Thursday, August 1, 2019

Why all the Dead Fish? :(

Hello everyone!

As we wrap up another week of programming, it's hard to believe we're already done with HALF of the summer! Happy August! WOW.

first rock (or Jonah?) crab we've found!
This week, we started with another fun excursion on Monday, where all of us ventured out to Charlestown to visit the USS Constitution Museum. We got an interesting tour and lesson on how those aboard the USS Constitution used to live, and what they would eat. I learned that one of the main parts of the sailors' diet was a rock-hard biscuit. It was stored for months at a time and would never get moldy because of the lack of yeast in it! We got to feel one, and boy was it hard! Hard enough to break teeth! Yikes. After the tour, we walked over towards the North End where we visited the U.S. Coast Guard's Boston base. We got to check out some of their smaller boats and got to ask some questions about what the coast guard does as a whole. It was pretty interesting to hear about the wide array of things that they do! And to make the day even more great, we all got to eat some pizza from Regina's in the North End! Yum!

The rest of the week was filled with our usual programming: Tuesday at Courageous and Weds-Friday at Piers. Since it was such a hot and humid week, with an average temperature in the high 90s, it was sometimes tough to keep up the enthusiasm, but we did it! Many kids were too exhausted to fish or explore, and preferred to splash around in kayaks and be sprayed by the hose. Regardless, we all had a great week.

floating dead fish :(
dead fish
One thing, though, that was pretty interesting to notice, was the sudden increase of fish spotted in the water. On Monday, we spotted swarms of fish swimming under the bridge from Charlestown to the North End. Hundreds of fish were all together! While at Courageous on Tuesday, we noticed a similar swarm of fish jumping out of the water. Although we tried to cast towards them, they were too far from shore. Then, at Piers on both Wednesday and Thursday, we noticed a few oddities in the water. The first being a few schools of fish--likely small minnows. Another thing that was unusual was that there were quite a few dead fish floating in the water. There are a few hypotheses as to why more fish showed up dead, one being that there is a toxic algal bloom happening in the Charles River, and some of the fish could've made it towards the Harbor. Another being that it's just so hot and humid, and that due to this heat and perhaps changing oxygen levels in the water, some fish could be suffering from these changes. I'm curious, so if you have an idea, feel free to share!



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