Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
You pick up your cup of juice and right before you take a sip ...
September 13, 2017: As expected, the waves just keep coming. It does make it tough to surfcast, though roughed up conditions could be a gamefish draw starting very soon. Baitfish are already in the system, adding to the near-beach attraction for blues, bass and whatever.
The rip current danger is quite high here on LBI. Even though the Weather Service is going with moderate, that’s an average for the state. I called in to let them know how tricky it is here on our barrier isle, where I see rips forming (mid-Island) that are going 100 yards straight out to sea.
Along with minimal lifeguard coverage, there is mild and beautifully clean ocean waters; inviting even the faint of heart to jump in.
Keep an eye and ear open for anyone stepping in ... and unable to step out, so to speak.
In beach emergencies, use 911 -- unless you’re set up to speed dial local PDs … which I am.
In fact, Island buggyists and even off-season beachgoers should have all five Island police departments at the speed-dial ready. You'll be getting through to the best boys/gals-in-blue in the entire state.
Those numbers are:
Beach Haven (609) 492-0505
Long Beach Township (609) 494-3322.
Ship Bottom (609) 494-1518 (SBPD can also be dispatched through LBTPD.)
Surf City (609) 494-8121 ... (This number often goes to a county dispatcher. By the time you get through to the SCPD, you might not need them any longer).
Harvey Cedars (609) 361-6000 (HCPD can also be dispatched via the LBTPD.)
HAVE AL B. CALL ME: Has anyone fishing nearshore gotten into any albies? I’m getting reports of them in super-high numbers but can’t pin down where the action is. That’s one of the drawbacks of receiving emails from folks with names like Shananaeyes and aintsayingjoe.
I have had modest luck surfcasting for albies. I use a sturdy surfcasting spinning rod/reel and cast heavy metals as absurdly far as I can, employing a pendulum-motion casting technique I learned when Fisherman’s Headquarters used to hold distance casting seminars.
I just can't do the Brighton cast with any accuracy. I can endanger beachgoers as far as the eye can see -- and my miscasts can fly.
To enhance casts, I sometimes use a shock-cord setup shown at those seminars.
Once an albie-seeking metal has flown way over a hundred yards out (wishful thinking for most of my short-guy casts), it’s time to rip it back so fast it makes your head spin. If the metal isn’t all but skipping across the surface, no albie will touch it.
Note: Spanish mackerel and chopper blues can easily catch up to skipping metals.
My only cool albie story was the time I truly did launch a cast half way to the shipping lanes – and hooked up almost immediately. The large albie’s initial run peeled off what little line I had left on my Penn spool. Seeya. I felt lousy over all the ghost line I put in the ocean. Come to think of it, that might have been the last time I tried that technique.
Oh, one other thing, the reason I was albie-chucking that day was how many were easily seen busting water … a rather obvious sign they’re around.
Might the huge sandbars now showing at low tide offer even a better chance to heave a metal to albie-land? Give it a go.
SEAFOODNEWs.COM [Gloucester Times] By Michael P. Norton, State House News Service - September 13, 2017
Charter and party fishing vessels that hold certain federal permits will be required next year to electronically submit reports for all passenger-for-hire trips.
The requirement is intended to reduce "recall bias" associated with delayed paper report submissions, according to NOAA.
The federal agency issued an alert about its new requirement, calling it an administrative modification rather than a reporting requirement change.
Beginning March 12, 2018, the new trip reports must be submitted within 48 hours of a vessel reaching port and must be delivered through software approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
According to NOAA, the change will increase the timeliness and availability of data and reduce burdens on vessel captains to submit paper-based reports.
The requirement applies to vessels with permits to fish species managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
About 400 miles east of Houston, off the coast of Alabama, Dauphin Island was spared the initial impact of Hurricane Harvey. Yet this tiny sliver of land near the mouth of Mobile Bay is just as important as the battered metropolis to the debate over American disaster policy. That’s because the 14-mile-long island, home to only about 1,300 people, floods again and again, hurricane or no hurricane. And again and again, those homes are repaired and rebuilt, largely at the expense of U.S. taxpayers.
The homes on Dauphin Island are among the 5 million that are covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. Founded in 1968 to make sure homeowners in flood-prone areas could get affordable insurance, the program ends up paying most residential flood insurance claims in the U.S. Partly as a result, development along coasts and riverbanks and in flood plains has exploded over the past 50 years. So have claims for flood damages. The NFIP is now about $25 billion in debt.
On Sept. 30, the program is also set to expire. Some members of Congress would like to use a reauthorization vote to enact reforms, including perhaps kicking the most flood-exposed homes off the rolls. Given the pressure to deliver disaster relief quickly post-Harvey, it’s improbable that any initial agreement to extend the NFIP past Sept. 30 will lead to significant reforms. More likely, a short-term extension may fund it through the end of the year. But the problem won’t go away. And the debate is just getting started.
The issues surrounding the NFIP go beyond just insurance and straight to the costs of climate change—specifically, whether the government will concede that the most vulnerable places simply can’t be protected. While hurricanes contribute greatly to costs, putting a sudden spotlight on the insurance issue, it’s the chronic flooding that happens away from the public eye, in places such as Dauphin Island, that slowly drains the NFIP. The island has one of the country’s highest concentrations of houses that the Federal Emergency Management Agency calls “severe repetitive loss”—those that flood most often. The owners of those 84 properties have gotten almost $17 million since 1978, an average of $199,244 each.
While many areas that depend on flood insurance are poor, the overwhelming majority of buildings on Dauphin’s most vulnerable beaches are vacation homes and rentals. When Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, argued this year against single mothers being “forced to pay for insurance for some millionaire’s beachfront vacation home,” he could’ve been talking about this town.
Federal payments to places such as Dauphin Island can seem like a reward for stubbornness. In 1979, Hurricane Frederic destroyed the only bridge to the island; in 2004 and 2005, Ivan and Katrina wiped out about 500 homes. Federal funds replaced the bridge and the houses. But officials on the island argue they’ve been left behind, getting just enough money to limp along but not enough to survive the next big storm. After Sandy, Washington agreed to spend almost $1 billion to fortify a single stretch of the New Jersey shore with dunes. Jeff Collier, mayor of Dauphin Island, would like the same treatment. “Nobody’s ever come in and forced sand down my throat,” he says. “I wish they would. Why are we more expendable than anybody else?”
As climate change worsens, it’s getting harder for Congress to pretend there’s enough money to save everyone. John Kilcullen, Mobile County’s director of plans and operations for emergency management, says he thinks the best way to stop history from repeating itself on Dauphin is for the federal government to buy houses and tear them down, especially along the island’s low-lying western section—the same stretch that boasts the biggest, most expensive properties. He’s pessimistic about how many of those homeowners would be willing to sell. “People don’t like being told they can’t live somewhere,” Kilcullen says. “I don’t think it’s politically feasible.”
Explosive costs have a way of changing people’s minds. The U.S. spent more than $350 billion over the past decade responding to natural disasters, yet FEMA budgeted only $90 million this year to prepare communities for those catastrophes. “These storms are breaking the back of FEMA,” says Roberta Swann, director of the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. “If FEMA starts to say, ‘If a hurricane comes and takes your house, we’re done’—that is going to change the face of coastal communities.”
And yet, if the U.S. wants to stop racking up taxpayer-funded losses, those communities do have to change. The NFIP paid out about $16.3 billion after Katrina in 2005 and $8.4 billion for Sandy in 2012, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That same year, Congress passed a law that overhauled the program, making it significantly more expensive to insure a home in a flood-prone area. The law, known as the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, was the product of a rare alliance between environmentalists and Tea Party activists. After it went into effect, some coastal homeowners saw their annual flood insurance premiums spike to $20,000 or more from as low as $600. Two years later, as opposition grew, Congress rolled back most of the reforms.
Last year theNatural Resources Defense Council won a lawsuit seeking to uncover how many homes FEMA has designated severe repetitive loss. The data the agency was forced to release showed that about 30,000 properties had cost taxpayers $5.5 billion since 1978. “Repeatedly flooded properties cost the nation billions in avoidable losses and repeated trauma to the families that live there,” says Rob Moore, a water-policy expert at the council. “We should be offering assistance to move to higher ground before they run out of options, not after.”
In 2016, FEMA bought 960 severe repetitive loss homes to tear down; at that rate, it would take until midcentury to buy all 30,000. By then, as many as 265 towns and cities will suffer what the Union of Concerned Scientists in a July report called “chronic inundation”—flooding that covers at least 10 percent of their land an average of twice a month. “The human inclination to stay in place, and to resist change at all costs, is pretty strong,” says Erika Spanger-Siegfried, an analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a lead author of the report. “It will catch up with those locations,” she says, “and they will need to move eventually—but at a greater cost.”
On Dauphin Island, beachfront homes are still going up. Yet some residents may be ready to leave. After Katrina, 35 homeowners applied for federal buyouts, says Mayor Collier, but none were approved. If the government doesn’t either buy out homes or fortify the beach, it will just cost more when the next hurricane hits, Collier argues, while standing amid homes under construction. Bobcat loaders zoom by, returning sand blown off the ever-shrinking beach. “Pay me now,” he says, “or pay me later.”
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] September 13, 2017
The Ocean Stewards Institute, an organization advocating for the open ocean aquaculture industry, had made some recommendations for improvements to the Federal Regulations for marine aquaculture. The recommendations are in response to a request from NOAA and the National Ocean Service, who asked for public comments on “Streamlining Regulatory Processes and Reducing Regulatory Burden.”
“The Stewards have consistently pushed for changes to the aquaculture permit process,” said Neil Anthony Sims, President of the Ocean Stewards Institute and co-CEO of Kampachi Farms. “We see this Regulatory Review as an opportunity to offer meaningful, achievable alternatives to the current regulations. We want NOAA to understand the challenges we face, and strive to offer positive, practical solutions.”
The Ocean Stewards Institute recommends that NOAA be designated as the lead agency for ocean aquaculture and that NOAA should designate “specific ocean areas as appropriate for aquaculture” so that there are no conflicts with other groups. The organization also recommends that there be an “overarching EIS for ocean aquaculture to identify potential significant impacts,” as well as monitoring and mitigatory measures for projects. A more timely review process for commercial aquaculture projects, as well as a “simplified process for review and approval” of experimental aquaculture projects offshore is also part of their proposal.
Aquaculture in Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico was only approved recently. The rule was adopted in January 2016, but complicated NOAA requirements that overlap with other federal and state agencies has prevented the aquaculture industry from applying for permits.
“Until NOAA’s regulations are changed to encourage, rather than to discourage, aquaculture in U.S. waters, we will continue to be compelled to export our knowledge, investment and innovation overseas, to the detriment of the United States,” Sims added.
And with the U.S. having an Exclusive Economic Zone of three to 200 miles offshore, there is plenty of space to grow commercial fish in federal waters. The Ocean Stewards Institute is hopeful that their recommendations will allow “innovative, sustainable offshore aquaculture to flourish in the U.S. waters.”