Monday, June 23, 2008

Fish Report 6/23/08

Fish Report 6/23/08
Summer Bass
Flat Ones
Artificial Reef Bashed
Hi All,
If you're the type that likes their sea bassing to include a nervous period when you need to count your fish; make sure you aren't over the 25 fish limit; then  maybe I'll see you in late fall.
If, however, you enjoy a light rail, nice weather, and a mess of cbass for dinner, then come see us!
Ain't red hot cbassin' but seems to be enjoyed by those aboard.
Couple flounder have been caught on purpose too. Just a start to what I hope will be another good year on flounder......
Were we in the wheelhouse having a conversation about the following subject, it wouldn't be wise to have young or tender ears about.
But I'm writing to a broad audience and will be nice.. Still, feel free to add-lib. 
So the _(silly) _(exclamatory)_ (indicating low IQ)_ at Newsweek print an article...
Nicer Capt.
An article in the 6/20 Newsweek digs up the old attraction vs. production debate on artificial reef.
Long since put to bed by science, there are some that can't keep the difference straight between a fish attracting device, FAD,  and an artificial reef, AR.
The FAD being self explanatory, I'll try to help with AR.
The seafloor's natural outcroppings of rock, scoured ancient rocky river bottoms, stones and boulders dropped by glaciers and bergs, all develop a stationary community of life such as hard and soft corals that we call 'reef'.
Artificial Reef simply mimics the rock. It's not hard to do.
Certain species of fish use these reefs to grow to maturity, feed, shelter and spawn. Other species, sharks for instance, only have one thing in mind when they find a reef.
All the life that lives or gets eaten there is natural.
The argument against AR --held tightly, and apparently solely, by Bohnsack for about 30 years-- is that AR simply robs the surrounding natural reefs of fish; concentrating them; making them more susceptible to fishing pressure.
Not inclined to much research, the author of the article asks "Do man-made reefs replenish ecosystems that have been decimated by pollution, overfishing and global warming? Or do they merely lure existing populations away from natural habitats, concentrating them in unnatural ways and making them more vulnerable to overfishing?" She is apparently quite happy with Bohnsack's reply.
Their historic abundance/present day decline well documented; I'll use the oyster reefs of the Chesapeake Bay in way of response.
Yes, man made reef can replenish natural reef destroyed by man.
And no, it is not at all unnatural for fish to look for and utilize a new area in search of better feeding, spawning, or shelter from predation. It's that survival of the fittest thing.
Should a lot of fish congregate rapidly, it's a good sign that all's not well on nearby natural reef.
Since there's less than 1 percent of the Chesapeake's oyster reef left, one might expect fairly rapid use by fish.
Perhaps Bohnsack's right; maybe we should immediately halt AR construction and wait a couple thousand years to see if oyster reefs might regrow.
I'd call that the Bohnsack Plan.
Our recently sited NYCTA subway car reef is mentioned in the article. A slight exaggeration; our 46 cars have multiplied to 600. And, I checked, they are not teeming with fish waiting to be unfairly extracted.
The time-line of 30 years is a very low estimate of the these reef units' reef life. Stainless steel; they will more likely still be functioning as artificial reef for 60 to 100 years. Since they will have become fully encrusted with hard coral before any significant deterioration; their use as reef will almost certainly span centuries as the natural corals will remain.
Wood should last, what, 5 years? Huge timbers 20?
I've filmed wooden artificial reef from the 60's; solid mass of coral...
There's a huge body of science that supports reef development. And then there's a gal at Newsweek that made a few bucks by interviewing the guy that's been trying for decades to bring it down.
Would that I had the time to develop my arguments more fully.
Simply: I say we take our chances and go with the oysters and coral. Fishery management will catch up.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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