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How’s The Water: January 25, 2013

Don’t Know What An Alewife Is?

Learn Feb. 12 in Oyster Bay

Friends of the Bay, in cooperation with the Long Island Sound Study, Department of Environmental Conservation and the Seatuck Environmental Center will be conducting a training session for alewife monitoring on Tuesday, February 12 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Friends of the Bay offices at 111 South Street, Oyster Bay.  

What is an alewife? Alewives (also called river herring) are small fish, growing up to 16 inches long and weighing less than half a pond.  Their small size belies their importance in the ecosystem. Alewives provide for river otters, seals and other marine mammals, birds such as cormorants, ospreys, herons and eagles and other fish including bass, trout and cod. Alewives support both commercial and recreational fisheries. In the South, they are a regional delicacy. Further north, they are used as bait for lobster traps and are valued as bait for striped bass.  

Populations are in serious decline along the Atlantic Coast. Management of the population is complicated, since river herring begin life in headwater creeks managed by state inland fisheries agencies. They then migrate to coastal waters controlled by state marine fisheries agencies.

On Long Island, alewife populations have declined also and this aspect of our natural heritage has been largely forgotten. Efforts are underway to restore alewives by providing access to historical spawning grounds that have been lost due to barriers to migration. Plans are underway to modify impassable culverts, remove obsolete dams, or install fish ladders and other passage structures to help fish reach valuable spawning habitat. If you are interested in learning more about alewives, respond to either Kelly Hines Leo at 631-444-0441 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) or Patricia Aitken at 516-922-6666 ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

News

Last week was one of Oyster Bay’s biggest, most anticipated summer events, the Italian American Society’s St. Rocco’s Festival. Returning to its usually spot in Fireman’s Field on Shore Avenue, the festival was filled with amusement rides, live music, and great food and company.

“We come every year to St. Rocco’s with friends,” said Laura Regan of East Norwich. “The rides and awesome food make it a lot of fun.”

One of Oyster Bay’s newest summer traditions is Dancing in the Street, which takes place every Friday in July at the gazebo in town. Sponsored by the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, half of Audrey Avenue is closed off and a DJ is called in for a great night of community dancing from 7-9 p.m.

“This is a great tradition and a beautiful town,” said visitor Michaela Lachance from Cooperstown, NY. “Everyone is having a wonderful time.”


Sports

Oakcliff’s intensive training program provided a high level of competition last weekend at the U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship in Oyster Bay.

This year, the teams selected for the event were highly ranked through the United States, and several of the competitors are past and current Oakcliff trainees, including Elizabeth Shaw, Kathryn Shiber, Madeline Gill, and Danielle Gallo.

A total of 11 members of St. Dominic Track Team (grades 1-8) recently medaled at the Nassau-Suffolk CYO Championship Finals at Mitchel Field. In the finals, the athletes competed against the finalists from all three regions, representing more than 2,500 athletes from 23 other parishes.

In addition to the student athletes’ success, the track coaches were honored as well. St. Dominic CYO Track coaches Phil Schade (grades 1-3), Julie and Mike Keffer (grades 4-6) and Rich Cameron (grades 7-8) were selected by peer coaches in their region for the NSCYO Team Sportsmanship Award. The Saint Dominic CYO track program, in its second year, has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with and the young runners are among the best on Long Island.


Calendar

OB Band Concerts

Wednesday, July 23

Music Under The Stars

Friday, July 25

Annual Chicken BBQ

Saturday, July 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com