Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, March 30, 2018: A quick note that the replen work in Brant Beach has begun on 31st Street ... and cold nights to come

Where did he learn to do this????

Porpoise blows bubble rings

Clam shell on a mission to get back at sea, leaving a trail in its wake:

Corrugated beach walk ... 


NJ Marine Fisheries Council Meeting 

April 5 (Meeting to be held at 5:00 PM at the Bay Avenue Community Center, 775 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ 08050) 


Here's my weekly column: 



Friday, March 30, 2018: A quick note that the replen work in Brant Beach has begun on 31st Street, with the unloading of pipes. The dredge should be in place by next week. Now let’s see if the weather can play nice with the project. I should mention that original plan to begin Brant Beach and Harvey Cedars at the same time was negated by that series of storms we had.

I am doing all I can to get info on the new Little Egg Inlet channel. I personally left messages with the NJ dredging folks in Trenton but no word back. I even called the USCG wondering if they knew anything, since they’ll be watching those waters, even though the channel dredging was fully a state dredge, no fed-age. Not a return peep from them, even though a gal I talked to at the USCG said she’d get right back. I’m actually not sure why it has been a bit hush-hush, though I’m sure some folks will think the worst, i.e. it’s already filling in from the storms. Perish the thought.

For those not familiar with the dredge project and related beach replenishment: 




(18/P008) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Coastal Engineering has launched a major project utilizing sand dredged to create a safe boat channel for Little Egg Inlet to repair beaches and dunes on southern Long Beach Island that have sustained significant erosion from storms.

“This project is designed to have the multiple benefits of restoring beaches that are economically vital for shore tourism and storm protection while making it safe for boaters to again use Little Egg Inlet,” said David Rosenblatt, DEP’s Assistant Commissioner for Engineering and Construction. “We look forward to having the project completed in time for the next tourism and boating season.”

Oak Brook, Ill.-based Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Co. on Jan. 18 launched the $18.4 million project that is utilizing sand from the southern portion of the inlet to repair beaches and dunes in Holgate and Beach Haven. The inlet is a major thoroughfare for recreational and commercial fishing boats between southern Long Beach Island and Brigantine. The project is funded by the DEP’s Shore Protection program.

The DEP is also partnering with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Brigantine to pump 755,000 cubic yards of sand from the much smaller Brigantine Inlet, south of Little Egg Inlet, to repair beaches and dunes in that city that were damaged by a nor’easter in January 2016. The project began Jan. 19. Brigantine Inlet is not a navigation channel but has accumulated large shoals that can be utilized as a “borrow” area to provide sand for beaches and dunes.

Cranford-based Weeks Marine is implementing this $10.6 million project for the Army Corps of Engineers, which is providing $9.8 million in funding. The project will repair beaches and dunes from north of 14th Street south to Roosevelt Avenue. The DEP and city are cost-sharing the balance.

The much larger Little Egg Inlet is one of the widest inlets in New Jersey, and is extremely dynamic with shoals constantly shifting with the seasons. It provides access to the Little Egg Harbor portion of Barnegat Bay and Great Bay.

The channel has never been dredged. Over the years, the Coast Guard would mark the safest natural channel through the inlet. In March 2017, the Coast Guard removed navigational buoys because shoaling was so severe that no safe channel could be marked.

The Little Egg Inlet project will clear a mile-long portion of the previously marked channel that is 24 feet below mean sea level, using this sand to restore beaches in Beach Haven and Holgate on Long Beach Island. The Dredge Texas is working in conjunction with two large booster pumps to pump sand onto beaches.

Sand replacement work began near Susan Avenue in Holgate and is working north toward Beach Haven. Work has progressed to the area near Jeffries Avenue in Beach Haven. Work in Beach Haven will take about two more weeks, depending on weather.

Upon completion of work in Beach Haven, the dredge will begin operations near Rosemma Avenue in the Holgate section of Long Beach Township and will work southward to the Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge border. Pumping in this section should take about three weeks.

Depending on weather, the expectation is that all work and demobilization will be completed by mid-March. In total, some 700,000 cubic yards of sand will be moved from the inlet to the beaches, with an option to move an additional 300,000 cubic yards if necessary.

Each of the municipalities will be re-establishing sand fences, crossovers, and dune grass once the contract work and demobilization is completed.

DEP PHOTO/Top: Little Egg Inlet; Bottom: Southern LBI project area



Image result for buoys in barnegat bay NJ

I see the Aids to Navigation folks are now placing markers in the bay. For me, that was most noticeable in Manahawkin Bay. I have to think the newly dredged Double Creek Channel – along with High Bar Harbor channel and the channel at the public dock area – will soon be marked, if not so already. I’ve been too busy to get out there to check. If anyone has insights, please drop me a line at jmann99@hotmail.com.

Seeing it’s a holiday weekend, things could get a bit crowded on LBI. There will likely be some angling being tried. The weather should be helping a bit. The down side is the ocean water temp, which is holding in the low 40s. In the past, I’ve recorded water temps 10 degrees warmer by this date. Also, Easter will offer air temps near 50, at most. Just last year, Easter saw a local high temperature reading of 86 degrees.

By the by, the slow warming of ocean waters this time of year is primarily influenced by solar heating -- and the lack of same. That also means that nighttime lows can bring daytime gains down. And things could stay way down based on forecasts for upcoming week. I was chatting with a couple gardeners who have been stymied from transplanting their indoor-sprouted plants. They told me night temps could go down to freezing -- and well below on the mainland -- by mid next week. Yep, post April 1, no fooling either. While first sprouting garden plants indoor is the way to go, taking too long to transfer them to an outdoor climate lowers the chance of a successful transplant.

Those who have already done the transplant should be covering sprouts with containers or, in a more grandmotherish way, with an old blanket. Never plastic sheets, per experts.  

Cold-Snap Care

Whether you fell under the spell of some eye-catching color at the garden center or just wanted to get a jump on the gardening season, planting too early can create a crisis when a cold snap threatens. Helping your seedlings survive the big chill isn’t impossible, but it does require some preparation.

In most cases, you can count on makeshift methods to protect plants when the thermometer dips. But for larger plantings, such as a vegetable garden, you’ll need to arm yourself ahead of time with the right gadgets to guard plants against frosty mornings.

Know the Limits

In order to understand what steps to take when freeze warnings threaten, you need to know the point at which treasured greenery fades to frost-burned brown. The general rule of thumb is that most plants freeze when temperatures remain at 28° for five hours.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Seedlings, with their tender new leaves, often give up the ghost when temperatures dip to 32–33°. Tropical plants have differing low-temperature thresholds. Some keel over when temps fall to 40°; others crumble at 35°. Other plants are just hardy by nature and can withstand temperatures as low as 18–20°. To find the threshold for your plants, search garden books and online resources.

Quick Fixes for Frost Warnings

Pick it up. The easiest cold-protection scheme is to move plants out of harm’s way. This works with seedlings in flats and potted plants. Moving plants under a deck, into a garage or shed, or onto a porch with a roof often offers ample protection.

Count on water. Water soil just before sundown to raise overnight air temperature around plants as the water evaporates. Fill gallon jugs or buckets with water and place them in the sun during the day. At night, move them near endangered plants. The water will moderate air temperatures; if it freezes, it will release heat. For greatest effect, paint a few water-holding containers black to maximize daytime heating.

Keep air moving. Cold, still air does the most damage to plants. Stir a breeze all night with an electric fan to keep frost from forming on plants. Remember to protect electrical connections from moisture.

Cover plants. Protect plants from all but the hardest freeze (28° for five hours) by covering them with sheets, towels, blankets, cardboard or a tarp. You can also invert baskets, coolers or any container with a solid bottom over plants. Cover plants before dark to trap warmer air. Ideally, coverings shouldn’t touch foliage. Anchor fabric coverings if windy conditions threaten.

In the morning, remove coverings when temperatures rise and frost dissipates. Heat from the sun can build beneath solid coverings, and plants can die from high temperatures.

Break out blankets. Keep gardening blankets, often called row covers, on hand. These covers are made from synthetic fibers or plastic in varying thicknesses. Lay row covers directly on plants, or create a tunnel by suspending them over a bed using stakes.

Turn on lights. An incandescent light bulb generates sufficient heat to raise nearby air temperature enough to protect a plant from the deep freeze. Bulbs must be close to plants (within 2–3 feet) for this technique to work. (Fluorescent bulbs don’t generate enough heat for this chore.)

Protect individual plants. Install hot caps – rigid plastic containers with venting holes – over individual seedlings at planting time. Hot caps act like cloches (mini greenhouses), but venting holes eliminate the daily chore of placing and removing the covering. Create the equivalent of a hot cap using plastic two-liter bottles or gallon jugs with bottoms cut off and lids removed (but saved). Replace lids at night when cold temperatures swoop through.

A twist on the hot cap idea is a Wall O’Water tepee, which encircles individual plants with a sleeve of water-filled tubes. The water absorbs the sun’s heat during the day. At night, as the water slowly freezes, it releases the stored radiant heat of the sun, keeping air inside the tepee frost-free.



(18/P023) TRENTON – More than 184,000 freshly stocked rainbow trout will be available as anglers cast their lines on the much-anticipated opening of trout season at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced today.

Rainbow troutAn annual rite of spring, the opening day of trout season reels in more than 100,000 anglers each year, many of them as families.

“New Jersey can take pride in offering some of the finest trout fishing found on the East Coast,” Acting Commissioner McCabe said. “Trout season offers anglers a chance to relax and spend quality time in the outdoors. We strongly encourage newcomers to try their hand at trout fishing and discover a rewarding way to enjoy the splendid scenery of early spring.”

The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking waterways with rainbow trout raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Warren County and will continue to stock waterways in the upcoming weeks. More than 570,000 trout will be released in 173 streams, rivers, lakes and ponds throughout the state by the end of May.

“New Jersey has one of the best trout-stocking programs in the nation,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources Martha Sapp. “With beautiful, high-quality fish being stocked in every county, great fishing opportunities can be found close to home.”

Most of the released trout will average 10½ inches long, but large breeders, known as broodstock, also will be distributed in the early weeks of the stocking season.

Rainbow trout broodstock fishThe state’s 14 major trout streams are stocked every week following opening day. These streams are closed to fishing from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of stocking to allow the trout a chance to disperse.

All other trout-stocked waters are open to fishing on stocking days. These waters are generally stocked three times during the season.

Select lakes will also receive additional huge trout as part of the Bonus Broodstock Lakes program. This year, 10 trout-stocked ponds and small lakes located throughout the state will each receive 30 to 50 broodstock fish, providing anglers the opportunity to experience the catch of a lifetime. These fish measure from 15 inches to 21 inches and weigh up to 5 pounds.

These big trout will be stocked prior to the opening day of the season and ready for anglers when the season kicks off. A list of broodstock lakes can be found at: www.njfishandwildlife.com/bonus_brdstk18.htm

Avid trout anglers will also be pleased to hear that plenty of the 21,000 super-sized trout stocked last fall have not been caught and will be available this spring, providing even more exciting fishing opportunities. These fish have grown even more since they were stocked.

For more information on the spring trout stocking program, including the in-season stocking schedule and spring stocking updates and changes visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/trtinfo_spring18.htm.

Anglers can download the complete in-season stocking schedule to their smartphones just by scanning the QR Code found in the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Freshwater Digest or on trout regulation signs posted along all trout stocked waters. Stocking information is also available through the Trout Stocking Hotline by calling (609) 633-6765.

Anyone age 16 or older must obtain a fishing license and trout stamp to fish for trout. Anglers can buy and print a fishing license and trout stamp online at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com or through license agents. A list is available at www.njfishandwildlife.com/agentlst.htm. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 and older may fish for free.

Introduce a friend or family member to fishing by getting a Fishing Buddy License. This license offers both an existing angler and new angler (or even two new anglers) an opportunity to receive reduced-price fishing licenses. For information about the Fishing Buddy License, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/fishbuddy.htm.

The Pequest State Trout Hatchery is supported with proceeds from the sale of trout stamps and federal funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program. The dedicated funding received from the purchase of a fishing license and fishing equipment enables the Division of Fish and Wildlife to enhance fishing opportunities in New Jersey and protect the quality of the state’s waters for fish, wildlife and people.

The annual Pequest Trout Hatchery Open House and Flea Market will be held June 2 and June 3. The event was rescheduled from earlier this month due to weather conditions. For information visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/peqoh.htm

DEP PHOTOS/Top: Rainbow trout; Bottom: Rainbow trout broodstock fish



Pelagic Longline Bluefin Tuna Area-Based and Weak Hook Management Scoping Process

NOAA Fisheries announces the availability of a scoping document, a schedule for public scoping meetings, request for comment, and intent to prepare a draft environmental impact analysis to assess the potential effects of alternative measures for management of western Atlantic bluefin tuna bycatch and interactions in the pelagic longline fishery while analyzing opportunities to revitalize the catch of target species in the fishery.
bluefin tuna

NOAA Fisheries will undertake a public process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and for identifying the significant issues relating to the management of Atlantic Highly Migratory Species, with a focus on area- based management measures and weak hook management measures that were implemented to reduce dead discards of, and interactions with, bluefin tuna in the pelagic longline fishery. NOAA Fisheries encourages participation, by all persons affected or otherwise interested in bluefin tuna area-based and weak hook management measures, in the process to determine the scope and significance of issues to be analyzed in a draft environmental impact analysis and regulatory amendment. NOAA Fisheries intends to hold public scoping meetings in the geographic areas that may be affected by these measures, including locations on the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, and will present the scoping document and consult with the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Panel. 

Public Scoping Meetings

  • March 8, 2018 from 2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
    Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel
    8777 Georgia Ave.
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

  • March 15, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    NOAA Fisheries
    Southeast Fisheries Science Center
    3500 Delwood Beach Road
    Panama City, FL 32408

  • March 21, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Commissioners Meeting Room
    Dare County Administration Building
    954 Marshall C. Collins Dr.
    Manteo, NC 27954

  • April 2, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    Terrebonne Parish Main Library
    Large Conference Room
    151 Library Drive
    Houma, LA 70360

  • April 11, 2018 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m.
    Little Egg Harbor Branch Public Library
    290 Mathistown Road
    Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087

  • April 18, 2018 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    NOAA Fisheries
    Greater Atlantic Regional Office
    55 Great Republic Dr.
    Gloucester, MA 01930

Conference Call Scoping Meeting

  • March 13, 2018 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
    Teleconference line: 800-988-9546
    Participant pass code: 27079
    Webinar Link
    Event number: 992 830 164
    Event password: noaa

Because the rulemakings overlap for some gear types, the public scoping meetings being held in Panama City, Florida, Manteo, North Carolina, and Manahawkin, New Jersey will be held in conjunction with public scoping meetings for pelagic longline bluefin tuna area-based and weak hook management. The shortfin mako shark management measure presentation will likely be given first unless polling of the audience indicates another approach is appropriate. After each presentation, public comment for that issue will be received. Meeting attendees interested in this issue are encouraged to show up at the beginning of the meeting to help determine the order of the presentations. The second presentation will not start any later than 6 pm.

The scoping process, and future proposed rule and draft environmental impact analysis, are intended to determine if the suite of existing measures are the best means of achieving the current management objectives for the pelagic longline fishery and providing flexibility to adapt to fishing variability in the future, consistent with the 2006 Consolidated Highly Migratory Species Fishery Management Plan, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Atlantic Tunas Convention Act, and other relevant Federal laws. Depending on the results of the scoping process, the environmental impact analysis will include either an Environmental Assessment or an Environmental Impact Statement.  

NOAA Fisheries requests comments on the notice of intent to develop an environmental impact analysis. NOAA Fisheries also requests comments on the management options described in the scoping document concerning bluefin area-based management and weak hook measures that were implemented to minimize bluefin tuna bycatch and/or interactions, and relevant options that would meet the purpose and need for this action.

Comments should be submitted online at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal (search for “NOAA-NMFS-2018-0035”) or in writing to Craig Cockrell, Highly Migratory Species Management Division, Office of Sustainable Fisheries (F/SF1), NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Comments are due by May 1, 2018.



(18/P22) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Parks and Forestry is making 90,000 free tree seedlings available to residents through the New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign, an ongoing effort of the New Jersey Forest Service, the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation and other partners.

Registered municipalities will receive up to 2,000 seedlings each for distribution to residents through early May. Many counties have multiple distribution locations. Distribution dates vary.

Residents are eligible to receive bundles of five free seedlings at any distribution site. Proof of residency in the community where seedlings are distributed is not required.

"Trees provide habitat for wildlife, clean the air we breathe, provide shade, reduce the damaging effects of wind, limit erosion and contribute to a healthier environment," said DEP Acting Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. "Equally important, trees beautify our communities and improve our quality of life in the Garden State."

For an interactive map of distribution locations, click here.

The State Forest Service Nursery in Jackson, Ocean County, will distribute more than 30 species of trees through this effort, launched to help communities after Superstorm Sandy destroyed and damaged trees in 2012. Since then, the program has made more than a half-million trees available to residents.

"Communities will receive species that grow well in their region," said New Jersey Forest Service Chief Todd Wyckoff. "Municipalities in the northern part of the state may receive sugar maple or black oak trees, while towns in the south may receive Atlantic white cedar or other species adapted to this region. Seedlings distributed to shore towns may include bayberry or beach plum, shrubs commonly found on dunes and in other coastal environments."

The New Jersey Forest Service will deliver the seedlings to distribution centers for pick-up by municipalities, which will then distribute them to residents. Each participating community will distribute seedlings on designated dates.

Some tips to remember:

* Plant seedlings promptly to ensure they take root and thrive.
* Be mindful of the planting site's surroundings by avoiding overhead utility lines and proximity to structures in case of storms and consider the size of the tree when fully grown.
* Moisten roots before planting.
* Dig a hole two to three times larger than the roots when spread apart. Do not plant roots too deep or shallow.
* Add loose soil gently, then add more soil and pack down firmly. Add water to firm the soil if necessary.
* Place wood-chip mulch around the base of the seedling.
* Water the seedling regularly but do not over-water, as this can cause roots to rot.

The New Jersey Tree Recovery Campaign is a public-private effort among the New Jersey Forest Service, the New Jersey Forest Service Nursery, New Jersey Soil Conservation Districts, Sustainable Jersey, Arbor Day Foundation, Brothers International, BJ's Wholesale Club, Wyndham Vacation Resorts and FedEx.

The Arbor Day Foundation's Community Tree Recovery aims to replace trees in communities affected by natural disasters throughout the nation, most recently focusing on Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico - areas hit by hurricanes.

The New Jersey Forest Service Nursery in Jackson grows 500,000 trees annually, helping to protect, preserve and promote native species such as the eastern red cedar, sycamore, and northern red oak. All New Jersey residents may buy additional tree seedlings in packets of 50 that start at $18

For more information on these programs, visit www.forestnursery.org or call (732) 928-0029.

To find seedling distribution locations and dates, as well as additional information about trees, visit the State Forest Service Facebook page at www.facebook.com/newjerseyforests or go to www.forestry.nj.gov

To learn more about the Arbor Day Foundation, visit: www.arborday.org/newjersey


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