Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, January 17, 2017: I’m way too weather-wise to be overly serious when I say ...

Below: Always remain a moving target ... OK, you might want to vary that moving a bit. 

Below: Why you find so any of these spider crab shells on bayside and inlet beaches. One of the sturdiest sheds of any crab.

Below: Tom Gordon Still catches me by surprise. 


The Southern Ocean County Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation hosts the Second Annual Fishing Flea Market

Little Egg Harbor Community Center
319 West Calabreeze Drive, Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087
Jan 28, 2017
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM

The Sunshine Foundation is a national charitable organization established to help fulfill the dreams and wishes of terminally ill, chronically ill, physically challenged and abused children. All funds raised will go directly to Sunshine which provides 83% in direct benefits to these special children.

For additional information please call Tom Siciliano at 732-267-6451 or Frank Muinos at 908-380-8491 or email at toms6363@comcast.net or rerelumin511@comcast.net.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017: I’m way too weather-wise to be overly serious when I say, "I told ya so" --  regarding my 16/17 winter-long forecast. It's always a crapshoot.

Nonethelsss, I really did foresee a strong mild-to-cold-to-mild yo-yo effect, going clear back to September when I first wrote that prediction.

I did disagreed with forecast that it would not be a “normal” winter. I, instead, I stuck with it being "odd," -- a winter loaded with stints of strange mildness.

That strangeness is now upon us and could last for over 10 days! How many Januaries do you recall with 50-degree highs, day after day? I even see a day or two flirting with 60 on the mainland. 

The snow we’ve gotten to this point might be called lucky white, for those who like the stuff. Last week’s five-incher – gone in the blink of a 60-degree eye -- was a system that took an unexpected track. It moved more like southerly storm systems used to move: northward, up the coast. But it is far from a new norm. I still see southerly storms moving rapidly east off the SE coast, or moving off the North Jersey coast to intensify.

In my winter forecast, I used any number of known and highly unknown factors to guesstimate what winter would do. I did go big on Nino/Nina influences -- or lack of same. I also looked at Jetstream tendencies based on those Pacific Ocean oscillations. I told friends in Callie they could see some serious rain ... finally.   

One thing I relied on was far outside the realm of solid science, namely, the unwritten law of weather probabilities. Simply, we were due for a mild winter. A tad more sciency, I based my outlook on what’s going on in the global atmosphere. I can’t help but think our rapidly warming oceans will take control in both the short and long run.  

Does this mean we’re already out of winter? Yes and no. Spoken like a true weather politician, right? I can’t imagine not seeing one more serious dip in the jet. At the same time, I’ll fully stick with the pattern of temps rebounding quickly from the cold. 

Below: Rare sight this winter. 

Now it comes to spring prognosticating. There is no other season harder to peg. It can be kind and gentle or send us some of the worst storms ever. And it’s the storms that are hard/impossible to predict during this highly-transitional season. I’ll only feel confident in saying the same recurring bouts of mildness will remain -- and even intensify. Watch how early in spring the mainland sees 80s. In fact, watch how often we have frontal system thunderstorms. But what the skies will do with that warmth -- and inserts of coldness -- is a day-to-day call.

What I hope I’m most wrong about relates to folks in the Deep South and southerly Midwest. How can there not be epic storms caused by eddies of over-mild spring air in play?  

I’m the first to admit that, in the US, hurricanes are the most far-reaching killer storms out there. But, destruction and death-wise, they often can’t hold a candle to tornadoes, due in no small part to the fact the US averages 1,000 tornadoes a year, killing, on average, 80 people annually and injuring 1,500.

Below: Not just here. A F5 tornado -- a mile wide and covering over ten miles -- killed over 1,500 people in Bangladesh, 1989.

Below: The US has never gotten off easy. 

To the extreme credit of storm forecasters, storm chasers and local emergency services – helped along by civil defense sirens – early warnings and exact tornado tracks are saving many lives. I just fear they’ll be sorely tested this spring. 

Below: Comma or bow echo, alerting forecasters to high potential for tornado activity. 

Below: Though storm-chasers are mainly in it for the adrenaline rush, they've become lifesavers, by feeding real-time information about a tornado look and exact location. Not surprisingly, the storm-chaser death count rises every tornado season.

Above: (www.cnn.com) Tim Samaras, his son Paul Samaras and Carl Young were killed Friday while following a tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, relatives told CNN on Sunday. Their work tracking tornadoes was featured on the former Discovery Channel show "Storm Chasers."Jun 3, 2013


@mvoutdoorsman duck feathers. Vineyard bucktail and some glue gun .


custom wood striped bass lure :) by TraSea lures

What happened to the "Just lean back and we'll catch you" trust test?


Greetings Monarch Watchers and a Happy New Year to all! 2017 should be a big news year for monarchs and Monarch Watch and we’d like to kick things off with the following articles (also posted online at http://monarchwatch.org/blog if you prefer to read them there). We will have lots more in the coming months so please stay tuned. Thank you for your continued interest and support! 


In the story below, a real snag point is contained within: "The fishermen tend to argue that there are more cod than the government realizes; therefore, the number they may legally catch should be higher. Government scientists counter that fishermen’s natural tendency to fish where they are most likely to catch large numbers leads them to overestimate the cod pollution ...

I have to go along with the notion that it is hard to tabulate fish counts based on hot-hooking areas. Obviously, it's not much easier or accurate to take a count where the fish ain't. The compromise is finding a way to gauge the number of fish in a located school then establish the number of viable schools. While that, at first, sounds impossible -- and it might be with pelagics -- advances in electronically monitoring what's below the surface of the ocean will make it possible to get a decent read on many fisheries, even bottom dwellers. Then, the problems begin.

Remaining true to form, fishermen of every ilk will near instinctively deny any findings that aren't best for their bottom lines -- and I'm talking anglers, too. There will never be fully accepted data. The only out is to develop the latest, greatest fishery monitoring methods and -- at some point -- agree the data must be accepted. I've seen fisheries go bellyup when no data is ever accepted. 

Fishermen and Scientists are Trying Something New to Resolve Quota Dispute

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Bangor Daily News] Jake Bleiberg - January 16, 2017 
PORTLAND, Maine — Seeking to end a long-running disagreement about exactly how many cod are left in the Gulf of Maine, federal scientists plan to outfit commercial fishermen with equipment used to establish ground fish quotas.
The fishermen tend to argue that there are more cod than the government realizes; therefore, the number they may legally catch should be higher. Government scientists counter that fishermen’s natural tendency to fish where they are most likely to catch large numbers leads them to overestimate the cod pollution in the entire Gulf of Maine.
By next year, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center hopes to begin outfitting commercial boats with surveying equipment and paying fishermen to pull in catches that will supplement the regular trawl surveys conducted by government scientists, according to Russell Brown, who heads the center’s population dynamics branch. The gathered data will be fed into the complex process used to set catch quotas.
It’s a collaboration that Brown hopes will give regulators a more detailed picture of the fish population and build trust among fishermen, who in turn see it as an opportunity to show the scientists what’s really going on.
For years, fishermen and scientists have clashed over how to properly estimate fish populations and set the catch quotas that rule the livelihoods of Maine fishermen. The fishermen suggest that the scientists are missing fish and setting the quotas too low, while the scientists say the fishermen are missing the big picture. But both groups believe collaboration would be a positive step toward better protecting Maine’s fishing industry and environment, even as ocean waters warm.
“It’s really perplexing that you’ve got a set of federal scientists who are sampling the ocean methodically and coming up with a very different picture than the fishermen about what’s going on out in the Gulf of Maine,” Jonathan Labaree of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said.
Fishing in the northeast is regulated by a complex quota system. It sets out an overall catch limit that is then broken down by sub-region and eventually by fishermen. Different caps are set for different species, based in part on how healthy federal scientists determine the respective populations to be. Exceeding a season’s allocation of one type of fish can mean a fisherman must stop catching all other types, too — possibly ending their season.
And some fishermen say the current cod quota underrepresents a species they believe is doing better than it was a decade ago, despite warming waters, and wreaks havoc on their ability to catch other fish.
“We try to avoid [cod] at all costs,” Brian Pearce, who fishes for pollock and white hake out of Portland harbor, said. “The science has to catch up with what’s really out there. … It seems like the stock is rebuilding faster than the government believes it is.”
Brown said number of cod fishermen are seeing in the waters off Portland and Gloucester, Massachusetts, isn’t representative of the Gulf of Maine as a whole. Rather, he said, cod are clustered in these areas precisely because there are few remaining in the water off Down East Maine. That’s what cod did off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks soon before that fishery collapsed, he said.
Bert Jongerden, general manager of the Portland Fish Exchange, thinks this theory is misguided.
He and others in the industry say the real problem is that the scientists are fishing wrong. They claim that the type of trawl net the scientists use and the boat they pull it from, which is larger than many commercial fishing vessels, does a poor job catching certain species. Pearce claimed that the surveys happen in the wrong places and that because the ocean has warmed, cod cluster in deeper water than they used to.
Brown agreed that there are places where the larger science vessel can’t navigate and that their gear isn’t meant to “maximize the catch of cod or haddock or flounder” but added that their goals are different from those of commercial fishermen.
He hopes that having commercial vessels gathering data as part of the same peer-reviewed process that his organization uses to survey fish will round out what is known about fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. But Brown also emphasized that the fishermen are mostly seeing the places where there are a lot of fish — he’s worried about the places where there aren’t.
“We’re trying to manage these stocks so we can maintain profitable fishing ports in places like Portland, Maine,” he said.
Everyone sees Trump getting his bell rung over social and world politic matters but I assure you he and the backers of this effort to change the Endangered Species Act will start a war they won't soon forget -- even as removed-from-office citizens.  

GOP Targets Endangered Species Act for Big Changes

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Associated Press] by Matthew Brown and Matthew Daly - January 17, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government’s most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities.

Over the past eight years, GOP lawmakers sponsored dozens of measures aimed at curtailing the landmark law or putting species such as gray wolves and sage grouse out of its reach. Almost all were blocked by Democrats and the White House or lawsuits from environmentalists.

Now, with the ascension of President-elect Donald Trump, Republicans see an opportunity to advance broad changes to a law they contend has been exploited by wildlife advocates to block economic development.

“It has never been used for the rehabilitation of species. It’s been used for control of the land,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop. “We’ve missed the entire purpose of the Endangered Species Act. It has been hijacked.”

Bishop said he “would love to invalidate” the law and would need other lawmakers’ cooperation.

The 1973 act was ushered though Congress nearly unanimously, in part to stave off extinction of the national symbol, the bald eagle. Eagle populations have since rebounded, and the birds were taken off the threatened and endangered list in 2007.

In the eagles’ place, another emblematic species — the wolf — has emerged as a prime example of what critics say is wrong with the current law: seemingly endless litigation that offers federal protection for species long after government biologists conclude that they have recovered.

Wolf attacks on livestock have provoked hostility against the law, which keeps the animals off-limits to hunting in most states. Other species have attracted similar ire — Canada lynx for halting logging projects, the lesser prairie chicken for impeding oil and gas development and salmon for blocking efforts to reallocate water in California.

Reforms proposed by Republicans include placing limits on lawsuits that have been used to maintain protections for some species and force decisions on others, as well as adopting a cap on how many species can be protected and giving states a greater say in the process.

Wildlife advocates are bracing for changes that could make it harder to add species to the protected list and to usher them through to recovery. Dozens are due for decisions this year, including the Pacific walrus and the North American wolverine, two victims of potential habitat loss due to climate change.

“Any species that gets in the way of a congressional initiative or some kind of development will be clearly at risk,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife and a former Fish and Wildlife Service director under President Bill Clinton. “The political lineup is as unfavorable to the Endangered Species Act as I can remember.”

More than 1,600 plants and animals in the U.S. are now shielded by the law. Hundreds more are under consideration for protections. Republicans complain that fewer than 70 have recovered and had protections lifted.

“That tension just continues to expand,” said Jason Shogren, professor of natural resource conservation at the University of Wyoming. “Like a pressure cooker, every now and then, you’ve got to let out some steam or it’s really going to blow.”

Congress reconvened last week with two critics of the law holding key Senate leadership positions — Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso as the incoming chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski as chairwoman of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Spokesman Mike Danylak said Barrasso will seek to “strengthen and modernize” the management of endangered species but offered no specifics.

Barrasso’s predecessor, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, suggested in an interview that one species should be removed from the list every time another is added. Another Republican, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, said he wants to limit applications for protections to one species at a time.

In the House, Rep. Tom McClintock of California, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, said he wants to ease logging restrictions in national forests to reduce tree density blamed for catastrophic wildfires.

Some Democrats, too, have been frustrated with the law: Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson and two other Democrats joined 11 Republicans last week on a bill to end protections for wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming.

Simply by striking a few key words from the law, it could be transformed from a tool to protect huge areas of habitat for imperiled species into little more than limits on hunting for protected animals, said J.B. Ruhl, a Vanderbilt University law professor considered a leading expert on the act.

Trump’s position is unclear. A strong advocate for energy development, he has lamented environmental policies he says hinder drilling. But his appointment of Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke as Interior secretary was seen by some conservationists as a signal that Trump will support protections for public lands to the benefit of fish and wildlife.

The Trump transition team did not respond to requests for comment. The incoming administration already has immigration, the health care law repeal and infrastructure improvements atop its agenda.

If the administration or Congress wants to gut the law, “they certainly can do it,” Vermont Law School professor Patrick Parenteau said. “The real question with the Endangered Species Act is where does it rank?”

Advocates and senior Obama administration officials argue the law’s success is best measured by extinctions avoided — for 99 percent of protected species, including black-footed ferrets, whooping cranes, American crocodiles and hundreds of others.

“There’s a lot of evidence that some species are conservation-reliant,” Ruhl said. Political fights over certain species have dragged out for decades, he added, because recovering them from “the brink of extinction is a lot harder than we thought.”



Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The top reported illnesses for Beach Haven, NJ, US today are…

Common Cold
Common Cold

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