The Society recently completed its first fish sampling event of the year at Wreck Pond. Our spring sampling targets river herring that migrate into the watershed to spawn. We use a fyke net to catch fish. The net is set up underneath the railroad bridge for several days, and is checked in the mornings and evenings. All fishes caught are identified, measured, and weighed. River herring caught are additionally tagged with PIT tags to better track their spawning movement and behavior. During this past event we caught several white perch, a couple white suckers, one large carp, and three alewife.
At Wreck Pond, the Society has recorded its first recapture of an alewife tagged last year. Fish 576 “Samantha” was first caught in our fyke net on April 23rd of last year. She was subsequently measured, weighed, and tagged. Until recently, she was last recorded on May 24, 2016, passing by our antenna at the outfall pipe as she left the watershed for the Atlantic.
On March 25, 2017 at around 2:00am, Samantha swam through our antenna located near the Rt. 71 Bridge. We are heartened to see that Samantha survived the past year in the ocean and has once again returned to Wreck Pond to spawn. If you are interested in volunteering to assist with fish sampling contact Zack Royle at Zack@littoralsociety.org.
Early last week, Winter Storm Stella barreled through the Northeast US. While much of NJ was spared from substantial snowfall, many parts of the state experienced heavy rain and strong winds, with coastal areas also experiencing large waves and high storm surge.
In anticipation of the storm, Spring Lake officials closed the culvert and outfall gates around 10:30 Monday morning following low tide. Closing the gates largely prevented the high storm surge from flowing into the pond. Instead of snow, throughout Monday night and Tuesday, over three inches of rain fell in the area. This rain slowly collected in Wreck Pond until Wednesday morning when the gates were opened allowing water to flow out of Wreck Pond and into the ocean. Despite the heavy rainfall in a relatively short period of time, the communities around Wreck Pond faced minimal flooding. Water barely overtopped the bulkhead along 2nd Avenue. No houses were impacted by surface flooding, and we only have one report of flooding in a residents backyard along Black Creek.
Photos by Jay Amberg of Sea Girt.
The past two weeks, the Society reinstalled PIT tagging antennas at several locations within the Wreck Pond Brook Watershed. These antennas will allow us to track the movement of tagged river herring as they migrate into Wreck Pond to spawn, and will help us answer a number of questions about river herring spawning behavior.
This week, the Society will also begin fish sampling. To catch fish, we will set up a fyke net underneath the railroad bridge in Wreck Pond. All fish caught will be measured and weighed, and river herring will be tagged. If you are interested in volunteering to help with fish sampling contact Zack at firstname.lastname@example.org.