Wednesday, July 8, 2015

First Day at Courageous Sailing Center and Community Boating!

Today was our first day out at Courageous Sailing Center and Community Boating! After an early morning staff meeting I was eager to get out on the water to catch some awesome critters. My team- Luke, Ruth and Andy- started our day off at Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown where we had a chance to get our gear set up and ready for a chalk-talk with our stage 2 sailors! We had an incredible group of ten 9-12 year olds who were all ready to learn about the harbor and to try their hand at fishing. First, we gathered around on the pier to talk about Boston Harbor and the types of animals we would see, as well as learn how to safely use a fishing rod! 

Chatting about Boston Harbor and site safety before heading down to the dock!
We decided we would first pull up all of our lobster traps on the dock to see what we could find. We pulled up five traps and caught tons of interesting creatures! The first thing we saw was the ever-present green crab, an invasive species in our waters, we talked about how to tell if it was a male or female crab, then I explained how they could identify it! Green crabs have 5 points on either side of their eyes- and the word 'green' has 5 letters- voilĂ„! We also found sea stars, rock crabs, asian shore crabs, jellies, a sculpin, 2 rock gunnels, and a bergall! After baiting all of the traps and hauling them back into the water, we made our way back up to the pier to fish. While we had plenty of bait, we didn't catch anything- but I am hopeful for tomorrow!  

We found tons of green crabs!
After we packed up at Courageous Sailing Center it was time to go over to Community Boating, Inc. on the Charles River. When we first got there we talked about marine debris with their Environmental Educator, Chelsea. We then baited the eel trap in hopes of catching one while we fished, and decided to walk down to the public docks around the river to see if we could catch some sunfish! It was a hot day- but there was a beautiful breeze on the river so we didn't mind the walk. 

Once we got to the public docks we set the kids up with fishing rods and bait. It took us about 40 minutes of fishing and two locations to catch something- but we did it! One of the campers reeled in a beautiful white perch, and everyone was very excited to see it- we all gathered around the touch tank and decided to call him Freckles. Once we released Freckles back into the river we went back to the sailing center to check the eel trap. Unfortunately, the trap was empty. Since eels are nocturnal and hunt at night we decided to leave some bait in the trap overnight to see if we can catch some by tomorrow afternoon! 

Freckles the white perch!

 -Kelly Randall-

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