Thursday, October 01, 2009

Up, up and away...


On the swift Gulf Stream... Ok, not the words, I know, but this time of the year, we tend to see tropical fish in Long Island south shore waters. How is this possible? Well, many fish species produce large amounts of eggs and larvae, some of which disperse extraordinary distances. Sometimes, these larvae, also known as ichtyoplankton, get caught up in large oceanic currents, such as the Gulf Stream, and get transported hundreds to thousands of miles. As the Gulf Stream turns toward Europe of the East Coast, sometimes its path meanders, and sometimes those meanders break off and form eddies - circular currents of water that actually bring warm Gulf Stream water (and everything thats in it, including larval and small juvenile fish) toward the East Coast. Then, these fish make their ways into our south shore estuaries, and grow into the late summer and early fall. Unfortunately, the water temperatures become too cold and these fish don't survive the winter, but they are a lot of fun to watch and collect this time of year!

Grouper

Crevalle Jack

Butterfly

Grouper

Snapper

Burr Fish

Boxfish

Lookdown

Filefish

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