Singing Toad Fish Infest Brooklyn Neighborhood

Martin J. Golden

June 02, 2006

Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) today has written to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation urging an investigation in and around the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in an effort to determine the origination of a humming sound believed to be caused by a large concentration of Oyster Toadfish.

For more than a year, residents of the area have made unresolved noise complaints to both the offices of Senator Golden and Community Board 10. In his letter, Senator Golden referenced the fact that on the West Coast, there are well documented accounts of similar sounds being traced to this fish. The toadfish when clustered can apparently generate a loud humming noise.

In his letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Senator Golden wrote, "...I would appreciate DEC looking into the matter. If this unusual fish is the cause of what has become a disturbing night time sound for many shore area residents, please advise us on what actions can be taken to make the shores of our community less desirable to this specific fish."

Golden stated, "I felt compelled to contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on behalf of the residents of Bay Ridge who have been forced to live with this annoying sound for more than a year. We must look to improve the quality of life of the surrounding residents and not allow for this nightly disturbance to continue to plague our community. I am hopeful that if the investigation concludes that the Oyster Toadfish is the cause of the noise, action will be taken to muffle the sound."

The toadfishes are a type of ray-finned fish normally found on the sand and mud bottoms of coastal waters worldwide, notable for somewhat broad heads and drab coloration reminiscent of terrestrial toads, as well as for the ability of some species to "sing" using their swim bladders