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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope that this is the place to post this I have tried several diffent places but yet to see it posted. This is something that effects every springtime angler.

Are our winter flounder making a comeback ? Not in our lifetime. I have been talking about this forever to anyone that would listen and have even posted this on Noreast and had it deleted. The pictures tell a story about the decline of our winter flounder and the wonderful bird the Commorant (spelling ??). This morning I was delighted to look along the shoreline and see many baby flounder in 6' of water dart away as I walked. Looking up the beach, I was watching the 25 or so commorants swimming along the shoreline (as they do every morning) and the multitude of birds following them, when one commorant stepped up on the beach, threw up contents and went back to eating. (Binge Floundering)

32 Flounder in 10 minutes (1) bird. Think about that and multiply that by the 25 birds that were there, then think about how many birds that are in our area alone. Do the flounder really stand a chance ? The state of Alaska hunts and kills 1,000,000 each year to protect the Salmon stocks.

When will we take notice ? Is anyone out there LISTENING ???

I have been called Lunatic Larry by many but I am right on target with this one.
I would love to hear comments from others and try to get someone to take note that may be able to move forward and do something before 4 keeper flounder that is considered a "Good Day" is gone for good !
 

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good post larry. I posted something similar to this last year about the commerants going bananas on the baby flatfish. Its time to open season on the commorants because there population boom is really affecting certain fish stocks.
 

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Interesting

We have had EXCELLENT Winter Flounder Fishing in Mass and NH the last 4 years. I have NOT noticed these Birds up this way. I am sure that is not the ONLY reason the Flounder fishing has made a comeback but could be a piece of the puzzle also.
 

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Fishark531 wrote:
We have had EXCELLENT Winter Flounder Fishing in Mass and NH the last 4 years. I have NOT noticed these Birds up this way. I am sure that is not the ONLY reason the Flounder fishing has made a comeback but could be a piece of the puzzle also.
shhhhhhhhhhhhhh
the commerants might hear you LOL
 

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Damming proof. I wish we could cut open all the doggies luv to see what's in there stomachs

I don't know if it was geese or commorants but isn't the DEC or some other agency oiling the eggs to control population?

In any case, I think they should open a hunting season on the commorants.

LooneyTunes
Dave
 

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It's not just winter flounder commarants are after. I have noticed a large increase in their population in the NY Bight year round. They are excellent fish finders also. If you find an abundance of commorants in a area, you have also found the fish. It's common to see them diving & feeding right in the middle of a bluefish frenzy so they must be tough little buggers to not be scared of feeding blues. Why their population has exploded and does this have an effect on fish populations I don't know. It might be an important piece of the puzzle as someone else already suggested.
 

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Agree with these posters, have been saying the same things for years. I see these birds almost everyday where I live chowing down. The population of them is way out of normal IMO. To my amazement, I have even seen them diving on shallow inshore wrecks. More should be done to control their population.
 

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Birds must be a bigger problem further south....

Birds seem to be fewer and more far between up here in N. Mass, I only ever see one at time. I bet dogfish do way more damage up here. Two yahoos on a bluefish trip I was on recently had the mates clean a couple of dogfish for them to take home. Both doggies had baby flounder in their bellies and I've got to think there are thousands more dogs per square mile of inshore water than fish-diving birds.
 

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I dont think you are crazy Larry... at least not for thinking that the birds are hurting the flounder stocks though I don't think its the only factor. Going back 20 years or so I would see an ocasional bird. Over time their population has been exploding and they definitely are eating flounder as well as only other fish they can hunt down and fit in their mouth.
 

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What Can Be done ?

I doubt they will open a hunting Season on the Birds but up north we have MORE than our share of Dogs. A few weeks ago I caught a Dog Fish that spit up 2 whiting. I am all for hopeing they will allow the Commercial guys to catch as many dog fish as they want. I have not read anything that says anything positive about the green eyed sharks that should allow them the protection they receive. I am sure the doggies consume more than their fare share of Flounder. Believe it or not there is very little pressure on NH Flounders but the draggers are NOT allowed inshore where we catch them either. I never thought I would ever see good Flounder fishing again and I hope it continues but I also hope other areas will rebound as well.
 

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Are recs allowed to harvest doggies

FishFooler wrote:
Birds seem to be fewer and more far between up here in N. Mass, I only ever see one at time. I bet dogfish do way more damage up here. Two yahoos on a bluefish trip I was on recently had the mates clean a couple of dogfish for them to take home. Both doggies had baby flounder in their bellies and I've got to think there are thousands more dogs per square mile of inshore water than fish-diving birds.

I think the doggies are protected here in New York as in no killin em AT ALL!

If you find out different, please let me know, I would love to gut my limit of doggies per trip and see what's in the stomachs. Then document for posterity of course.

LooneyTunes
Dave

This post edited by LooneyTunes 02:17 PM 08/26/2008
 

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From http://www.nefmc.org/habitat/council_mtg_docs/1999%20Dogfish%20fmp%20prey%20information_nov06.pdf

wrote:
Dogfish Prey Information from Dogfish FMP (1999)
2.1.3.5 Food and feeding Bowman et al. (1984) provided an extensive examination of the diet of spiny dogfish collected from shelf waters of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean during the period 1969-1983.

The area studied included continental shelf waters extending from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to Browns bank, Nova Scotia. The stomach contents of 10,167 spiny dogfish were examined during this period (about 50% of the stomachs were empty). Fish comprised the single most important prey item in the diet of spiny dogfish. Herrings
(several species), Atlantic mackerel, American sand lance, and codfishes, including species such as Atlantic cod, haddock, silver hake, red hake, white hake and spotted hake were some of most important prey items identified. Other important contributors to the diet of spiny dogfish included Loligo and Illex squid, ctenophores, crustaceans (principally decapod shrimp and crabs) and bivalves (principally scallop viscera).

Bowman et al. (1984) observed a high degree of variability in the diet of spiny dogfish across seasons, areas and years. They considered this a reflection of their omnivorous nature and the high degree of temporal and spatial variability of both dogfish and their prey. Their diet appears broadly related to abundance trends in some of their major prey items. For example, when herring abundance was declining and mackerel abundance appeared to be at a peak during the period 1969-1972, Bowman et al. (1984) found mackerel to predominate in the diet of spiny dogfish. Conversely, during 1973-1976 when mackerel abundance was declining the incidence of mackerel in the diet of spiny dogfish was substantially reduced.

The incidence of Loligo and Illex squid in the diet of spiny dogfish was also shown to be related to their abundance. Another example of the opportunistic nature of spiny dogfish feeding was the appearance of scallop viscera in their diet after the increase in sea scalloping in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean beginning in 1978. Bowman et al. (1984) reported that trends in the incidence of scallop viscera in the diet of spiny dogfish closely followed trends in the level of sea scallop fishing effort in the study area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Lets try to tackle one issue at a time

OK now what ?

I am glad to see this posted here as well. It is also in the fishing report section.

Here is the ultimate question ! And listen up commercial fisherman too because you are effected also and you take part of the blame in fisheries decline when maybe it should not be fully placed on your shoulders.

What can we do about it !

If so many countries are already enacting ways to deal with this problem. Who do we contact to get our voices heard ?

Noreast it would be great for your paper to write something to get the ball rolling or tell me where I can write to

As all agreed it is a country wide problem, dealing with all types of fish but I am concerned with OUR fishery abd the damage they are inflicting on our species.

One more quick story. 2 Falls ago I was fishing near point lookout bridge. Blitzzzzzzz or so I thought. Look at all the birds ! Upon closer viewing I realized the birds that we flying were comorants. No lie there must have been 3 or 4 THOUSAND. They were swimming, feeding and being pushed by the current. The flying was them going back to the bridge to do it all over again. Eating everything that was clearing out of the bays. Everything ! Imagine (1) BRIDGE, (4) HOURS THAT I WAS THERE, (1) OUTGOING TIDE 3 TO 4 THOUSAND BIRDS. DID ANYTHING EVEN MAKE IT TO THE OCEAN ? SNAPPERS, BABY WEAKFISH, PEANUT BUNKER, SPEARING, FLUKE, FLOUNDER, SMALL BASS, SHAD, PORGIES, BLACKFISH, SEABASS AND ??????

Someone take notice please !
 

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Ohio went after them in Lake Ontario after they became a problem and the fishermen complained to the state DEC. They now oil the eggs. If the fishermen on this site, also known as voters, complain loud enough to the NYS officials, maybe even get organized (slim chance) then the birds can be controlled. Some leadership is required, disorganized bitshin (sic) is egg laying of another sort.
 

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got oil? know a breeding site?

Not sure if there are laws governing the destruction or collection of cormorant eggs. If not it would seem to be a problem that a little initiative could address.
Or, for the less bold - the state natural resource agencies may even appreciate some volunteer effort to address the issue.

But - let's be sure we're not just placing blame on the predator of the moment....
 

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I was the poor soul that had to cut those dogfish fishfooler. I have seen many cormorants frequenting around our dock eating small herring and small pogies. Trust me, here in the Merrimac, these birds are eating their fill. I have found flounder, parts of haddock and lobster claws in the bellies of the dogfish I have had to clean for googans.
 

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They are protected in NY and OH but the DEC in OH put in a program to reduce the population. Yes they used volunteers to oil them under supervision. The OH fishermen knew where they were nesting. It was the unified recreational and commercial fishermen who got the state to act. Unless the NY fishermen get together and get on the backs of the NY DEC nothing will happen. The Sept. issue of BoatU.S. Magazine p.10 carries a report. In one area they reduced the chick production by 92%. Yes, something can be done but it takes more unity than lots of individual complaining. It has to start at the grassroots level. Get the fishing club/organization you belong to to get going. Contact other clubs to join in. If you don't belong to any club that will carry the ball then as an individual you'd be pissin into the wind.
 

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Sandybeach has it about right, with cormorants or dogfish. With cormorant control you have the Audubon people to contend with, with the dogs you have the so-called marine conservationists to contend with. In both instances there are federal laws protecting the critters (Migratory Bird Act and Magnuson Act) and there are multi-million dollar "environmental" organization leaders frothing at their collective mouths for any opportunity to marshal their troops, pass their hats and swell their coffers. We're facing uphill fights on both issues, and the only way its going to get done is through working together. That's what we're trying to do with dogs.

This post edited by NilsS 09:48 AM 08/27/2008
 
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