Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pond Work

On Martha's Vineyard we have completed the first round of ecosytem samples from Lagoon Pond. Thanks to Danielle, David, and Mike for all the hard work. We have four stations and now we have 40 core samples already sent to UNH and we have data sheets on 12 beam trawl tows and nine beach seine hauls. We had big catches of silversides, bay scallops, starfish, and a few flounders. The beam trawls caught great quantities of bay scallops and the beach seines caught silversides. We did not have any big catches of flounder.
The end of our day today was cut short when the steering on our boat suddenly died. We were adrift at 4PM with the end of the day approaching. But David (our trusted captain)had this planned perfectly and the wind blew us to shore. And as every prepared captain has things planned perfectly, David had a truck right on this shore even though it was three miles away from our dock and our launching point. How did he do that?
So our November collection for Lagoon Pond is complete. We will complete our first collection for Menemsha next week.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fishermen finding flounders in our pond

Last week when we were out on the Lagoon Pond doing core samples, one of our friendly fishermen came by our boat and tossed a nice, mature 12 inch winter flounder on to our culling board. It came up in his bay scallop dredge.
Today I had a casual conversation in the bank with one of our Menemsha scallopers. He tows three scallop dredges and catches four bushels of bay scallops in three hours. The fishing is good and the price is up and he is happy, along with most of our mosquito fleet. So, I asked if he was seeing any flounder. He said "Tons. More than in recent years. These fish are making a comeback."
I asked a few more pointed questions. He said he saw 40 to 50 flounders per day on his culling board. The fish vary in size from 2 inches to 10 inches. They push them off the side of the culling board and expect all of them to live. They are only out of the water for five minutes or so.
So our early anecdotal reports indicate that the flounders are here. Now, let's see what our beam trawl will catch.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Winter Flounder Enhancement Project Begins!

Newcastle, NH - The winter flounder enhancement project began on November 10th at the UNH Coastal Marine Laboratory. The 25 participants gathered for a two-day workshop, during which Dr. Fairchild and her associates offered both instructional presentation and field training in support of the project. In particular, project partners were trained to apply t-bar and elastomer tags to juvenile winter flounder as well as to conduct field sampling
using a beam trawl and beach seine.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The purpose of this research project is to initiate a regional winter flounder restocking effort following the "responsible approach" guidelines in two locations (Martha's Vineyard, M.A. and East Hampton, N.Y.). This project is a regional collaborative effort that includes fishermen, scientists, the aquaculture industry, and fisheries managers who will engage in research to find ways to protect and enhance the winter flounder and its fishery.