CWitek

DEC beginning new study of PCBs in striped bass

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Depending on the results, a new DEC study could end the prohibition on commercial bass fishing west of Debs Inlet/Wading River.

 

It could even see the reopening of a commercial bass fishery in the Hudson River although, given the state of the stock, the latter is far less likely.

 

https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/125653.html

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At least it will take two years for the results. Hope they find the levels the same and keep the ban in place.

Not sure why there is a boundary as to where the can be caught for harvest. They do migrate.
I thought that PCB’s and heavy metals stayed in the flesh and did not dissipate over time or mileage for that matter.

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Let's hope it works out that way Charles. Changing the line would spread out the commercial pressure on bass and give the East End a break.

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12 hours ago, LowEnd said:

At least it will take two years for the results. Hope they find the levels the same and keep the ban in place.

Not sure why there is a boundary as to where the can be caught for harvest. They do migrate.
I thought that PCB’s and heavy metals stayed in the flesh and did not dissipate over time or mileage for that matter.

Some studies showed that the majority of Hudson River fish stayed relatively close to the river.

 

The reality seems to be a little more complex.  When the Chesapeake stock is healthy, most of the Hudson fish probably do stay to the west, but when the Chesapeake stock is not in good shape, the Hudson fish spread out farther along the coast, taking advantage of the lack of competition.  A recent genetic study found quite a few off Massachusetts.  However, Hudson fish generally don't migrate as far as the Chesapeake bass.

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10 mins ago, CWitek said:

A recent genetic study found quite a few off Massachusetts.  However, Hudson fish generally don't migrate as far as the Chesapeake bass.

 

Are there any subtle visual markers that a layperson can use to identify which population of fish they are catching?  Are the populations undergoing any form of reproductive isolation?

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15 mins ago, 55555s said:

 

Are there any subtle visual markers that a layperson can use to identify which population of fish they are catching?  Are the populations undergoing any form of reproductive isolation?

There must be significant reproductive isolation, as a coastwide genetic study was able to identify distinct breeding populations.  There were three in Canada and three in the northeastern/mid-Atlantic U.S.:  Hudson River and Pehobscot River (the latter was originally stocked with Hudson-origin fish), Chesapeake, which also appeared in the Delaware River (specualtion that the original Delaware stock was extirpated by pollution, and the estuary was colonized by Chesapeak fish, perhaps traveling through a canal that jointed the two bodies of water), and Albemarle/Roanoke in North Carolina.

 

The fact that the Delaware could be recolonized indicates that the genetic isolation isn't absolute, but for the most part the spawning fish demonstrate site fidelity, at least at the estuary level.

 

As far as I know, there is no way to definitively distinguish the various breeding popuilations based on simple visual cues.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

During the early 1980's The DEC stated the PCB content of 2 parts per million in Stripedbass was dangerous and posed a health threat. After the Party/Charter boat Industry and The Commercial Sector cried their hearts out the DEC changed their minds and stated that 5 parts per million was now the dangerous factor.  So, one day you could be poisoned by consuming bass of 2ppm and the next day it was safe to eat.  Now 5ppm was the new toxic.  Lets see what they come up with now.

 

sb

Edited by Stripedbass50lbs
spelling

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11 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

Yay let’s kill more 

Probably won't lead to more fish being killed, as the current quota will remain and no additgional tags will be issued.  But as @pakalolo noted, it will spread out the effort over a longer stretch of coast.  It may also expand gillnets to areas of coast where they're not often used now, except perhaps for catching menhaden for lobster bait.

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2 hours ago, Stripedbass50lbs said:

During the early 1980's The DEC stated the PCB content of 2 parts per million in Stripedbass was dangerous and posed a health threat. After the Party/Charter boat Industry and The Commercial Sector cried their hearts out the DEC changed their minds and stated that 5 parts per million was now the dangerous factor.  So, one day you could be poisoned by consuming bass of 2ppm and the next day it was safe to eat.  Now 5ppm was the new toxic.  Lets see what they come up with now.

 

sb

The dangerous level of PCBs, and how it's calculated, is hotly debated.

 

There are some authorities who believe that 2 PPM is too high; I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that New Jersey might set a lower threshold.

 

And how do you determine the PCB concentration.  Do you drop the whole fish in the scientific equivalent of a blender, and test the resultant slurry?  Do you only test fillets?  Or do you evaluate the parts of the fish that contains the highest PCB levels?  Each of those approaches will yield a different value.

 

Another thing that always bothered me is that restaurant menus are not required to carry a warning about PCBs in bass, even though anglers are given health warnings in the regulation book.  After all, if menus are required to warn about the dangers of eating uncooked or partially cooked eggs, meat, and shellfish, shouldn't they also warn against children and women of childbearing age eating wild striped bass?

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I've seen bass with very large tails and streamline bodys and bass with small tails and thick bodys. Always thought the large tail fish were Chesapeake fish that traveled much further distances and small tail fish were from the Hudson and didnt travel as far. Of course that was just a guess.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 6/30/2022 at 8:37 AM, CWitek said:

There must be significant reproductive isolation, as a coastwide genetic study was able to identify distinct breeding populations.  There were three in Canada and three in the northeastern/mid-Atlantic U.S.:  Hudson River and Pehobscot River (the latter was originally stocked with Hudson-origin fish), Chesapeake, which also appeared in the Delaware River (specualtion that the original Delaware stock was extirpated by pollution, and the estuary was colonized by Chesapeak fish, perhaps traveling through a canal that jointed the two bodies of water), and Albemarle/Roanoke in North Carolina.

 

The fact that the Delaware could be recolonized indicates that the genetic isolation isn't absolute, but for the most part the spawning fish demonstrate site fidelity, at least at the estuary level.

 

As far as I know, there is no way to definitively distinguish the various breeding popuilations based on simple visual cues.

Old sharpie that I know (been fishing stripers 50+ years) swears that one can distinguish Chesapeake vs. Hudson bass by dorsal coloration: one is more green, while one is more blue/grey/slate. I forget now which he says is which. Sounds like an old fisherman’s tale to me, but he’s adamant about it.

Edited by Antek

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Posted (edited) · Report post

On 6/30/2022 at 8:37 AM, CWitek said:

Pehobscot River (the latter was originally stocked with Hudson-origin fish),

Not to detract from the importance of this thread, but it's the Kennebec River of Maine, not Penobscot, that has  a native reproducing population, the yearly YOY survey reported to ASMFC, and was stocked with Hudson River fish.

 

The PCB story becomes very convoluted.  Most states on the migratory path cite that folks should limit their consumption of striped bass, except Massachusetts.  Never could figure out how those bass were "cleaner" than the others...

 

As far as Hudson River fish staying close to home, that's becoming a wife's tale.  Of the 7 tagged fish I've caught in Maine, 6 had Hudson River Foundation tags on them, and the 7th was of unknown origin, in that its American Littoral Society tag was implanted in New Hampshire a few weeks prior to my catching it.  Yes, most returns are from the NY Bight, but they do roam...

 

HRF bass.jpg

Edited by Roccus7

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2 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

Not to detract from the importance of this thread, but it's the Kennebec River of Maine, not Penobscot, that has  a native reproducing population, the YOY, and was stocked with Hudson River fish.

 

 

 

As far as Hudson River fish staying close to home, that's becoming a wife's tale.  Of the 7 tagged fish I've caught in Maine, 6 had Hudson River Foundation tags on them, and the 7th was of unknown origin, in that its American Littoral Society tag was implanted in New Hampshire a few weeks prior to my catching it.  Yes, most returns are from the NY Bight, but they do roam...

 

HRF bass.jpg

You’re right.  Got my Maine rivers confused.

 

As far as the Hudson fish traveling goes, it seems to depend on the health of the Chesapeake stock.  When there are a lot of Chesapeake fish, the Hudson bass tend to stay closer to home.  When the Chesapeake stock is less abundant, as has been the case in recent years, the Hudson fish will travel much farther—although a few will always wander.  The large number of brown dots off northern New England on the chart provided seems to support that general rule.

Edited by CWitek

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3 hours ago, Antek said:

Old sharpie that I know (been fishing stripers 50+ years) swears that one can distinguish Chesapeake vs. Hudson bass by dorsal coloration: one is more green, while one is more blue/grey/slate. I forget now which he says is which. Sounds like an old fisherman’s tale to me, but he’s adamant about it.

When I used to live in Connecticut, we could tell the difference in newly-arrived fish, as the Hudson fish, which sometimes carried tags from the river, were much darker, while newly arrived Chesapeake fish were bright silver and light green.  But after they were in the Sound for a while, the colors all blended, changing from their light and dark extremes to something in between.

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