So this is my last week at Save the Harbor this summer; I leave for college this coming Wednesday. But I made the most of the last bit of my time on the Harbor. On Tuesday, all of the JPAs and some senior staff participated in the fishing derby. We weren't able to have a derby last year due to COVID, but I had heard exciting things about the 2019 fishing derby from Ms. Ryan and some of my coworkers from the O'Bryant. The OB derby team from 2019 was in the newspaper for catching the largest striped bass that year, so I was excited to have the chance to catch a striper of my own. I was on a pretty tiny fishing boat with Anna, Hannah, and two captains to help us. I actually ended up catching the second largest striper of the day at 32.5 inches long, only beaten out by team leader Jason's fish at 33 inches. Generally I'm a bigger fan of just being on boats than actually fishing, but being able to catch a fish that big was pretty funky. Every boat brought any striped bass between 28 and 35 inches long back to shore (apparently if we had caught any fish over 35 inches, they'd be carrying too many eggs for us to remove them from their habitats), so I got to go home that day with a super fresh fish fillet. My mom cooked it up for dinner that night and it was actually very good - probably the freshest catch I've ever tried.
|Me with my (incredibly slimy) striper out by Long Island|
While the day of the fishing derby was pretty cool and cloudy, the rest of the week was incredibly hot and humid. Unfortunately, we couldn't cool off in the water because Team Jason went to the Charles River Esplanade this week. There are plenty of fun activities on the Esplanade - sailing, kayaking, biking, going to parks - but swimming is not one of them. The Charles is actually a pretty clean river now, contrary to popular belief. Its former reputation as dirty water isn't true anymore. However, it's still unsafe for swimming due to the algae blooms that occur during the summer, which make it so that swimming in the river is toxic. We didn't spend much time on the river on Wednesday because we had to make it to a youth cruise leaving from Long Wharf, where we got to meet other teenagers working at Harbor-focused organizations. But on Thursday, we visited the Cambridge side of the Esplanade where there's a man-made floating wetland in the river. The wetland, which is rather small, is an experimental method for reducing the algae blooms and hopefully eventually making the Charles safe to swim in.