Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, April 03, 2017: I’m taking a deep breath before action pick up on the fishing and outdoorsing fronts. ...

How to tell a dieting giraffe ... (That's backdrop artwork it's hypothetically dining upon)

Giraffe tries to eat leaves off tree on the wall

Below: I can't believe somebody beat me to this Mentos and diet soda experiment. You snooze, you lose. 

Man wearing a mentos suit is dropped into a diet coke pool

Below: That little kid knew he was in deep trouble even before contact ... 

Woman falls from bouncy slide on kid

Monday, April 03, 2017: I’m taking a deep breath before action picks up on the fishing and outdoorsing fronts. Not that I haven’t been out and about aplenty. But, much of my outdoorsing has been on the QT, as I explore while drawing minimal attention to myself. No, it’s nothing illegal. I just prefer to explore alone – add a George Thorogood & The Destroyers riff if you must, maybe “You know when I hike alone, I prefer to be by myself.”

This is the time of year I enjoy making runs over to the Mullica, mid-way river points, like the landings and bridges. Small bass is the most I’ve heard of off the bridges lately. The landings have been very quiet.

Graveling has seen small fish at very most. See Scott's report below. 

I haven’t talked about it all that much of late but the LBI ocean is gorgeous – clean and inviting, be it for surfing or surfcasting. I took a 44.8 water temp but have heard surface waters near 50, i.e. schoolie bass temps.

There are small bass in the bay, north to south. Nighttime. Artificials. 

Below: The next time you want to run out to watch a demolition ... be advised 

Guy looking at demolition almost hit by flying rock

REPLEN CLARIFICATION: I need to dispel a minor misunderstanding floating around regarding beach replenishment on LBI. There will be NO Army Corps-based beach replenishment done until after summer, i.e. falltime. That’s when HC, SC and BB areas will get pumped upon ... again.

That clarified, I see no way that Holgate won’t get shoreline sand prior to summer IF (!?) the Little Egg Inlet channel dredge effort passes muster. However, the jury (Army Corps) remains mum on the workability of such a program, though a decision has to come mighty dang soon. 

As to where, in Holgate, sucked up channel sand would go -- or how much of it will be pumped -- is a troubling mystery. "Why so?," you ask. Just try to tell me how much sand must be removed to build a proper and navigable channel in a big-ass inlet that has never had a man-made channel built through it before? Make sure to factor in the depth and width? Hey, don't ask me how deep or wide one makes a state-official channel. Remember, this isn't a fed channel. 

In other words, I defy anyone to know specific sand volumes prior to starting the effort. Surely, guesses must be made -- but that's just what they'll be. Translating that mysterious amount of sand into actual beach coverage distances and depths ...?? Forget about it. 

With that, I'll now add a very real possibility: Feds say "no way" to beach placement of sand ... but don't give a rat's rear about a channel build. So, the channel-building sand gets pumped out past the shoals; dumped at sea, as it were. That would sidestep ACE, avoid any interference with summer beachgoing types, while sidestepping any "adjacency clause" protests from the now be-plovered Forsythe Refuge. 


Most recent report from ...

Scott's Daily Fishing Report

Friday, March 31, 2017 /\/\/\ 10:00am  

Another day goes by with still no keeper stripers weighed in from anglers fishing at Graveling Point. As always, there are fish stories. Wednesday evening, Joe knows he had a keeper size bass that he lost attempting to drag it up on the bank. He thinks the power pro cut on a mussel shell. This morning, it is raining steady and forecast to continue raining all day. I don't expect to see much fishing activity which means that no Graveling Point keeper stripers will be weighed in the month of March. The latest first keeper was caught by Dave Curry on April 19, 2014. Are you curious to see when the first keeper was weighed in each year for the past twenty plus years? Check out the Spring Run list. http://www.scottsbt.com/fishing/stripers/springrun.htm 
Sea Ya -SBT Crew

Name: Joseph Yurko 
Report Details 
Date of Trip: 05/30/17 
Location of Trip: Graveling point 
Species Sought: Striper 
Time of Day Fished: Late Afternoon 
Tide Fished: Low Tide (Outgoing water) 
Weather Conditions: Partly Sunny/Partly Cloudy 
Wind Conditions: less than 10 kts. NW 
Sea Conditions: less than 2 ft. 
Primary Bait: Bloodworms 
Secondary Bait: No Second Bait Used 
Lure Used: No Lures Used (Rig or Hook Only) 

Fishing Report:
Fished for two hours in my boat 1/4 mile just off the point. Caught six throwback Stripers 15/16 in., all very healthy looking and strong. About 10 others fishing from the bank with more coming in when I left at 6 pm. Joe 


New Gretna, NJ - NOAA Fisheries held an invite only roundtable meeting today at the Manasquan Reservoir Visitor Center in an attempt to "continue building a strong partnership between recreational fishermen and NOAA Fisheries."  The purpose of the 4-hour meeting lead by NOAA Fisheries Northeast Regional Administrator (RA) John Bullard was to listen to the concerns and interests of fishermen and collaboratively explore solutions through open dialogue.  The meeting comes at a time when recreational fishermen and fishing businesses have been extremely critical and vocal about the unfair treatment to their sector.  Their pleas have largely been ignored which is why the RFA opted not to attend today's meeting.  In fisheries such as summer flounder, black sea bass and others, much of the industry's frustration has been directed at RA Bullard who has failed to exercise any degree of flexibility when he could have to help our sector.   
NOAA Fisheries' response in the form of today's roundtable meeting was viewed by the industry as a shallow and insulting token of outreach;  one in a long series of similarly-styled meetings conducted over the past 3 decades that have been largely unproductive.  A review of today's agenda finds that the roundtable served as the last opportunity of NOAA political appointees within the agency to advance the former administration's policies that have been so detrimental to the recreational fishing community.
"Mr. Bullard took great pleasure in carrying out the Obama/Lubchenco agenda on fisheries in this country," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, referencing the former NOAA Administrator and Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, Jane Lubchenco.  "We are hoping new Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will give serious consideration to replacing Regional Administrator John Bullard who has been hostile to the recreational sector as a whole since his appointment."
The meeting included a discussion of the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) and the recent report produced by the National Academy of Sciences that conducted a review of the program.  The 2016 report generally praised the improvements made to the program since its scathing 2006 that found the program's predecessor, MRFFS, fatally flawed.  MRIP architect Gordon Colvin gave a briefing on the program and touched on the superficial improvements made to the program.  One glaring omission from the 2016 NAS report was the evaluation of MRIP relative to whether the program is compatible with the administration of annual catch limits (ACLs) in the recreation sector.  The fact that this key aspect was absent from the report makes the findings all but worthless from a management standpoint. 
Also discussed was a demonstration on for-hire electronic reporting given by Rick Bellevance who was appointed to the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) last year by the Obama Administration and is a vocal advocate of sector separation, a management approach supported by the environmental industry and which led to privatization of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery.  Sector separation lays the ground work for the implementation of catch shares and is management approach that favors corporate interests at the expense of private anglers.
"A purging of the Obama policies and appointments within NOAA Fisheries can't come soon enough," continued Donofrio.  "We hope today's meeting represents the final gasp of former administration's policies which were so bad for our sport and our industry."
The RFA is looking forward to appointments being made for the positions of NOAA Administrator and NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator.  These key appointments, which will be made by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, will have a significant impact on the policies and tone taken by these two agencies charged with the implementation and enforcement of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 
"As a member of the tackle industry, we look forward to working with Secretary Ross and his new NOAA team," said Nick Cicero of Folsom Tackle.  "It will be refreshing to work with an administration that understands the balance between commerce and conservation."


Please read the following, by the the National Coalition for Fishing Communities, with the aim: "Gives voice to the numerous communities that make up America’s domestically harvested and processed seafood industry."

As to their finding, I range from mildly disagreeing to calling it utter bullshit, bomb-dropped by industry-favoring researchers.

"But, Jay, these are scientists," you say.

I'll never stop repeating my absolutely accurate account of an organized save-the-surf effort (Surfrider roots) I joined while studying in San Diego. The surf-saving group used donations to hire a top scientist to study the ecological impact of a proposed breakwater, which would kill a semi-decent surf spot. The scientist soon returned with an impressively detailed shop-talk appraisal of the impacts. Even though I was studying such stuff at the time, the marine environment data he rattled off was mind-numbingly complex. After the presentation, a small voice from the back of a large crowd reflected everyone's confusion, asking, "What does all this mean?" He got an answer that was, firstly, stunning to me ... and damn-near life altering thereafter. The scientist said, "What do you want it to mean?" He was totally serious.

Hopefully, you see why I bring it up now, in a science-for-hire sense.

I'm not even remotely rebuking all science, which will always be my favorite subject. However, the ability to manipulate data, while remaining anchored in science, is now an immense and immediate paradox -- and danger -- in modern times.  


Predators may be less affected by catch of small fish than previously thought, new study says:
Previous studies overlooked key factors in recommending lower catch of forage fish
WASHINGTON (NCFC) – April 3, 2017 – New research published today in the journal Fisheries Research finds that fishing of forage species likely has a lower impact on predators than previously thought, challenging previous studies that argued forage fish are more valuable left in the ocean.
A team of seven respected fisheries scientists, led by Prof. Ray Hilborn, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, found that predator populations are less dependent on specific forage fish species than assumed in previous studies, most prominently in a 2012 study commissioned by the Lenfest Ocean Program, which is managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force argued that forage fish are twice as valuable when left in the water to be eaten by predators, and recommended slashing forage fish catch rates by 50 to 80 percent.
For fisheries management, such a precautionary approach would have a large impact on the productivity of forage fisheries. As groups such as IFFO (The Marine Ingredients Organisation) have noted, these stocks contribute strongly to global food security, as well as local and regional social and economic sustainability.
However, the new research found multiple omissions in the methodology of the Lenfest study. “When you review the actual models that were used [by Lenfest], there are a few key elements on the biology of these animals that were not represented,” said Dr. Ricardo Amoroso, one of the study’s co-authors. He added that one of the authors’ approaches was to “look for empirical evidence of what is actually happening in the field.” Previous studies relied on models which took for granted that there should be a strong link between predators and prey.
Specifically, the Lenfest study and another study using ecosystem models ignored the natural variability of forage fish, which often fluctuate greatly in abundance from year to year. It also failed to account for the fact that predators tend to eat smaller forage fish that are largely untouched by fishermen. Because of these oversights, the new study concluded that the Lenfest recommendations were overly broad, and that fisheries managers should consider forage species on a case-by-case basis to ensure sound management.
“It is vital that we manage our fisheries to balance the needs of the ecosystem, human nutrition and coastal communities,” said Andrew Mallison, IFFO Director General. “These findings give fishery managers guidance based on science, and update some of the inaccurate conclusions of previous reports.”
The Lenfest findings were largely based on a model called EcoSim, developed by Dr. Carl J. Walters, one of the co-authors of the new paper. Dr. Walters found that the EcoSim models used in earlier studies had omitted important factors, including natural variability, recruitment limitations and efficient foraging of predators.
Dr. Walters noted that there were “very specific” issues with previous uses of the EcoSim model. “It was predicting much higher sensitivity of creatures at the top of the food webs to fishing down at the bottom than we could see in historical data,” he said.
This is not the first time ecosystem models used in earlier studies have been questioned. One year after the Lenfest study was completed, two of its authors, Dr. Tim Essington and Dr. Éva Plagányi, published a paper in the ICES Journal of Marine Science where they said, “We find that the depth and breadth with which predator species are represented are commonly insufficient for evaluating sensitivities of predator populations to forage fish depletion.” The new study reaffirmed this finding, noting “several reasons to concur with the conclusion that the models used in previous analysis were insufficient.”
In addition to its critiques of previous research, the researchers found further evidence of the lack of fishing impact on forage fish. Their research indicated that environmental factors are often much more important drivers of forage fish abundance. They also found that the distribution of forage fish has a greater impact on predators than simply the raw abundance of forage fish.
The authors concluded by noting the importance of forage fish as a part of human food supply chains, praising their high nutritional value, both through direct human consumption and as food in aquaculture, as well as the low environmental impact of forage fishing. Cutting forage fishing, as recommended by the Lenfest group, would force people to look elsewhere for the healthy protein and micronutrients provided by forage fish – likely at much greater environmental cost, the authors wrote.
“Forage fish provide some of the lowest environmental cost food in the world – low carbon footprint, no water use,” Dr. Hilborn said. “[There are] lots of reasons that forage fish are a really environmentally friendly form of food.”
It is also well-established that forage fisheries provide substantial health benefits to human populations through the supply of long chain omega-3 fatty acids, both directly through consumption in the form of fish oil capsules, and indirectly through animal feed for farmed fish and land animals.
The paper was authored by Dr. Ray Hilborn, Dr. Ricardo O. Amoroso, and Dr. Eugenia Bogazzi from the University of Washington; Dr. Olaf P. Jensen from Rutgers University; Dr. Ana M. Parma from Center for the Study of Marine Systems -CONICET, Argentina; Dr. Cody Szuwalski from the University of California Santa Barbara; and Dr. Carl J. Walters from the University of British Columbia.
Read the full study here


Below: Anything more than the proverbial hand slap is unlikely: 

Butchered Shark Fins Seized from Shrimp Boat Off Key West

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Miami Herald] by Jenny Staletovich - April 3, 2017

Florida wildlife officers made a grisly discovery aboard a Key West shrimp boat this week: dozens of pairs of dismembered shark fins.

The boat was discovered about 20 miles north of the island Wednesday night, an indication that illegal finning still occurs in Florida waters despite being banned more than 16 years ago. Buying and selling fins also remains legal in most states, fueling a practice that targets some of the world’s biggest and longest-lived sharks that are also among the planet’s oldest species.

“When we import them we have no idea if they came from sustainable shark fisheries or fisheries where they’re still finning,” said Mariah Pfleger, a scientist for Oceana, which is pushing a bill to ban the trade.

The boat was stopped by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers who alerted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service. FWC referred questions to NOAA and NOAA declined to release details, saying it was too soon in the investigation.

However, Oceana reported that officers found between 30 and 40 pairs of fins. NOAA Fisheries is continuing to investigate and no charges have been filed, spokeswoman Kim Amendola said in an email.

Worldwide, shark finning has been blamed for killing up to 73 million sharks every year, with 27,000 tons of fins traded in 2013. The practice can be particularly gruesome: after their fins are sliced off, the sharks are often tossed overboard and either suffocate because they can’t swim or are eaten by other predators.

And the problems caused by overfishing and finning aren’t limited to just sharks. In their absence, smaller fish they eat are increasing, which is decimating populations of shellfish. Over fishing has also become so severe that many species are being killed at a rate faster than they can reproduce, further driving down numbers.

The loss of sharks could also have economic repercussions: shark tourism helps pump more than $220 million annually into Florida’s economy and produces about 3,700 jobs, Oceana reported earlier this month.

A bill to ban the trade, introduced last year with bipartisan backing, is now winding its way through Congress.


Consumer Preference for Wild-caught Seafood on Upswing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [ADN] by Laine Welch - April 3, 2017
Seafood sales at American retail stores are on an upswing and should remain that way for the foreseeable future. Better yet for commercial fishermen, demand for fish caught wild in the U.S. showed the biggest gains of all.

That's good news for Alaska, which provides nearly 65 percent of wild-caught seafood to our nation's supermarkets (95 percent of wild-caught salmon).

A new survey by trade magazine Progressive Grocer showed that retail seafood sales rose nearly 40 percent over the past year, and 56 percent predicted an upturn in seafood sales this year.
U.S. wild-caught seafood topped the list for the highest demand increase by nearly 58 percent of retail respondents, especially products from Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

A breakdown of this year's Retail Seafood Review by Seafood Source showed that wild-caught seafood was perceived as being of higher quality, and 53 percent said wild tastes better than farm-raised fish.

The review said Americans are buying less beef, chicken and pork due to health concerns and issues linked to animal welfare and environmental impacts.
Analysts at FoodDive said, "This gives retailers an excellent opportunity to grow the seafood category, but much work is needed in terms of advertising and consumer education to get customers to bite."

To lure more seafood shoppers, experts advised sellers to increase in-store signage and make smarter use of digital coupons and promotions.

The Retail Seafood Review said that temporary price reductions were the most popular and effective form of promotion. Asked what they would like from seafood suppliers to improve sales, respondents suggested "lower pricing on less popular fish to get people to try it."

Here's a fun take on fast-food fish sandwiches with some biting feedback.   Writers at BusinessInsider sampled seven sandwiches, with Arby's Crispy Fish ranking last "with no taste or joy."
Dairy Queen's Alaska cod sandwich is described as "a fillet slicked by a spill of tartar sauce that would offend even the Exxon Valdez disaster."

Burger King's fish sandwich is "gray and sad." McDonald's is "boring."

White Castle's fish slider is crispy but "bland and sorry looking." Popeye's Seafood Po'boy has "more breading than fish."

The winner? Wendy's premium cod fillet, which the Insiders said reminded them of an "honest-to-goodness fish fry."

Salmon at center stage

Many Alaskans will tell you they want to protect our wild stocks of salmon, but how to do that brings different perspectives. A Salmon Policy Forum in Juneau will advance the discussion, with a focus on the Alaska laws that protect salmon habitat.

"This forum is not intended to push any agenda. It is educational and informational and a way to get ideas on the table and have a more in-depth conversation," said Lindsey Bloom, manager of the Salmon Habitat Information Project for United Fishermen of Alaska, a forum co-sponsor.
Panel discussions will include historians, scientists, managers, miners and, hopefully, legislators. The forum is 5:30-8:30 p.m. April 11  at the Rockwell Ballroom. It is co-sponsored by the Center for Salmon and Society at the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Salmon Connect.

Crew cash

Fishermen can get cash back for their crew license fees — if they purchase them online.
It's the first year the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is providing the online opportunity to replace paper licenses being purchased from vendors. It's more convenient for customers, and switching from paper to e-licenses saves the state cash.

"If we were able to achieve 100 percent online sales for licenses, it would save the department a couple hundred thousand dollars. Even at 50 percent sales, it's a big savings for us," said Forrest Bowers, deputy director of the commercial fisheries division in Juneau.

Crew licenses are the latest addition to ADF&G's online store, which offers print-at-home options for nearly every Alaska fishing and hunting license.
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The department hopes to lure fishermen to the online store with 10 free crew license giveaways.

"If you're randomly selected, the cost of the license will be refunded to you," Bowers said, adding that the deadline is Oct. 6.

Annual commercial crew licenses cost $60 for Alaska residents and $277 for non-residents. Seven-day licenses cost $30 for both residents and non-residents.


Rodney Harris with Leanne Colyer.

Had an awesome day in the Indian ocean today. Dropped Leanne's new craypot with her brand new pink floats looked really nice in the Bluewater. Hopefully it'll be full when we pull it!!! We caught a few awesome fish and released a few and we caught 2 stingrays. Look forward to when we pull her pot!!!!!

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