I love these long hot summer days. The water temps have really soared in the past week or so. Along with the warm temperatures comes a lot of activity – animals, plants, and people.
The bay is packed with pogies (menhaden) and the stripers and other bigger fish are actively hunting them down. The last few years we’ve had big menhaden runs and I suspect that has contributed to the Sand Tiger Sharks that have turned up in the bay and the river. On the other hand, it appears that the total count for our Elm St herring count was pretty low. We haven’t quite finalized the numbers, but it doesn’t look good. There has been a lot of concern about river herring stocks in the past few years, as a result of both degraded spawning habitat and offshore takes (http://www.herringalliance.org ). Brad Chase will be doing a talk about the status of Jones River fish on July 10th. I’m sure he’ll have some valuable insights.
Like the animals, the JRWA groups have been revved up by the summer weather. We’ve kicked into gear with our water quality monitoring. In mid May Bill G. and I paddled from the Elm St dam to the Wapping Rd dam to have a look at this somewhat hidden stretch of river. With the Wapping Rd dam feasibility study getting under way this summer we wanted to look for any obstructions or other issues that might impact the flow assessments. Things seemed to be in good shape, although we probably caught the last window of opportunity before things became too overgrown to make it up the river. Later in May we initiated our nutrient sampling program for the river and Silver Lake. We’ve been able to piggyback this sampling onto to the Division of Marine Fisheries rapid assessment program for the lake. By conducting these programs in concert we gain much more information for each assessment. These sampling programs will continue through the summer and I expect that we’ll add a few more elements as we go along.