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Old 05-21-2016, 01:06 PM   #1
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Chesapeake Bay is 40% dead zone now?

Chesapeake Bay Dead Zones Are Killing Off Fish in the Masses | TakePart

I believe it, since when I try fishing, there is nothing much there anymore. In the 80's I caught flounder spot croaker easily.
Last year caught only small croakers.
So far this year caught nothing, not even bites.

Article claims back in 2013,
"On the eve of the next dead zone invasion, a new study says that past hypoxic zones destroyed the Bay’s bottom-feeding fish."

And it is all due to land issues not boat issues. Making it a no discharge zone for boats will have zero impact on the water.
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A just-completed, 10-year-long study of the bay’s fishes by researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science proves that low-oxygen dead zones—created by nitrogen runoff from farms and cities—are having a serious impact on bottom-feeding fish, including perch, bass, flounder and more, which are all key members of the local ecosystem.
Just this spring a sewer line break in Hampton City dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Back river. My boat is slipped in Harris creek a tributary of the Back river. Maybe better to go to the bay bridge tunnel to fish. It is about 11 mile trip.
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Old 05-21-2016, 01:30 PM   #2
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I wonder if wind powered air pumps/aerators could help. Might need to be too huge or too many to work. The thought has been running around in my head.

My Grandpa lived on a shallow lake up in N. Wisconsin, and when it froze over the winter it would go hypoxic and kill lots of fish. He rigged up a couple of those 1970's car smog pumps with washing machine motors and ran hoses out into the lake and anchored them on the bottom. Left them running all winter. Result was more fish in the spring.
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:27 PM   #3
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I grew up on the northern bay from the mid 50's on. It got bad, then got better. In the mid 90's it was OK. No clue as to what's going in now, but as long as the agricultural run-off from the Susquehanna, which drains much of PA, I don't expect it to recover unless land based solutions are implemented..
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Old 05-21-2016, 02:55 PM   #4
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Agricultural and industrial runoff is only a part of the problem....an aeration wouldn't help much either because it's the pollution that's depleting the oxygen.

Shellfish--crabs, clams and oysters--are nature's "sewage treatment plants." 25 acres of tidal flats is typically home to enough of them to completely cleanse the pollution--including many toxic substances--from a population of 100,000 people. The Bay was once teeming with them, and when it was, the waters were clear...but over-fishing them coupled with a virus (I think it inferferes with reproduction) that's crippled the oyster population along with continuing to harvest a dwindling number has all but wiped them out.

I once asked how much impact a 5 year moratorium on shellfishing would have...the gov't pays farmers not to grow crops, it could do the same for the watermen. It's a good idea, but till they find the cure for the virus, it wouldn't help much.
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:19 PM   #5
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Looks like that article is from 2013.


The "Trophy" rockfish season up here was OK this year. The increased 35" minimum (this year) meant we had to put some back, but otherwise we did about as well as we usually do... and others we know around here are doing about the same.


In addition to the shellfish shortage, we read that menhaden are another critical filter fish... and we also read that we don't get as many up here as necessary because apparently Virginia politicians allow Omega Protein to catch most of their Atlantic allotment... from within the lower Chesapeake, instead of offshore.


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Old 05-21-2016, 03:29 PM   #6
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The problem is obvious - too many humans. The solution - a moratorium on humans!
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:34 PM   #7
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Peggie- Perhaps the answer is aggressive oyster "farming". Get the benefit of their filtration and the farmer can sell them.

Also, I know the cause of hypoxia is high nutrient loading and aeration will not change that.. But higher DO2 levels would compensate. Keeps the breakdown of bio material from going anaerobic. Probably easier to aerate than to solve the nutrient issue. Just thinking aloud..
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Old 05-21-2016, 03:37 PM   #8
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The problem is obvious - too many humans. The solution - a moratorium on humans!
You are absolutely right. Most all big problems we are facing can be traced to this fact. But talk about the most un-PC thing to say!!! Don't hint at such things and expect to be a politician.
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:08 PM   #9
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Dead menhaden wash up on Eastern Shore after fish spill from Omega Protein boat - Daily Press

If you keep destroying fish that feed other fish, they. the other fish will starve and move elsewhere.
Ironic, menhaden harvesters turn these into fertilizer and pet food, which returns again to the Chesapeake Bay as excess concentrated nutrients, creating hypoxic zones, killing everything.
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Old 05-21-2016, 04:22 PM   #10
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Some encouraging news, grasses are up in the bay for 2016.
So maybe things will eventually get better.
At the house, I do not fertilize the grass, I grow Zoysia and Carpet grasses.

It is runoff from farms and cities causing this nutrient pollution, not boaters.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:12 PM   #11
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You are absolutely right. Most all big problems we are facing can be traced to this fact. But talk about the most un-PC thing to say!!! Don't hint at such things and expect to be a politician.
I don't do "politically correct". I call a spade a spade, not a long handled digging implement.
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Old 05-21-2016, 05:37 PM   #12
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Perhaps the answer is aggressive oyster "farming". Get the benefit of their filtration and the farmer can sell them.

Any moratorium on shellfishing would naturally require introducing more stock, but that's not possible until the virus is eliminated because new oysters introduced into the ecosystem become infected with it...which would make "farming" oysters a losing proposition.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:36 PM   #13
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State of the Bay Report 2014 - Landing - Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Good read on the state of the Chesapeake.
Oyster production is increasing due to government management of the beds. I spoke with a Chesapeake Bay Foundation expert and he said that the beds have to be worked for the oysters to thrive. He said you cant just seed and let them alone. They actually pay waterman to rake beds that wont be open for the season.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:46 PM   #14
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You are absolutely right. Most all big problems we are facing can be traced to this fact. But talk about the most un-PC thing to say!!! Don't hint at such things and expect to be a politician.
You're right Ski, "PC" certainly applies to both sides of the aisle these days. As you know the boys in Raleigh passed a law forbidding any coastal planning, local or state, from using any assumptions about water levels rising. A country of ostriches...
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:47 PM   #15
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Greetings,
I love eating oysters but I absolutely refuse to buy or even eat any harvested from the Chesapeake or the Gulf of Mexico due to the contamination situation in both locations.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:04 PM   #16
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Every year we host cages of oyster spat off our dock to be planted in the Magothy River leading to the Bay. The upper Magothy is not a great environment for the oysters. :-( I wonder if it wouldn't be more helpful to have fully grown oysters instead.
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Old 05-21-2016, 10:37 PM   #17
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The Magothy is fresh water...Don't oysters need salt?
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:12 PM   #18
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You're right Ski, "PC" certainly applies to both sides of the aisle these days. As you know the boys in Raleigh passed a law forbidding any coastal planning, local or state, from using any assumptions about water levels rising. A country of ostriches...
I can say this since I'm from NC and lived all my life there until July 1, 2012. Remember when Barney Fife moved to Raleigh. If he was doing that today, he'd be the smartest guy there.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:35 AM   #19
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Greetings,
I love eating oysters but I absolutely refuse to buy or even eat any harvested from the Chesapeake or the Gulf of Mexico due to the contamination situation in both locations.
That is uninformed. Stingray Point oysters are some of the best to be found anywhere.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:42 AM   #20
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I can say this since I'm from NC and lived all my life there until July 1, 2012. Remember when Barney Fife moved to Raleigh. If he was doing that today, he'd be the smartest guy there.
None of this is true. A study that was issued a few years ago had many doubters so they ordered another. The estimates of sea level rise were slightly less (still a lot, 1.5+ meters I think). And new regulations have and are being developed from this metric.
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