Last Fish Week, Last Workshop: Eels with Sarah Mount

 

This past weekend R.A.R.E. spent some time with Sarah from the D.E.P. (Department of Environmental Protection) at the ArtsWestchester gallery.  She generously gave up her time to host a cool workshop on Saturday.

We participated in having our 11 inch live eel friend pose for us while Sarah talked about Hudson River eels.  A young visitor nick named our fish friend, “Slippery”.

Something new I learned about eels; though they may travel  1500 miles one way from the Sargasso Sea to their N.Y. home it turns out they are not the greatest travelers in terms of mileage compared to others.  Mainly because they like the Hudson River too much and choose to grow and live here before it’s time to make the journey back!

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Chris Bowser and Sarah Mount of the Hudson River Eel Project: Heroes of the Week

These two environmental scientists are both heroes of the week for the work they do in studying one of our well travelled Hudson River neighbor: the Eel!   A little information about the eel (and I may have mentioned this before but I find it so fascinating); they spawn in the Sargasso Sea where the Bermuda Triangle is located and swim to our estuaries to live.  The species is in decline and no one is exactly sure why.

About the eel project: teams of scientists, students, and community volunteers collect the glass eels using net and trap devices on several Hudson River tributaries each spring. The juvenile fish are counted, weighed, and released alive, and other environmental data is recorded.  For more information: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49580.html

*Next week, Saturday August 4th Sarah will be presenting at the ArtsWestchester gallery in White Plains from 1pm – 3pm.  She just may be bringing one of our long slippery friends!

The Protective Three-Spined Stickleback Dad

In spring, the local male stickleback can be seen building a nest made of twigs, plant debris and mucus.  Once complete, he flashes his bright red belly and vibrates his blue-green tail in hopes of attracting a female.  To complete the dance he presents to her his home-made nest.  If interested she may enter to lay her eggs.  This process may occur more then once with other females.  Her  role complete, she is chased out by the male who swims through the nest to fertilize the eggs.  He then stands guard, occasionally fanning the oxygen filled water with his fins.  When hatched, for the first few days of their lives, the father defends them.  He goes as far as gathering the little wanderers in his mouth and spits them back into their nursery until they are ready to be off on their own.

*sketch by Borren Hui

Our Green Hero: Isr’a Abdo

Passionate, enthusiastic, talented and intelligent are the first words that come to mind at my first meeting with the young artist.  Isr’a’s love for the environment and creativity will be exhibited in Fish Tales Around Westchester.  She has generously given her time, efforts and positive energy to build “special show pieces”.   In honoring this “gift” R.A.R.E. has adopted Isr’a as our first R.A.R.E. Young Artist and recognized her with an honorarium.  We are proud and thrilled to have her on board our team and look forward to exhibiting her artistic abilities next week!

Thank you Isr’a, for strengthening the show and for your participation.

Todd & Laura’s Sneak Peek

Test your knowledge and guess which beautiful fish goes with which fish fact?

1.The Tautog is a popular inshore gamefish that lives along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. Although capable of reaching relatively large sizes, they are very slow- growing

2. The American Shad is an anadromous fish, spending its adult life at sea and returning to fresh water rivers to spawn. They are primarily plankton feeders, but will eat small shrimp and fish eggs.

3. The Black Sea Bass is anadromous but does not spawn in Long Island Sound tributaries. They are popular sport fish that appear in the Sound in the summer, feeding on squid and finfish.

 

Hudson River Workshop with Chris Letts

Out of a large red ice box, Chris Letts from the Hudson River Foundation pulls out a cat fish (also known as bull heads) caught on the Hudson River by a fishermen.  His young audience sits at picnic tables at Croton Point Park, mouths agape just as the fish is, some let out a gasp of fascination and delight.  Mr Letts points to the tail and spreads it out, explaining how the cat fish has a slightly dipped, wide tail which basically is a sign of a slow, strong swimmer.   He moves on to the “whiskers” which he mentions are called barbells.  They act like sensory tongues outside of the mouth that detect food.

“For protection”, Mr Letts pulls on the dorsal fin on the back, “they have serrated spines they can lock into position”.  A child whispers out loud, “Cool…”

An excited student yells out, “I will pay you for the fish so I can take it home so my mom can cook it.”  Mr Letts smiles mentioning the fish is for study and not for sale.

Seahorses swimming at the Hudson River Musem this past week

This past (spring break) week at the Hudson River Museum, R.A.R.E. in collaboration with ArtsWestchester was invited to participate in their SOSI program.  Museum attendees were invited to work on an arts and crafts project involving one of our local fish neighbors in the river, the seahorse.  The wonderful junior docents educated and inspired the attendees about the species which led into some meaningful craft making.  The craft was followed up with learning how we as individuals can make an impact in our local environment for the better.  As a result we have some wonderful schools of seahorse that will be swimming in ArtsWestchester “waters” that suggest ways in which we can make a difference.  Those who donated their seahorse can come search for their “pet creation” at the gallery.

 

Green Chimney’s Fish Tale

Meet Shirawani (it means sand tiger shark in Japanese).  She is still taking shape with her recycled material body and getting to know her new home at Green Chimneys.  Here, The Shark Finatics have an amazing tale to share about the sharks home in the Long Island Sound and it’s inhabitants.  This story can be viewed along with Shirawani at the Fish Tales exhibit.

This is their personal story.  The journey of the Shark Finatics began with unknown answers to one of this planet’s most extraordinary creatures. Through passion as well as compassion, we work hard to educate others. Our mission is to keep sharks in our oceans, where they belong.
Learning, Teaching, Saving is our motto. Through education, of ourselves and others, we hope to help ensure the continued existence of sharks in our oceans, an endangered species.
Support this inspiring team on Facebook.

Hudson River Fact of the week

Moon jellies turn the color of the food they eat.  Pink jellies eat mostly crustaceans, while orange jellies have been dining on brine shrimp.  They can be found in warm and temperate coastal waters; mainly along the estuaries during the summer months.  They are enjoyed by sea turtles, large fish and marine birds.  This brings up the major problem of plastic bags looking a lot like jellies.