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Lewes, Delaware
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August 27, 1999     Cape Gazette
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August 27, 1999

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18 - CAPE GAZETTE ]rlday, August 7 '-'se)hber , ][999 mnnl$ Fomey photo Neither NO TRESPASSING signs nor rain are keeping people offthe banks of the Lewes-Re- hoboth Canal by the railroad bridge in Lewes where two dolphins have taken up residence for the past two and a half weeks. Wildlife official fears dolphins may be trapped by deep hole, instinct By Dennis Forney Delaware wildlife officials are starting to wonder whether two juvenile Atlantic bottle-nosed dol- phins in the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal are trapped by a deep hole in the canal and their own instinct. If the mammals don't soon make their way back to the open water of the bay and ocean, under- water sound units emanating dol- phin noises may be used to try to lure the animals out of their tem- porary home. It's been two and a half weeks since the dolphins were first spotted in a 50-yard stretch of water just north of the railroaff bridge in Lewes. Since then wildlife officials - and a steady stream of curiosity seekers - have been standing lookout on the canal bank to see the unusual natural phenomenon. The dol- phins continue to appear and be- have in a healthy manner and food supplies where they are also ap- pear ample. Suzanne Thurman of the local marme mammal and sea turtle stranding team said'this week that one of the many volunteers who has been keeping an eye on the dolphins used a depth finder this week to take soundings where the dolphins are staying. "There's a hole there where the w.ater rushes through the railroad bridge and scours the bottom just north of the bridge," said Thur- man. "The water where they are is 40- to 50-feet deep. Just beyond the hole, toward the drawbridge, the bottom comes up quickly and Midway Continued from page 17 provements to the park road, East Isaacs Road, be made by develop- ers as part of the first phase of any the water is fairly shallow. There's some thought that the dol- phins may have made their way to the deep water in the hole and now are trapped there. They may not want to go back to the shallow water where they came from, es- pecially since their natural instinct is to travel south. The canal runs north and south. The best thing would be for them to turn around and swim out of the canal toward Roosevelt Inlet where they came from but that would be north and shallow water and they may not be comfortable doing that, espe- cially since they are young and in- experienced." Thurman said the dolphins also may be reluctant to go any further south because that would mean going through the narrow con- fines of the railroad bridge. "The water temperature an;d salinity and food supplies are good for now," said Thurman, "but we don't want to wait until the last minute to help them get back out to open waster. They re- ally need to hook up with a large herd of dolphins to successfully migrate south.'" She said that other measures that could eventually be taken if it were felt time were getting short would include trying to herd the animals from the canal or possib!y capturing them to make the relo- cation. "We think herding would be difficult because of the depth of the water in there and it would take special divers to make a cap- development. Brockenbrough wrote that Del- DOT is concerned about Midway Park because "this project would introduce traffic on to East Isaacs Drivefor which the street was not designed and to which residents are not accustomed." ture plus that would be the most stressful option. It's not really one we're considering at this time." Thurman said it's not unusual for dolphins to go into tributaries of larger bodies of water to forage for food. "It is unusual for them to stay so long in one place. But these two are still being playful. They ride on the wakes of boats going past. We've found that most boaters have been respectful of them and the volunteers who have been watching their condi- tions have been tremendous. There have been about 15 people spending an hour at a time and I've been doing two hours," said Thurman. "Of course most of the time I've been spending has been an- swering questions from the loads of people who have been stopping by to see the dolphins." Thurman said more bottom contour work will be done this week. "We want to see how much water there is at high tide and whether that might offer some op- portunities." In other dolphin news, Edna Stetzer of Delaware's Fish and Wildlife said a newborn dolphin died near Prime Hook Beach on Thursday afternoon. "The people who reported the sick dolphin held it up in the wa- ter near the beach for an hour be- fore we got there," said Stetzer. "But it ,was very sick and it died afterward. We think it must have gotten separated from its mother and grew weak and sick. We're going to try to get Johns Hopkins or University of Pennsylvania to do an autopsy so we can find out the precise cause of death." Last week another young dol- phin died on the ocean beach near Conquest Road south of Dewey Beach. --Real Deals- ...AND ]lIST A SHORT WALK ... to Silver Lake and the boardwalk, restaurants and shops. This cozy beach getaway has it all. A great private hackyard with a pond, large deck, large party Florida room with a wet bar. Parking for 6 cars. Listed at $214,900. PRISTINE VIEWS ... From the balconies of this new construction, with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, great room, living room. Overlooking the basin at Bay Vista, with boat slip and ramp at your front dour with access to Lewes-Rehoboth Canal, and just min- utes to the boardwalk and beaches. Just $215,000. GREAT LOCATION ... Close to everything, stores, groceries, outlets, restaurants and the beach, just a couple of miles. This well built home contains 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, largeeat-in kitchen, great Florida room that opens to a very private yard, 2 car garage. Priced to sell at $134,900. i- I WATERVIEWS ... From the master bedroom sitting room of this newly constructed home in The Glade, features 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, large exercise or comput- er room, family, living and dining rooms, stone fireplace, screened porch, deck and a 2 1/2 car garage, over 2,800 sq. ft. Priced at $279.900. EASE OF LIVING ... In"this lovely home in the retirement commu- nity of Magnolia Meadows, features 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, beautiful designed kitchen, 3 seasons porch, 1 car garage, and town water &+ sewer. Professionally landscaped immaculate condi- tion+ like a model. Just listed at $89,900. WATERFRONT PARADISE ... Almost five acres of privacy on Rehoboth Bay. 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In a great community with pool and tennis, and a bike ride to Silver Lake and ocean beaches in Rehoboth Beach. Enjoy the views and the pri- vacy of this end unit with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, deck, and a large screened porch. Priced to sell at $t34.900. FIN DE SIECLE ... And begin the century in this fabulous ONE OF A KIND townhouse, features 3 bedrooms and 3 fuil baths, only for the most discriminating taste, completely renovated with ATI'ENTION TO DETAIL, including all Italian marble floors. ust listed at $189,900. CLASSIC NORTH SHORES ... Vacation home, lovingly maintained and never rented, original owners. A very large screened porch, 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, cathe- dral ceilings, carport, privacy fences, large deck, circular driveway and JUST A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE OCEAN. Priced at $499,900. E:IN REAL ESTATE!:00::' 00.7325 * 302'227-8525 :+