Fishermen Say Diminished Fish Population in Delaware Bay Impact - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fishermen Say Diminished Fish Population in Delaware Bay Impact Business

Posted: 09/28/2017 19:49:00 -04:00 Updated:
A fisherman sits on the jetty at Bowers Beach. (Tom Lehman/WBOC) A fisherman sits on the jetty at Bowers Beach. (Tom Lehman/WBOC)

BOWERS BEACH, Del. -- A downturn in the overall fish population in the Delaware Bay has negatively impacted business and the number of businesses to places like Bowers Beach, according to some fishermen and longtime residents.

Howard Houseknecht, a longtime visitor of Bowers Beach who owns a home there, said the town's two major parking lots used to be filled to capacity on most days with boats and fishermen heading out to the bay.

"Now you could go out there and fish for hours and if you catch one or two keeper fish you're doing really well," he said.

Bob Trowbridge, owner of Captain's Lady Charters in Bowers Beach, said the his charter service discontinued its flounder tournaments and now offers an oyster cracker competition instead. He said some types of fish---like croakers---rarely appear in the bay anymore.

"You see a lot of your immature fish, like you sea bass and all that come up here. We catch a lot of little ones like them...Very seldom will you catch a keeper of sea bass in the bay," he said.

Mike Greco, a researcher with Delaware Fish & Wildlife, said the agency monitors about 18 different fish species in the Delaware Bay. He noted the estimated populations vary for individual species but there has been an overall downtrend in the bay.

"In the early 2000s we were catching fish---in our surveys---out to age 8," he said. "Now, we're lucky if we get out to age three."

 

 

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