Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wed. April 2, 08 -- Toe-of-dune stubbed -- won't even be heard

Wednesday, April 02, 2008: I had a busy day – one unruly thing after another. However, I had a couple high-point phone calls via two of the LBT commissioners, including Mayor Gove and Commissioner Palmer. They were both emphatic (and very affable) about pulling this proposed ordinance in response to public feedback. The entire commission responded very quickly to angler concerns.

The toe-of-the-dune ordinance was, as I had noted, primarily an effort to display an ongoing concern for beach protection. The impact on mobile fishing was not fully understood until reactions started to filter in.

I will be sitting down with Mayor Gove next week to discuss the subtleties of eroding beaches as they relate to mobile fishing. I have a keen sense that the LBT commissioners are pro-fishing. It has to be remembered that they have been very attentive to keeping the buggy drive-on entrance to Holgate open, despite horrific ongoing erosion. (Obvious: Holgate is now closed for the plover season. )

While on the subject, I want to give positive angler feedback to virtually every town on LBI – with a friendly exclusion of the borough of Barnegat Light, which does not allow beach buggies on the beaches but is very positively attuned to the fishing realm in general. The governing bodies of Beach Haven, Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Surf City and Harvey Cedars have repeatedly shown a solid appreciation toward the tradition of surf fishing. What’s more – and just as important – those town leaders also have a keen sense of the economic importance of anglers (and their families), particularly as they relate to spring and fall business. While it’s far nobler to consider one’s self as part of an historic angling tradition, the economic perspective is the one that often carries the greatest muscle when it comes to achieving fishing rights.

I did hear some rightful criticism regarding the low number of critical emails that reached the commissioners regarding the “toe of the dune” ordinance. They did receive quite a few. Not dozens, though. I’m hoping I can garner optimism from the many emails and chatroom communiqués surrounding the potential problems of the proposed ordinance.

Anyway, I know that a number of folks were considering making a lengthy drives down to this Friday’s LBT Commissioners’ Meeting. NOTE: The subject of the “toe of the dune” ordinance will NOT even be explored (discussed). It’s been fully “pulled” -- and not soon to be resurrected. Per usual, these meetings allow public comment at the end. Hopefully, chat will soon begin about how to get sand fixes for troubled LBI beaches.

As for angling, the honking wind thing flared again. While no 50 mph gust were seen some strong 40 mph’ers came from the south and then the west. The ocean is looking decent for bassing. The fish are there. The bay has some bass, including Manahawkin Bay. Forage fish are showing strongly.

The Mullica and Graveling Points (and related beaches) are schoolie-ing. A number of anglers are taking numerous bass, some to 25 inches. Expectedly, fishing folks are pretty pleased with just seeing the rods tips activate. It won’t be long before the “Where’s a frickin’ keeper” phase will move in. Bass are hitting artificials upstream.

More stuff tomorrow.

Email response: Some of the eutrophication is due to the dredging or lack thereof in the inlets.
Some is due to you favorite dike.
Some is due to boats stirring up sediment as they move under power, then add in jet skis sucking up and thrusting out water at high pressure.
Some is due to Tuckers Island coming back.
High temp water from the Nuclear power plant.
The natural cycle of the various bay grasses dying.
Mid bay islands shrinking, where do you think all that muck and mire are going?
Interestingly enough, there are some pretty skinny patches of water coming out of BHW, how long before they get too skinny?
When was the last time the ICW was dredged? Will it ever happen again?
What effect do all the bulkheads have on the bay regarding the potential for buildup of materials? How about their effect on current?

Global warming may have a positive effect for all of us in the long run, at least we will have deeper water. But think about that, what impact would deeper water have on the bays? What would then die off for lack of sunlight? How about pressure caused by depth?

The good news about not replenishing the beaches is that maybe some of the people resisting the needed changes will have their houses wiped out by a storm. I'm hoping that the state or their insurance companies would then step in and not allow them to rebuild. There is precedent for that in North Jersey along one of the rivers which continually flooded and the water front residents were finally told to get out. You can replace someone’s couch and TV just so many times. It only took about 30 years.

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