Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fish Trapping

With the gauntlet of tires, boards and trash largely eradicated from the marsh, a lot more fish are taking up residence. As a consequence, so are the birds that eat them. This is quantifiable progress for Rocky Point.

But what kind of fish are swimming in the marsh? Intrigued by my fish photos, Steve Finn of the USFWS brought a fish trap with him last week during our Earth Day clean up. After baiting it with clams (leftover striper bait), Brian tossed it out to soak.

An hour later the moment of truth arrived. Tony did the honors.

The trap was a quarter-full.

The verdict? All mummichogs and one four-spine stickleback. The stickles are hard to see out of water.

The fish were duly set free. As the marsh drained it became increasingly fishable for the birds. Two days later, when the water was at it's lowest point (5/3) Tony visited the marsh and saw a great egret feasting on an eel. The life list grows.

photos by Irene Hess and Steve Finn

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