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OYSTER CREEK FISH-OFF: All too often, the nuclear power plant at Oyster Creek has been the target of riled anglers pissed over fish kills caused by sudden shutdowns of the plant?s cooling system. Well, I want to actually go thumb?s upping for the recent, highly proactive, effort by the plant?s owner, Exelon, to prevent a serious fish kill in the face of a necessary shutdown for maintenance work.
Talk about going an extra mile. The company brought in these two massive generator/heaters that were placed in the water to warm a boom. According to those on-scene for this veritable fish convocation, the number of fish gathering around the heaters was something amazing.
(I should point out that the gathering point for these warmth-loving fish was up near the plant itself, far from the legal fishing area at the Route 9 Bridge.)
And wouldn?t it be of utmost angling interesting to fish such convocation of gamefish?
Well, it was fished. The honor went to a company known as Normandeau Associates, Inc., an environmental consultant company with office across the U.S. The firm specializes in natural resource management, water quality monitoring and modeling, habitat restoration and environmental monitoring
The Normandeau folks caught fish to their heart?s content, pulling out bluefish, fluke, weakfish and bass.
I overheard a fellow who was on-scene for what was essentially a hook-and-line fish removal prior to a full plant shutdown. It was apparently a piscatorial sight to see ? though off limits to all but employees and security.
Since it was believed the likes of bluefish couldn?t survive the winter temperatures that waited once the plant cool-down was complete, that species was filleted upon landing. Between 400 and 500 pounds of bluefish were kept and frozen.
According to Rachelle Benson, plant spokesperson, there were radiological and non-radiological studies done on the captured fish. The only radioactive thingy found was a naturally occurring K40 appearance, extremely miniscule and having nothing to do with the plant. So much for the old wives tale that the fish around the plant glow green-blue in the dark.
By the by, K40 is a radioactive isotope of potassium (chemical symbol K) and is actually considered highly important for good heath.
The non-radiological studies of the fish flesh did indicate a low presence of mercury (the bane of all fish, fresh- and saltwater), along with the expected traces of dioxin and PCBs. However, the findings seem to bode very well for those who regularly fish the Route 9 Bridge for eatin? fillets.
Benson noted that the company?s original intent was to offer the fillets to local food banks, however, legal risks involved such donations led to the fillets being given to the Ocean Life Center, a $4 million, 14,000-square-foot educational center located in Gardner?s Basin, Atlantic City. The center houses a 25,000-gallon aquarium containing marine life indigenous to New Jersey.
The fish fillet gift was worth roughly $1,500.
And were there any bass in the Oyster Creek cool-down mix, you ask?
Yep, biggies; fish that would have sorely tested even the most practiced bridge fishermen. How do you convince a 30-pound bass to crawl up the side of the bridge over a handrail and onto the concrete?
Most of the bass were released since they could tolerate the cold bay water ? after being allowed to cool down slowly.
I?ll soon have a picture of the bass ? and blues -- on my website --- www.webspawner.com/users/jmann2002.
 

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Great job to have and seems like they did a decent job with the whole problem.

What were they catching them on?
 

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I guess the employees of Normandeau Associates did not need to have NJ freshwater licenses (since west of Rt 9) or adhere to NJ fishing regulations
 

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Great info, thanks. My brother and i used to hit this power plant in Pheonixville. We could actually make it by foot to the discharge(pre 911). We caught bass all day bouncing bait thru the discharge.

al
 

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the power plant does not care about the fish, they are looking to save money.a couple years ago there was a big fish kill and it cost them a whole lot of money
 

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Jmann99 does it again...great well written report. Maybe the plant is not the villan everyone wants it to be.
 
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