Friday, August 13th, 2010
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Tropical Fish Netted In New Jersey River, Man Suffering Existential Crisis Finds Hope For Future

butterfly fish"Once the net was on the beach it was picking time. All sorts of bait jumped about. The majority of it was tiny green-tinted spearing. But the seine also netted grass shrimp, striped killies, a needle fish, one baby fluke and a tropical butterfly fish about the size of a quarter. Rarely do you see three people so fascinated by such a tiny specimen. Its golden green color glistened in the sunlight. 'It probably came up through the intercoastal waterway,' Figs suggested. The Manasquan River is the very northern end of the waterway that leads south to Florida. It could be that the little fish hitched a ride as larvae on a boat making the trip and hatched in the river. It's anyone's guess."
-Three pages might be more than you want to read about casting nets for baitfish. But imagine pulling something that looked like that out of the water in New Jersey? It'd be like the brook trout in The Road. "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming…" Wouldn't it? A little bit, even? No? I think it would.

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Is everything OK at home?

propertius (#361)

"We set the butterfly fish free along with the baby fluke and needle fish and collected the spearing, killies and shrimp. We dumped them into a five-gallon bucket filled with river water. Of the three baits, the spearing had the shortest lifespan in the bucket with at least half dying very quickly."

That's the touchingest thing I've read all week.

TroutSavant (#1,990)

SPOILER ALERT!

Baby butterfly fish regularly wend their way as far north as New England – the larvae get carried up by the Gulf Stream. I've seen them diving off Cape Cod in the fall, just before they get killed off by the cold winter.

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