Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, April 26, 2018: Now, to see if that rather light rain – far from the rain fall amount that had been forecast -- had any impact on what was becoming a real decent schoolie bite in the bay.
I don’t think the rain runoff was heavy enough to lower the bay water temps all that much, though the rain fell at a chilly 41 degrees.
I’m one of the few folks (if any) who take the temp of falling rain water. Hey, it impacts fishing and crabbing. I take it from within a rain gauge, so I have to slightly adjust for a warm-up as the ambient air temp impacts the rain. However, during a good downpour, I often get a much cooler rainwater reading inside the gauge than in the surrounding air.
Anyway, it shouldn’t take long to find out if the bayside bass bite is intact; tonight, or tomorrow night, at the latest.
The ocean bassing remains sketchy, based on a bare minimum of reports. Per usual, some sharpies are finding successful plugging action; fish to 28 inches, per one fanatic.
I don’t believe I’m burning a spot by suggesting “The Dike” at High Bar Harbor might be increasingly bass-active. It’s a real large area -- with both an east and west component, though the west side takes some wading out to get to better casting flats. Going there, carefully obey the “No Parking” signs on Sunset Boulevard. Also, do not leave (spare) rods on the vehicle when parking there. Too easy for a bad guy to monitor where you’re at – and do some nefarious nabbing.
Below: Plenty of room to angle ... State park at High Bar Harbor.
The upcoming stretch of not-that-bad winds should get boat bassing going one good. Once again, somewhat distant Raritan Bay is kicking it, bass-wise. Some buddies launched from up that way and had quite a day of it. Open water temps in the upper 40s.
I still have no bluefish info. It’s far too early to worry about the AWOL-ness of a spring run like those we’ve had for the last couple years, though I’m not the only one feeling something is a bit amiss the spring, surely based on the late-running chilliness.
This weekend looks very good for beach, boat and especially BL jetty angling; light winds a.m. but brisking up by late-day.
If you’re coming down for the weekend, avoid Central Avenue in Ship Bottom from 9th Street south. Even though the road is open to traffic, it’s a torn-up mess, tough on tires and shocks.
Make sure to enter this. Good springtime fun …
Saturday, April 21 is World Fish Migration Day -- a day to create awareness about the importance of open rivers and migratory fish. To celebrate World Fish Migration Day we’re sharing a collection of migratory fish fact that’ll make you say, “I never knew that!” From river herring and Atlantic salmon to rainbow smelt, even the most die-hard fish fans will learn something new.
- Mi’kmaq (Micmac): Plamu
- English: Atlantic salmon
- Norwegian: Laks, Lax
- Swedish: Lax
- Finnish: Lohi
- Dutch : Zalm
- Danish : Atlantisk laks, Laks, Skaellaks
- Icelandic: Laxa, Lax
- Greenlandic: Kapisillit
- Gaelic/Irish: braddan and bradan
- Ancient Celtic: Iach
- French: saumon atlantique
- German: Echter lachs, Lachs, Las, Salm
- Spanish: Salmón, Salmón del Atlántico
- Portuguese: Salmao, Salmao do atlântico
- Greek: Salomós
- Turkish: Alabalik
- Polish: Losos, Losos szlachetny atlantycki
- Czech: Losos atlantsky
- Russian: Losos
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - April 24, 2018
It’s almost time for final exams, and this one tip could help students ace their tests: eat fatty fish.
Beth Winthrop, a national dietitian with food service and facilities management company Sodexo, has been working with the company’s college and university clients to create “healthy, well-balanced food options” for students across the country. According to Winthrop, students who want to keep their brain healthy during finals season need to indulge in more fatty fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
“Keeping your brain healthy with proper sleep, hydration and exercise, along with eating certain foods that may help with cognition, will set the stage for maximum memory, calm and focus during a busy time,” explained Winthrop.
Omega-3 fatty acids promote normal brain function and development. Herring, salmon, mackerel, sardines, halibut, rainbow trout and tuna are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Zinke Announces $35.8 Billion Added to U.S. Economy in 2017 due to National Park Visitation
Report Finds Parks Support 306,000 jobs Mostly in Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation, Recreation
WASHINGTON – As the nation celebrates National Park Week, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2017 resulted in a $35.8 billion benefit to the nation’s economy--a nearly $1 billion increase from 2016-- and supported 306,000 jobs.
According the annual National Park Service report, 2017 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 330 million visitors in 2017 spent $18.2 billion in the communities near national parks. Of the 306,000 jobs supported by that spending, more than 255,000 were in those same communities that lie within 60 miles of a park.
“This report illustrates the incredible economic value of our national parks, and further shows the value in President Trump's plan to rebuild park infrastructure,” Zinke said. “National parks provide us a gateway to the outdoors, family recreation opportunities, and connect us to our history and heritage, and they are extremely vital to local economies all across the nation. Parks provide jobs and fuel the outdoor recreation and tourism economy. But as parks remain a popular destination for American families, we must continue to address deferred maintenance and infrastructure needs to ensure parks remain world-class destinations. One of the ways the President and I are doing this is by partnering with Congress on a bipartisan bill to address the maintenance backlog.”
“Parks are priceless not only for their intrinsic natural beauty and historical significance, but also for the economic benefits they provide to communities across the country,” said Will Shafroth, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The investments we make in our national parks protect cherished places while promoting community and economic development.”
Visitor spending varied across the National Park System, from big parks like Yellowstone National Park which attracted 4.1 million people and supported more than 7,350 jobs, to smaller parks like Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site that attracted more than 45,000 visitors and supported 43 jobs.
The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.
According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.5 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.0 percent), and local transportation (7.5 percent).
“National parks connect us with nature and help tell America’s story,” said Dan Smith, Deputy Director of the National Park Service. “They are also a vital part of our nation’s economy, drawing hundreds of millions of visitors every year who fill hotels and restaurants, hire outfitters and rely on other local businesses that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry.”
“National parks are proven economic engines for local communities and states,” said Marcia Argust, who directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ project on restoring national parks. “Ensuring that our park sites are safe, accessible, and preserved for future generations is a smart and necessary investment.”
The peer-reviewed economics report was prepared by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. It includes information by parks and by states on visitor spending, the number of jobs supported by visitor spending and other statistics.
Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data.
National Park visitation grew by 7.7 percent from 2015 to 2017 which included the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service and the successful Find Your Park campaign.
National Park Visitor Spending Contributions to the U.S. Economy 2012-17
|Visitation||Visitor Spending||Jobs Supported||Local Jobs||Total Output|
|2012||282,765,682||$14.7 billion||242,712||201,040||$26.8 billion|
|2013||273,630,895||$14.6 billion||237,599||197,343||$26.5 billion|
|2014||292,800,082||$15.7 billion||276,960||235,600||$29.7 billion|
|2015||307,247,252||$16.9 billion||295,339||252,030||$32 billion|
|2016||330,971,689||$18.4 billion||318,000||271,544||$34.9 billion|
|2017||330,882,751||$18.2 billion||306,000||255,900||$35.8 billion|
UK's Oyster Lady Says Forget Everything You Know About Oysters
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Independent UK] By Emma Henderson - April 24, 2018
Once they were the food of the Dickensian poor. But thanks to an oyster renaissance they’re recognised as a sustainable and nutritional food source. Just make sure you chew it.
“Don’t say it, don’t say the ‘S’ word to describe them,” pleads Katy Davidson. I’d asked her how she tries to make oysters more appealing to people who only see them as one thing: snot – sorry Katy.
Also known as the “Oyster Lady”, Davidson has spent the past 12 years bringing oysters back to our plates and changing our preconceived (incorrect) conceptions of them.
Oysters, unfortunately, have a reputation for being slimy, slippery, salty and a hard to eat food. But they’re one of the most sustainable things to eat, and certainly the most sustainable to come from the sea.
“They’re having a renaissance,” Davidson says.
And they are. No longer are they confined to high-end restaurants, only for those who can afford them. They’ve been transformed into a beautiful accessible dish that’s as Instagrammable as it is edible.
But it wasn’t always this way. Go back 100 years and oysters were used as a cheap alternative to meats.
Nowadays, cooking with oysters has been all but forgotten. Much like pie and eel shops, they were once a favourable stalwart of the community. But today, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere that serves them hot.
Oysters were once a poor man’s food; a cheap source of protein most likely to be found in a beef pie. Using large oysters to substitute beef in a pie was a Victorian classic, but seems like culinary blasphemy now.
But as the character Sam Weller says in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers: “Poverty and oysters always seem to go together.”
And he was right. In the 19th century, oysters were sold on the streets – perhaps Britain’s first version of street food – where passersby snacked on them and public house goers bought them with a hefty pint of stout – another cheap alternative of “sustenance”.
The home of the oyster in the capital was Billingsgate Market, where an estimated 80 million bivalves were imported from Whitstable each year. That led to the depletion of stocks at the end of the 19th century and the end of the once huge oyster trade.
And that’s how these once-cheap bivalves managed to climb the slippery pole and reinvent themselves as a sophisticated foodstuff: overfishing and the overconsumption of guzzling Victorians.
But here we are again: the molluscs are back in vogue and more importantly recognised as a sustainable food source.
“But what most people don’t know is that they’re eating them wrong,” says Davidson. Deciding to open wide and throw back in one is absolutely not the correct way to eat an oyster.
“Think of them like a fine wine,” she says. “You’d never knock that back in one, you want to take your time. And oyster producers, like any food producer who has taken years to refine their product, do not want you to just swallow it without properly tasting it.”
Instead, if eating an oyster from a half shell you should first sip the “liquor” – the mixture of sea water and oyster juice. This gets your palate working, according to Davidson, and then you can give it a little chew and take in those flavours, ranging from nutty to rich butteryness and even a gamey flavour.
“The only way I can think that people think this is the right way to eat them is when they were sold from barrels on the side of the road as a cheap source of protein, and as there weren’t any fridges, they probably didn’t taste great, so that was the easiest way to eat them,” she says.
Another driving force behind bringing the humble oyster back to life has been the Wright Brothers restaurants, a now five-strong mini chain spread out across London, with its heart in its first restaurant in Borough Market. The brother-in-law duo changed careers after meeting a Frenchman called Jerome, whose oysters were the best they’d ever eaten.
Even then, in 2002, oysters were still considered a delicacy in the finest of restaurants. But to the brothers, it wasn’t apparent why they shouldn’t be available to everyone and so they revived an old oyster farm in Cornwall, and then their first restaurant in 2005.
Robin Hancock, co-founder and one half of the Wright Brothers, says: “There is a myriad of other factors that contributed to them: a number of freezing winters, the world wars, TBT (anti-fouling paint) and a disease that affected the native oyster population.
“We started to change the perception of oysters being a luxury item for the few and to get everyone eating oysters. We now supply over five tons of oysters a week to the London market and the popularity is growing by 10 per cent year on year.”
Traditionalist’s will be pleased to see oysters served at their restaurants with lemon, Tabasco or shallot vinegar, while more modern ways include poached, grilled or deep fried.
Just remember to chew. Once you do, you’ll never look back.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Seafood News] - April 24, 2018
NOAA Fisheries announced on Monday that they have taken action to include shrimp and abalone in the Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP) by December 31, 2018.
Shrimp and abalone was initially excluded from SIMP, which was created to combat seafood fraud and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Informed compliance for Atlantic cod, blue crab, mahi mahi, grouper, king crab, Pacific cod, red snapper, sea cucumber, sharks, swordfish and tunas began on January 1, 2018, with enforcement by NOAA starting on April 9, 2018.
According to NOAA, the inclusion of shrimp and abalone in SIMP “nearly doubles the volume and value of imported fish and fish products subject to its requirements, further leveling the playing field for U.S. fishermen, aquaculture producers, and seafood producers around the world who play by the rules.”
Shrimp and abalone importers will be required to obtain an International Fisheries Trade Permit, as well as submit harvest and landing information by December 31, 2018.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [South Coast Today] By Jack Spillane - April 23, 2018
It was a miserable day on Steamship Wharf Thursday.
Another cold, rainy April morning with the wind up a bit.
But Tony Alvernaz’s guys were out working on the nets of the Ligia — a scalloper worth somewhere around $6.5 million that Tony and the bank own a third of. They were working in the rain because on Saturday, they were planning to steam out to one of the closed scallop areas east of Nantucket, which is open for the first time in about 20 years. It’s scallop season and they need to make money.
Tony is the guy caught with a scallop overage last week — 300 pounds over the 18,000 pound limit for a trip to another closed area off New Jersey. He admits to having about 50 pounds of scallops placed out of sight of the feds in the Luiga’s shower stall and refrigerator.
The rest of the overage was because it can be tough to estimate the weight of scallops, Alvernaz told me. “It’s not easy bringing in the exact weight on a product that absorbs water,” he said. On one trip to the New Jersey area, the scallops were all mushy, he remembered. These ones were very firm.
Tony also remembered his last unsatisfactory trip to a closed area when he was unable to get all the scallops he was entitled to.
“They failed to mention that on my last closed area that I went, I was 700 pounds under,” he said. “I shot for 300 under to play it safe so I wouldn’t be persecuted and shot at the dock.”
Alvernaz said he understands NOAA has to do its job and that in recent years they’ve been more reasonable in their enforcement. Years ago they would have confiscated his whole trip, he noted, but now they just gave him a fine and will deduct his overage from his next trip.
“They don’t punish you to the max,” he said.
By any measure imaginable, Antonio Alvernaz is an American success story.
Brought to this country from the Azores when he was six-years-old, he speaks English without an accent. He’s married to a marine scientist and lives in Sandwich where the schools are better for his two kids.
But Alvernaz is 55 now and his body beat up from years on the ocean. His skin is weathered from the sun and his hands have a bit of arthritis and get numb from Raynaud’s Disease. He’s a working boat captain who’s managed over the years to buy half of two boats and a third of another.
First he bought the Kathryn Marie and worked like hell to pay it down. Then he got the Hunter. Same thing.
Alvernaz, who actually worked for NOAA for six years in the ’90s when the fishing was poor, acknowledged that there’s big money to be made now. His crews can make as much as $200K a year, he said.
For himself, he explained that you don’t take home most of the money when you’re paying a boat down. But in the long run, if you keep making money, that’s your retirement. There’s no company-run 401Ks or pension plans on the waterfront. He’s trying to put his two kids through college.
Before Alvernaz was caught with the extra scallops I didn’t know him. He called the paper, he said, because he doesn’t want the whole industry to be painted as thieves. “They’re always trying, they’re trying to make the industry look evil and corrupt,” he said.
Alvernaz, unfortunately, is one of the waterfront heirs of Carlos Rafael, who by any measure, is a big-time thief who never seemed to give a whit about whether any of the fish in the sea survive beyond his own lifetime.
The feelings run high on the docks between the industry and the environmentalists. They have debated endlessly over the science of measuring what is and is not in the ocean, and the ways that fishermen devise to evade the restrictions on the fishing effort. No one, however, seems to know how to devise a system that works for both those trying to make a living and those trying to save the ocean.
One thing is clear, however. What Tony Alvernaz was doing was not a wholesale defrauding scheme like Rafael. He’s a small-time fishing boat captain — he did not control both the fishing boats and seafood dealers — whereby he could fool NOAA by misreporting his catch and then verifying the misreporting at the seafood house.
What Alvernaz was doing was trying to maximize his effort within the regulations and he got his numbers wrong. By a bit. Still, his is the kind of small-time skirting that environmentalists worry is widespread and makes the government’s numbers on the fishing effort wrong.
Alvernaz told me about a scalloper he met at the auction who recently told him about discarding a couple hundred pounds of scallops as he began to approach port. He had a scale on board and realized the product had gotten heavier as it absorbed water. That dumping is illegal because the scallops don’t survive and it skews the efforts of regulators to know how many fish are out there. But it’s understandable in a world in which fishermen are trying to balance the equation of making a living and protecting the ocean.
It’s not an easy formula to come up with a system that is in the best interest of everyone. But it’s one that we have to find the answer to.
Congressman MacArthur Ranked Among Top 10% of Bipartisan Members of Congress in the House by Non-Partisan Lugar Center
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The non-partisan Lugar Center released its updated Bipartisan Index for 2017, which measures the frequency with which a Member of Congress works across the aisle. In this latest report, The Lugar Center has ranked Congressman Tom MacArthur among the top 10% of bipartisan Members of Congress in the House of Representatives.
“Since first coming to Washington, I’ve always believed that Members of Congress must work across the aisle to find real solutions to the tough problems facing our country—it’s how I’ve worked in Congress and this non-partisan report shows exactly that,” said Congressman Tom MacArthur. “Throughout my time as a Member of Congress, I have been willing to work with anyone to improve the lives of my constituents in South Jersey. This includes working in a bipartisan way to protect Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, combat the opioid epidemic, improve our schools, and care for our veterans and seniors. As always, I’ll continue to work with any of my colleagues from either party to support New Jerseyans.”
Just this month, Congressman MacArthur has cosponsored over 15 bipartisan bills that will help care for veterans and servicemembers, fight the opioid crisis, protect seniors, improve schools, defend domestic violence victims, and crack down on human trafficking.
Bipartisan bills cosponsored this month include:
Safe Schools Improvement Act which requires states to direct their local educational agencies to establish policies that prevent and prohibit conduct, including bullying and harassment. Original Sponsor: Rep. Sanchez (D-CA)
IDEA Full Funding Act which require regular increases in Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) spending to meet the federal commitment. Original Sponsor: Rep. Huffman (D-CA)
Anti-Lunch Shaming Act prohibits schools from singling out students who are unable to pay for lunch. Original Sponsor: Rep. Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
Pet Safety and Protection Act would prohibit “Class B” (random source) animal dealers from selling dogs and cats to researchers. Original Sponsor: Rep. Doyle (D-PA)
Pet and Women Safety Act which broadens the definition of stalking to include conduct that causes a person to experience a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to his or her pet. Original Sponsor: Rep. Clark (D-MA)
Human Trafficking Fraud Enforcement Act which directs Treasury to establish within the IRS an office to investigate and prosecute violations of tax laws by persons that appear to be violating laws against forced labor, trafficking of individuals, and transportation of minors or aliens for immoral purposes. Original Sponsor: Rep. Maloney (D-NY)
Smithsonian Women's History Museum Act which establishes a comprehensive women's history museum within the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Original Sponsor: Rep. Maloney (D-NY)
Cold Case Record Collections Act which would allow citizens to request the declassification of certain documents from civil rights cold cases. The bill was drafted by high school students from Hightstown, New Jersey. Original Sponsor: Rep. Rush (D-IL)
Transparent Summer Flounder Quotas Act which delays current reduction in Summer Flounder quota. Original Sponsor: Rep. Pallone (D-NJ)
Orca Responsibility and Care Advancement Act amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to prohibit taking, importing, or exporting the killer whale species, or any product that contains that species, for public display purposes. Original Sponsor: Rep. Schiff (D-CA)
Resolution recognizing the contributions of senior volunteers, including Senior Corps, Foster Grandparents, and RSVP volunteers. Original Sponsor: Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
In New Jersey, there are 5,100 Senior Corp volunteers, 1,200 young people tutored by Foster Grandparents, and 460 local organizations benefiting from RSVP volunteers.
Senior Citizen Protection Act which requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish guidelines for states to design and implement elder abuse registries. Original Sponsor: Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider (D-IL)
Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2017 which requires the GAO to report on inpatient and outpatient treatment capacity, availability, and needs, including treatment programs for pregnant women or adolescents. (Original Sponsor: Rep. Bill Foster D-IL)
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Accessibility Act of 2017 which permits the Department of Health and Human Services to make loans and loan guarantees for construction or renovation of psychiatric or substance abuse treatment facilities. (Original Sponsor: Rep. Derek Kilmer D-WA)
Prescriber Support Act of 2017 which authorize HHS to award grants to states for systems that help prescribers: (1) treat and manage patient pain; and (2) prevent, identify, and respond to patient substance misuse and substance abuse disorders. (Original Sponsor: Rep. Katherine Clark D-MA)
Servicemembers and Veterans Prescription Drug Safety Act which directs DOD and DOJ provide for a prescription drug take-back program for members of the Armed Forces and veterans. (Original Sponsor: Rep. Matt Cartwright D-PA)
Military Hunger Prevention Act which would prevent military housing allowances from being used to determine eligibility for programs such as SNAP. (Original sponsor: Rep. Davis D-CA)
Military Pay Protection Act which would ensure service members are paid during a Government shutdown. (Original sponsor: Rep. Sinema D-AZ)
Ask Veterans Act which directs the VA Secretary to survey veterans about their experiences at VA treatment facilities. (Original sponsor: Rep. O’ Rourke D-TX)
Homeless Veterans Legal Services Act which directs the VA to partner with public or private entities to fund a portion of the legal services provided to homeless veterans. (Original sponsor: Rep. Beatty D-OH)
Housing Our Heroes Act which directs the VA to establish a pilot grant program to acquire and renovate abandoned homes for homeless veterans. (Original sponsor: Rep. Schneider D-IL)
Veteran Education Empowerment Act that reauthorizes grants for colleges and universities across the country to establish new Veteran Student Centers and to improve existing ones. (Original sponsor: Rep. Frankel D-FL)
Military Spouse Job Continuity Act which will allow military spouses, who move with a service member spouse, a tax credit for up to $500 for qualified professional relicensing costs. (Original sponsor: Rep. Cartwright D-PA)
Wounded Veterans Recreation Act which amends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act to require the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass be made available to any veteran with a service-connected disability. (Original sponsor: Rep. Ruiz D-CA)
Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act which expands eligibility for the VA family caregiver program. (Original sponsor: Rep. Langevin D-RI)
Transportation for Heroes Act which ensures that a public transportation fare of no more than 50% of the peak hour fare will be charged to a U.S. veteran during non-peak hours. (Original sponsor: Rep. Green D-TX)