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Saturday, August 3, 2019

Counting Quonnie fish

Fish population is floundering
RI DEM, with DEM photos

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Recently, staff from DEM's Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) conducted a Coastal Pond Seine Survey at Quonochontaug Pond in Charlestown and Westerly.

The survey entails setting a 130’ seine net from a boat in a wide horseshoe shape, and then hauling it by hand to the shore. The contents are then analyzed and recorded. Fish are sorted by species, measured, counted, and are released immediately after.

During the sampling, the most abundant species found was the Atlantic silverside (a.k.a. “shiners” or minnows), followed by young-of-the-year winter flounder.

Also encountered were a few tautog, summer flounder, blue crabs, scup, mummichogs, and a northern sennet, a tropical stray in the barracuda family that can be found in our waters in the summer and fall.

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Baby flounder
"Seine Surveys like these target juvenile finfish such as winter flounder, black sea bass, tautog, and many other species," said Katie Rodrigue, Principal Marine Biologist with DMF.

"This survey has been conducted since 1994 to monitor the relative abundance and distribution of juvenile fish and invertebrates in the Washington County, RI, coastal ponds."

These surveys are an example of the Division of Marine Fisheries' mission to research and monitor marine species to support the effective management of finfish and invertebrates of commercial and recreational importance.

To learn more about the Coastal Pond Seine Surveys, please visit here: