Monday, September 19, 2005

Fishing on Long Island Sound: $40 a Person to Catch Next to Nothing

As an economic asset, Long Island Sound is worth about $5 billion a year to the economies of Connecticut and coastal New York. But what does that mean in real-life terms?

My friend and former colleague Ken Valenti went out to do a story about recreational fishing on Long Island Sound, and found a business – a party boat in Port Chester called the Snow Goose 2, owned and operated by Kevin Reynolds, of Fairfield, Connecticut – that without a doubt will be suffering if the Sound cleanup does not succeed. Ken wrote:

The 50-footer, built in 1987, holds 40 people. On the recent trip, he took 22 fishermen on the six-hour trip. The cost of $40 per adult, $30 per child 12 and under covers the six-hour trip, with bait and tackle. An angler can rent a rod for $5.

The fishermen on the Snow Goose 2 were looking for fluke that day, but didn’t do too well. In six hours, they caught a combined total of 15 fish. Ken’s story though did not say when the fishing trip occurred (I was pretty sure I knew why: the Journal News often holds stories for weeks, waiting for room in the paper, and when they finally do publish them, they’re sheepish about saying the events you’re reading about took place more than a month ago.)

So I sent Ken an e-mail and asked him when exactly it was that he went out on the Snow Goose 2. August 17, he said.

I did not have to look at the DEP hypoxia maps to know what was going on then off western Fairfield County, where the Snow Goose 2 was fishing that day, but I did so anyway: dissolved oxygen levels were less than 2 milligrams per liter.

Could the link between clean water and a healthy economy be any more clear? Fish can't live in water with less than 2 milligrams of dissolved oxygen per liter. I wonder how often the customers of the Snow Goose 2 will return to pay $40 to catch next to nothing.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Joey Asher said...

So let me get this straight. Ken Valenti went fishing. He didn't catch much. And it's because there's something wrong with the water?
Tell Ken that they call it "fishing" not "catching."

2:21 PM  
Blogger sandy said...

True, but what if there are no fish to catch? Sphere is trying to say there are no fish because of hypoxia. Some charter boats will have trips even though the chance of catching fish is slim. Charter boats should be straight forward about their catches.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous JIM FLATS said...

THE COMMENTS ARE ABSOLUTLY CORRECT AND THUS THE FARTHER EAST YOU TRAVELL INTO THE SOUND TOWARDS GREENPORT / ORIENT POINT THE OXYGEN LEVEL IMPROVES AND THE FISH ARE PRESENT

5:55 PM  

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