11/09/18 5:41am

A sea star is perhaps the most recognizable echinoderm. (Credit: Chris Paparo/Fish Guy Photos)

The terms fish, crustacean, mollusk, and even cephalopod are marine terms that most people are familiar with, as they are often the “centerpiece” of many dinner feasts.

The word echinoderm on the other hand, is one that is rarely discussed around the dinner table. Translated from the Greek language, the term echinoderm means “spiny skinned.” It is a phylum (group) containing roughly six thousand organisms that are only found living in marine environments.  (more…)

10/08/18 5:55am

Tom Schlichter with a big blackfish caught off Orient Point. (Credit: Capt. Jerry McGrath)

Summer flounder (aka fluke), snappers and blue claw crabs are favorite targets of North Fork anglers. However, as the warm, sunny days of summer are replaced with the brisk, cold northerly winds of autumn, those species retreat to more pleasant waters. As they leave, a “bulldog” of a fish has begun its migration to our inshore waters.     (more…)

09/05/18 5:55am

A lion mane jellyfish. (Credit: Chris Paparo)

No summer is complete with out talking about jellyfish. Every summer, like clockwork, reports of jellyfish make the local news, keeping beachgoers on the beach towel out of fear of getting stung. Do jellyfish really warrant such fear or are they just another misunderstood ocean critter?  (more…)

08/03/18 5:55am

It’s summer on the North Fork and there’s no better time for a fish fry.

Although there are many reputable fish mongers from Riverhead to Orient Point, there is nothing better than catching your own fish for one of these feasts. Fluke, sea bass and striped bass are enthusiastically targeted, but too often anglers catch nothing but “trash” fish.  (more…)

06/30/18 5:44am

Glacial erratic on Long Island. (Credit: Chris Paparo/Fish Guy Photos)

Walk any of the North Fork’s beaches and you will notice they vary greatly from those found on our neighboring South Fork. Instead of fine sands, we have many stones, cobbles and huge boulders. Why is there such a difference, especially when there is only a short distance between the two? (more…)

04/23/18 4:52am

Lady crab larvae. (Credit: Fish Guy Photos)

Although it might not feel like it, winter is finally over. The days are getting longer and as I mentioned in last month’s column, our local waterways are coming alive. Phytoplankton populations have now reached densities that will support the next level of the food web, the zooplankton.

The word zooplankton is derived from Greek words zoon meaning animal and planktos meaning wanderer. As “wandering animals,” zooplankton are similar to phytoplankton as they are not capable of swimming great distances, rather they drift where the currents take them. But unlike phytoplankton, zooplankton cannot produce their own food and must receive nourishment by feeding on other organisms.  (more…)