Unbelievably Massive Bunker Schools off Fire Island

Mike Busch, of Fire Island and Beyond (fireislandandbeyond.com), shot some incredible footage of absolutely massive schools of bunker, aka menhaden, off Fire Island on Sunday, August 6. He says the fish could be seen right from the beach in front of Davis Park and along the entire south shore of Long Island. Watch Busch’s drone video above to see how these miraculous fish cluster together into what almost appear to be land masses just beneath the water’s surface. Additionally, you can watch a small pod of bottlenose dolphin feed on this traveling buffet.

Seeing how these fish stay together sheds a bit more light on how so many ended up dead in the Shinnecock Canal last November.

Busch points out that bunker populations were “decimated” because of overfishing, but they’ve recovered nicely in recent years thanks to various East Coast states imposing regulations on this fascinating species of bait fish. “Since Bunker are the most important forage fish along the East coast, their continued comeback is great news all the way up the food chain,” Busch says in a Fire Island and Beyond article about the menhaden comeback.

See Mike Busch’s photos and video of bunker, dolphin and much more at fireislandandbeyond.com.

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