First of the year

Took my girl out to the pier today and we managed to pick one up early (and then lose several later). Good to get one in the book for 2013.

The girl reeled this one in (mostly)

The girl reeled this one in (mostly)

There are pretty awesome animals.


2013-03-02 13.51.06

Beautiful fish.

The girl was especially happy to be able to collect a couple of copepods from the shark in a little container with rubbing alcohol. This is now on her nature table. Yes. My girl is awesome.

Also witnessed being caught today were two broadnose seven gills and a ray. Cool.

Funny thing was a couple of guys who started fishing by us. Five minutes after they get there one guy lands a small leopard shark. His buddy had brought him out to catch his first fish and he did. A neat thing to see.

Take a friend fishing.

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  1. Hi Bjorn,
    they say that when there are sharks on the flats the flats are healthy. Do you think the same is true of the Bay where you are fishing off the pier?

  2. bonefishbjorn

    Interesting question. Before heading out there I would have thought that the South Bay was pretty much dead. I’ve had to re-evaluate that pretty severely. It may not look healthy to the commuter driving over the Dumbarton Bridge on their way to work at Facebook, Google or HP, but if you look closer, it is a different story. There are a ton of birds out there. Thousand and thousands. There wouldn’t be sharks there without something to eat and the sharks I see down there are young sharks. The Seven Gills caught are 20-36″. These grow up to 9′. It all points to things working pretty well. There are crabs, there are shrimp (both of which I’ve seen caught in traps right off the pier). I think things are much, much better off than I would have assumed. I don’t know if this is because of the restoration efforts, or if things have mostly just been like that. I have a lot to learn about this environment.

  3. How come you don’t take the same care on the catch and release of the shark as you do for a bonefish?

  4. bonefishbjorn

    Fair question Paul. Bonefish live in an environment where they will be eaten, if released after too much handling or too much air exposure, by cudas or sharks. It is not, usually, the handling or the air exposure that kills the bonefish (excepting the well documented impact boga’s have on bonefish mouthes). In the case of these leopard sharks, there are not predators waiting at the foot of the pier to eat them. It is a different environment and these are different fish in a different position in the food chain. The risk to the fish is much, much less and I believe the mortality to be much, much lower.

  5. bonefishbjorn

    From a study on Spiny Dogfish –
    The study’s results showed a low post-release mortality rate for dogfish caught by trawl, and the species as resilient to this mode of capture. Since blood physiology was markedly altered by the capture, it appears that although disturbed, dogfish possess a high threshold for stress and are capable of recovering from capture assuming physical trauma is not outright lethal. Such findings bode well for dogfish populations, which again, experience high rates of incidental capture and release.

    I believe, although I don’t have the science to back up the belief, that Brown Smooth Hounds and Leopards are also resilient.

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