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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Time to settle down after quick'easter -- also, Holgate update

Monday, July 23, 2007: Waves: Still large and strong. Winds: Honking NW then switching to the S.

The ocean got royally and rapidly churned with the few-hour NE-easter. Waves got up to 6-7 feet overnight. Water also got very discolored for such a short blow. Water temps have stayed 70-ish.

There should be a rapid cleanup by late tomorrow. There could be some striper action stirred up by the wave action, likely bait-oriented.

I had some extra weekend reports that seems to confirm that the fluking was good off the north end of LBI and sorta slow off the South End, though two major flatties, one just under 9 pounds and the other over 11 lbs, came from south waters.

If you’re part of the upcoming BHM&TC’s White Marlin Invitational Tournament, there is a dedicated website at www.wmit2007.wordpress.com . The update for today offers insights into the offshore weather predictions for the 4-day event.

HOLGATE MARINA UPDATE: I had a useful chat with the fellow who is in the final phases of building the new marina, bayside Holgate.

It turns out things are looking far more aesthetically up than ecologically down.

Firstly, the builder is local. The “Holmdel” part of the application simply has to do with blueprints, architects and such. He knows the needs, wants and hates of other Islanders.

What’s more, the builder is a longtime boater.

The biggest thing of all is the fact this is not a new marina but a rebuilding of that now decrepit marina at the east end of McKinley Avenue. That area is now closed to public access due to liability problems. When completed, the new owner will carefully follow public access mandates. In doing so, a goodly amount of bayside view-age will be made available to folks.

The facility will also offer some lucky boat owners almost instant access to Little Egg Inlet. The piling and bulkheads will be made of high-tech vinyl materials. Some dredging of sand will be have to be done on the inside south side of the marina.

Another up side to the marina is the increased emphasis that will be placed on keeping the main channel open. That is becoming atrociously problematic.

The SandPaper will be covering this as will this column.

By the by, I am still very nervous about the open piece of bay just north of ?? It is just a cove but it one of the very last places to actually see sand touching bay. The birds love it. I’m wondering if there is any way to assure this area gets preserved.

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News item:

Jersey Shore Reps Unite on Fluke Effort

Saxton, Smith, LoBiondo, Pallone Ask Mid-Atlantic Fish Council to Weigh In

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jim Saxton (NJ-03) was joined by his colleagues, Congressmen Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Chris Smith (NJ-04) and Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02), today in sending a joint letter to W. Peter Jensen, Chairman of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), that challenges the National Marine Fisheries Service's (NMFS) latest proposed cuts to the summer flounder quota.

The letter asks Jensen to conduct an independent peer review to gauge the NMFS stock assessment. In part, the letter states: "We are concerned about the total allowable landings recommendation recently put forward by the National Marine Fisheries Service. We are writing to encourage you to activate the Council's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) to provide an independent review of the NMFS assessment and consider whether current environmental conditions are preventing the stock from rebuilding."

The letter goes on to state: "The recently enacted Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006 included new requirements for the Fishery Management Councils to have and regularly use Scientific and Statistical Committees. As the SSCs can provide independent peer review of the NMFS stock assessments, we encourage you to activate the Council's SSC and ensure it is prepared to review the 2007 assessment using a robust review process."

The four Members represent most of the Jersey Shore from Cape May to Sandy Hook. They complained that the NMFS's proposed total allowable landings of as low as 11.64 million pounds for the 2008 fishing season are far below the level NMFS estimated just seven months ago. NMFS cut the fluke quota from 30 million pounds in 2005, to 23 million pounds in 2006 and to 17.1 million pounds in 2007, despite the fact that the summer flounder fishery has steadily improved over the rebuilding plan.

Congressman LoBiondo: "For years, our fishermen and the businesses which make their living off of the ocean have been negatively impacted by policies based on suspect science. I have serious concerns about the scientific conclusions NMFS is using to determine next year's summer flounder catch," said Congressman LoBiondo. "Not seven months ago, the estimate presented by NMFS stated that 2008 yields would be more than 19 million pounds. I believe NMFS' recommendations need to be closely reviewed to ensure the decisions being made which significantly affect South Jersey fishermen are justified by sound science."

Congressman Pallone: "The current biomass target goal is simply unattainable," Pallone said. "Therefore, it is important for the Council to request an intense review of the summer flounder stock assessment that includes both targets and methodology. This will help to ensure that a future biomass target is supported by the most up-to-date information."

Congressman Smith: "Our request for an independent review aims to open and enhance the flounder management process and assure a more comprehensive, thorough and extensive assessment of the critical and mitigating factors," said Smith.

Cong. Saxton: "We are all pretty upset about the NMFS proposal and have asked Chairman Jensen to help provide a fully independent review," Saxton said. "We had expected the quotas set only earlier this year to set the pace for the next several years. Those quotas were already significant cuts from 2005 and 2006 levels. The livelihoods of our fishing community is at stake. If the latest proposed cuts are put into place, our fishing-related jobs and businesses will definitely be negatively affected."

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