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Fish Report 5/21/07

Sea Bass are...

Hi All,

RED HOT! - No they aren't. Pretty good though.

Seeing a few limits most days; at least on the days we can get out. Windy. Pain in the neck windy. Every time the NE howls the water temp dips. Have yet to see 60 degrees.

Saw 58 for the first time today - it's heading there.

Sea bass have been cooperative - a steady bite. That is until the dogfish show. Then they shut down ~ we pull anchors and try another spot...

Works.

Thursday last week I thought the weather was going to be pretty dicey and called all my reservations - told 'em odds were so-so that we'd get out. Lots of cancellations. It was fine. Not calm, but OK.

The cbass did their thing and, since the water temp had really dipped ~52.5~ I thought I'd try a crab. Sweet. Scarcely hit bottom. 60 tags and 4 tag returns later...

One lady that's been fishing with me long as I can remember - and she was fishing a handful of years before I ever wet a line - had an 11 pound tagged tog. We put a fresh tag in it and let it go again. She also had a double with one of 'em tagged. Released them too.

Another fellow on his first trip with me caught a 14 1/4 pound tog. Guy asked if it was a female -Yup - "Put 'er back!"

Good stuff.

Everyone had plenty of sea bass - didn't hurt a thing to put back.

Summer tog limit now in effect ~ 3 fish @ 16 inches, only 1 can be female over 20 inches.

With the federally mandated reduction in tautog landings looming, it might be a long time before we ever see a 5 fish limit again. That's OK. A decade, maybe less -- if we do it right there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that there are more tog than ever before. At least off our coast.

Friday's forecast was dicey too but I though doable. Came NE 30. Never left the dock.

Fishing's a grand life - always eating fish or crow...

If you're looking for a slam-dunk 25 fish cbass limit, I think it's going to happen. Just don't know when!

I bought a book a few years back, Effects of Pollution on Fish, Molecular Effects and Population Responses. Try as I might, I couldn't wade through the first paragraph - not even the first sentence!

I gave it to friend and customer, Willie, who is a cell biologist. Hah! Gave him a fit too...

But he was able to wade through it and sent me a grossly dumbed-down synopsis that I've included below.

The authors maintain that cumulative chemical effects from pollutants may become more devastating to fish stocks than overfishing.

Sheesh, at least you can kind of get your arms around fishery management - if we had to calculate how many males were unable to spawn into management plans...

Pass the Advil.

Go catch a sea bass.

Regards,

Monty

Capt. Monty Hawkins

mhawkins@siteone.net

Party Boat "Morning Star"

Reservations 410 520 2076

www.morningstarfishing.com

By:Willie B.S.CT.A.S.C.P.

Overview from the book titled - Effects of Pollution on Fish, Molecular Effects and Population Responses - Lawrence and Hemingway 2004

This book makes an attempt to explain how various types of pollution can affect fish and the entire fishing community. However, molecular biology is not the language of the common man!

This being considered, I tried to simplify some of the most important ideas and facts contained in it.

Basically, Don’t Litter! I am sure you have seen these signs on our highways but there should be a way of placing these signs on the world’s waterways.

Whether it is garbage bags, fuel oil, or industrial chemicals - eventually this refuse finds its way into the worlds waterways where it will affect fish in various ways. This could be anything from disrupting the way fish reproduce to the formation of benign or malignant tumors. Considering these potential hazards, over-fishing seems to be the lesser evil.

Chemical contaminants such as PCBs, DDT and other halogenated hydrocarbons have been implicated in adversely affecting the reproductive systems of land and marine species. Some of these chemicals are confirmed -others suspected- of having hormonal effects on the sexual organs of fish. Exposure has resulted in male fish producing eggs and the inhibition of female egg production.

Most of the chemical pollutants have an estrogenic and antiestrogenic effect. Estrogenic effect is noted by the ability of female fish to produce eggs. It has been thought that male fish that have developed eggs in the testis were expose to pollutants that have that estrogenic effect. Examples are DES, DDT, ALKYLPHENOLS, LINDANE, KEPONE, ATRAZINE AND PCBs. The pituitary gland is effected and the production FSH is altered in females. Sometimes they produce eggs at the wrong time or not at all. There are genetic pathways describe to explain this but this is quite involved.

Metals can accumulate in the muscle, even in species with low fat muscle tissue. Organic forms of lead, tin, selenium antimony and arsenic are found in the marine environment. The most serious incidence of human consumption of contaminated seafood was the ‘Minimata’ incident which was caused by an organometal - methylmercury. In this incident, produced by the methylation of industrially discharged mercury, the organometal was taken up by marine invertebrates and fish.Consumption of these products is thought to have been responsible for over a 100 deaths and many cases of severe disability.

Pesticides that contain chlorine (organochlorine pesticides) are the most widely distributed chemicals on the planet and may play a role in sublethal effects on fish. The fish do not necessarily die, instead their health deteriorates. Unfortunately, as with many sublethal affects, the socio-economic consequences of the pesticides in fish are not readily understood in a majority of cases. However, in Uganda the practice of harvesting fish by using pesticides --Thiodan was the compound implicated-- has resulted in the deaths of at least 12 people, the closure of the tilapia fishery and the suspension of exporting Nile perch to the European Union.

In 1991 many fisheries along the coast of California,Washington and Oregon had to be closed due to the high levels of pesticides found in razor clams, mussels and dungeness crabs. Pelicans were killed by the consumption of contaminated anchovies and this led to the closure of the fishery and resultant socio-economic dislocations.

Oil spills have various affects on marine life. In most cases the marine impact depends on the type of oil. The Valdez oil spill was heavy crude and did not readily evaporate or disperse. On the other hand, the Braer oil spill off the Shetland Islands was lighter and easily dispersed by wind and waves.

There was a 23% loss of the wild stock production of pink salmon and a 50% reduction in pacific herring in Prince William Sound after the Valdez spill. Other taxa such as harpacticoid copepods and epibenthic crustaceans (prey resources for the juvenile salmon) were not affected by the spill. In some cases their abundance increased in the areas that were polluted. In addition, toxicity tests were undertaken for finfish and shellfish in the area and the finfish were reported safe to eat. The shellfish, on the other hand, were found to have high concentrations of aromatic contaminants.

Both chemicals and metals are believed to affect the genetic expression of marine animals. Whether fish with 3 eyes, or in one case, a flounder with a tumor on its head which made it look like a 2 headed fish - exposure to these pollutants must be curtailed in order to preserve and enhance fish stocks.

Over the past 2 decades, the effects of pollution on fish have been observed in the formation of tumors of the mouth and livers of fish. These tumors have occurred in both salt and freshwater species. There are many gaps in our current understanding of the chemical processes that effect fish. Presently, there are no comprehensive studies that detail all aspects of the impact of pollution within the aquatic environment.

Clearly, the effects on the reproductive process and it's cumulative effect on population density must be studied in more detail.

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