New England Chapter
NANFA rep Rick Rego hosted Trading Post editor Andy Borgia (FL) for a week of fish collecting in late April into early May. Joining them was member Brian Bastarache (MA). They sampled lots of estuarine fishes (e.g., mummichog, threespine stickleback, fourspine stickleback), and lots of freshwater fishes, too, especially at Palmer River at the Shad Factory Falls in Rehoboth, Mass. "This is a very active herring run," Rick said, "and was active at the time of our visit. In fact, Palmer River is considered to be the third best river in Massachusetts for American shad." The Shad Factory Fall Line yielded banded killifish, juvenile banded sunfish, tons of American eel elvers, tessellated darter, bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, and golden shiner. This river is also home to sea lamprey on their mating runs, but none were seen on this trip.
On June 25, Rick and Brian dip netted and seined marine fishes at several sites on Cape Cod. Their main quarry was rock gunnel, which they found in the rock weed along the bottom in the shallow waters of Sandwich at the east end of Cape Cod Canal. "The water here is so cold," Rick said, "that your bones immediately ache as soon as you're in the water. My knee caps were numb." In addition to rock gunnel, Rick and Brian caught grubby, northern pipefish, cunner, and, the highlight of the trip, a juvenile lumpfish. "We had a great time at the canal entrance, even though the Coast Guard boat just offshore from where we were collecting was picking up a dead body that had floated out from the canal. Maybe that's why the collecting was so good . . . CHUM!"
- From Summer 2000 American Currents