Stony Brook, NY, August 30, 2011 - For the fourth time in as many years, the Town of Brookhaven partnered with I Fish NY in mid-August for a crab fishing clinic at Corey Beach in Bayport, Long Island. In addition to fishing techniques, the clinic focused on crab biology and stewardship. As reported by Bayport Patch.com reporter Shana Braff, "About 50 participants from all over Long Island, including many young children, had a blast using boned chicken on a string to lure crabs to the surface."
I FISH NY Program Aide Ann TeNyenhuis said the clinic received an "overwhelming response" this year. "We got 100 phone calls in the last three days to register, but we filled up in the first week of advertising in May." So, when additional interest was generated via New York Sea Grant's Facebook
feeds earlier this month, people unfortunately had to be turned away. The good news, though, is that if funding is available next year, TeNyenhuis said I FISH NY plans on holding two clinics instead of one.
The I FISH NY Program is a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) initiative that introduces residents to the sport of fishing in New York State. In New York City and on Long Island, the NYSDEC has partnered in recent years with New York Sea Grant.
Ann TeNyenhuis (at left, solo; right: alongside Environmental Educator Amanda Kearney)
Photos courtesy of Shana Braff, Bayport Patch.com
Participants were asked to bring one to two uncooked package of boned chicken pieces and a flashlight to the clinic, as well as optional items such as kite string, a bucket, and crab nets and traps.
The crabs that were keepers were allowed to be taken home, and those that were not were thrown back into the water. A suitable catch had to be at least four and a half inches across from point to point, and if a female had eggs showing it couldn't be kept, in order to keep the population healthy.
Credit: Marina Spooner of Earth & Skye Photography
Roger Hirschkind, of Medford, brought his son Matthew, 8, to learn about the art of how to catch a crab. "I think we just like being out together," the father told Patch writer Braff. While the pair hadn't caught anything yet, they remained unfazed. Hirschkind said catching a crab takes "a lot of luck — and patience."
Joe Dovi from Lake Grove, a seasoned fisherman, had already caught three crabs that day. He brought his two daughters Juliana, 10, and Samantha, 6, to share in his passion for the sport. "We love to fish and do things outside," he told Braff. "I figured it was a good chance to learn something. We do crabbing on our own." Dovi, who has been crabbing for about four years, said this is one of the best areas for crabbing."We usually get a good dozen an hour ... The girls love to fish; they'd love to catch more."
Plainview resident Joy Levine came to the clinic with five of her six children, and was ecstatic when she made her first catch. "We finally caught a crab,' she said. "It was very, very exciting. I have to tell you." She and her family enjoyed the last I FISH NY outing so much that they decided the ride out would be worth it."The kids were so excited to come back to do another event. I didn't know Corey Beach existed. It's beautiful," Levine said. "It exposed us to things we wouldn't otherwise know about, not only fishing. It made us explore other areas of Long Island we wouldn't have explored."
The Levine family (at left) and Roger Hirschkind and his son Matthew, at the crab fishing clinic earlier this month.
Photos courtesy of Shana Braff, Bayport Patch.com
Additional images from the crab fishing clinic, taken by Shana Braff, Bayport Patch.com, are featured in the image slider below.
Also, I FISH NY has several additional events planned through this fall, including:
- The "Fall North Shore Family Saltwater Fishing Clinic" this Thursday, September 1 at 6 pm at the Cedar Beach Pier in Mount Sinai, Long Island. At the free clinic, where pre-registration is required and a maximum of 50 participants are allowed, beginning anglers will learn basic fishing techniques, fishing regulations, fish biology and marine ecology. To pre-register, call 631-444-0283 or email IfishNY@gw.dec.state.ny.us.
- Planned for Saturday August 24 from 11 am - 3 pm is the "I Fish NY/Urban Park Ranger Snapper Derby," which will take place at the 68th Street pier on the Hudson River in Manhattan.
- Over 1,000 trout are stocked for the "Fall Family Fishing and Children’s Festival," a family-friendly day of fishing on Saturday, October 15 at Hempstead Lake State Park. Headlining the event is a children’s “Casting for Pumpkins” contest. The event, slated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is $6 for participants 12 years and older plus $8 parking fee; free with Empire Passport. I FISH NY is looking for volunteers for this Festival. See flyer (pdf) for more information, or contact Ann TeNyenhuis at 631-444-0283.
For more on these events, see I FISH NY's related page (click here