Can anyone see anything going awry with this new Christmas gift????
Monday, January 04, 2016: Not a fishing soul on the beach areas I drove today. Maybe some casters making a showing toward dark when the schoolies roam in close -- in theory.
Still great striper (and even bluefish) catches being made in IBSP. See photos further down. Hard to believe but some bass are going for surface plugs.
On land, it wasn’t half bad out there today. Chilly more than cold, at least in the woods where the wind was cut down a bit. I know tonight will qualify as unreservedly cold.
And I will be out and about tonight. I’m taking my two black-light flashlights onto the most recently replenished beaches to see if any pieces of amber might be in the gravelly mix. It’s possible. I’ve found two amber pieces on the beach in recent years. Both were highly desirable Cretaceous amber, likely eroded out of Central Jersey clay layers – a zone where I’ve dug amber for many years.
As you might have guessed, amber fluoresces, though it doesn't explode in florescence the way NJ's famed Franklin mine minerals do.
There is a compelling reason I’m amber-seeking after replenishment. After a sand pump up in Monmouth County, I man walking the beach found a volleyball-size chunk of amber. I never heard if it was confirmed at Cretaceous amber but the odds are mighty likely.
For any of you into the science side of amber, further below is an older (1996) New York Times article from when we hunted an amazingly amber-laden “secret site” – an abandoned quarry.
The article clearly explains why Jersey’s Cretaceous amber is in a league of its own. It is the stuff of true dinosaur DNA, via blood trapped within bloodsucking insects that become stuck inside the amber -- for over 90 million years.
Cretaceous New Jersey amber (90-94 MYO) - perfect iconic midge (No blood).
Below:Cretaceous amber, raw:
I have half a dozen of what could be among the world’s greatest examples of blood-bloated midges. Midges are the dino-era equivalent of our gnats. When I look at the midges through a microscope, I can still see the red color of the dino blood. For me, it’s impossible not to imagine what creature once held that blood. I usually envision NJ’s famed duckbilled Hadrosaurus foulkii dinosaur, discovered in Haddonfield in 1858. It was groundbreaking discovery.
||A bronze and stone marker (left) In Haddonfield, N.J. commemorates the site where the skeleton of Hadrosaurusfoulkii (right) was unearthed in 1858.
|In the summer of 1858, Victorian gentleman and fossil hobbyist William Parker Foulke was vacationing in Haddonfield, New Jersey, when he heard that twenty years previous, workers had found gigantic bones in a local marl pit. Foulke spent the the late summer and fall directing a crew of hired diggers shin deep in gray slime. Eventually he found the bones (above, right) of an animal larger than an elephant with structural features of both a lizard and a bird.
First Nearly-Complete Dinosaur Skeleton
Foulke had discovered the first nearly-complete skeleton of a dinosaur -- an event that would rock the scientific world and forever change our view of natural history.
Today, located where a tidy suburban street dead ends against deep woods, the historic site is marked with a modest commemorative stone (above, left) and a tiny landscaped park. Just beyond the stone the ground drops away into the steep ravine where the bones of Hadrosaurus foulkii were originally excavated on the eve of the Civil War.
The "Ground Zero" of Dinosaur Paleontology
In relation to the history of dinosaur paleontology, this Haddonfield Hadrosaurus site is ground zero; the spot where our collective fascination with dinosaurs began. Visitors can still climb down crude paths into the 30-foot, vine-entangled chasm to stand in an almost primordial quiet at the actual marl pit where the imagination of all mankind was exploded outward to embrace the stunning fact that our planet was once ruled by fantastically large, bizarrely shaped reptilian creatures.
A duckbilled dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii roamed the forests and swamps along the bays of New Jersey's ancient seacoast. Today its bones are found in ancient marine deposits with fossil seashells. It was about twenty-five feet long, probably weighed 7 to 8 tons and stood about 10 feet tall. We think Hadrosaurus stood on its hind feet when running, but used it front feet to support its head while grazing. Its abundant blunt teeth confirm thatHadrosaurus was a vegetarian, a peaceful plant eater that could chew tough-stemmed twigs and leaves.Hadrosaurus lived about 80 million years ago late in the Cretaceous Period.
Hadrosaurus is a famous dinosaur because it was the most complete dinosaur skeleton unearthed anywhere in the world when it was discovered and scientifically documented in 1858. It was also became the first mounted dinosaur skeleton displayed anywhere in the world in 1868!
Hadrosaurus foulkii became the official State dinosaur of New Jersey in 1991 after years of hard work by a teacher, Joyce Berry, and her fourth grade classes at Strawbridge Elementary School in Haddon Township. As a result of their efforts, New Jersey has a truly unique symbol of its prehistoric past.
For more information on Hadrosaurus foulkii please contact the New Jersey State Museum
Expedition to Far New Jersey Finds Trove of Amber Fossils
By PHILIP J. HILTS
Published: January 30, 1996
AN American Museum of Natural History expedition -- to New Jersey -- has uncovered one of the richest deposits of amber ever found, with fossils of 100 previously unknown species of insects and plants trapped in the ancient fossilized tree sap.
The fossils include a tiny bouquet of miniature flowers from an oak tree of 90 million years ago; the world's oldest mosquito fossil, with mouth parts tough enough to feed on dinosaurs; the oldest moth in amber, with mouth parts suggesting it was in transition from a biting insect to one that fed on the nectar of flowers, and the oldest biting black fly. The last is the only such insect known from the Cretaceous period, and may have tormented duckbills and other dinosaurs along with its colleague in amber, the mosquito.
Among the other finds from the New Jersey complex of sites are the oldest mushroom, the oldest bee and a feather that is the oldest record of a terrestrial bird in North America.
Dr. David Grimaldi, curator and chairman of the entomology department at the American Museum of Natural History, who led the expedition to the secret New Jersey site, said the previously undescribed species, all extinct, were found in 80 pounds of amber drawn out of deep mud.
The ambers came from sites in central New Jersey where the clay is especially deep and rich, containing streaks of peaty black material that are the remains of plants and other organic material. It is in these rich black stripes that the amber was found.
What is most interesting to scientists is that the site has amber dating back 90 million to 94 million years. This means that all the amber-preserved species came from the age of the dinosaurs and from the era when flowers first began to proliferate. At the time, insects were beginning to use flowers as food, and flowers found the insects useful in carrying pollen from flower to flower.
An article describing the world's oldest preserved flowers, written by Dr. Grimaldi and his colleagues Kevin Nixon and William Crepet of Cornell University, is to be published soon in The American Journal of Botany. It notes that the three flowers in the little bouquet are the only known flowers preserved from the Cretaceous period, which ended 65 million years ago.
One reason the fossil flowers are important is that the flowering plants that arose during the Cretaceous eventually took over the earth's continents, dominating the landscapes in both their numbers and importance to ecosystems.
Until now, the study of plants from the Cretaceous has depended solely on impressions of flowers and pollen. Curiously, the flowers and some of the other fossils found at the New Jersey site are miniatures -- the flowers and their stem together are no more than half an inch long.
The new finds also raise the problem of what to do with the specimens. People have valued and studied creatures in amber -- ants, bees, scorpions, lizards, frogs -- for several thousand years. In the 19th century, biologists observed the insects without breaking open the amber, and classified them by physical features.
In the last few years, scientific interest has grown in the DNA locked inside the creatures inside the amber. There is a great temptation to compare it with the DNA of similar modern species. Dr. George Poinar, now at Oregon State University, one of the scientists credited with the discovery that bits of intact DNA exist in fossils inside amber, said that the material inside the insects "is the best preserved protein on the face of earth." He said, "Not only does the amber draw out the water to dehydrate the specimen, but the terpenes in the resin act as a fixative."
Inside the insects the preservation was great enough to have kept even muscle tissue intact in a 125-million-year-old Lebanese weevil that Dr. Poinar studied. To date, scientists have successfully extracted bits of DNA from half a dozen amber drops.
But should the amber be cracked open? A dispute has arisen in biology about how to handle amber specimens -- whether to open them to get at their DNA, how to open them, and whether there should be some rules guiding new expeditions and the use of existing collections.
There are tens of thousands of pieces of amber with fossil insects and other items in collections around the world, and most of them are common varieties of ants and flies. The rarest pieces contain lizards, frogs or the hairs of mammals. The color of amber ranges from the rare blue and green pieces to the more common yellow, orange and red. They can be as small as a tear or as large as a softball.
Some several thousand of the specimens contain the only examples of now-extinct species and so are true biological treasures.
Dr. Grimaldi urges caution, saying, "The possibility of studying DNA in amber fossils is exciting but also represents a serious problem." Because all creatures on earth are classified according to their physical features, and it is this that scientists use to study how evolution has created or shaped the entire history of life, Dr. Grimaldi said he believes that no specimens in amber should be tampered with unless they are quite common and others of the same species, era and location can be found to replace them.
Further, because the art of extracting DNA from amber fossils is just being developed, it is likely that for every success, three or four specimens will be damaged with no useful information gained.
Dr. Grimaldi has criticized the extraction work of scientists like Dr. Poinar, pointing out that the weevil from Lebanon was probably the only one of its kind in the world.
Dr. Grimaldi said his conservative approach is like that becoming more common in science, from archeology to paleontology, in which large parts of discovery sites are left unexcavated, so as not to destroy all evidence that might be useful to future scientists. The idea is that techniques of the future will be able to gain much more information from the same material, and random digging now might destroy it.
All amber fossils, Dr. Grimaldi says, should be coded as is now being done at the American Museum of Natural History, according to rarity, and only those with more than two or three duplicates should be subjected to DNA extraction.
Dr. Poinar, for his part, agreed that very little damage can be tolerated to rare amber fossils. But he said he and others have developed techniques to enter the fossil specimen through a tiny hole, use a needle to extract tissue with DNA, and then reseal the hole.
"This work will be going ahead, and people will be opening amber anyway, whatever we say, so we must develop ways to prevent or minimize damage to the specimens," Dr. Poinar said. The fossil insects can be kept almost perfectly intact, and besides, the marring of the surface of the insect with needle extraction causes minor damage only to one side of the specimen. The other remains untouched.
No good, says Dr. Grimaldi. "Not even the most minimal kind of damage is acceptable," he said. In one article on amber, he quoted from the poem "Hesperides," by Alexander Pope:
I saw a fly within a bead
Of amber clearly buried;
The urn was little, but the room
More rich than Cleopatra's tomb.
Scientists may be willing to plunder the tomb of Cleopatra, but Dr. Grimaldi argues they should refrain from the plunder of amber tombs. "An obsession with technological feats," Dr. Grimaldi wrote, "makes us into mere tinkerers, and distances us from social and scientific ethics."
Peter McCarthy Wholesale Clams shared Roo Mccarthy'sphoto.
Seems we wrapped up the "fall" planting of seed yesterday, January 3, after harvesting seed beds the day before. After a poor October, with Northeast winds for 23 consecutive days, November and December were good to us and much was accomplished in spite of the short daylight. As we wish all our customers and friends a Happy New Year we look forward to the coming season! In addition. much remains to be done, weather permitting. Clams screens will be built, old ones brought in for cleaning and disposal, and small harvests made from time to time. All in all, we have much to be thankful for! What a difference a year makes.
Nice right out front of AC smile emoticon yesterday
Absecon Bay Sportsman Center
What a great way to start the New Year. Jay sure has his hands full with this pair of beautiful Stripers caught yesterday right in front of A.C. No need to wo...
Full boat limit the chewed today !!!
It's winter and instead of quit we've been blessed with a herring run! When I've been throwing day time wood offerings this 6" weakie has been my go to. Yesterday I was also throwing your chartreuse pencil! No takers but fish were caught amazingly on top water on 1/3/2016! Nature has given us all a surprise that keeps on giving! It's January and we still have a few clicks left!
New Jersey was perfect this Fall/Winter.
Look forward to seeing you Den Mag at Berkeley
Nick Luna added 3 new photos.
New peanut 4 3/4" 2 oz. I'm working on for 2017. 3 different sizes. 4 3/4" 6" and 8" bunker. Wish I could say I would have some for this years shows but I have too much on my plate at the moment. Let me know what you all think!!
Illegal Off-Roading Crackdown
“INFLUX” OF OUT-OF-TOWNERS, NORTH JERSEYANS TO BLAME, POLICE SAY
The unusually warm temperatures our area saw earlier in December have brought an influx of people from North Jersey, other counties and even other states – all of whom have descended upon portions of Lacey west of the Parkway to operate their off-road vehicles on private property in violation of local ordinances.
The out-of-towners have allegedly “harassed people on private property” and “caused purposeful malicious damage” in the course of their activities, according to authorities.
An unidentified rider we spotted riding onto the Brick Wall Corp site back in July (Gavin Rozzi)
In response to this, Lacey Police have began preventing these individuals from entering as part of a dedicated enforcement detail, in which LTPD officers turned away and educated vehicle operators rather than simply issue summonses.
“The detail was scheduled in response to repeated problems with ATVs and dirt-bikes operating on private property,” Chief David Paprota said.
He added “Due to the unusually warm weather, Lacey experienced an influx of people from North Jersey, other counties, and surrounding states.”
LACEY “PROFILED” AS OFF-ROADING DESTINATION
Sand mining operations, Pine Barrens terrain create ideal conditions
According to Chief Paprota, violations of ATV laws tend to “grow significantly” as a result of online websites and forums that have favorably shown Lacey as a place to ride.
While the soil of the Pine Barrens is naturally sandy, vast expanses of open wasteland have been created in the western portion of the township, as a side effect of sand and gravel processing operations along West Lacey Road. The mines have been frequented by individuals on dirt bikes, ATVs and other vehicles.
The areas, the majority of which are on private property, have been difficult to patrol mainly due to the sheer size as well as the landscape. To legally ride on private property, a rider must have written permission from the owner as set forth in Lacey Township Municipal Code, § 238 – 3B.
In addition to activity near the power transmission lines along West Lacey Road, police have indicated that violators are often found parking their trailers in Waretown along Wells Mills Road (Route 532) before likely heading north into Forked River.
The sand pits surrounding Clayton’s Masonry and other areas West of the Parkway entrance make an ideal location for illegal off-roading (Gavin Rozzi / TLR Drone Photo)
Police have connected some illicit riders to incidents of criminal mischief reported at Brick Wall Corp (pictured below).
“The groups brought trailers full of bikes/ATVs and staged along the powerlines and areas throughout the western part of the township.”
Paprota said that a “100 square-mile area between Waretown and Forked River,” has been seeing this issue, with areas of the township “long used for camping and riding” seeing additional activity in recent times.
“In the past, people have traveled from as far away as Ohio, Maryland, and Connecticut to camp and ride in Lacey Township.”
Crazy striper action today on topwater. still quality fish around in january, epic!
Bass fingers! Thanks capt. Ryan!
I think she totally out did me lol, it's already begun, my fiancé
painted this one, first time she has ever touched an airbrush... She did absolutely amazing in my opinion!!!
Journalistic Fraud: North Pole Region Saw Similar Warm Spikes Before… OVER 70 TIMES In Last 58 Years!
- See more at: http://notrickszone.com/2016/01/04/journalistic-fraud-north-pole-re...
Editor's View: In 2015 Climate Change Hits the Seafood Industry; We're in for a Wild Ride
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Editor's View] by John Sackton - December 23, 2015
As I write this in Boston on December 23rd, highs are forecast in the 70’s. It is not just that we haven’t seen snow. The same thing is true in New Hampshire and Maine, hundreds of miles to the north.
The unsettling warmth is not just disrupting holiday ambiance. My wife had wanted to get sleds for our grandchildren this year and I felt what was the point since they couldn’t use them.
It is also disrupting the seafood industry on a global scale.
Our basic problem is that warming waters and changing weather patterns are increasing the volatility and unpredictability of seafood supply.
In the seafood industry, we have always accepted the variability inherent in depending on a wild resource. In some years, production can be spectacular, and in other years a bust… but in the past we always could be confident in a return to the mean. I am not sure that is true any more.
Three things in our news stories this week crystalized this for me.
First, a small story from Japan on the failure of the Hokkaido squid fishery. Due to changing weather patterns, the flying squid, which is a famous fishery in Japan, simply did not show up, with the result of idle processors and wild prices for the few local squid available.
On the other side of the Pacific, the Dungeness crab fishery failed to open in all three states this year due to an unprecedented algal bloom that left high levels of toxic domoic acid in the food chain. The levels have now declined, and Oregon and Washington have scheduled their openings for January 1st, while California officials also confirm that there will be no fresh dungeness crab for Christmas.
On the West Coast, most dealers have had no dungeness for the holidays for the first time in memory.
On the East Coast, we are getting word of huge growth in lobster landings in Canada in 2014, surpassing any predictions. It appears, with the latest catch figures released by the DFO that Atlantic Canada landings, centered in LFA 34, Canada’s largest lobster fishery, jumped 30% in 2014 to 125 million pounds, while US landings centered in Maine remained steady at high levels.
Total Canadian landings appear to have been over 200 million pounds, and US landings were near 150 million pounds, for an astounding 350 million pounds of lobster.
With the US plateauing and the Maritimes growing, it sure looks like lobsters are continuing to migrate north, and they are remaining active far longer into the winter than in former years.
So climate change is bringing us both fishery failures and fishery abundance.. so much so that we can no longer think things will just ‘get back to normal’. Uncertainty is the new normal.
In my view, this is the real legacy of 2015 in seafood. The supply volatility that we all live with has ramped up to a new level, and it is hard to see it going backwards.
Welcome to the new normal. And Happy New Year.
NOAA's First Ever Annual Fishery Law Enforcement Report Shows Department is Overworked, Understaffed
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Gloucester Times] by Sean Horgan - December 31, 2015
Nearly six years after being savaged by a Commerce Department investigation that portrayed it as a department basically run amuck, the NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement has issued its first public annual report.
The report, released Dec. 17, is "part of our effort for more transparency," Casey Brennan, chief of staff at the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), said Wednesday.
The report, which does not reference the documented abuses by NOAA law enforcement agents at the heart of the 2010 investigation by the Commerce Department's inspector general, portrays an agency grappling with the challenge of fulfilling its expanding mandate despite shrinking resources, budgetary constraints and declining staff at its headquarters, as well as its five divisional offices and 53 field offices.
"As we continue to navigate the challenges of resource management and budgetary constraints while adapting to new and expanded missions, we have not lost sight of our core priorities," OLE Director James Landon wrote in his director's message introducing the report.
The cornerstone priority, he wrote, remains compliance "with the nation's marine resource laws" and "measured enforcement action when these laws are violated."
It was the lack of "measured enforcement" in the first decade of the 21st century that cast the department in such an onerous light, particularly along the Gloucester waterfront, and led to calls from former Massachusetts congressmen such as Barney Frank and John Tierney for the ouster of then-NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco.
The investigation exposed documented cases of agents extracting inflated and — in some cases unwarranted — fines from fishermen and permit holders and then using the collected funds for improper purposes.
At one point, then-Commerce Secretary Gary Locke ordered Lubchenco to travel to Gloucester to deliver what the late Gloucester Daily Times fishing reporter Richard Gaines, who broke many of the stories, described as a "Cabinet-level apology" and announce a plan to repatriate about $650,000 to affected Gloucester fishermen.
Much of the tension between OLE and the fishermen seems to have dissipated, partly because of the ongoing shrinking of the historic Gloucester fishing fleet and perhaps also because of a change in culture at OLE.
According to the report, OLE's Northeast Division documented 813 incidents in fiscal year 2015, with most related to alleged violations of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (492) and the Atlantic Coastal Fish Cooperative Management Act (156).
Those 813 incidents resulted in 726 documented investigations, ranging from "log-book or haul inspection to witness interviews and executing search warrants," according to the report. It said 697 of those incidents were closed in fiscal year 2015, with the majority (276) resolved through "education and outreach."
In general, the report reflects a federal agency tasked to do more with less within its allocated $65 million budget — the bulk of which ($36.65 million) funded salaries and benefits for enforcement and surveillance staff.
OLE staff declined almost 20 percent to 189 in FY 2015 from 234 in 2010, with a 23 percent reduction in the number of special agents and enforcement officers. The Gloucester-based Northeast Division employs 42 full-time employees and three contractors.
"Government hiring freezes, budgetary constraints and challenges related to the hiring process have resulted in a decline in the overall number of employees at OLE of the past five years," the report stated, adding that the declines slowed in FY 2015 and the department hopes to reverse the trend of staff reductions in FY 2016.
"We just haven't been able to hire as fast as people leave," Brennan said. "We're hoping for a net gain [in staffing] in 2016."
The department, which also works with other state, federal and international law enforcement agencies, has primary responsibility for patrolling the ocean waters 3-200 miles off the 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline, amounting to approximately 3.4 million square miles of open ocean.
Its jurisdiction also includes the 14 National Marine Sanctuaries and four Marine National Monuments, as well as monitoring compliance of "High Seas and international trade relating to U.S. treaties and international laws."