NANFA-- MA Collecting Trip

Richard J Rego (
Sat, 1 Jul 2000 14:31:54 -0500

Hi folks,

Just a note to tell all of you about a recent collecting trip. Myself
(Rick Rego, MA NANFA Rep.) and NANFA member Brian Bastarache headed out
to Cape Cod and the vicinity to do some dip netting and seining. We met
a the Bristol County Nature Center at 8:30 am last Sunday (ya' I know,
this is a week old!), from there we headed straight out to Falmouth/Woods
Hole (Home of the famous Marine Biological Lab and the Woods Hole
Oceanographic Inst.). We collected in a little river that leads from
Oyster Pond out to the ocean. We caught lot's of Sheepshead Minnows
(Cyprinodon variegatus), Mummichogs (Fundulus heteroclitus), Striped
Killies (F. majalis) and Rainwater Killies (Lucania parva). After we
were done there, we headed out to Sandwich at the east end of the Cape
Cod Canal. We were in search of Rock Gunnel's (Pholis gunnellus). I
remembered collecting them there back in the late eighties's while
tipping over exposed rocks at low tide. So we went about tipping, and
only found one. Then we decided to wade out into the shallow water of
this section of Cape Cod Bay to dip net in the rock weed along the
bottom. The water here is so cold, that your bones immediately ache as
soon as your in the water. My knee caps were numb. Well after dipping
in the weed awhile, we hit the mother lode on Rock Gunnels. We caught
about 30 of them. We also caught lot's of Grubby's (Myoxocephalus
aenaeus), some big Northern Pipefish (Syngnathus fuscus), a few Cunners
(Tautogolabrus adspersus), and the highlight of the trip, a juvenile
Lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus).
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 floated out from the canal! Maybe that's why the collecting
was so good...CHUM! (just join', that's gross). The rest of the day
included a dip in the waters around the nuclear plant in Plymouth, a
seine drag on West Island in Fairhaven, and a drag of the seine in the
Little River in Dartmouth. The little River has always turned up lot's
of neat species. Though on this trip we only caught Mummichogs, Blue
Crabs, and Spider Crabs.
Just figured you'd folks would like to hear about what's going on up
here in sunny New England.

Rick Rego

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