Northeast - What ever happened to the Pogies coming into the Merrimack

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tomfrmnh
02-09-2010, 04:28 PM
I remember growing up every June or so the Merrimack would be littered with dead pogies. The stink used to drive you crazy. Looking back all that bait (before they swam into the fresh water) must have made for some massive bass hanging around. Anyone know what happened to them? Did they get smart and realize they couldnt live in fresh water?


y'sguy
02-09-2010, 05:04 PM
Spotter planes and seiners

loligo
02-11-2010, 06:19 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqv3m3VnkiE&feature=PlayList&p=7787C01A4065AF43&index=2


Jayhova
02-11-2010, 07:23 AM
^^That video says it all.

b8mstr
02-11-2010, 07:27 AM
Back in the early 90s (I forget which year), a seiner sat outside of the Merrimack in October waiting for the massive school of pogies to leave. For years before that, the Merrimack was filled with pogies and every year in the fall (mid to late October), they would all school up in the bay between the ice breaker and the jetties, and on 1 tide they'd all leave to head south. Well in that particular year, the seiner caught nearly all of them!!! For about 10 years thereafter, there wasn't a pogie to be found in the Merrimack.

In the last 5 or so years, there have been some small schools of pogie that make it into the river, but they haven't been in very large quantities nor have they stuck around for a long time. I'm really not sure why, but I suspect it's a combination of the mouth being much more shallow then 20 years ago so the're less apt to venture over the bar, their significantly reduced numbers and also perhaps because of the flood waters we've seen that seem to wash what few pogies that were in the river out....

Well that's my 2 cents on the subject.

crow.
02-11-2010, 01:48 PM
Wait. There was pogies in the state of MA?
somebody tell the seiners that they left one....

tomfrmnh
02-11-2010, 04:28 PM
Back in the early 90s (I forget which year), a seiner sat outside of the Merrimack in October waiting for the massive school of pogies to leave. For years before that, the Merrimack was filled with pogies and every year in the fall (mid to late October), they would all school up in the bay between the ice breaker and the jetties, and on 1 tide they'd all leave to head south. Well in that particular year, the seiner caught nearly all of them!!! For about 10 years thereafter, there wasn't a pogie to be found in the Merrimack.

In the last 5 or so years, there have been some small schools of pogie that make it into the river, but they haven't been in very large quantities nor have they stuck around for a long time. I'm really not sure why, but I suspect it's a combination of the mouth being much more shallow then 20 years ago so the're less apt to venture over the bar, their significantly reduced numbers and also perhaps because of the flood waters we've seen that seem to wash what few pogies that were in the river out....

Well that's my 2 cents on the subject.

Thanks for the info guys, I always wondered what the reason was.

I grew up about a 1/2 mile from the Rocks Village bridge and the flood tide would bring them all they way up there (albeit dead). You could drive along river road and the river would be completely covered with them. Too bad. Must have been some big bass lurking around the mouth back in those days.

boatmanalso
02-11-2010, 04:55 PM
The over population of striper takes care of most the poggies. Everyone cries there isn't enough striper and now that there are to many stripers, they eat everything in the ocean . Which do you want, everything else in the ocean or stripers?

CMEBoston
02-11-2010, 05:16 PM
The over population of striper takes care of most the poggies. Everyone cries there isn't enough striper and now that there are to many stripers, they eat everything in the ocean . Which do you want, everything else in the ocean or stripers?
Come on now, While I agree the striper fishery is in good health, humans do far more damage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiSvUZnSfoQ&NR=1&feature=fvwp

TAC
02-11-2010, 06:07 PM
It's a multi-billion dollar industry pillaging the bait. Even when they show in the harbors, commercial guys and opportunistic netters wipe them out.

Door#3
02-11-2010, 06:08 PM
The over population of striper takes care of most the poggies. Everyone cries there isn't enough striper and now that there are to many stripers, they eat everything in the ocean . Which do you want, everything else in the ocean or stripers?


Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I have to call BS on this one.

boatmanalso
02-11-2010, 06:30 PM
Come on now, While I agree the striper fishery is in good health, humans do far more damage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiSvUZnSfoQ&NR=1&feature=fvwp


Being that 1 female stripper of just sublegal size produces 4 million eggs and there are how many of those??? and since its obvious fish are getting to be 45/50lbs where the egg count can be 12 to 15 million, I would guess about 3 fishes eggs is equal to the limits people are allowed to catch.... So the other millions and millions of stripers are out there eating anything they can find including pogies. Stripers don't have any regulations so they can eat as many poggies a day as what they want. lets just guess that 5 million strippers( about what one barely legal size female can lay eggs) eat 1 poggy a day only 150 days a year... that is more than the whole harvest of US fishermen. I wonder how many pogies are eatin by the other (majority) stripers??

tomfrmnh
02-11-2010, 07:40 PM
Being that 1 female stripper of just sublegal size produces 4 million eggs and there are how many of those??? and since its obvious fish are getting to be 45/50lbs where the egg count can be 12 to 15 million, I would guess about 3 fishes eggs is equal to the limits people are allowed to catch.... So the other millions and millions of stripers are out there eating anything they can find including pogies. Stripers don't have any regulations so they can eat as many poggies a day as what they want. lets just guess that 5 million strippers( about what one barely legal size female can lay eggs) eat 1 poggy a day only 150 days a year... that is more than the whole harvest of US fishermen. I wonder how many pogies are eatin by the other (majority) stripers??

Why are they so prevalent in Boston and the Southern N.E. Harbors? What about mackerel and herring? There is a lot of bait out there. I don’t think the stripers have wiped them out. It just seems to me that over the course of a relatively short period (10 years), the pogies disappeared. Seiners sure make a lot of sense, but if this is the case can we hope for resurgence in Menhaden in the area?

CMEBoston
02-12-2010, 04:33 AM
stripers do not eat all the time, Just ask the pogies on the end of my line!! Again while I agree the striper stock is healthy, and I am an advocate for commercial fishing, I can not agree that the stripers are responsible for the decimation of the pogies. striperes eat everything, they are opportuinistic feeders that eat, eels, crabs, lobsters, clams,herring, whiting, juvie cod, haddock, mackerel, pogies, squid, sand eels, the list goes on.

GerryRM3
02-12-2010, 05:09 AM
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I have to call BS on this one.

I have to agree with you. The menhaden have declined to the point that many fisherys are suffering as well as the coastal areas like the Chesapeke on up the coast. They are filter feeders and part of the reason for all the algy blooms is because the population has been decimated by overfishing on the commercial scale. That in turn makes dead areas where the algy is.

If you punch in menhaden on google you'll find many articles on how the seemingly endless schools of the fish have been caught by commercial interest. Back in the late
60's and early 70's I used to see the boats off Revere and Winthrup rakeing in the fish. We had them in the Pine and Saugus rivers and as a kid I used to go down and catch them for lobster bait with my dad in the estuaries when they came in. Those days are long gone thanks to Omega, which runs all the menhadon boats that are left. You can't vacumn up whole schools and think that somehow those fish will spawn again. They are to important for the whole coastal fishery and to many species of birds and fish to not place restrictions on the amount caught.

boatmanalso
02-12-2010, 05:22 AM
I have to agree with you. The menhaden have declined to the point that many fisherys are suffering as well as the coastal areas like the Chesapeke on up the coast. They are filter feeders and part of the reason for all the algy blooms is because the population has been decimated by overfishing on the commercial scale. That in turn makes dead areas where the algy is.

If you punch in menhaden on google you'll find many articles on how the seemingly endless schools of the fish have been caught by commercial interest. Back in the late
60's and early 70's I used to see the boats off Revere and Winthrup rakeing in the fish. We had them in the Pine and Saugus rivers and as a kid I used to go down and catch them for lobster bait with my dad in the estuaries when they came in. Those days are long gone thanks to Omega, which runs all the menhadon boats that are left. You can't vacumn up whole schools and think that somehow those fish will spawn again. They are to important for the whole coastal fishery and to many species of birds and fish to not place restrictions on the amount caught.

I would say ,pogie stocks never recovered from the US allowing the Russan factory fish trawlers stripping the ocean 20 years ago. In no way have the stocks recovered to the point before this occurance. I use to catch my own bait at times for lobstering up until that time. Last years effort proved to be a waiste of time as the other previous years.
Re: stripers don't have regulations to follow like local fishermen do. Right now, I would contribute the lack of pogies to its preditors. Not man. Man can be blamed at one point but man in this case would be the US government for allowing the taking of the fish and second ,the Russians for the act of taking fish.

CMEBoston
02-12-2010, 05:52 AM
So are you saying its the bass, the russians or congress that wiped out the pogie stocks?

boatmanalso
02-12-2010, 06:00 AM
So are you saying its the bass, the russians or congress that wiped out the pogie stocks?

Rumor has it ...it was you. You need to have the best pogies to catch the best bass!:grin::grin:

I would say they initial problem and reason for the pogies disappearing is the act of thr Russians taking those millions of metric tons of pogies and the US government for allowing it. The reasons for the untimely rebuilding of the stocks probably should be blamed on naturial preditors .

BACKTOTHESEA
02-13-2010, 10:25 AM
Rumor has it ...it was you. You need to have the best pogies to catch the best bass!:grin::grin:

I would say they initial problem and reason for the pogies disappearing is the act of thr Russians taking those millions of metric tons of pogies and the US government for allowing it. The reasons for the untimely rebuilding of the stocks probably should be blamed on naturial preditors .

The issue is netting, Period. two springs ago the pogies were so thick in RI that one could row out in the bay in a skiff, snag or net what they needed, and catch as many bass as they wanted. Ark bait started their ops in around June and shortly therafter they were gone. They go everywhere in the bay even with smaller vessels. this year, Pogies started to show a little later, wek to 2 weeks due to colder than usual spring. This time Ark baits boat was down but another filled its place even earlier in the season and they were wiped out several weeks earlier than the year before. The fishing in the bay was not nearly what it was the year before. Pogies are prolific breeders as well and there is no way in hell someone can convince be that the thousands of tons that show in the spring are wiped out by bass. i also believe that RI bay pogies cannot be used for reduction (feed, etc), but are used extensively for frozen bait and by lobstermen.

thundra
02-17-2010, 10:06 AM
The whole idea of there being no more, or less of "___________________________" (insert fish/animal/mammal of choice there) is really no surprise.

Look at what has happened to either Atlantic Salmon or Atlantic Halibut, they are as rare as a $3 dollar bill. One could set out 1,000,000 hooks specifically set up to try and catch salmon or halibut, good luck catching one.

How about all the party boats that used to exist in MA for flounder, cod or haddock and how Quincy used to be the flounder capitol of the world. Quick, name one outfit in MA that goes out for flounder. And all the party boats that used to go out for cod in the Northshore area, those were the days.

I remember back when I was in elementary school, and my teacher knew I was a fishing nut, she took us on a field trip to the jetty at Salisbury State Park and we watched guys on the jetty casting out small diamond jigs and on every cast, caught a pollock or a cod and there would be fish scattered all over the rocks as they didn't have time to put them in any sort of bucket or pail. Good luck catching anything but a buzz on the shores of the Merrimack nowadays.

madkate88
02-17-2010, 11:24 AM
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I have to call BS on this one.

I second that:thumbsup:

CMEBoston
02-17-2010, 11:36 AM
The whole idea of there being no more, or less of "___________________________" (insert fish/animal/mammal of choice there) is really no surprise.

Look at what has happened to either Atlantic Salmon or Atlantic Halibut, they are as rare as a $3 dollar bill. One could set out 1,000,000 hooks specifically set up to try and catch salmon or halibut, good luck catching one.

How about all the party boats that used to exist in MA for flounder, cod or haddock and how Quincy used to be the flounder capitol of the world. Quick, name one outfit in MA that goes out for flounder. And all the party boats that used to go out for cod in the Northshore area, those were the days.

I remember back when I was in elementary school, and my teacher knew I was a fishing nut, she took us on a field trip to the jetty at Salisbury State Park and we watched guys on the jetty casting out small diamond jigs and on every cast, caught a pollock or a cod and there would be fish scattered all over the rocks as they didn't have time to put them in any sort of bucket or pail. Good luck catching anything but a buzz on the shores of the Merrimack nowadays.
Little sister charters,
Midnite Charters,

......Just bein an Azz:grin:

b8mstr
02-17-2010, 12:17 PM
As I read through this tread, I don't believe there is a single reason why pogie populations are in decline, there are many contributing factors. Personally, I think man has had the largest impact on populations, but so has the increased numbers of stripers and I wouldn't doubt that the millions of dogfish have had an impact as well.

As far as the pogies in the Merrimack are concerned, back in the 70's when there were thousands of dead pogies stinking up the river, I believe a primary cause of the fish kill was bluefish. Did you know that prior to about 1970, that bluefish were rare in the Merrimack? In any case, back then 15 to 20lb blues were moving up and down the river chasing pogies with every tide. There were stripers in the mix as well, but their numbers back then were lower then today. What happened was that the pogies were schooled up so tightly, that the fish in the center of the bait ball would sufficate due to a lack of oxygen. At least that's one theory I remember hearing as to why they were dieing in such numbers. There was also a theory that there was some disease killing the fish, but I believe that was mostly attributed to the carp kill at the time.

As far as pollock and cod in the Merrimack is concerned , I too remember being able to catch them both in the mouth and up into the bay. In the late 70's and early 80's I used to catch 5-8 lbs pollock four at a time on umbrella rigs at the end of the north jetty. I also remember catching a lot of 5-10lb cod with an occasional 20 lber, especially early in the season inside of the MR buoy. I haven't seen much of either species in the mouth for 20 years, at least nowhere near the size or the quantity they used to be there. As a kid I used to catch lots of nice flounder off of Plum Island point, something I also haven't seen in many years.

Well that's my 2 cents, opps I guess that makes it 4 cents doesn't it...

thundra
02-17-2010, 12:42 PM
CMEBoston, I should have typed " . . . party boat . . . " but I know you get my drift. There used to be party boats all over the Boston area going for flounder and carloads of guys from NY/NJ/CT-all over to go for them when the season was right.

Charters do take 6 people out at a time for the, what, 8 fish limit nowadays?

Oh well, my post still does not address the pogie disappearance in the Merrimack other than I blame it on man.


"I have seen the enemy, and he is us."

ubettcha13
02-18-2010, 04:50 AM
[quote=thundra;2791811]The whole idea of there being no more, or less of "___________________________" (insert fish/animal/mammal of choice there) is really no surprise.

Look at what has happened to either Atlantic Salmon or Atlantic Halibut, they are as rare as a $3 dollar bill. One could set out 1,000,000 hooks specifically set up to try and catch salmon or halibut, good luck catching one.

How about all the party boats that used to exist in MA for flounder, cod or haddock and how Quincy used to be the flounder capitol of the world. Quick, name one outfit in MA that goes out for flounder. And all the party boats that used to go out for cod in the Northshore area, those were the days.



I have numbers that will produce a halibut right now! One of the biggest problems with the Halibut is the fishing area is closed during the easiest time to catch them. With the gilnetters pilfering the groundfish stocks along with the draggers ruining the habitat it makes it harder but not impossible.
If you can recognize the pattern that they prefer you can predict with regularity where they will be. It's one of those experience things. If you didn't learn how to do it when they were more plentiful, your at a complete disadvantage to those of us that have that experience.:thumbsup:

boatmanalso
02-18-2010, 05:13 AM
CMEBoston, I should have typed " . . . party boat . . . " but I know you get my drift. There used to be party boats all over the Boston area going for flounder and carloads of guys from NY/NJ/CT-all over to go for them when the season was right.

Charters do take 6 people out at a time for the, what, 8 fish limit nowadays?

Oh well, my post still does not address the pogie disappearance in the Merrimack other than I blame it on man.


"I have seen the enemy, and he is us."

Cycles, interrupted by farse regulation.

Reel-Life
02-18-2010, 10:33 AM
Maybe the north shore is geographically off the pogie's route. When fishing in NJ they are so thick up and dwon the coast, that you could walk on them. A trebble hook can sometimes bring in 2 or 3 in 1 cast. People have stopped throwing cast nets because they are to heavy with fish to lift or they are afraid of breaking the nets. And then the pogies make it all the way up the east coast to "south of the Cape" then it gets patchy from there. The numbers dwindle due to the above mentioned theories. Once around the cape, why come all the way back inshore on the way north? Just go straight and hit maine/Nova Scotia. Simple Navigation.

surly
02-19-2010, 03:08 AM
When thousands of pogies are dead and rotting as far as you can see it is because they used up all the oxygen in the water in a given area and obviously, they all die. Happens all the time, nothing to do with bluefish. I think the scientific term is hypoxia. Used to happen all the time in long island sound...... until netters caught them all......



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