Re: geeeze capt.

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Posted by Dr. Bill on October 11, 2005 at 11:53:15:

In Reply to: geeeze capt. posted by Brad on September 15, 2005 at 17:30:17:

Not sure I'd say the BSB population is diminishing... it seems to be dispersing around Catalina rather than diminishing. I am seeing the fish at a number of sites I haven't seen them at before. In addition, I think that some of the BSB "centers" may be thinning out due to the continued presence of divers, especially those who have not been advised as to the best way to "interact" with them.

I have been filming the bass around the island for 5 years now. Too often, especially at I.G., I have had divers intrude upon my filming and scare the fish away because they didn't know how to observe them without impacting them.

I find that if I slowly work my way over to a hovering fish, and give it time to adjust to my presence, I can experience encounters in excess of 40-50 min (the limit of my videotape or air... whichever runs out first) after locating them. Often if the diver stays still near the bottom when they sight one, it will dictate the interaction and come over to investigate.

We used to have a courting center in Lover's Cove. I think the large number of snorkelers there may have caused the fish to move on. They now seem to be located at another location that is far less impacted by either snorkelers or divers.

IMHO overly enthusiastic divers can disrupt breeding centers and affect the reproductive success of this species. The impact is far less severe than the idiot illegal surface fishers and spearos who target them, but it is an impact nonetheless.

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