This Guest Post is brought to you by Marshall Brown, on behalf of Save the Great South Bay, and does not necessarily reflect the views & opinions of LongIsland.com and its staff.
Residents of Bellport and Shirley got a big surprise Tuesday with the appearance of a harbor seal in Carman's River.
Michael Busch, a lifelong resident of the area and an avid boater and fisherman had this to say:
"I have never seen or heard of them in this area EVER."
Dr. Artie Kopelman, a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, Professor of Science at SUNY/FIT, Adjunct Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Dowling and President of CRESLI, The Coastal Research and Education Center of Long Island, which studies seals, whales and dolphins, had this to say:
"It may be from the group that utilizes the haul-out near Moriches Inlet. There's a seal we've seen there that looks remarkably like this one. But if it was here, it was here for two reasons -- it was looking for a place to rest, and/or looking for food (fish, squid, and octopus)."
With the breach at The Old Inlet just across the bay, some speculate that fish are entering the bay from here. Seals are regularly seen at the Old Inlet, along with flocks of seabirds, a strong sign that there are a lot of fish entering from the ocean.
Several weeks ago, a winter flounder, largely absent from the bay over the last 20 years and a favorite of seals, was caught in Carmans River as well.
Many local fishermen are excited about this coming fishing season, given these initial signs of life in the Great South Bay, which they attribute to the breach at The Old Inlet, which is flushing and cleaning the bay, and providing a means by which fish they may enter in.
You can see the rest of Mike Busch's seal pictures here.
To visit CRESLI's seal photo gallery, click here
To sign up for a seal walk with CRESLI in Cupsogue, click here.