PHOTO GALLERY: In pursuit of flounder

Apr 25, 2023 | A Day in Photos


Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is working with the Fishermen’s Alliance on flounder research in Waquoit Bay.

By Doreen Leggett

Falmouth’s Waquoit Bay was sleepy on an early April morning. The state biologists that motored their small skiff through the water were there, in part, because the quiet would be short lived.

Once the summer began to ramp up, the popular water bodies across the Cape would be teeming with pleasure craft. The recreational activity makes it difficult, if not impossible, to do the dredging work needed to keep navigational channels clear. In the winter, the dredging schedule is complicated by weather and the presence of spawning winter flounder.

The biologists are figuring out when flounder are spawning, to see if there are more opportunities for off-season work. In this gallery, we get a close look at the research involved.

Seasonal Technician Mike Blanco waits for the sign to collect one of many water samples in Waquoit Bay.

Biologist Steve Voss collects water quality measurements including salinity and dissolved oxygen.

Biologist John Logan, list of stations at the ready, motors out to the next sample spot on Waquoit Bay.

Mike Blanco adjusts a “fyke” net, used to catch flounder, that has been weighed down by algae.


Biologists retrieve the lone winter flounder caught on the trip. They reach in through an otter excluder, an opening at the top of the net that allows the sleek mammal to escape if it gets into the net by mistake.


Mike Blanco looks inside the fyke net, ready to collect the catch.

The majority of the catch was crabs, including male rock crabs, a bit of a surprise.

The star of the day was the winter flounder.

Any winter flounders that are big enough are tagged before released.




e-Magazine PDF’s