Avoid Cupola Park Boat Ramp For A while
Cupola Park boat ramp is covered with dead fish carcasses and dead crabs.
(August 31, 2021) … Either there has been a big run of sea bass in the Indian River at Cupola park, or someone decided to dump their cleaned fish. Now the park and ramp smell like the dumpster at Big Fish or any seafood joint. There are a lot of dead crabs too. There are also a lot of live crabs feeding on the disposed carcasses. Because dead crabs don’t feed too well. The only bonus to this is you can scoop up crabs right off the bulkheads today feeding on the carcasses and fish guts in the water.
Not many know this or practice it, but dumping your fish carcasses, and even crab parts after cleaning into our water ways is illegal. Technically it is dumping solid waste that could be deemed hazardous. Meanwhile everyone does this at cleaning stations and private piers.
Despite the popular opinion it is good to feed the fish and crabs it actually is bad for the environment. But here is the kicker it is legal to use these in crab traps, because in that case it is contained and the crabs will eat all the dead fish. (Is my guess).
It is a strange law that many do not know about. DNREC doesn‘t even put it out there or mention it much. Dispose of properly is usually the catch all phrase for carcasses.
I put the carcasses and crab parts in my gardens and compost piles. The plants love them and it helps make better soil for next year. Unless I need them for the crab pots. We even freeze some ofthe carcasses to use in crab pots later.
Recently further down the Indian river, near Possum point in the low water flow mud flat areas in Millsboro. There was a fish and crab kill due to low oxygen levels. This is one reason dumping carcasses is forbidden by DNREC. These fish carcasses were dumped in the slowest flow area of the Indian River.
Unfortunately this is one of the those rules that are on the individual to follow and rarely if ever enforced. According to DNREC it is the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances “department” and would be enforced by their Environmental Protection Officers in Georgetown, (302) 739-9403.
I’d give Cupola park a few days to clear out before I put in a kayak or SUP. The fact you can’t swim there is not surprising. With the hot water temperatures, dumping carcasses like this can also cause extreme bacterial blooms. Now you know one reason why we have a 24/7 Inland Bays Recreational Water Advisory.