Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013: Rain winning the day ...

Friday, Feb. 8, 2013: We have already dodged a .45-caliber snow bullet. By midday alone, we would have had over 20 inches of snow had the rain been white. That's based on well over an 1.5 inches of rain in my gauge. And the storm is just winding up off the coast.

Hey, I know how many snow freaks are out there but the good thing for those snow eagles is they'll barely need a quarter tank of gas to get far enough north to where the snow is coming down in gobs. 

While I have half enjoyed those little snows of no-inconvenience we've had to date, multiple feet of snow right about now would be more than my many of our mental roofs can hold, as we just begin to get homes -- and lives -- back to something resembling normalcy and livability.

I did get an email from some surfing buddies who have played hooky from work to head to upstate New York to snowboard, though they're a goodly way up the Garden State Parkway and still hitting heavy rain. I explained that this storm is going to be a wrap-around blizzard, meaning this primary warm-air portion ahead of the building system is little more than a stretching exercise for the steroided rage-stage of the storm -- when the energy juice from the ocean hits its veins and instantly turns into muscle. 

As of midday, LBI is experiencing little more than a moderate nor'easter, though the winds have a tad more tilt from the north than during traditional northeast blows. As you likely know, that north tilt is critically important. Once the wind loses its ocean warmth (onshore trend) and trains down from frigid New England, across land, the turnover to snow takes place.

Way down here we'll surely see some honking winds but the shift from onshore to a side-ass offshore flow will actually knock the wind wave size down and somewhat limit bayside flooding potential, though the bay is over its banks in many areas. The trick is to limit the number of storm tides. Let the winds go north. We'll likely pickup a massive groundswell by tomorrow, providing the storm gets far enough from land to generate groundswells  The bugaboo in the ointment is the way west winds could hit 50 mph tomorrow. 


The large hydrological research boat you see currently parked on the west side of the Boulevard near The SandPaper building (Surf City) is going to soon be heading out to bottom scan the channels in bayside LBI -- checking for shoaling and debris in the ICW.  We'll be doing a story on it and, hopefully, riding along, to see how a channel bottom study is done. I'm guessing it's not a helluva lot different than scanning the way we do when fishing, albeit a lot more sophisticated. What I'm wondering is what happens when something is found. Sure, it'll be marked but what happens in the case of debris that might be on the move? Also, what if the shoaling is critically bad? What are the dredging option, most short-term and long-term. We're not that far from the annual re-placing and repositioning of buoys and channel markers by the Coast Guard's Aids to Navigation folks. It would seem the channels would have to first be established, i.e.. dredged, before those navigational aids can be properly placed. It just seems like there could be a ton of tricky work to be done in short order if they find the damage I suspect they'll find in the channels. 


RFA-NJ Passes Along Division Updates on HOFNOD and Angler Registry


The Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ) reminds anglers that the Atlantic City Boat Show is going on this week at the convention center, with a full complement of fishing seminars hosted by RFA and the RFA-NJ. Visit us at booth #914 which is directly across from the seminar area and just next door to our friends at the Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Fishing Tournament. This new season-long tournament, supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism, is slated to kick off in April will help direct monies to critical fisheries-related science and research efforts in New Jersey.


In addition to helping get the word out on travel and tourism opportunities through fishing, RFA-NJ is happy to share some great news from the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) front. In September, Governor Chris Christie officially signed into law new HOFNOD legislation to help drive $200,000 in funding appropriations from the Drug Enforcement and Demand Reduction Fund; now, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and Future Fisherman Foundation are jointly putting together a series of HOFNOD training seminars.


The first scheduled workshop will take place on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24 at Cheesequake State Park at 300 Gordon Road in Matawan, NJ. The February 23 and 24 training opportunity is ideal for formal and non-formal educators and youth group leaders interested in using the sport of fishing to re-engage youth with the outdoors. The $20 registration fee covers all text materials and lunch on Saturday. Applicants will begin their training at 8 am Saturday by signing in at the Cheesequake training facility. Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. Applicants must register online at www.futurefisherman.org/training-registration. To learn more about HOFNOD in New Jersey go to www.hofnodnj.org.  


Governor Christie has also just announced that Island Beach State Park is now partially reopened for walking, sportfishing and four-wheel driving after cleanup from damages caused by Superstorm Sandy. Public access to Island Beach State Park is now possible with the recent reopening of Route 35 in Seaside Park. Entry to the park during this initial reopening phase is free.


Ocean Bathing Area 1 is now open for walking and vehicle beach access following removal of debris and cleanup of sand. Four-wheel drive vehicles with park-issued permits may now enter the beach at Ocean Bathing Area 1 or at Gillikin's Road, which is 1.2 miles north of Ocean Bathing Area 1. All points south of Ocean Bathing Area 1 - including Ocean Bathing Area 2, the Forked River Interpretive Center, the nature center, and access points to Sedge Island - will reopen as cleanup and restoration work progresses. The State Park System is marking every effort to be fully operational for the 2013 peak summer visitor season.


Before wetting a line this season, don't forget to register first with the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. The angler registry in New Jersey is FREE, and was developed to allow NOAA to quickly and easily contact current saltwater anglers in an effort to gain more accurate and timely information on recreational fisheries. Visitwww.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov for more information and to register free to fish in 2013. 


Once registered, RFA-NJ members are encouraged to participate in New Jersey's volunteer angler survey, which allows anglers to report both recreational marine fishing catch and effort. Information on what anglers catch - and just as importantly don't catch - helps biologists better understand New Jersey's important marine fish stocks. Become part of the marine fisheries management process by submitting your fishing trip information through the survey at www.njfishandwildlife.com/marinesurvey.htm



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