Tag Archives: Long Island Sound

Maritime mystery in Connecticut! How did huge Pacific Dungeoness crabs get to Norwalk waters?

It’s not easy to stump the marine experts at the Maritime Aquarium. But that’s exactly what happened after fishermen from Copps Island Oysters hauled in four unusual, clawed critters last week on the south side of the Norwalk Islands. Dick Harris, marine specialist for Copps Island, said the fishermen were unsure of what the creatures were — and what to do with them — so they tossed three back and one brought to the aquarium. Aquarists identified the 2.5-pound crustacean as a male dungeness crab, native to the icy waters of the Pacific. “We’re doing our own research on this right now,” said Sandi Schaefer-Padgett, senior aquarist at the aquarium. “It’s not normal. We don’t often get things that no one’s seen before.” click here to read the story 07:36

New restrictions seek to save Long Island Sound lobsters

A multistate fisheries commission is poised to slap more restrictions on Long Island Sound lobster fishing in another effort to stabilize the numbers of crustaceans. An arm of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week agreed to change the rules in hopes of slowing the continuing decline of lobster in southern New England. The numbers have been falling due to warmer water caused by climate change. “The goal is to preserve what there is,” said Mark Alexander, assistant fisheries manager for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a voting member on the fisheries commission. “It’s a disgrace,” said Roger Frate, a veteran Darien lobsterman, referring to the commission’s proposed restrictions. Mike Kalaman, a Norwalk lobsterman, said fishermen prefer no additional restrictions. Still, he said the proposed 5 percent egg production goal is better than some of the commission’s more stringent proposals.  Click here to read the story 08:14

Proposals Aim To Restore Lobsters To Long Island Sound

A new interstate plan is being considered to try and halt the dramatic decline in lobster populations in Long Island Sound and southern New England waters, but experts warn none of these proposals may work in the face of global warming. The draft plan by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission includes possible changes in the size of lobsters allowed to be kept, reductions in the number of lobster traps allowed in the region, and additional lobster season closures. But a former president of the Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen’s Association, Nick Crismale of Branford, doubts the once-thriving lobster population in the Sound will ever recover. Increasingly warm waters in the Sound may have also resulted in an increase in fish species that prey on lobsters, like black sea bass, making any recovery more difficult, experts say. A number of Connecticut lobstermen believe the population plunge was triggered by the use of certain pesticides to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus. Read the story here 15:21

Decision Will Allow Disposal Of Dredged Materials In Long Island Sound

2015_0811_li_sound_dredge_spoil_planFederal environmental officials Friday dismissed protests from New York and issued a final ruling that will allow operation of an open-water site in eastern Long Island Sound for disposing of dredged materials from harbors and ports. The EPA decision drew applause from Connecticut’s congressional delegation and state officials who argued that halting dredge disposal in the eastern Sound would be a damaging economic blow for shoreline communities in this state. In its ruling, the EPA shifted the location of the new open water disposal site to place it entirely within Connecticut waters. New York officials and environmentalists fear the open water disposal of muck dredged primarily from Connecticut harbors could pollute the waters of the Sound and harm commercial and recreational fishing. Read the story here 12:34

What are the clams economic impact on Greenwich?

clam boat Atlantic Clam Farms In his denim overalls and Simms fly fishing cap, Ed Stilwagen is where he can be found most days, checking in on his clamming boats and checking out the state of the water in Long Island Sound. “I always say the way to find clams is you go out there and you tell a clam joke. Then you hear ’em laughing, you go in and you get ’em,” Stilwagen said. Stilwagen is like a lot of people in Greenwich. He has two boats, a shiny black Cadillac and a lot of property. His boats, though, are for work and his property is mostly under water. The 4,000 acres he leases stretch about a mile into Long Island Sound. He is the largest clam harvester in Greenwich waters. “Since we been started here (in 2000), I calculate well over 300 million clams we’ve produced,” he said. Stilwagen’s crews are out on his pontoon-like clam boats sometimes seven days a week,,, Video, read the rest here and 31 photo’s. 17:57

Long Island lobstermen oppose closures, question how regulators are making their decisions.

10-lobsters1Long Island lobstermen, already straining under the weight of a seasonal closure of the Long Island Sound and sharply reduced lobster populations, face the potential for more closures as federal regulators work to rebuild a depleted stock. At a meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission last week, the American Lobster Management Board agreed to review a series of new measures to address what they called the continuing decline in the Southern New England lobster fishery, which includes the . The fishery has been affected by environmental factors and fishing activity, the board said. Montauk lobsterman Al Schaffer said he and others saw a resurgence in the areas they fish around the Long Island Sound last year, though fishing is down thus far this spring. “There’s zero science,” he said, adding he strongly opposes any attempt to further restrict fishing. Read the story here 11:10

Roger Frate of Darien has a simple answer to improving the lobster stock in Long Island Sound.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Roger Frate, owner of Darien Seafood MarketFrate said it was pesticide used to combat the West Nile Virus in 1998 and 1999 that decimated the Sound’s lobster population and sent it into a tailspin from which it has yet to recover.  Connecticut banned the use of some pesticides, but New York hasn’t, he said.  But Carlo said he’s noticed a rebound in the number of lobsters. “The lobsters right now are looking nice and healthy,” he said. “There’s been a huge improvement since 2012.”  However, Frate said fishermen still believe pesticides are harming lobsters. Read the rest here 12:20

What is killing off the menhaden in Long Island Sound? ‘Whirling disease’ suspected

menhadenWhat is killing off the menhaden? The die-off has been reported at several locations, including in Long Island Sound along eastern Connecticut and in the estuaries of several area rivers. A viral “whirling disease” is believed to be the chief suspect in the die-off, said Mark Alexander, supervising fisheries biologist for the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  Read the rest here  10:08

Plan advances to map Long Island Sound seabed

A bill that would create the state’s first comprehensive plan for Long Island Sound — and provide ammunition to battle future unwanted uses — is moving through the General Assembly. “This is one of the few times I’ve seen an advisory committee that is balanced between those who are environmentally orientated, the fishing and commercial industry and the boating industry,” Aman said.  Read the rest here 10:40

Malloy sponsors ‘Blue Plan’ legislation to protect the future use of Long Island Sound

“With a Blue Plan, Connecticut can assure new uses of the Sound are compatible with traditional values and resources,” said Nathan Frohling, director of marine and coastal initiatives for the conservancy’s Connecticut office. “We will be able to better balance new uses, while protecting such things as commercial and recreational boating and fishing, the maritime beauty and environmental values that make the Sound such a desirable place.” Read  the rest here 12:48

Is Millstone power plant killing lobsters in the Sound?

Each day, some two billion gallons of water are pumped from Long Island Sound into the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Conn. — that state’s only nuclear power plant- and used to help cool systems and support the station’s two operating reactors. Read the rest here 07:42

Long Island Sound Lobsters Make Their Return – Lawmakers and Fishermen praise pesticide restriction

Connecticut’s Lobsters are making a comeback.  Life-long lobster fisherman Mike Kalaman confirms the lobster catch from the Long Island Sound is more bountiful than we’ve seen in years. Video  Read the rest here 21:54

Fishing prohibited in Long Island Sound due to Bridgeport fire

A foamy substance with a red tint was observed in the water, so the Coast Guard will fly a helicopter this morning over the harbor and along the shoreline to determine its spread. As a precaution, all commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited from Norwalk to Milford while tests are completed, according to Coast Guard Capt. Ed Cubanski. Read the rest here 13:36

“The Great Heat.” Could Global Warming Turn The Sound Into Blue Crab Heaven?

blue crab 2NEW HAVEN — — Global warming already has begun to transform Long Island Sound, according to many marine scientists, creating climate-change winners, like blue crabs, and losers, like lobsters. historical fishing and climate records According to those records, beginning in the late 1880s, southern New England experienced several decades of extraordinarily warm weather. Lobster populations plummeted (just as they did a century later). Blue crabs began to multiply, as did a number of other species better suited to warmer waters. “The Great Heat.” Read more here 07:48

How Does a Four-Inch Eel Hurdle a 40-Foot Greenwich Dam?

Baby eels are making their annual migration from Long Island Sound to rivers across Connecticut, but along the way, they’re encountering one persistent obstacle: river dams. Now, one man in Greenwich is working to make the eels’ journey a little easier. Read more here wnpr.org 12:27

As Long Island Sound’s temperature increases, Fish populations heat up in Long Island Sound

The 42-foot-wide net was set in the rolling waters of Long Island Sound, about 150 feet behind the research vessel John Dempsey. “All right, we’re fishing,” announced Jacqueline Benway, a state fisheries biologist with Connecticut, as she shut off the hydraulics controlling the large funnel-shaped net. [email protected] 10:13

The Last Fishermen of Long Island

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11_35_21 AMPhotographers Doug Kuntz, 57, and Tara Israel, 30, are both natives of Eastern Long Island. Although they grew up decades apart, both Kuntz and Israel were drawn to a similar subject: the small-scale commercial fishermen who search for seafood in the Long Island Sound, using essentially the same techniques their families have for centuries. As these fishing families dwindle in the face of environmental regulation and competition from big business, Kuntz and Israel share their memories from many mornings out at sea. [email protected] 15:29

Locals reflect on dying industry as Sound closes to fall lobster harvesting

T0912_Lobster_cover_CM_C.jpgA third-generation lobsterman, Matt DeMaula has patrolled Long Island Sound alongside his father and uncles for more than two decades. When he thinks back to his early days in the profession, the Mattituck native can recall some remarkable fall seasons. A combination of rising water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen, pesticide runoff and nitrogen loading proved too much for the crustaceans, causing an extreme die-off in 1999, said Emerson Hasbrouck, senior marine environmental issues educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. [email protected]  10:47

Long Island Sound Lobster Season Closes For The First Time

Local lobsterman Michael Theiler said he’s dubious that closing the season will have the desired effect of rebuilding the lobster population but he thinks the local lobster industry can survive the fall closure. [email protected]  18:16