Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, January 21, 2011:
Spent a good chunk of the afternoon, into evening, doing metal detecting. Not much to talk about, short of the steady dip in temps. It wasn’t all that bad out there but by tomorrow a.m. we’ll feel the worst this winter will have to offer, temperature-wise.
The problem for me – and my treasure hunting efforts – is all this moist ground, from the recent melt and rains. The ground is going to go solid, fast. Making matters worse, the surface wetness has really penetrated which means the hard freeze can also go deep. That’s a bitch when it comes to a thaw. Even if the sun warms the surface enough to melt, the buried ice stays hard. It’s just one of those frickin’ winters.
If you’re on LBI, it will definitely be a faucet-flow night or two or three. Keep faucets running at about the thickness of a pencil. Important: Try to get up in the middle of the night and flush the commode(s).
REGISTRY RATTLINGS: As you know, the “free” fishing license legislation has stalled on the gov’s desk. If you read RFA’s recent statement, you’ll see just how insanely complex the issue has been – and continues to be.
I have followed it closely and had a foreboding feeling that it was all going too smoothly.
I will simplify one aspect to the extreme by saying the DEP has truly made no effort to forward/develop the registry, even though failing to do so could lead to the feds running the registry – charging anglers and keeping all revenues for itself.
One angle I have to harp on is the interrelationship of potential revenues from a state-run for-pay registry and the need to properly fund the DEP”s Division of Fish and Wildlife. I have seen the editorials claiming a free registry would lead to doom for the DEP’s Fish and Wildlife. That is utter trash since this division of very good hard-working folks has been fiscally hung out to dry for easily the last ten years, starting far before the registry thing came along. To make Fish and Wildlife funding a registry issue is absurd – and likely a strategic political move to draw attention away from years of funding neglect. The pathetic funds for Fish and Wildlife utterly belies the revenues brought to the state by fishing and hunting. Hell, some subsidiary programs (below the division) survive solely on selling frickin’ license plates.
I CHANGED, SORTA: For folks who frequent this blog, you’ll easily remember when I all but highlighted a state-run for-pay registry as an incredible funding source for the Division of Fish and Wildlife, making such a “licensing” almost tolerable. I tried everything to get some input from the DEP (which runs Fish and Wildlife), confirming that possibility. Not a peep from DEP as to how that funding might be worked in. Instead, what I got (from behind the scenes in Trenton) was the registry being seen as a cash cow for the state coffers. I will admit the governor was not seeing it as such – though I don’t see him running to sign the free-state legislation.
Even in the face of that “general fund” threat to registry dollars, I looked for some word from the DEP that at least a goodly percentage of the monies raised by a registry would be allocated to Fish and Game. The most I got was a definite maybe that “some money” would go to the division. That “maybe” came from someone high up the DEP chain – and was made “off the record,” in as much as I can’t disclose who said it.
By the by, the state of New Jersey fully prohibits any state employee, regardless of how high up, to speak directly to the media. Everything must go through public relations and media personnel -- who are often absolutely unfamiliar with incredibly complex issues but are the only means to transport in-depth questions to state officials. As often as not, they come back with the most sophomoric answers imaginable, making one wonder if they even asked the officials the question.
By the by, I switched over to supporting the “free-state” approach to the registry when I got absolutely overwhelming input from readers of my blog and weekly column, nearly all wanting “no license.” I’ve gotten a lot wiser in here over the years. I now quickly feel when I’m swimming against the current and wisely (see, I told you) adjust to the majority. I do that knowing I’ve gone well over 2 million hits on my websites and have many facets/factions of our sport looking in. I now try to fairly show the feelings of sportsmen living in or frequenting Southern Ocean County. That’s not to say that anyone fully for the registry won’t get an email published here in a heartbeat.
I’m hoping that most of you got that free pass from the feds for 2011. I just got mine in the mail yesterday. It’s in my wallet. Civil disobedience in cases like this is fruitless. Refusing to get a registry card will only lead to utter infuriation should the whip come down, via enforcement. Might the Fish and Wildlife enforcement be kinda pissed over the registery? I don’t wan tot find out the hard way.
[WCTI12.com] By Katie Jeffries - January 21, 2011 - CRAVEN COUNTY,NC, A valuable fish could soon be off the market and fishermen are wondering where that would that leave them.
They are sharing their concerns with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.
Wednesday night's meeting was supposed to be for NOAA to gather data from fisherman about bluefin tuna, but many fisherman made it a point to emphasize that putting bluefin tuna on the endangered species list would spell disaster for them.
In an industry struggling to stay afloat, Eastern North Carolina's fishermen are waiting to find out if their livelihood will be banned.
'It would destroy a number of fishing families and it would destroy a number of coastal businesses dependent on the fishery,' says Rich Ruais with the American Bluefin Tuna Association.
The Center for Biological Diversity asked the government to put bluefin tuna on the endangered species list. But the fishermen at the meeting say if the government does that, the only thing that will be an endangered species is them.
Fishermen like David Schalit, who first began fishing bluefin tuna when he was 8-years-old with his grandfather.
'We have fisherman in the fishery who have been fishing for bluefin for 3 generations, so that's all they know,' says Schalit.
NOAA contends it is currently just trying to gather the best available data from the men at the helm to see if bluefin tuna needs to be added to the endangered species list. If it is, no more fishing of the valuable fish would be allowed.
'But it wouldn't shut down all fisheries that interact with bluefin tuna, we would consult on those fisheries, but some incidental take would be allowed,' says Kim Damon-Randall an Endangered Species Coordinator.
The only shared point is that both groups want to see the species thrive.
The final decision will be made on May 24th.