Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

The Brant Beach whale doesn't want to get too popular

Taking Shark Week to the next level. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012: Yet another beauty out there. It’s mild and the ocean water remains gorgeous and the water very mild. There remains a decent groundswell, out of the east. Those long-period waves should also be taken into consideration for anyone boating around the south shoals off Beach Haven Inlet. It can look like an easy run out BH Inlet but now and again some breaking waves will suddenly show.


Bluefishing is frantic off the Barnegat Inlet – and into the channel. These are tailors, as many as you could want. I’m likely doing a walk-and-pitch session along the South Jetty later today. Not ready to collect blues for jerky, just yet. Waiting for Holgate.


Not much wind for fluke drifts this a.m. but onshore should make for better late-day conditions. That could repeat tomorrow.


Bayside is very buggy. Spray accordingly.


Sharking isn’t what it had been, possibly due to too-clean water.


We could see some troublesome winds over the weekend, dependent on a load of complex meteorological features. Saturday night could blow to 25 mph out of the NE.


One thing that won’t be going south is the ocean water temp. Near 80-dgree water will hang in for days (weeks) as we see a lot of light onshore and NE winds.  


GLOBS OF GOO: Odd observation of the day could be a game-changer as fall goes on. Perfectly rounded, brownish-red balls washing up all along the bay beaches were thought to be jellyfish. I got calls from folks afraid to enter the water. I went down and checked htme out this a.m.

Although these balls do have a gooey gelatinous look to them, they’re actually a bizarre bloom of a common brown algae -- what we unaffectionately call snot grass.

I hate to sound like one of those been-here-forever LBI denizens, but in 50 years here I’ve never seen quite the likes of these free-floating snot “seeds.” They’re maybe an inch across and a fully contained bloom, so to speak.

The problem is these seem to be on their way to seeding the bay – to then grow into the larger gobs that kill fishing when storm-washed into the tidal flow. Hopefully, they won’t have time to grow too large before fall sets in and stirs them to death.

By the by, I had already been getting reports of some eelgrass beds being ravaged by this oxygen-stealing sub aquatic vegetation. As long as homeowners feel compelled to dump way too much fertilizer on their lawns, these blooms will be an annual woe in the bay.


NOW IT’S WICKED WEAKFISHERMEN: I’ve gotten (and occasionally published) emails from folks saying illegal fluke are being kept. Now, I’m getting just as many gripes about small weakfish being kept.

Per usual, I explain that even though my media position keeps me closely in-touch with legislators, enforcement and the likes, I’ve gotten my bell rung too many times to step and address individual violators.

Sadly, I really don’t think there is any person or agency readily available to respond to specific complaints. Instead, be aware that enforcement is utterly aware that fluke violations are always common and they also know that this astounding influx of weakfish means poaching is taking place. They’re enforcing a mile a minute, even though they might not be nailing the exact folks you suspect. They’re totally tuned in to the overall problem.

By the by, I consider exceeding bag limits and keeping undersized fish as a form of poaching. That’s a word you don’t want associated with your name. 

While I supported efforts to keep saltwater fishing free in NJ, it kept us minimally policed. You can’t believe the mileage individual officers are now expected to cover. Evildoers have the upper hand. That’s the way the system works. In many ways, uncaught poachers is the price paid for free fishing. I still believe it’s a fair trade-off considering the overwhelming percentage of anglers who meticulously obey the laws.

Is fishing also self-policing, in a sense? Absolutely. Word gets out that you’ve been repeatedly overfishing bag limits, or keeping undersized fish, you’ll get a name you just don’t want bandied about in public. Might other fishermen (other than Jay Mann) call you out for keeping undersized fish? Happens all the time, despite my warnings that things can go south in a heartbeat.

By the by, if I get word of grievous violations, I’m on it. And with my new cameras, that’s not news for bad guys.



The Register-Guard] by Greg Bolt - August 23, 2012

Federal officials have given the green light to begin installation of 10 electricity-generating buoys off the Oregon Coast, clearing the way for what will be the first wave energy station in the United States.

Ocean Power Technologies, a New Jersey-based company, is close to completing construction of the first of the generating buoys and is expected to tow it to Reedsport for installation later this year. A company spokesman said the first buoy could arrive in October.

Once fully deployed, the 10 buoys should generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity by converting the up-and-down motion of the waves into clean power, which would be fed into the region’s electricity grid through an undersea cable. It should take two to three years to complete build-out of the power station, said Gregory Lennon, senior director of business development for Ocean Power Technology.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently granted the company a 35-year license to operate the offshore station. Company officials said the license reflects not only the potential of wave energy but the collaboration among a variety of interests along the coast and in other parts of the state that moved the project forward.

“The 35-year term of the license demonstrates the commercial potential of wave power, and this will support initiatives to secure financing for the project,” Charles Dunleavy, the company’s chief executive, said in a prepared statement.

“We appreciate the efforts of many who have assisted us during this licensing process and who recognize its positive significance for the economy and environment of Oregon, as well as its coastal communities.”

The first of the buoys is nearing completion at the Oregon Iron Works plant in Clackamas. It will be moved soon to the Columbia River, where it will be launched and tested before being towed to Reedsport.

The 140-foot-tall installations, with just the top 30 feet rising above the water, will be placed 2.5 miles offshore in an area one-quarter-mile square.

Once all buoys are in place, the generating station is expected to produce as much as 1.5 megawatts of power, equivalent to what is used by about 1,000 average homes.

Different companies have taken different approaches to using ocean energy to generate electricity. OPT’s technology involves a huge spar that is moored to the ocean floor and allowed to bob on the swells.

The up-and-down motion of the buoy as it rides ocean waves drives a generator and produces electricity that enters the power grid through an undersea cable. The cable will be tied into the grid at a substation in nearby Gardiner.

Lennon said the company has deployed a similar buoy off the coast of Scotland and has been working with the Navy on a project using smaller versions placed in the ocean near Hawaii. But this will be the first time an array of power-generating buoys has supplied electricity to the grid on a commercial scale.

“This will be the first grid-connected project in the United States of this significant size,” he said.

The company has been working for years not only to fine-tune its design for the generators but also to convince commercial anglers and crabbers, recreational anglers, environmentalists and state and local officials that ocean energy can be harvested without harming other resources. An agreement reached two years ago lays out how the company will work with various interest groups to monitor the station’s effect on ocean resources and respond to any problems.

That agreement has allowed Ocean Power Technology’s relatively modest plan to move forward, but the future of larger offshore power stations remains controversial. The state is developing a map of offshore resources that is expected to identify where additional power stations might be located, but finding places large enough to be commercially viable that don’t also harm commercial and recreational fishing is proving challenging.

Still, the state has become an enthusiastic backer of wave energy.

The Oregon Business Journal said the state has pumped $10 million into wave energy through the nonprofit Oregon Wave Energy Trust, which works with industry to advance the technology in the state. Ocean Power Technology has put another $5 million to $6 million into the project, it said.

Wave energy projects are advancing on several fronts. Oregon State University has joined with the University of Washington to form the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which is developing a testing infrastructure for wave energy devices, known as the Pacific Marine Testing Center.

Public meetings to consider possible locations for the testing center are being held this week, including one Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Reedsport’s Pacific Auditorium, 2260 Longwood Drive. Sites being considered are Newport, Reedsport, Coos Bay and Camp Rilea near Warrenton.

Several companies have expressed an interest in deploying or testing wave energy devices along Oregon’s coast. OSU currently is working with a New Zealand company on ocean trials for a half-scale prototype device off Newport.

In addition to its Reedsport location, Ocean Power Technology also has taken preliminary steps to establish a larger wave energy station off Coos Bay. That project would produce 50 megawatts of power, but Lennon said what the company learns from operating the Reedsport station will help determine whether to move into the planning phase for a Coos Bay station.



[International Business] By Roxanne Palmer - August 22, 2012 - 

Got a bunch of brown bananas moldering on your countertop or in your freezer? Frustrated that the bananas you picked up from the farmers market just yesterday have already collapsed into a putrescent sludge puddle? Or are you just sick of having to make banana bread all the time with spotty damaged goods?

Science may have the solution: a chemical "hydrogel" coating made from chitosan, derived from the shells of crabs and shrimp. Chitosan is already sprayed on lots of other fruits and vegetables to kill bacteria and keep produce fresh. And on Wednesday, Xihong Li of Tianjin University presented data at a meeting of the American Chemical Society showing that it can work to delay banana ripening -- bad news for fruit flies, good news for you.

"We found that by spraying green bananas with a chitosan aerogel, we can keep bananas fresh for up to 12 days," Li said in a statement Wednesday. "Such a coating could be used at home by consumers, in supermarkets or during shipment of bananas."

Like other fruits, bananas don't die when they're picked. They respire through their skin, taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide. Increased respiration means quicker ripening. The chitosan coating used by Li and his colleagues slowed down respiration enough to keep the fruit fresh.

Bananas also release a compound called ethylene, which encourages ripening. So leaving a bunch of bananas in a bag will trap a lot of ethylene gas in there, which makes them ripen faster. Other fruits and vegetables produce ethylene too, so keeping your banana in the same bowl as a bunch of apples will hasten its progress toward gooey oblivion.

Chitosan, with its seafood origin, could possibly pose problems for strict vegetarians and vegans, but it wouldn't be the first food additive that flew under the radar. Shellac, which you might primarily think of as something to polish furniture, is also applied to apples to replace natural waxes lost during the cleaning process. It's also made from a resin secreted by the female lac bug. Starbucks caught flak from its crunchier customers after it was revealed that the coffee giant was using crushed beetle shells to color its strawberry frappuccinos.

Still, if you're not squeamish about animal products, chitosan could be a good way to keep good bananas from going bad

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