Although as Publicity Chair for North Fork Audubon I am not in the habit of writing to you about County Park Conditions, today I write to you about the little known – except to locals – Goldsmith’s Inlet County Park.
I was at the mouth of Goldsmith’s inlet last Thursday evening from 6:45 p.m. ’till near sunset. I observed the change of tide from outgoing to incoming through what is left of the narrow channel.
My attention was drawn to three Green Herons and a Great Egret that were eating voraciously on small fry jumping out of the water. For all intents and purposes, the mouth of the inlet is closed and no flushing of sound water is occurring.
I hear locally that the Town of Southold wants to pass the problem off to the County.
Nevertheless, something must be done and soon to allow the hatchlings inside the Inlet to reach the Sound.
Moreover, the bacterial levels and temperature inside the inlet continue to rise.
From the smell inside the inlet, you don’t need to be a scientist to know what’s going on. People and children continue to play in the water inside the mouth of the inlet. What about the threat of infection to them?
I tell you this because, not only is the inlet restricted in flow in & out, but most importantly the fish that have hatched there cannot reach the Sound.
Small fry were jumping out of the pool that has collected just inside the very narrow opening. When viewed when the tide is changing, you can really see that more water enters the inlet than leaves. On the outgoing tide no fish were able to leave the inlet.
The back of the inlet near the small wooden bridge along the County hiking trail is where these newly hatched fry are coming from. Fish hatch all summer long in this area and need to reach the Sound. Moreover, the water quality issue, as time goes on, may cause eggs to die as the summer progresses.
What will happen to these young fry that cannot gain access to the Sound ? There were many more just inside the turn along Mill Lane.
I thought the County & NYS were supposed to protect the Winter Flounder that hatch there. Is this not reason enough for the County, Town, DEC or the Health Dept. to take action with an emergency dredging and open up the Sound to these hatchlings?
There are no Piping Plover in this area. Their pairing up and nesting has ended.
The breeding fish should mean more to us and the economy of Southold and Suffolk at the moment.
We need these officials to stop shuffling papers and pointing at each other and get the job done before it’s too late.
The clock is ticking not only for the hatchlings but for the entire ecosystem of the Inlet.
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