Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
"Hon, come look. I got the best deal on this Yorkie -- half price at only $375."
Tuesday, February 12, 2019: Let it rain and be miserable. It’s my entombment day; stuck in work for 12 hours plus. The rain will help melt away the 3.8 inches of non-forecast snow we got. Plus, I see some mildness for my wildness time in the Pines and Holgate. Could get near 60 on the mainland.
No buggying continues for the far south end while the Wooden Jetty Wall is being built. I’ve been asked by more folks than I can count not to call it the Holgate Terminal Groin. Folks just don’t like the look, feel or sound of the name. Agreed, though I might have to use the more technical Holgate Terminal Groin term on a journalistic occasion or two.
The Wooden Jetty Wall is not extend out as far into the ocean as I had thought – though much of my suspicious thinking about the build had to do with my making to keep a hawk eye on the build. Trust Nobody ... ad infinitum.
While the Wall should be done this week or early next week, the trucking in of a small amount of quarry sand could take some extra time. I’m not sure if the buggy entrance can be opened during the trucking phase.
I must admit, I’ve been kinda liking my hike-ins, at least for the moment -- seeing I’ve reached an all-time high on the scales. Jaunts to even the half-way-down point are great calorie burners when factoring in sand resistance. And I hike the soft sand near the refuge line. The photo-ops are best up there. I placed some candids down below.
Below: I often have it to myself down there.
Returning to the Wooden Jetty Wall, I stood next to it and, sure enough, there is a ton of water to the south, as in fishing-depth water. This is good in a plugging sense but the speed that the sand will now erode south of the Wall, due to the ocean’s heavy presence right about there, is going to threaten buggying in very short order, possibly by next fall. We’ll be back to LBT trying to plow enough sand into place so we can at least get past the overlook drive-on point.
I’ll reiterate that should the overall Holgate beachline erosion get nasty enough, the feds might step in with one of their heavy-duty replenishments, per long-term contractual promises. That would evoke the old bugaboo of the Army Corps being forced to detrimentally stop the replen -- on a dime -- at the refuge-adjacent boundary ... as to not infringe on piping plover habitat.
I will hereby make my hopefully compelling case that extending the replenishment a mile further south of the Wooden Jetty Wall will instantly create the greatest plover nesting habitat in the world. I’m serious. Piping plover covet newly-exposed sand. Replen acreage would wow winged ones.
A southward extension of the replenishment would also protect the current highly plover-friendly digs on the north part of the Forsythe Refuge -- where sandy/shelly ocean/bay washover areas are a hit with the small shorebirds. As those washover sands now stand, an ocean crossover from even a minor summer storm system could instantly obliterate an entire generation of eggs or chicks. Making matters worse, nesting is done right were the washover potential is the highest.
A placement of a 100-yard wide, one-mile long swath of replenishment sand adjacent to the refuge would not only allow for the proper tapering of the entire Beach Haven/Holgate replenishment scheme but would greatly lessen the chances of summer storms destroying the piping plover nesting areas during the bird closure. Allowing that southward replenishment extension would not only reflect insightful stewardship on the part of the refuge but would also fulfill its sworn neighborly obligation to community.
Below: Here's a look at how the Wooden Jetty Wall uses interlocking (ACME) joints to prevent even a grain of sand from sneaking through.
FILL-UP TIME: Gas prices are tanking. If you own stock in oil, such a pump-top drop can make your investment portfolio queasy. But, for most lead-footed Americans, it means we can keep driving our big-ass trucks and SUVs with impunity. “Fill it up with impunity, please.” Totally unrelated, when’s the last time you heard “And check the oil”?
I’ve tabulated what the already-lowish cost-per-gallon would be if the state wasn’t topping off pump prices with dedicated gasoline taxes. By my figuring, many areas of the state would be below $2 a gallon. Take that, Middle East. Oh, that’s right, we’re the among the biggest oil producing countries in the world. Hmm.
According to USA Today, Americans are forecast to spend $386 billion on gasoline in 2019, down $2.5 billion from $388.5 billion spent in 2018. I’ve been told – but have yet to fully figure it out myself – that lower gas prices will mean more tourists for LBI. Since we’re about a single-tank drive for most visitors, a lone fill-up surely doesn’t show a vacation-changing difference between $2 and, say, $2.75.
I’ve also heard tell that high gas prices mean less spending money when folks get to the Jersey shore. Oh, come on. With even a large gas tank, higher-in-summer gas prices might translate into an extra $10 ... round trip. That’s far less than Sunday morning donuts and coffee for the family. And I don’t see many donut shops going hungry during the summer season.
I’ll drive in with my own theory that long-term off-season stints of low prices at the pump help jack-up something called discretionary summer spending – money put in the cookie jar for LBI times.
I’ll even go renegade by assuring LBI’s upper-crusters couldn’t care less about what the pumps have to say. In fact, even penny-pinchers look the other way when it comes to getting in decent vacation time. The Shore has a locked-in audience – and a quite cool group it is.
As to the downside of favorable fuel prices, environo-greenies rightfully fear the eco-angle, trickledown effect. Monetarily-modest fill-ups will take some of the steam out of efforts to change folks over to electric vehicles – with a “majority electric” target date in NJ of 2030.
Hey, even with gas guzzling being so dang affordable, I’m totally willing to put Reddy Kilowatt (Who?!) in the passenger seat of my new Tesla 4WD truck. As I’ve noted in the past, I’m already on a waiting list for the first Tesla truck, providing it’s a complimentary model that I get to sell other buggyists on.
Seriously, though, Tesla and other battery-powered vehicle creators know their ultimate success lies with larger electro-rides. Tesla has been in initial talks with UPS regarding an entire fleet of electric UPS trucks. In fact, if you’re down on the beach and see a UPS truck with fishing rod racks on the front bumper and the back bumper hosting a platform to throw cast-net from, give me a wave … and try not to run over my 20-mile extension cord.
JUST KIDDING, TOM: I’m proud to have been raised on the beach, where, as a small child, the local Native American tribe would see me joyously frolicking in the foam with the sandcrabs, burying myself to feed on tiny worms before bursting forth as the waves receded. The Indians were moved to spiritually name me Dances With Assorted Crustaceans And Small Shore Birds Including Piping Plover And Sand Pipers But Not Excluding More Migratory Species – “J” for short.
The tribe’s chief, whom I called Grandmother – he was far ahead of his time with the whole gender-bending thing – instilled in me the ways of the locale Lenape. Early on, he taught me the seductive call of the lady blueclaw crab – to where I could entice huge joeys out of the bay and directly into an awaiting pot of boiling water.
To this day I can still see Grandmother patiently waiting onshore as I kept bobbing up to the surface while learning to swim beneath the water to rhythmically beat a drum to percussively blend in with drumfish – “of all colors” were his visionary words. Possibly most enduring were his lessons in how to crawl on all fours to find clams by closely sniffing the mud, a sacred method I still use today when I’m sure nobody is watching. I long to just once more look up to see the entire tribe sniffing for clams. Unfortunately, wonderful Grandmother did have one shortcoming, leading to his becoming colloquially – and quite quietly – known as Chief Can’t Fish for S***. Thusly, I long ago resigned myself to simply writing about fishing – though I can still proudly live up to the name Dances With Assorted Crustaceans And Small Shore Birds Including Piping Plover And Sand Pipers But Not Excluding More Migratory Species.
Saw a couple usual friends in Holgate.
Fishing on LBI in the 1920's (Fish types?)
Selfish Beach Front Homeowners Jeopardize State Dune Project
After Superstorm Sandy, New Jersey has set out to build protective sand dunes along the state’s 127-mile shoreline. Homeowners who own beachfront property, however have tried to block the project and some have managed to receive compensation for the loss of their oceanfront views. In the last two months, the court in Ocean County awarded over $590,000 by juries to owners of two homes in Point Pleasant Beach. On Thursday, a couple was awarded $330,000 for the loss of beachfront property and oceanfront views.
“It is shameful that people are suing to get money from the dunes that are protecting them from storms. We as taxpayers are paying millions of dollars to restore beaches and build dunes to protect lives and property, and now we have to pay them for the privilege. We have found that one of the lessons from Hurricane Sandy is that natural systems like vegetative dunes and coastal marshes work much better protecting people and property than manmade, which are better for the environment. These property’s owners have been selfish caring about their views more than their property or their neighbors,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “If another storm like Sandy came and these dunes weren’t there, property owners would be coming back for the public to bail them out.”
The Point Pleasant Beach owners were the first jury awards since a 2013 state Supreme Court ruling requiring that the protective benefits of a sand dune on a property's value be considered against the decreased value from loss of land and ocean views. The high court ruling involved homeowners in Harvey Cedars on Long Beach Island.
“If those dunes weren't there and these houses were destroyed, they'd be the first ones running to FEMA for a bailout. In 2013, Homeowners in Harvey Cedars sued wanting compensation for the dunes being close to their property. The Supreme Court sided with the state of New Jersey that the building of dunes was not a taking. This decision is important since some of the hardest hit areas during Hurricane Sandy were protected because of dunes including Harvey Cedars. Many of the areas without dunes got devastated with these areas now wanting money to rebuild, but still do not want put dunes,” said Tittel. “We cannot rebuild the Shore smarter and better without building dunes. That is why we cannot be spending money that is supposed to go towards protecting our towns from future storms for the sake of a private ocean view.”
Dunes are vitally important to the coast of New Jersey they protect against beach erosion, provide habitats for all types of species, and just as important protect property from storms and storm surges. Those dunes are what protected the couple's house form LBI during Sandy while other areas without dunes sustained major damage.
“These people want more money to replenish their beaches and their homes but they don’t the public to be on their beach. This is downright selfish. The cost is going to go up for taxpayers because there are close to 7500 ocean front lots for easements. Now with the recent pay outs, this can jeopardize state efforts to protect our beaches. What’s even worse is that without funding for dunes, more people, and more properties are in harm’s way,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “Instead of spending billions of dollars to protect these homes, we should let nature just take its course.”
Taylor McFarland Administrative Assistant New Jersey Sierra Club
(Below: I don't agree with this but felt it's an important read.)
Copyright © 2019 M2 Communications
February 12, 2019
New research finds that aquaculture, or fish farming, does not help conserve wild fisheries.
“Our fundamental question with this study was: does fish farming conserve wild fish?” says Stefano Longo, an associate professor of sociology at North Carolina State University and first author of a paper on the work. “The answer is: not really.”
To determine the impact of aquaculture efforts on traditional, or “capture” fisheries, Longo and his collaborators looked at data from the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, from 1970 to 2014. Specifically, the researchers evaluated data that shed light on changes in aquaculture and traditional fisheries, such as aquaculture production numbers and the number of fish harvested by wild fisheries.
“We found that aquaculture has expanded production, but does not appear to be advancing fishery conservation,” Longo says. “In fact, aquaculture may contribute to greater demand for seafood as a result of the social processes that shape production and consumption.
“In other words, aquaculture is not taking the place of traditional fishing efforts, or even necessarily reducing them,” Longo says.
“To move things in the right direction, production of seafood in aquaculture (and fisheries) could benefit from producing species lower in the food web, such as molluscs,” Longo says. “More importantly, socially prioritizing producing food (and in this case seafood protein) as a basic right to meet needs, rather than as simply another commodity in the global economy, and regulating production in an ecologically sound manner, would advance conservation goals while meeting human needs. This would require strong political-economic initiatives (policies) on national and global levels that better plan production, and implement, and enforce regulations that promote sustainability.”
Florida plans a crackdown on shark fishing from the beach, a controversial practice that yields hair-raising videos of writhing 12-foot hammerheads being hauled ashore.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will vote Feb. 20 on proposals to restrict the practice, in a plan intended to protect sharks and swimmers.
Sharks, particularly great hammerheads, can die from the physical trauma of being hauled from the water for photos and videos. And swimmers complain that they feel unsafe when the shark-fishing enthusiasts spread bloody fish parts in the water to attract sharks, although a wildlife commission report says there’s no basis for that fear.
The proposals would ban that practice, known as chumming. They would require that sharks be left in the water with their gills submerged, rather than dragged ashore. They would require a free shore-based shark fishing permit. And they would mandate the use of circle hooks, which tend to catch on the side of the mouth, rather than J hooks, which can hook a shark in the gut.
Joshua Jorgensen, a North Palm Beach angler who has done shore-based shark fishing and stars in the popular Youtube fishing show BlacktipH, said the rules would make the activity more dangerous and less fun.
“I don't like the permit at all,” he said. “I think it's unnecessary. I think it's bad for tourism.”
And he said there's nothing wrong with the a desire to document your catch with photos or video, since you're not going to keep it.
“Before cameras, we killed everything,” he said. “We wanted people to see what we caught. That's what sport fishermen are. You don't eat sharks. You don't eat sailfish. But you want to take a picture of it.”
David Shiffman, Liber Ero Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Conservation Biology at Simon Fraser University in Canada, who has studied shark fishing in Florida, said that many sharks released alive later die from the experience. In the case of protected species, such as the fearsome but fragile great hammerhead, he noted that it’s illegal anyway to haul them out of the water.
“Land-based shark anglers would often drag their catch totally out of the water where it couldn't breathe and its organs lacked the buoyant support of water, and did so by dragging them across sand, concrete or wood (depending on if it’s a beach or pier) causing numerous injuries,” said Shiffman, who studied the practices as a graduate student at the University of Miami.
“Permanent gill damage can ensue from just a few minutes of air exposure, and anglers often left their catch out of the water for much longer than that until it stopped flopping so they felt safe approaching the animal.”
The wildlife commission, a seven-member board appointed by the governor, is expected to approve the proposals in some form, since it had already given a green light to imposing restrictions. The commission will consider them during a two-day meeting in Gainesville.
Jorgensen criticized the rule requiring that sharks be left in the water, except to briefly lift a shark’s head out to remove a hook. Although the state says the rule won’t be interpreted to require anglers to sacrifice their own safety, Jorgensen said the mandate to leave the sharks in the water will place people in danger.
“It's ridiculous,” he said. “How are you supposed to safely handle a shark? You have to take him out of the water. You're trying to take the hook out of him and all of a sudden the shark runs into you and bites you. That's a disaster waiting to happen.”
But Shiffman said it was “nonsense” for fishermen to claim they needed to bring the shark ashore to safely remove the hook. He said the shark would fare better if the hook were left in, rather than being handled so roughly and prevented from breathing.
The proposed ban on chumming would be imposed to respond to concerns from swimmers and coastal cities that the practice attracts sharks. A report by the wildlife commission’s staff said there’s no basis for this fear.
“Sharks regularly inhabit and feed in nearshore waters and there is no correlation between fishing and the likelihood of a shark bite occurring in nearby waters,” the report states.
But the report recommends the chumming ban anyway when fishing from beaches, “in order to address safety concerns related to the shore-based shark fishery.”