Bay Journal

September 2014 - Volume 24 - Number 6

VA farm family takes a year off to rest the soil, themselves

Attila Agoston high-steps through the foliage that’s reached knee-tickling heights near a small cluster of apple and peach trees on his organic farm. By early August in most years, goats or a mower would have made a run at these grasses, cutting a pathway to the fruit for picking.

But they — along with the farmers — are taking the year off. Well, sort of.

Sonar gives scientists clearer picture of river herring runs

After spending years in the ocean, the alewives and blueback herring had at last found their way back to the Chesapeake, and were slowly working their way upstream against the Choptank River current.

Like their ancestors for thousands of years, instinct drove their migration the spawning grounds where they had been hatched years earlier and would release eggs and sperm for a new generation.

Ghost fleet may go from wrecks to recreation

Don Shomette was about 10 years old in when he first encountered the “ghost fleet” of Mallows Bay.

He was aboard a jon boat with his father and brother, coming down the Potomac River from a shoreline campsite in the mid-1950s. It was a gray morning. The water was churning and visibility was poor. On the river, they met an old waterman setting out crab pots who asked if they were trying to find the ghost fleet.

Intersex smallmouth bass found in all 16 PA sample sites

Smallmouth bass with eggs in their testes, a condition known as intersex, turned up at all 16 sites sampled in Pennsylvania from 2007–10, with the most severe cases coming from the Susquehanna River, according to a recent report by U.S. Geological Survey scientists.

The results highlight growing worries about the potential impacts that a class of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors may have on fish and wildlife in the Bay region, where smallmouth bass with intersex characteristics have also been widely found in the Potomac drainage.

The problem has caught the attention of Congress, which has funded a five-year study of the problem in the Bay watershed.

Ernst Conservation Seeds: Restoring the Native Balance.
www.ErnstSeed.com

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A Smith Island family ponders the future:
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