- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Fishing for a cleaner Anacostia River
Agencies join forces to create green opportunities in D.C.
Question of the Day
“It seems hard to promote sustainability on one hand and then on the other promote bringing six Wal-Marts to D.C.,” he said, criticizing the megaretailer’s green credentials.
“We will really become a leader when our decisions are consistent with creating a sustainable city, and not just an environmentally one,” he said.
Working on the river
On Friday, Mr. Ryan and Mr. Lyon again set out, this time for the Potomac River with their colleague Shellie Bronis, a fisheries biologist who has been with DDOE since November, having come over from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
“We’ve been able to coax a few really talented people away from Maryland DNR,” Mr. Ryan said as he guided the boat down the Anacostia toward Hains Point, where it meets the Potomac. “Shellie and Luke are two of them.”
Owing to the lack of rainfall this spring, there is only a light chop on the water as the tail end of rush hour is visible on the bridges overhead.
“Usually, it’s whitewater through here and it can get a little hairy,” Mr. Ryan said. “You’ve got to respect the river, and it can be a little intimidating. But the higher flows bring the fish.”
On this day, the crew will be going past Chain Bridge to look for snakeheads to be tagged and measured. It seems strange to call it work, given the crew’s love for being on water, but Mr. Ryan said his people often put in a full day. In the spring and summer, they go out again at night after a good rainfall when the river swells.
Mr. Ryan once was an aspiring tournament bass fisherman until a colleague lured him to D.C. Fisheries.
Mr. Lyon said he always knew he wanted to be a biologist. He worked summers for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources before attending Virginia Tech to pursue his passion.
Rounding Hains Point, Mr. Ryan guns the engine and the boat planes through one of the few no-wake zones on this stretch and sprays the crew with water. He slows until the boat is clear of the 14th Street Bridge, then guns it again until he reaches Memorial Bridge, where it will be slow going from here.
Rowing teams, kayakers and sport fisherman dot the river ahead. About a half-mile up a large rock cropping in the middle of the channel marks where the river is at its deepest. Mr. Ryan measures a depth of 79 feet, though some days it can be as deep as 85 feet.
The sight of anglers along the banks and in small motorboats and rented skiffs sparks a debate among the crew over what constitutes better eating: white perch or striped bass, also known as stripers or rockfish.
Mr. Ryan said that because both fish — and shad, which are benefiting from more conservative regulation in recent years — grow up in the ocean and migrate to fresh water to spawn, they are not as contaminated as resident species.
“I’ve been making the argument for years that white perch is better eating than rockfish,” Mr. Ryan said, prompting a different point of view from Ms. Bronis, who said she soaks the rockfish in milk before cooking.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq