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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, January 31, 2011: For the second day in a row, I’m going to go south to get into some warmer air. Florida? Perish the thought. I instead journey southward out the backdoor of my Ship Bottom h…

Monday, January 31, 2011: For the second day in a row, I’m going to go south to get into some warmer air. Florida? Perish the thought. I instead journey southward out the backdoor of my Ship Bottom home and cozy up to a small wind-protected enclave next to my shower stall. The sun beats down there even in winter. Yesterday I took an air temp of a balmy 61 degrees – under that solar battery-charging sunlight.

 

Today my house will block what is a mighty raw north wind – in advance of some highly iffy weather (being called a “complex storm” system) coming out of the Mississippi Valley. Once again, the coast of Jersey will become the detonation point – and not Hatteras. As the weather Service put it: “The low is then expected to jump to the waters off New Jersey on Wednesday afternoon …”

 

And once again, we’ll be getting a solid onshore flow making the white revert back to simply wet. We could get well get an inch or two of rain. One inch of rain becomes roughly one foot of snow when things get cold enough - which they won’t for this storm. We’ll see air temps exactly matching open ocean water temps, roughly the mid-40s, then a bizarre batch of air over 50 degrees will enter right before a cols front by Thursday.

 

Are we over the frigid hump yet? I kinda see it happening, as overall temperature move back to normalish, i.e. Highs near 40, lows in the low to mid 20s. However, I’ll join the multitude of meteorologically inclined folks to openly admit this winter has gotten downright freaky. I just read that all-time records for cold and snow have already been reached in many locales, both locally and nationwide. I hate to even bring this up, but if this cold is any indication of an equal an opposite upcoming summer, we’re gonna get smoked by heat.

 

I had a politically advanced emailer ask if Congressman Jon Runyon is at risk of losing his seat in the redistricting of New Jersey, during which we’ll lose a district – and a congressperson. I was told it’s not a high likelihood due to the prestigious committees he’s been assigned in D.C. However, this is the land of the political beast. It can swing and turn at the drop of a “Sic ‘em!” I just can’t believe the Republican majority will allow a fellow partyite to get axed, especially from a vital district. I’m watching this with “attack” on my mind if it looks like they’re going after Jon.

 

Dear Mr. Mann,   Coywolf or coyote an interesting story, but they are here in a Pack. We live on Cedar Run Dock Road, Cedar Run. A few summers ago I heard howling and barking, my thought was newly graduated students were celebrating in the woods off Mayetta Landing Road. Since that time the howls and yips have increased dramatically. Often you can tell their location by listening after the fire siren has been blown. Apparently they find it annoying and begin barking and yipping. Although, not so much while there is hunting going on. This lets me know approximately what area they are roaming.

My son was down for a visit and went outside in the evening.  He said, "Mom, It felt like something was watching me." 

Which reminds me of another time he was here, around midnight he went out on our front deck, as he lit a cigarette he looked up and a great horned owl was sitting two foot from him on the railing. Dilemma turn and go back thru the door or have a staring contest. He stayed the owl flew away. But I digress................Back to the coyotes. 

 

We live about two miles down the road from one of our neighbors. They live in the beginning near the sewerage plant. His wife would walk their dog every night down the road toward the Plant. That was until one of the workers told her the coyotes would either follow her silently through the woods or sit and watch her. Seem the Plant has cameras and they have pictures on tape of the coyotes taken at night.

My last vocal gauge was east of the sewerage plant. Whereas, they used to be west of us or the base of Mayetta Landing Road. Be wary this group we estimate at least 25 to 30 possibly more, by the amount of yipps and howls.

 

Taking this opportunity to tell you we find you articles  from The Fish Story entertaining and highly interesting.  Thank you,           Sincerely, Alexis W.

 

Thanks for the cool coyote insights, Alex.

My guess is you’re experiencing a wildlife burst akin to a build-out by humans. This is likely not a coyote pack, per se, but a series of family units in the same area, easily coexisting due to plentiful forage.

Coyote food sources run from road-kill to garbage cans to rodent infestations to Bambis to wild turkeys to frogs to Thumpers to feral cats to snakes to possum to outdoor pet food bowls and onward into the bird-heavy horizon. Usually too nasty for coyote: Not a whole lot, mainly healthy deer, larger pet dogs (especially pit bulls – bye-bye dumb coyote), skunks, and raccoons (always too formidable to fight one-on-one, even for humans).

As noted in past articles, coyote (and coywolf) pair up and keep that married relationship for life. However, there is growing evidence that such “parental units” are willing to share territory with family members – that is, until a conflict of forage interest arises, then there’s canine hell to pay as they fiercely fight it out.

I have to think a family unit mentality works to the benefit of East Coast coyote, particularly from the scavenging side of things. Locally, road-kill deer are a nightly occurrence along Route 9. It takes some serious hauling for coyote to drag such dead weight far enough back to be safely away from the highways. The more hauling help the merrier. Since there is so much meat available, a goodly number of coyote mouths can happily feed on the carrion, though I can assure that there is dramatic eating order, as alpha pairs dine first on the venison tartar.

I have oft heard about – but have never personally experienced -- the paralleling behavior of some coyotes as they observe humans. I can’t automatically attribute this to bona fide stalking behavior, per se.  It’s just as likely the paralleling is based on curiosity, territoriality or even den protecting. Coyotes will secretly watch humans as much to make sure they’re not a threat as to, say, eat Rover as he’s being walked.

I had another coyote email asking what to do if confronted by coyotes. First of all, odds of it happening are hyper-low. Still, be it sharks or coyotes, you’ll always run into some whackos. 

Should you run into said whacko coyote, ominousness counts. Standing straight up and menacingly outstretching arms is a bigger-than-life warning is something all of nature understands. Size matters. Grabbing, then brandishing, any swingable or throwable thing, be it branch or rock, is yet another clear signal that messing with you could mean someone might well lose an eye.

Personally, I have this thing for kicking dirt, pounding my chest and stomping the ground in a markedly threatening way. I got that from gorillas I’ve known. It scares the hell out of me just to see a gorilla doing that on the Nature Channel.

Shouting – not screaming -- is a good ploy. An in-your-face guttural shout aimed right at a foe has been used against enemies since mankind first came to power. A girly scream can actually fire up a predator. 

NOTE: You’ll read a lot about slowly backing off from a potential animal attack. And I’m sure that’s good advice. However, I’m not wild about it -- unless you’re absolutely sure where you’re backing to. The big danger is tumbling over backwards, like some dumbass. This will instantly nullify your ominousness in the eyes of a coyote. Not only will they then attack but also they’ll be giggling at the same time. Insult to injury, if ever.

By the by, in recorded coyote attack incidents in the U.S., it has taken as little as a nosily aggressive youngster to drive off even an attacking “pack” of coyotes. I’m referencing a few cases where coyotes have gone after a small child – only to have little Susie and her aggressively swung Barbie doll send the coyotes scurrying for their lives.

Again, I bring this up as a purely worst-case scenario thing. Coyotes are naturally cowardly in the face of humans. In fact, I’ll go the other route and admit that many coyotes have a canine infatuation with befriending humans. The one I had a face-to-face with a while back was staring at me in all but rapt curiosity. Her tail was so far between her legs I knew the last thing she wanted was trouble.

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Below is wind turbine story – same company building off AC. (By the by, I’m fully in support of wind turbines but always appreciate divergent viewpoints – unless they get stupid and, by my thinking, unscientific, like the fear of bird strikes.

 

 

NEW BEDFORD — The sheer scale of the 3,000-square-mile area of federal waters south of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket recently opened for wind-turbine leases has many in the fishing industry worried.

 

The Obama administration announced in December its intention to encourage wind energy development in federal waters off Massachusetts and elsewhere by offering leases. The Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, part of the U.S. Department of Interior, has put out a request to measure the wind industry's interest in the area.

 

Massachusetts waters extend only 3 miles from the coast, while the federal government has jurisdiction from there out 200 miles. The boundaries for the proposed area were drawn up by the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force in partnership with BOEMRE.

 

"Looking at the gridded map, it seems like they are going to take the whole Nantucket Lightship area away from us and about 80 percent of the Great South Channel area," said Paul Wessecker, the owner of three New Bedford scallop vessels. "These are some of the most lucrative fishing grounds that we have."

 

In addition to potentially closing these areas, Wessecker worries that catch limits could also be reduced.

 

"They might deduct the scallops that are in there from the overall biomass," he said. "That could cut our days in half."

 

Offshore turbines in these waters have the potential to generate up to 4,000 megawatts of wind energy, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. That is an amount equivalent to all of the electricity now generated by coal-fired plants currently operating in Massachusetts, officials say.

 

Today's meeting is sponsored by a company called Fishermen's Energy, made up of principals in several New Jersey-based fishing companies.

 

"I don't think that the fishing industry is fully aware of the scale of development planned for offshore wind. Our goal for the meeting is to widen the dialogue within the fishing community," said Rhonda Jackson, director of communications for Fishermen's Energy. It is not yet clear whether fishing vessels will be allowed to work inside the development areas, she said.

 

Fishermen's Energy was established to enable those in the fishing industry to also have a stake in offshore wind energy, she said.

 

Her company already has agreed to erect several turbines near Atlantic City, N.J., and that project is in the permitting stages.

 

The state will conduct its own hearings on the area south of the Islands, beginning later this winter, according to Lisa Capone, press secretary for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

 

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