Angler #1

Given the recent uptick in Peanut Bunker

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In and around the Canal region has any one ever notice where they are coming out from . The eggs are dropped in the open waters and as the eggs mature and turn into larvae that get to drift into to sheltered estuaries via the ocean currents  . This is information from the life cycle informational page on Atlantic menhaden . They spend approximately a year in these estuaries before returning to the open ocean . During this time frame the are called peanut bunker by those of us that use them for bait or make comments when the bass or blue fish are feeding on them . It is noted that they can live for 10 to 12 years .

What is not noted is where some of these local estuaries are located that the larvae will drift into to become Peanut Bunker. I know that locally we have such places where they will survive until they go back to the open ocean as Peanut Bunker. Sandwich Creek is one such place where you can observe this fall migration leaving the estuaries. Another is Scorton  Creek and Barnstable  Harbor.

Would any one like to put up where in Buzzards bay they have seen Peanut Bunker leaving the estuaries in the fall as Peanut Bunker ?

 

It is important to also note in a research document by the Board of Commissioners on Fisheries and game Relative to the Fish and Fisheries of Buzzards Bay  January 1916 a three year study indicated that a total of 64 species of fish once relied upon the nursery inside of Buzzard bay let alone lobster and Shell fish to survive . The report shows that Menhaden was included among fish which were commercially important  during the 1913 to 1915 which also included Butterfish, Scup, Mackerel, Flounder, Squeteague,  Sea bass, Alewife and Herring.  

This one species of fish is depended upon by those active predator species for some of there food source , like blue fish, striped bass along with Tuna fish , but more so us humans as well for bait to catch them and lobster bait . Peace and Prayers 

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1 hour ago, theshadow said:

"The most important fish in the sea"

Yes for sure, one of the most important fish in the sea and one that  should receive some significant scrutiny  to assure that they will continue to remain in sustainable numbers for the future. Peace and Prayers

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6 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

 

 

It is important to also note in a research document by the Board of Commissioners on Fisheries and game Relative to the Fish and Fisheries of Buzzards Bay  January 1916 a three year study indicated that a total of 64 species of fish once relied upon the nursery inside of Buzzard bay let alone lobster and Shell fish to survive . The report shows that Menhaden was included among fish which were commercially important  during the 1913 to 1915 which also included Butterfish, Scup, Mackerel, Flounder, Squeteague,  Sea bass, Alewife and Herring.  

This one species of fish is depended upon by those active predator species for some of there food source , like blue fish, striped bass along with Tuna fish , but more so us humans as well for bait to catch them and lobster bait . Peace and Prayers 

It's important to note the data from this study is 105 years old.

Edited by bob_G

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5 hours ago, Angler #1 said:

Would any one like to put up where in Buzzards bay they have seen Peanut Bunker leaving the estuaries in the fall as Peanut Bunker ?

The largest concentrations I’ve ever seen are New Bedford harbor and Fall River.  
 

the small peanuts (1-2”) that we tend to see getting sprayed by bass and blues are young of the year from the late winter/early spring spawn.

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23 mins ago, mikez2 said:

http://www.asmfc.org/species/atlantic-menhaden

 

"....major spawning areas from New Jersey to the Carolinas. The majority of spawning primarily occurs offshore (20-30 miles) during winter..."

I should have been more clear.  That's what I was eluding to when I said the study was 105 years old.

I recall reading that bunker spawn well offshore about 30 years ago.

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10 hours ago, Fitzy said:

The largest concentrations I’ve ever seen are New Bedford harbor and Fall River.  
 

 

I'll second this. The amount of peanuts around for the previous 2 years in the Taunton River has been insane.

This year slightly different. Actually started late, no bait around for the longest time, then when we were just seeing peanuts, all the storms and torrential rain seemed like on a weekly basis, chocolate colored water, cold water, low salinity, seemed to break up the schools and drive them out. They came back but not in the numbers of the last couple of years.

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1 hour ago, saxon59 said:

The amount of peanuts around for the previous 2 years in the Taunton River has been insane.

 

Pretty impressive for such a small, slow river with 7 major wastewater plants.

I hear there are good runs of river herring in some of the tribs too.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Fitzy said:

The largest concentrations I’ve ever seen are New Bedford harbor and Fall River.  
 

the small peanuts (1-2”) that we tend to see getting sprayed by bass and blues are young of the year from the late winter/early spring spawn.

Fitzy from the old accounts on this particular species you are correct on New Bedford and Fall River areas hold populations of Menhaden . One could say that depending upon the ocean currents at that time, when they deposit the eggs, in the open waters, they will end up who knows where every year.  In some cases it seems to be in the same nurseries  areas where they grow into what we call peanut bunker and with out question Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay provide those places where they can grow and survive for the future of this fish to be able to repopulate and maintain a strong life cycle . Peace and Prayers

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2 hours ago, saxon59 said:

I'll second this. The amount of peanuts around for the previous 2 years in the Taunton River has been insane.

This year slightly different. Actually started late, no bait around for the longest time, then when we were just seeing peanuts, all the storms and torrential rain seemed like on a weekly basis, chocolate colored water, cold water, low salinity, seemed to break up the schools and drive them out. They came back but not in the numbers of the last couple of years.

Not only the Taunton River system , but the Whareham river system has its own share of peanut bunker over the years . It is only by identifying these nurseries that the biologists can properly evaluate all of the places the Menhaden  spawn in sufficient numbers to maintain the stocks for there future. The old study on Buzzards bay fisheries[1916] show going back in another time [history] that Buzzards bay once has 62 species of fish that used the bay for a Nursery. Some of these fish for what ever reason have vanished, but the Menhaden have not. The larvae have found an ideal growing surroundings to become what we call Peanut Bunker today , that should account for some further information in attempting to understand all of the reasons why. You mention some very critical elements in the growing stages that need to be addressed for the future of this species during there stages of growing. How perfect must the nursery be when it come temperature of the water , clarity of the water and of course the actual salinity all elements in the growing process as I understand the Life cycle of a Menhaden . The more we know, the more we can help to prevent a future  reduction in there stocks and be able to put in place what ever it may be to protect them. Peace and Prayers  

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