Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

June 20, 2013: Ready for a perfectish weekend????

(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: 

Future of the Atlantic Shark Fishery


The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act). Since 1993, there have been numerous changes to the shark regulations as a result of stock assessments, changes in stock status, and other fishery fluctuations. Despite these modifications, the Atlantic shark fisheries, specifically the non-sandbar large coastal shark (LCS) fishery, continues to sometimes experience problems such as commercial landings that exceed the quotas, “derby” fishing conditions, increasing numbers of regulatory discards, and declining market prices.

In September 2010, NMFS published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) (75 FR 57235) to seek public comment on alternative management strategies (quota structure, permit structure, and catch shares) that might better address these issues in the Atlantic shark fisheries. For more information on the ANPR and comments received, please look at the News & Announcements section.

In April 2011, among other public comments received and considered, NMFS received a draft proposal from regional stakeholders to implement a catch share program for Atlantic sharks in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). These fishermen recommend replacing the current management structure for LCS with an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program. These stakeholders submitted a revised proposal in August 2011. Additional details on the stakeholder proposal can be found in the News & Announcements section.

News and Announcements

Submit Comments by 

March 31, 2012
Identify comments by “0648-BA17"
Electronic submissions: 

Fax: 301-713-1917, Attn: Margo Schulze-Haugen
Mail: NMFS SF1, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910


Sept 22, 2011 - Workshop 
HMS AP Meeting 
Crowne Plaza Hotel
8777 Georgia Ave 
Silver Spring, MD

March 31, 2012 - Comments on white paper due

Call us at 301-427-8503



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 

Leatherback hatchling on nesting beach, St. Croix, USVI Credit: 
Kelly Stewart.

NOAA scientists Peter Dutton and Kelly Stewart collect DNA 
samples from a leatherback hatchling.  Credit: Emma Dutton.

What Can You Do to Save Sea Turtles? 

Comply with lighting restrictions at night on beaches where sea turtles nest. Lights disorient hatchling sea turtles and can prevent nesting females from emerging onto the beach to lay their eggs.

Do not disturb nesting turtles, nests, or hatchlings.

Please keep our beaches and oceans clean.Trash in the oceans harm sea turtles and other creatures that live there.

Boaters beware! Sea turtles are commonly found in oceans, bays, sounds, and near shore waters. Remember, turtles have to come up to the surface for air, and they can be difficult to see. Boat strikes are a serious threat to sea turtles.

Support sea turtle conservation by getting involved. Support actions that help sea turtles. Choose sustainably caught seafood that does not harm sea turtles.

Take a look at our On the Line podcast on baby sea turtles.

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.

NOAA scientist Dr. Peter Dutton leads a team that’s trying to answer some important questions about marine turtles. What will happen as sea levels rise, covering the nesting beaches turtles have used for hundreds of years? Which turtle laid this mysterious clutch of eggs on a remote beach? Where in the ocean do they mate, and how big is this population?

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 
Kemp’s ridley turtles have been leaving scattered nests along remote beaches, but females are often long gone by the time monitors find the nests. There, NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and the National Park Service are using the technique to match mystery nests to mother turtles. Identifying who’s nesting where and when, survival rate, and breeding success over many years will help us monitor this small population and gauge the impact of major events like disasters.

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. 


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced new Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (BFT) Quota Specifications for the rest of the year. 

On Wednesday, June 19, NMFS said it is closing “ the incidental longline category northern and southern area fisheries for large medium and giant BFT for the remainder of 2013.” 

NMFS is doing so to comply with International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act .

The move is needed to prevent overharvest. The ban takes effect June 25 and runs through New Year's Eve.

The ban applies in the northern and southern area fisheries for large, medium and giant BFT. It does not apply in the Northeast District gear restricted area.

NMFS changed the rule from the one it proposed based on new information, including the dead discard estimate for 2012, which wasn't available earlier, so the agency proposed the quota based on 2011 info.

NMFS deducted half of the estimate from the baseline longline quota category.



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