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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, February 06, 2018: I’m still trying to shake this ensconced midwinter funk; tsunami scare a chuckle; Hunter gets goosed

Wow, I never saw this in "Fun Ways to Mess With Cats." Where's some blue tape? 

Amputee cat descends stairs on front legs

And people still wonder why I prefer the Summer Olympics. 

Pole vault trick - Joel Pocklington

Whenever you think you're really, really bored ... 

Kid lays down under a moving train

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You might not want to mention “tsunami” to the world-acclaimed AccuWeather center, located in State College, Pa. It’s awaiting a good rainstorm to wash the egg off its weather-forecasting face after one of its apps went ape Tuesday morning, translating a routine warning system test by the National Weather Service as a bona fide tidal-wave-a-comin’ warning.

Users of AccuWeather’s popular app received a glowing “TSUNAMI WARNING,” including “Tsunami Warning in effect until 9:28 AM EST.”

Offering instant relief was the nearby message, “...THIS_MESSAGE_IS_FOR_TEST_PURPOSES_ONLY...”

While this send-out snafu was mercifully far from the recent fully unfunny faux “incoming nuclear missile” alert in Hawaii, the National Weather Service was nonetheless jarred into action, quickly issuing the Tweet, “***THERE IS NO TSUNAMI WARNING***, followed by, “A Tsunami Test was conducted earlier this morning, that did not have TEST in the message. We are currently trying to find out how a message went out as a warning. We will update you when we find out more.”

While there will likely be some glitch finger-pointing twixt the NWS and AccuWeather, we coastalites should actually derive a mild sense of homeland security – our local homeland -- that a high-level tsunami warning system actually exists. In fact, I just added the AccuWeather app to my Android. Hell, I’ll gladly take a tiny now-and-again snafu over being down in Holgate, glancing out over the ocean, and seeing a 50-footer cresting out in the shipping lanes.

Issued by the National Weather Service
For Coastal Ocean County, New Jersey
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT UNTIL 10:30AM EST TUE ...NO TSUNAMI THREAT ALONG THE EAST COAST...GULF OF MEXICO...OR CARIBBEAN... SOME USERS MAY HAVE RECEIVED NOTIFICATIONS THAT A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THEIR AREA. THERE ARE NO TSUNAMI WARNINGS IN EFFECT AT THE CURRENT TIME. AGAIN, THERE ARE NO TSUNAMI WARNINGS IN EFFECT. FOR THE LATEST WEATHER INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT WWW.WEATHER.GOV, AND FOR THE LATEST OFFICIAL TSUNAMI INFORMATION AFFECTING THE UNITED STATES AND ITS TERRITORIES PLEASE VISIT WWW.TSUNAMI.GOV.
SEE LIVE RADAR

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Tuesday, February 06, 2018: I’m still trying to shake this ensconced midwinter funk, brought on by being frozen out of doing much of what I had planned on doing – you know, during a normal global warming winter.

Even though the temps aren’t as cruel as they had been a month back, I went out to do some metal detecting last weekend and it was as bitter as it had been all winter. When my hands got too numb to detect, I resorted to splitting some hardwood logs left behind by the electric company after clearing vegetation beneath a LEH high-tension line. Believe me, splitting wood is rock bottom on the list of outside things to do. By the by, along with chainsaw, the company used one of those ferocious vegetation clearing machines. It left behind small shredded tress and such. It makes the best kindling imaginable.

Image result for wood tick

NEVER SAFE FROM BLOODSUCKERS: So, I’m doing one of my detector digs and it’s colder than the tit on a cryogenically preserved witch. I make short order of my outback action.

So, I come in out of the cold and plop down to play with my new Android, planning to use it to watch a past episode of cancelled “Grimm” series on my big screen, when I feel an all-too-familiar crawling sensation on the lower part of my right arm. Unbelievable, a frickin wood tick was moseying up my arm. Are you kidding me! 

Oh, I’ve seen ticks all winter long, though exclusively during mild stretches within mild winters. But, this day, the air was 35 degrees, tops. What the day did have going, tick-wise, was a brilliant sun. In among the trees, protected from wind, I guess the forest floor temperatures can climb far above the ambient air temps where the sun is beating down. It’s apparently enough to get a tick’s blood pumping, so to speak.

I then preformed a summer-ish tick washdown, one I’ve perfected over the years, using special soaps and a slathering of baby oil, meant to suffocate ticks. Still, here I was watching TV, mid-winter – mid frigid winter – and tensed for the feel of any other meandering bloodsuckers.

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Here's a not-totally-funny, concussion-protocolesque news story from down Chesapeake Bay way, where Robert Meilhammer was recently goose hunting Maryland's Eastern Shore – up until the moment things suddenly went cold black for the Maryland man.

It was fellow hunters who first noticed an unconscious and bleeding Meilhammer in the grass, looking as if he had been attacked. It turned out he had kinda/sorta been attacked -- by a combination of bad gravity luck and the flying dead.

I should just leave this tale right there -- you know, let you piece it together. I won’t! Besides, I can’t resist passing on the story of Meilhammer begin seriously injured by a pretty-much dead-duck Canada goose, as it fell lifeless from the sky and smack onto Meilhammer hunting hat, which he was wearing at the time.  

As Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman Candy Thomson explained to abcnews.go.com, “A falling goose hit Meilhammer, knocking him out and causing head and facial injuries.”

Another Natural Resource officer told The Washington Post that even after Meilhammer regained consciousness, he knew his name but "little else."

Obviously, the bird was a just-shot-dead goose, losing altitude at a suddenly meaningless – to the bird – breakneck speed.

It’s unclear if Meilhammer’s hunting partners tried to warn him of what was coming at him. Personally, I would have been at a loss as to what to yell by way of warning. Any other time, “Duck!” would be the socially acceptable thing to shout. Not so much when hunting the likes of … ducks. In those instances, “Duck!” would garner an equal and opposite reaction of that desired.  

“Duck, Bob!”

Looking up. “Where?”  

(Crunch!)

“Ohhhh, I actually meant ‘Duck!’ in the other sense, Bob. … Bob?”

I’ll let you think about how one warns “Duck!” while duck hunting, as I calculate the force of what amounted to a goose bomb hitting Meilhammer. I’ll simply resort to E = 1/2 m v2 … with a touch of y = v2/2g.

Translated conclusion: A Canada goose weighing upwards of 15 pounds, falling as a dead weight from 150 feet above, achieving an enhanced terminal velocity (due to its aerodynamically perfect feathering) and landing directly on the head of a stationary human head equates into an instant inability of said human head to comprehend what 1 plus 1 equals.  

A week after impact, a slowly recovering Meilhammer remains hospitalized at a famed Baltimore trauma center.

Due to the seriousness of this bird-fall incident, I really should forego one of my crass hypothetical dialogues, which might have taken place when a paramedic was wheeling Meilhammer into the ER -- you know, something like:

Nurse: “Cause of injury.”

Male Paramedic: “Goose.”

“What?! How dare you speaking to me like that? That is sexual harassment, mister! I have a mind to report you to … ”

… But I refuse to go there.

What I can’t resist – with a few of my own real-life experiences tugging at my apron strings – is hypothesizing the upcoming traumatic dialogue when Meilhammer takes on his insurance company, with his dead-goose-from-the-sky claim in tow.

“Oh, how horribly unfortunate, Mr. Meilhammer, but your current medical coverage, despite being our superior elite plan, has a rider specifically excluding our covering any and all head injuries caused by common birdlife falling from the sky, dead or otherwise. See, it’s clearly written right here … in black and white. Check it out.”

“Hey, wait a minute. That’s just recently been penciled in!”

“Yes, but that’s official company penciling. It also goes on to clearly state that, had you been rendered near-comatose by either a threatened or endeared species, we’d fully and happily cover your claim, including that little six-figure, two-week hospital stay.”

“Oh, I feel dizzy.”  

“Now, let me ask you this Mr. Meilhammer, in the wake of this horrible accident, would you be interested in upgrading your coverage to … hereafter, mind you … include being hit by dead or nearly-dead, non-threatened and/or endangered wildlife falling from the sky? It’s a tad expensive but I can assure it’ll be crucial in the long run, especially with the amazing increase we’re seeing in dead geese hitting people. The number of those incidents just recently increased by 100 percent.”

Cool. I finally found a way to get a jab in at the slew of “Sorry, you’re not covered” injuries I’ve had over the years, including the time I was rudely told I should have never been roof-surfing on top of a moving Chevy pickup to begin with. “Well, what do you cover, then!?”

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Still stunned by Eagles win. And I agree with the many who want  Chris Collinsworth’s head after such obvious favoritism throughout much of the game. I thought I was the only one yelling “Shut the f*** up!” See:  http://www.mcall.com/sports/football/eagles/mc-nws-cris-collinswort....

I had the victory sanctified via a post and photo by Martin, Jr., at the game: 

 

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When the dredging' over, turn off the lights, turn off the lights. ...

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No automatic alt text available.

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The 2017 Skillful Angler Winners are as follows:

ADULT CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Rainbow Trout - 5 lbs, 13 oz caught by Jason Petecca of Newton on April 21. Jason was fishing from the shore of the Pequest River on Alphano Rd. in Allamuchy when he landed the fish. Four pound test was used wiith a Kunnan rod and a Shimano reel. Power Bait served as the attractant. The length measured 22.75 inches and the girth measured 14 inches.

ADULT CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Striped Bass - Saltwater - 57.08 lbs caught by Art Eromenek on May 23. Art was fishing from the surf at Ship Bottom when he landed the fish at 4:30 pm. Thirty-pound braid was used with an 8'6" St. Croix rod and a Stradic 8000 reel. A bunker served as the bait. The fish measured 51.75 inches in length and had a 30-inch girth.

Tautog - 8 lbs, 1.44 oz caught by John Howell of Forked River on December 2. John was fishing from a boat on the Garden State North Reef when he landed the fish at 1:30 pm. Fifty pound test was used with a custom rod with a Newell reel. A Jonah crab was the bait. The fish measured 23.5 inches in length and had an 18-inch girth.

Mako Shark - 537 lbs caught by Vincent Fahrion of Matawan on June 1. Vincent was fishing off a boat at the Mud Hole when he landed the fish. Hundred pound test was used with a custom bogan with an Avet 50W reel. A bluefish fillet served as the lure. The fish measured 108.75 inches in length.

JUNIOR CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Rainbow Trout - 6 lbs, 4 oz. caught by Cole Hanisak of Phillipsburg on April 8. Cole was fishing from the shore of Pohatcong Creek when he caught the fish at 5:45 pm. Six pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A spinner served as the lure. The fish measured 24 inches in length and had a 13-inch girth.

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 22.75 inches caught by Kevin Kennedy of Mt. Ephraim on April 27. Kevin was fishing from the shore on Greenwich Lake when he reeled the fish in at 2:00 pm. Twenty pound braid was used with a spinning rod and reel. A rubber worm served as the lure. The girth was unknown.

Smallmouth Bass - 21 inches caught by John Vojt of Phillipsburg on November 8. John was fishing from a kayak on Merrill Creek Reservoir when he reeled the fish in at 3:00 pm. Fifteen pound braid was used with a G. Loomis rod and a Shimano Core reel. The Binsky served as the lure. The girth was unknown.

Striped Bass Hybrid - 25 1/8 inches caught by Christopher Pereira of Hopatcong on June 9. Christopher was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he reeled in the fish at 1:00 am. Twelve pound test was used with a Shimano rod and an Ardent C-force reel. A bent minnow served as the lure. The girth was unknown.

Bullhead - 16.5 inches caught by Tony DiLella of Deptford on October 1. Tony was fishing from the shore on a local pond when he reeled in the fish at 6:30 pm. Eight pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and a KingKast Baitrun reel. A crawler harness served as the bait. Girth was 16.5 inches.

Crappie - 16 5/8 inches caught by Arthur Huttemeyer, Sr. of Budd Lake on May 12. Arthur was fishing from the shore of Lake Hopatccong when he reeled in the fish at 5:00 pm. Eight pound test was used with an UglyStik rod and a Pflueger reel. A jig was used to attract the fish. Girth was unknown.

Salmon, Landlocked - 21 inches caught by Patrick Gallagher of Garden City on April 30. Patrick was fishing from a kayak on Tilcon Lake when he reeled in the fish at 11:30 am. Six pound test was used with an St. Croix rod and a Penn reel. A Rapala was used to attract the fish. Girth was unknown.

Muskellunge - 52.75 inches caught by John Selser of Pompton Plains on June 19. John was fishing from a boat on Greenwood Lake when he reeled in the fish at 4:48 pm. Sixty-five pound test was used with a St. Croix rod and a Daiwa reel. Brotherhood bait (Wake-Up Call) served as the lure. The girth was unknown.

Yellow Perch - 15.5 inches caught by Duane Chapman of Lake Hopatcong on September 11. Duane was fishing from a boat on Merrill Creek Reservoir when he reeled in the fish at 6:03 pm. Eight pound test line was used with a Shimano rod and an Ardent C-Force reel. A shad rap attracted the fish. The girth was unknown.

Chain Pickerel - 27 inches caught by Gary Ward of Brick on January 25. Gary was fishing from a kayak on Lake Riviera when he landed the fish at 11:47 am. Ten pound power pro was used with a Falcon Bucoo rod and a Shimano Stradic C14 reel. A Rapala was used as the lure. Girth was unknown.

Northern Pike - 37 inches caught by Walt Paulson of Gurnee, IL on August 1. Walt was fishing from a boat on Budd Lake when he landed the fish at 11:00 am. Thirty pound test power pro was used with a G. Loomis rod and a Daiwa Luna 300 reel. A Mepps Muskie Killer served as the lure. The girth was unknown.

Carp - 35 inches caught by George Horvath of Trenton on May 5. George was fishing from the shore on the Millstone River when he landed the fish at 6:49 pm. Twelve pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Cornmeal attracted the fish. Girth was 26 inches.

Sunfish - 10 inches caught by Matthew Huff of Westfield on April 30. Matthew was fishing from a boat on Ryker Lake when he reeled in the fish at 2:50 pm. Eight pound test was used with a 7' ultralight rod and a spinning reel. A 1/16 ounce jig served as the lure. Girth was unknown.

Walleye - 29.25 inches caught by Ryan Pier of Haledon on June 22. Ryan was fishing from a boat on Greenwood Lake when he reeled in the fish at 6:43 pm. 65-pound test was used with an St. Croix rod and an Okuma reel. A 10 inch Believer served as the lure. Girth was unknown.

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Fluke - 27.75 inches caught by John McGeown of Nutley on August 22. John was fishing from a boat, The Fisherman, when he landed the fish at 9:00 am. 14 pound braid with 20 pound fluorocarbon leader was used with a Daiwa Saltist 6'6 rod and a Saltist LW conventional reel. A Berkeley swimming mullet 3 inch in pear white served as the lure. Girth was unavailable.

Bluefish - 40 inches caught by Frank Ruczynski of Monroeville on May 4. Frank was fishing from a boat in Barnegat Bay when he landed the fish at 9:00 am. Fifteen pound test was used with a G. Loomis NRX rod and a Shimano Stella reel. A mag darter was the lure. The girth was unavailable.

Winter Flounder - 17.75 inches caught by Christopher Pereira of Hopatcong on April 16. Christopher was fishing from a boat in Raritan Bay when he reeled in the fish at 9:00 am. Twenty pound test was used with a Shimano rod and an Ardent C-Force reel. A clam/bead rig served as the bait. Girth was unavailable.

Below: Nice bird poster for nature photographers and the likes. 

(One site to purchase: https://www.uncommongoods.com


DEP WELCOMES CATHERINE R. MCCABE AS ACTING COMMISSIONER
MCCABE HAS DISTINGUISHED CAREER IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, POLICY WITH SERVICE AT U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

(18/P7) TRENTON - Fulfilling Governor Phil Murphy's commitment to pursue clean energy and place the state at the national forefront of environmental protection, longtime federal environmental leader Catherine R. McCabe has assumed her duties as the Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

"New Jersey has a long tradition of being a national leader in environmental protection," said Acting Commissioner McCabe, whose appointment requires confirmation by the state Senate. "I am excited to join the DEP and its thousands of expert professionals to help continue the Garden State's leadership on the issues of climate change and renewable energy, sustainability with economic growth, and environmental protection based on strong science and facts."

Acting Commissioner McCabe, who began her new duties on Monday, comes to the DEP with a distinguished career in government service, both in environmental law and science.

Most recently, Acting Commissioner McCabe served as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Region 2 Administrator in New York City.

In that position, Acting Commissioner McCabe assisted the regional administration in overseeing operations and regional implementation of all EPA programs in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She also served as Acting EPA Administrator and Acting Region 2 Administrator in 2017, and was a long-time member of the EPA's Executive Management Council.

Acting Commissioner McCabe is well suited to tackle the Murphy Administration's ambitious environmental goals for New Jersey - setting the state on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, addressing the effects of climate change being felt along the Jersey shore and building a clean energy economy with well-paying green jobs. The Murphy Administration is also committed to restoring the state's participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Additionally, the Murphy Administration plans to promote solar energy and jumpstart the offshore wind industry, protect air quality and water supply, and focus environmental efforts on low-income communities, which are disproportionately impacted by pollution.

"Having both led New Jersey's DEP and worked with Catherine at the EPA, I know she has the skills and experience the department needs right now," former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who served as DEP Commissioner from 2006 until 2009, said in a news release issued by Governor Murphy's transition team. "She understands the urgency of building resiliency, the importance of enforcement and environmental justice, and the promise that renewable energy holds to both power a diverse and growing economy and fight climate change. Governor Murphy has made an exceptional choice."

Acting Commissioner McCabe from 2011 to 2014 served as a judge on the EPA's Environmental Appeals Board, and from 2005 to 2011 she served as Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

Acting Commissioner McCabe joined the EPA after 22 years with the U.S. Department of Justice, where she served in various positions. She was a manager and trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, including Deputy Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section, Assistant Chief in the Natural Resources Section, and Senior Counsel in the Policy, Legislation and Special Litigation Section.

Before joining federal service, Acting Commissioner McCabe was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, and was associated with the law firm of Webster and Sheffield in New York City.

Acting Commissioner McCabe earned a law degree from Columbia Law School and a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from Barnard College. She also studied environmental science at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Ray Bukowski, who has more than 25 years' experience with the DEP and is currently the assistant commissioner for the Office of Compliance and Enforcement, is serving as Acting Deputy Commissioner.

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