Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, January 03, 2008:
Damn it’s cold, made doubly raw by the nearness of zero-rated wind chill on the heels of 50-degree air temps only a couple days ago. As noted in yesterday’s blog, wait until you see some of the air temps next week, when we could see record breaking high temps. I’ll bet anything this fairly severe flu/cold/unknown bug that’s been traveling the local nasal circuit will love all that body-straining weather switching.
Reef Bill Update:
Per the RFA:
“Reef Bill Passes Unanimously through NJ Senate
Trenton, NJ, January 3, 2008- The New Jersey Artificial Reef Bill, S-2635, passed unanimously out of the New Jersey Senate today and is one step closer to the Governor's desk. This important bill has been fiercely opposed by commercial fish lobbyists who want to keep their clients fishing thousands of pots and traps on New Jersey's artificial reefs.”
However, that is only half the legislative process. The assembly has yet to vote on the bill.
Per the BHM&TC:
“Assemblyman Speaker Roberts still has not posted Bill A3986 for a vote in the Assembly. He is stalling. If the Bill is not posted for a vote it will die on Monday 1/7/08 and we will need to start from scratch all over again in 2008! Save the REEFS NOW!”
“Call or Fax Speaker Roberts NOW!
DO NOT PUT THIS OFF. CALL NOW!
Ask him to post A3986 for a vote!
Assemblyman Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr.
phone 856 742-7600.”
BILL BLOG: I tried to get hold of my contacts in Trenton to see the likelihood – or lack of same – that the Pot Fishing Bill would reach the assembly floor before the rapidly approaching winter recess of the Legislature. All I got, in a round about way, is it’s a coin flip, 50-50 chance that a vote will be taken. It is very instrumental to make those calls and emails to show the assembly that this issue will not just go away.
While there is definitely some hesitancy by legislators to address the bill because of commercial fishing pressures opposing it, I honestly think it’s just as much a case that the fishing-oriented angle of this proposed legislation is simply not high on the list of priorities among lawmakers, especially when juxtaposed to addressing school funding reform and such.
Despite some real show of voting muscle by anglers, the power of sportsman’s vote apparently hasn’t reached the nerve endings of many elected officials. We’ll have to open their eyes way-wide this coming year: Ignore our angling issues and we’ll ignore voting you back into office.
As most of you know, a failure by the full Legislature to vote on this bill before the recess will push everything back to square one. For 2008, the bill will have to be rewritten – mainly just some date changes unless larger changes in verbiage are needed – and reintroduced into committees`, senate and assembly. Even following that proper process, anglers could get the run-around from the other direction. When the Legislature returns to session, leaders could say they have a load of very important held-over issues that supersede action on some artificial reef matter. That’s when we begin rattling the reelection cages.
For now, make that contact with Assemblyman Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr.