A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

6.30- Fresh Croaker

This is a "Croaker"(Micropogonias undulatus), the namesake for Oriental's annual summer festival, "Croakerfest," held the first weekend in July. A Croaker effigy is also dropped from a sailboat mast at midnight New Year's Eve after the Running of the Dragon.

This fish was caught today from the new fishing pier at Lou-Mac Park in Oriental. The white specks out on the river (above hand) are commercial trawlers shrimping on Garbacon Shoal, across the Neuse River from Oriental.

Despite its' importance to Oriental Holidays, few locals eat croaker, complaining that it is too oily and bony, and its' large head means little edible flesh. The fisher who caught this one told me he eats them all the time.

Croaker get they're name from the fact that they make a loud croaking noise (a bit like the purring of a 20 pound house-cat), which this one was doing with abandon. They create the sound by beating abdominal muscles against their swim bladder.


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