Little Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
Black Crowned Night Heron
Beakful of elderberries (mockingbird)
Bog turtles enjoy a huge range of human-listed status, "Endangered" being the one most commonly used from state to state. One of the problems is that these guys do not like to be found, so we (wetland biologists) actually have no idea how many bog turtles there are. All we can do is calculate how many bog turtles we expect to live in high quality habitat, and multiply that times the amount of high quality habitat, and I guess that's how many turtles we have? Sound scientific? It's not! But it's the best we can do with these secluded guys.
So, as the continent warmed, humans expanded our range. The mammoths all died, either through hunting or as a result of climate change. By the 1800s, all the elk and bison had been removed from the east coast as well. Leaving a few deer, and lots of cattle. Bog turtles continued to do well through the mid-1900s thanks to poor grazing practices (allowing cattle to graze in wetlands), and once we stopped that, an interesting thing happened. The wetlands turned into different types of wetlands..........wetlands that cannot support bog turtles.
Now, Maryland DNR, Pennsylvania DEP, NYDEC, and other agencies are paying landowners to cut trees in wetlands, spray herbicide in wetlands, and even graze goats in wetlands, all to support the few remaining healthy populations of bog turtles.
It's a good thing....but it kinda makes you wish we hadn't killed all the bison. A debate for another time...........were our bison a separate species (extinct 1825), or plains bison. I want to see a Nerd Cage Match over that.
Justin's first-ever rockfish is a nice one!
We eventually limited out on fish that were barely legal (18"), with no fish over 24", and switched up our tackle to bottom rig fishing, to mess around with some croaker that hang out on the rock piles on the bottom of the Bay. One of the guys on the boat caught this nice 19.5" gold croaker. We landed the boat around midnight with over 100 fish in the cooler for 8 anglers.
The Boss Hogg Croaker - Citation Eligible at 19.5"
Not a bad night out...hard to beat for early July I guess!
Over 12 years ago, I started this blog. There were very few conservation or outdoor blogs at the time, few websites with fast-breaking con...