Are There Two Dolphins in NYC’s East River?

The North Brooklyn Boat Club has posted a video and photos of the East River bottlenose dolphin, taken from the back of a canoe.

Members of the Boat Club are “very sure” that they saw not one, but two dolphins. I was first alerted to this video and the possibility of multiple dolphins by Vladimir Brezina, Out Walking the Dog reader, scientist, kayaker and blogger extraordinaire. Vlad, who was out on the river himself this weekend, posted the video in a comment on one of my earlier dolphin posts where he also informed me that some boat club members believe it is possible they saw three dolphins. It can, of course, be hard to tell since a dolphin can cover quite a large expanse underwater, popping up fairly far from where it was last sighted.

In a Twitter exchange this morning with Out Walking the Dog (@Wildlife_of_NYC),  @NorthBKBoatClub confirms “simultaneous sightings in two locations” (one on the Queens side of the river, one in the original location on the Manhattan side) with the second dolphin appearing to be “smaller and darker.” This is fascinating news, indeed.

Read more at Gothamist.

Is it possible that the river offers some kind of superb fishing right now that is drawing the dolphins? Human fishermen regularly fish the East River. Almost exactly a year ago, I photographed this gentleman on Randall’s Island. He told me he was fishing for Blackfish.

Fishing for Blackfish on Randall's Island.

Fishing for Blackfish on Randall’s Island.

Some fish are essentially resident, while others, including striped bass and bluefish, migrate to the East River in the spring. As the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) eloquently states in Saltwater Fishing in NY, “In general, fish move.” And fishermen, of course, tend to follow the fish. As Ludacris puts it, admittedly speaking of something other than fish, “When I move, you move.”

In addition to humans and dolphins, East River fishermen include seals (the Boat Club reported one on Saturday in Hallett’s Cove in Queens) as well as a variety of ducks, mergansers, cormorants, and gulls.

If any of you readers are fishermen or marine biologists, tell me what you think. Is it possible that these are healthy dolphins that have followed a run of fish into a fairly enclosed area and are having a days-long feast?

Explore posts in the same categories: 2013, In the City, Sea Mammals, Wildlife/Natural History

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3 Comments on “Are There Two Dolphins in NYC’s East River?”

  1. Mr. Mantooth Says:

    thanks for the beautiful, mysterious film — the way the dolphin arcs and glides is entrancing

  2. fojap Says:

    Reblogged this on fojap and commented:
    One of a series of posts that Out Walking the Dog has done about some dolphins in the East River.

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