My take on the possible effects of the oil
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Thread: My take on the possible effects of the oil

  1. #1
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    We all know that there have been a multitude of posts regarding the spill this past fall.
    I have done a lot of listening and a lot of thinking.
    The sad reality is ,there is very little we can do, except clean up what we can and hope for the best as far as preventing another disaster. I'm not shore there is much we can do that isn't already being done.

    I'd like to talk about my feelings on how the spring run is going to play out.

    We know that there is a lot of oil sitting on the bottom of the river from ground zero and south , primarily speaking. What has been suspended in the water colum has either sunk or is in the process of being thinned out with every tidal exchange. This much we know.

    I have read a lot of doom and gloom from manny sources and i think it is both rite and wrong ,depending on what geographic area your talking about.
    The american shad , striped bass and river herring are all the fish that enter the river to spawn, they are highly migratory , covering hundreds mabey even a thousand miles. They have one thing on there mind and that is to make little ones. The shad come up first with the bass and herring on there tails. They all enter the river at a time when the water is still quite cold. The temps at this time of year should keep what oil is on the bottom , on the bottom ! This will leave avenues open to the fish for migration.
    The shad do not spawn in the lower river where the spill has had the worst effects, this said they more then likly will follow there noses through the oil tainted waters to find cleaner water upstream so long as 02 levels are adequate and from what i'm hearing they are.
    The stripers do spawn in the areas of ground zero and south but also go far upsream well above the tidal line at trenton.
    What i think may happen is that all the southern flats that normaly hold bass in the spring especialy those from the DOD north to just above ground zero are going to suffer.
    I'm not saying that the fish which normaly spawn and hold in that area are not going to show up and spawn, rather i feel they will show up but like the shad will use there noses to find the next closest cleaner and suitable habitat . That habitat would be the upper tidal reaches of the river and beyond.
    The lower southern flats are going to still be covered in oil in march , the upper flats have not been affected by the oil. To a fish that migrates over hundreds of miles conservativly speaking will not be detered by having to swim another 20 or 30 miles upstream to reach the suitabile habitat it seeks. IMHO .

    The herring do spawn down south but the vast majority come way up the river to propigate the species. So i say the same applies to them also.

    Just keep in mind that the saving grace here is the fact that all 3 species enter the river when the water is still COLD!
    Meaning the oil on the bottom should still be on the bottom when the migration begins.
    Yes they will smell it , of that i'm shore but as long as it stays there it will leave lanes open for them to swimm through .

    I realy don't expect to see a lot of oil comming off the bottom until late may or even june when the water temps warm up into the sixty's and seventy's. One small exception would be any oil on the bottom in very shalow water that warms up faster.
    Buy that time all is done and they are heading back south.


    In synopsis this is how i feel it will play out.

    The lower river has a bad year and all the fish that normaly hold there come further north into my neck of the woods along with all the fish that normaly come up here and us northern guy's are gonna have ....well a very nice year [img]tongue.gif[/img]


    Only time will tell if my prediction holds any salt.

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  3. #2
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    The oil on the bottom is a HUGE problem. Stripers eggs dont hatch in one location. When a striper spawns the eggs are bouncing along the river bottom. If they stop or get silted over...they stop getting oxygenated and die. I cant recall how many miles they have to travel before they hatch but it is a considerable distancce. The problem will be when these eggs are bouncing on the bottom and happen upon this oil they may stick to it or get smothered by it. If there is a significant amount of oil that can mean disaster for Millions upon millions already fragile eggs. I dont remember how shad and herring eggs are hatched but I know the stripers bounce along the bottom and that is a scary thought with all this oil. Good thread Craig.
    "I fish by myself because lots of people don't like me, and the ones that do like me, well, I don't want them to know my spots"

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  4. #3
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    You are right hip , they don't spawn and have there eggs lay in one area.
    Think about it though , it takes aprox 5 day's for eggs to hatch. Current and tide directly affect where these eggs end up along with where they were spawned at. Will the oil affect the eggs that pass through that area, probably but to what degree i don't know.
    Keep in mind that stripers spawn quite far up stream and these eggs will have no affect from the oil . Case in point is the fact that newly hatched YOY bass are caught every 1st week of may in trenton on sabbikki's . These are newly hatched fish. The current upsream of trenton is drasticly faster then the tidal sections of the river. Where do you think these fish were spawned? I dare say Easton and above.

    Also a lot of striper eggs that are spawned on the lower stretches of the river never survive either do to the fact they drift into salt water that kills them very quikly.

    What i'm trying to convey here is that yes oil is a problem but to what degree is yet to be known. I here people assuming a spawn failure and quite frankly i feel they are very wrong.
    There is just to much clean water for them to use . Will it be a banner recruitment , probably not , will it be a spawn failure Probably not.

    If i am rite and a lot of fish that normaly spawn on the lower simply move farther upstream to do it then i feel all is not lost. I'll know by the last week in march or the first week in april.

  5. #4
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    We can croos our fingers and hope for the best at this point.
    "I fish by myself because lots of people don't like me, and the ones that do like me, well, I don't want them to know my spots"

    ~TWIN Ds

  6. #5
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    Indepth and Hip I have similar feelings toward the oil.I live 1/2 mile from Ground Zero my hunting seasons were effected dramatically by the spill.I fear the same is true for the Spring-summer and fall fishing seasons on the lower delaware river.We were just starting to get a nice population of Smallies on the NJ side.I think this will affect them hopefully they will head north.As for the Spawners the 3 Major Spawning flats on the River are right smack dab in the middle to lower portions of this mess.As the water warms the sheens will reappear and spread as far as the ocean,I dont think the River is the only part of this estuary that will be affected,The Bay is in Danger of the same thing.The sheens strarted to diappear when the water temps hit the mid-upper 30's.I hope these fish finish there spawn before this stuff loosens up.I fear they may not,at 50 degrees this stuff floated,I did some experiments on my own,I placed a Rock covered with crude in a Glass Jar.The crude was hard and shiny.I then warmed water up and started exposing the rock to it.At 50 it floated up and at 70 the rock was primarily oil free.There was a lot of small oil balls throughout the water levels ,but most was on top.They are gonna need a lot of Skimmer boats out there when this happens,Keep your fingers crossed,HRL
    Goose,Duck,Deer,Coon,Muskrats The "Other" Red Meat
    Striper and Drum the "Other" White Meat.
    I Support Catch and Eat.

  7. #6
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    I guess i should have said earlyer that the effects i was dicussing was strictly on the migratory species and not the native non migritory species which i feel will take a much larger hit from what has happened.

  8. #7
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    Like a lot of you guys on the barn I love to fish the flats N & S of the CBB.This year I might stick to my northern spots around the Betsy on up.Last year got my first bass on about March 20 or so,this year at that time your bait & sinker will probably be sitting in the oil if the water stays cool.I don't think the bass will like eating oily bloods off the bottom.What will the long term affect be?The first few years they may still follow their past patterns just out of habbit,but will the eventually skip the Delaware alltogether due to poor water quality?The same goes with the herring and shad,if they leave the bass are deffinitly gone.

  9. #8
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    Well Creek i have to tell ya that of course i hope that doesn't happen, It's another one of those wait and see issues . I think it's the non migritory fish that will bare the brunt of this disaster, both in the river and in the creeks that flow into it.

    Like bunka said it's a mess down there but between human intervention and mother nature i can only hope for the best and deal with what is left.
    Like i said above i'm not nearly as worried about the migratory species so much as i am worried about the non migatory ones.

    The waterfowl and shore bound mammals will continue to bare the brunt of the spill

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