottled with red and orange. The star’s texture is smooth and slippery to the touch, somewhat like wet leather.
Perhaps one of the most popular habitats in the gallery, the large Sea Nettle jellyfish seem to have the ability to hypnotize us with their rhythmic undulations and the graceful spread of their lacy tentacles.
Senoritas are beautiful, cigar-shaped fish common offshore to California. Although they do not occur in Oregon waters, they can be seen in the California Kelp Forest exhibit in our Coastal Waters gallery.
There are thousands of shrimp species worldwide. Most of them are marine and live close to the bottom or swim in midwater regions of the ocean. Some species live in estuaries, rivers and lakes. None are found on land.