Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(A black-and-white sunny day, back when ... )
Thursday, June 20, 2013: It’s been a while since we've been able to dry out to any great degree. This weekend might finally be the aeration session we need -- though by the looks of my crawlspace, with that still water with orangish dust coating look, it might take a load of low humdidity (humidity) just to have that water sink down to sand level again. I just hope there aren't a load of those fast-molting Asian black mosquitoes swimming around in there. They just might launch into bite flight before my crawl space runs dry. For a look at the latst flooding go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PYIefwytjM
That itchiness issue aside, just watch the idealness seep in today and sun itself right into next week. I’m likely over-hoping for niceness here but we might be embarking upon one of the nicest weekends of what will be, starting tomorrow, summer.
While I’m thinking about it – as I watch a gang of ecstaticish kids heading to the beach -- a sincere congrats to you graduates -- from 6th Grade, high school and college. It’s sometimes easy to forget what a huge step – and relief – that passage is.
As for fishing, think flat and you’ll be fat.
The fluke biomass is wedged along the coastline, though somehow oddly resistant to moving into the bay the way they usually do. I’ve also notice that terrapins, elvers (glass eels) and grass shrimp are also acting real funny about assuming their bayside homes. Very weird and inviting the possibility that Sandy somehow knocked the bay’s chemical signature out of whack. Amazingly, every waterway has what might be called a chemical fingerprint, totally unique unto itself. Through senses still absolutely baffling to science, migratory creatures perceive the chemical messages from the waters to which they are genetically required to return. Knock that chemical signature for a 500-year-storm loop and those migrators might themselves be knocked for a where-am-I loop.
That floodacious storm we had Tuesday sure didn’t help matters, adding untold tons of freshwater to the bay. Fluke are not big fans of brackishness, despite their ability to wing it far into the backbays. They flee so-called freshets – well-marked intrusions of freshwater (eddies) into the bay. They also tend to stop eating when water temps and salinities start swinging.
Yesterday, to the north of the last bridge to the mainland – formerly the Margo’s Bridge -- there was this pretty astounding collision of the turbid light brown baywater and black/brown fresh tannin water, cascading out of the Pineland creeks. The demarcation of the two colliding waters was a razor-sharp line, north to south, at the bridge.
There are stripers to be had but I have to wane – as opposed to wax – poetic here by saying twas not the best of bassing springs. I wane poetic to avoid offering some of the more poignant descriptives being bandied about by bassers who had a fully suckacious spring. An above-average striperologist I know put it simply: “My season sucked. It was the worst I had in years.” A few others fared a lot better, mind you.
Anyway, toss out some chunks this weekend and see what salutes. It only takes one saluter to feed the gaping mouths of that new barbecue grill.
And there are shining new BBQs all over the place. Sandy was utterly voracious when it came to dining on outside grills. Many/most backyard grills were lost, some washed off to sit, upright, on the bay bottom -- where comedically-inclined bluec law crabs climb up on the grate and yell, “Hey, look at me, I’m getting barbequed!”
Back on land, nobody in their right Shoreline mind would stay BBQ-less very long. That’s a spark we just can’t let die. In fact, based on folks I know, many Sandy-based replacement units are the latest and greatest BBQs going. Now for me to cash in on their successful insurance claims, so to speak (and eat).
Important follow-up to tsunami saga, via facebook: Sarah wrote: "Jay Mann, thanks for your always-intrepid reporting. Scott Mazzella, for your Sandy research, you should try to talk to people living on 7th Ave. in Belmar, several of whom claimed to see a 30-foot wave come over the Boardwalk there. Inbox me if you need a contact; I know someone who probably knows someone. Bottom line: Jay's point about weather creating tsunamis seems to have been on display then, too. The wave went all the way down to Main St. (about 7/10s of a mile) and left chest-deep water in contiguous streets!"
Very Important shark fishing read below:
Based on ANPR comments and the GOM stakeholders proposal, NMFS is considering implementation of catch shares for the Atlantic shark fisheries. "Catch Shares" is a general term used in fisheries management systems, like limited access privilege programs (LAPPs) and individual fishing quotas (IFQs), that dedicate a secure share of the quota to individual fishermen, cooperatives, or fishing communities for their use. It is one tool NMFS can use to address some of the ongoing issues in the shark fisheries. NMFS has prepared a Notice of Intent (NOI) and a white paper that provides more details about catch share programs and provides the public with additional information regarding some of the issues in the Atlantic shark fisheries.
Control Date – (September 16, 2011)
If NMFS takes future action to implement catch shares in the Atlantic shark fisheries, the control date would affect eligibility to participate in and receive an initial allocation of quota in the Atlantic shark fisheries. Unless NMFS changes the control date in the future, to be eligible for the Atlantic shark fisheries catch share program, participants must be in possession of a valid federal directed or incidental limited access shark permit on September 16, 2011. The Agency may or may not make use of this control date as part of the qualifying criteria for participation in any future catch share or other management program.
Requests for Landings History
To reduce duplicate work and minimize confusion, NMFS is requesting that permit holders not submit data requests for their logbook landings history. There will be ample opportunity before anything is finalized for all permit holders to review their landings data, which NMFS will compile and provide. The Agency will provide more detailed information at a future date.
Turtles Have Fingerprints?
New genetic technique reveals paternity and more
For 220 million years they have roamed the seas, denizens of the bustling coral reef and the vast open ocean. Each year, some emerge from the pounding surf onto moonlit beaches to lay their eggs. Throughout human history, we have revered them, used them, and worked to protect them, but we have only begun to understand these ancient, iconic creatures. Now, with all five of the sea turtle species in the U.S. threatened or endangered, knowledge is more crucial than ever.
Thanks to a recent breakthrough in the genetics lab, Dutton and his colleagues have a clever way to find answers. Like detectives, they have learned that fingerprints help solve the puzzle…genetic fingerprints. For decades, most sea turtle studies and conservation efforts have focused on nesting females and hatchlings, because they’re easiest for humans to access. Male sea turtles, which don’t come ashore, are elusive characters.
Dutton’s team has pioneered a technique that allows them to fill in the blanks using tiny DNA samples from nesting females and hatchlings. As Dutton and his colleague Dr. Kelly Stewart wrote in a recent article, “Hidden in a hatchling’s DNA is its entire family history, including who its mother is, who its father is, and to what nesting population it belongs.”
This innovative tool is opening up new avenues in marine turtle conservation. Population recovery goals are based on how long turtles take to reach maturity, and genetic fingerprinting can help reveal this key piece of information, which may be different for each population. Dutton’s team developed the technique while studying endangered leatherbacks on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. In the last four years, they have sampled 20,353 hatchlings there, and discovered the genetic identity of the fathers, even when multiple males have sired a single clutch of eggs; how often individual turtles mate and their reproductive success; and the ratio of males to females among the breeding turtles.
On Padre Island National Seashore in Texas, critically endangered
In the most surprising news yet, green turtles have begun nesting in the main Hawai’ian islands for the first time in generations. Green turtles, or honu, have nested in the remote Northwest Hawai’ian Islands, primarily on the quiet, low-lying beaches of French Frigate Shoals, a coral atoll about 500 miles from Honolulu.
Genetic fingerprinting shows that about 15 untagged females have become “founders” on the main Hawai’ian islands, boldly nesting where no one has nested before…at least not for hundreds of years. It’s possible that this pioneer population could provide a kind of buffer as sea level rise threatens to shrink their traditional nesting beaches. Many questions remain, but for now science is giving turtles, and those who care about them, reason to hope.