Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: Dreading (even more) tomorrow night’s temps; now seeing the possibility of mid-teens ...


Is it just me or are this lady's internal difficulties, uh, kinda hot looking? 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017: Dreading (even more) tomorrow night’s temps; now seeing the possibility of mid-teens even on LBI. WTF!? This crap has got to end, which it just might do after tomorrow night, though nothing balmy coming our way for many moons to come.

I got a report of small bass in the suds, going for jigs. However, the message-sender conveniently forgot to clue me in on the exact NJ locale. The pic he sent showed a crying-for-its-mama sized striper. Nonetheless …

Important: I know boat folks busted, badly, for ignoring the following ... 

Pennsylvania allows anglers to harvest a daily limit of two striped bass measuring 21 to 25 inches for a two month period from April 1 through May 31 from the Calhoun St. Bridge in Trenton downstream to the Pennsylvania state line. New Jersey still has a closed season. Anglers fishing the Delaware River from the New Jersey shoreline, or returning to New Jersey by boat and/or car in April and May must abide by New Jersey’s striped bass regulations. Possession of striped bass in New Jersey is illegal during this time period. Anglers should be aware that there are differing size limits and seasons for striped bass for each of the three states bordering the Delaware River. Anglers must obey the regulations for the particular state where they land (catch) striped bass.


Blueback ... 

I was asked to offer spring herring reports in here, simply as a means to show the arrival of these bass attractors. I respectfully can’t do that, even though I do monitor their Southern Ocean County arrival somewhat closely – missing last year, though.

Herring, Alewife and Blueback seasons … Closed

This closure does not include Atlantic herring which may be retained and used as bait. 

All freshwater streams, rivers and marine waters CLOSED Possession, take or attempt to take herring PROHIBITED Freshwater lakes in Morris, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren counties and Spruce Run Reservoir (Hunterdon) 6 inches maximum 35. Any unused herring must be returned to the water upon conclusion of the angler’s fishing trip. Herring may not be transported away from the shoreline of these lakes by any mechanism. They may not be sold. All other freshwater lakes (regardless of ownership) CLOSED. Only purchased herring, no greater than 6 inches, may be possessed. Receipt of purchase, dated within 7 days, must be in possession.


OPENING DAY of TROUT SEASON is April 8, 2017 ...

I don't trout fish but dang the kids love it. I'd like to see opening day exclusively for kids -- or a special "early-opening kids' event," the day before all trout-fishing hell breaks loose on opening day. 

Ocean County stockings:  Lake Shenandoah—Lakewood Ocean County Park(3); Pohatcong Lake—Tuckerton (4); Prospertown Lake—Prospertown (3).

“ Hook a Winner” Program. More than 1,000 rainbow trout  will be jaw-tagged for the Hook a Winner Program. Catch one if you can!" See more at www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2017/digfsh17.pdf


NOTE: Many marine species are managed on a coast-wide basis with seasons and limits required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Those regulations must then be approved by our state's Marine Fisheries Council. The Council usually addresses these issues at their March meeting with the management measures becoming effective in mid- to late April or early May. The Marine Digest is published in May. Regulations remain in effect until changed.

Bottom of page (in red): For those of you inclined to become involved in the rules-making process of the NJDEP/Division of Fish and Wildlife, I include the bare bones of the process. It's a slowish read but is a must before challenging changes. I've read it many times but always seem to see something I glanced over in the past. 

WORMS THAT BUG: What do you call a song that gets Superglued in your head to where you just can’t shake the damn thing loose? Believe it or not, there’s a specific name for it: earworms. No, not earthworms … earworms. 

Hey, I didn’t create it. In fact, to me, an earworm sounds more like the title of a nauseating YouTube video showing an African doctor tweezering a writhing grub-like growth out of some screaming soul’s ear-hole.

At the same can’t-shake-it time, I’ve been driven batty by untimely earworms, like a recent time when I was strolling the aisles at Shop-rite, lightly singing the last song I heard on the oldies radio station before getting out, namely, “It’s raining men … hallelujah … it’s raining men.”

And don’t a couple guys checking out cucumbers in the produce section look over my way and throw me weird little smiles. Oh, great … now I can never shop there again.

An official definition: An earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm, sticky music, or stuck song syndrome, is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include "musical imagery repetition", "involuntary musical imagery", and "stuck song syndrome.



Capt. Alex 609-548-2511

Sunday I went yaking hoping to get some white perch for the table. I fished two back bay creeks with a friend. Tide was almost full but it was very bright. I had one hit on a bloodworm. I think I was not fishing the right time. My experience with perch is that they feed and heavy at dawn and dusk  Bite often turns on like a switch. In fishing we often look for patterns in which you maximize your catch in minimal amount of time  Well white perch definitely have a pattern. Now booking spring bass and hopefully gator blues. Will be running weekends,select weekdays and weekday magic hour trips. Contact me soon as days are filling up fast.

On the nature side of things: You may not know it, but, spring bird migration is underway.  It actually has been going on for a few weeks now. During the past week the first Great Egrets have started trickling in. Shorebirds like American Oyster Catchers, Killdeer, and Wilson’s Snipe and either arrived to stay to breed or spend a little time fattening up before they keep on, keepin on. Peak migration in NJ is around the first week of May. This is when you will see the greatest diversity of breeding birds and neotropical migrants (birds that have spent the winter in Mexico, Central American and South America.Screaming drags, Capt. Alex 609-548-2511


(Now, I've never been a rhino, nor have I ever come close to knowing one, but I'm betting this seeming act of kindness will instead elicit  the famed "Just shoot me now" response when this guy wakes up):

A veterinarian at the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic uses a chainsaw to dehorn a male southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum) named Pamir on Monday, March 20, 2017. The decision to dehorn the zoo's rhinos came after a rhinoceros was poached inside its enclosure at a zoo in France. 

Credit: Simona Jirickova

In the wake of a brazen incident of rhino poaching at a French zoo, a Czech zoo that holds the largest number of rhinoceroses of any zoo in Europe is cutting the horns off the at-risk animals.

Přemysl Rabas, director of Dvůr Králové Zoo, announced today (March 21) that the zoo had begun dehorning its herd of 21 rhinos. The first rhino underwent the procedure under sedation yesterday.

"The intervention took less than 1 hour, and it was performed without any complications," Jiří Hrubý, the zoo's rhino curator, said in a statement. [A Crash of Rhinos: See All 5 Species]

Rhino horns are made of keratin, the same material that makes up human fingernails and hair. Removing rhinos' horns doesn't hurt the animals, and the horns do grow back.

The zoo in the town of Dvůr Králové nad Labem was, until recently, home to one of the last northern white rhinoceroses (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) on Earth; the elderly female died in 2015. Today, the only three northern white rhinos alive still belong to Dvůr Králové Zoo, but they live on a preserve in Kenya, protected by an armed guard. Increased poaching has driven the subspecies to the brink of extinction.

The removed horn of Pamir, a male southern white rhinoceros at the Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic. Rhinoceros horns are made of keratin, the material that makes human fingernails and hair. Removing the horns is painless, and the horn will grow back.

Credit: Andrea Jirousova

Rhinoceros horn is prized in traditional Chinese medicine, even though the horns have no medicinal value, and the black market demand for horn has soared in recent years in China and Vietnam. Over the past decade, rhino poaching in Africa has taken off, according to a report to the United Nations' secretariat for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). There were 60 confirmed incidents of poaching on the continent in 2006, a number that climbed steadily to 1,342 by 2015. 

On March 7, a 4-year-old white rhinoceros at the Thoiry Zoo in France was found dead in its enclosure, its largest horn sawed off. The rhino, nicknamed "Vance," had been shot in the head. It was the first known incident of poaching within a European zoo, though there had been a violent attack on a rhino orphanage in South Africa in February.

Nevertheless, the Thoiry Zoo killing was not an isolated incident, Dvůr Králové Zoo officials said. Criminal organizations have been targeting rhinoceros horns in museum and historical collections, including the zoo's own collection of horns, which was stolen while on loan for an exhibit at Napajedla Castle in Napajedla in the Czech Republic. The thieves were caught, according to zoo officials, but the horns were never found.

The Czech zoo has electronic security measures to protects its rhinos, but it took the additional step of removing horns as a way to ensure the animals' safety in the face of what the zoo called an "increasing threat."

"Pamir," a male southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum), was the first at the zoo to have his horn removed. Veterinarians anesthetized the rhino and removed his horn with a chain saw. The removed horns from all the rhinos will be stored safely somewhere outside the zoo, officials said.

The zoo is home to four southern white rhinos and 17 black rhinos (Diceros bicornis), a critically endangered species only around 5,000 individuals left in total. The zoo will remove the horns of all the rhinoceroses that have them; a few, like a male named Natal, rub and file theirs down to nubs naturally.

The Dvůr Králové Zoo is not the only European zoo to consider dehorning in the wake of the Thoiry poaching incident. The Pairi Daiza zoo in Belgium announced earlier this month that it would shorten its rhinos' horns to reduce the animals' risk of being targeted, AFP reported.


Hannah Hoag reports on the environment, global health, science, and science policy for 
Wired, and others.

That was the case for researchers cruising the freezing Arctic waters off Greenland in August 2012 in search of mackerel to see if there were enough of the fish to support a commercial fishery. In one haul, three endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, each weighing roughly 220 pounds, were pulled onto the ship’s deck amid six metric tons of mackerel.

“It was a bit surprising,” said Brian MacKenzie, a marine ecologist at the National Institute for Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark. The research ship was sailing in the Denmark Strait, between Greenland and Iceland, where water temperatures have historically been too cold for bluefin tuna.

More bluefin tuna have been caught off eastern Greenland since then. From June to the end of August of this year, Greenland fishing vessels caught 21 tuna—in addition to 65,000 metric tons of mackerel, according to Greenland Today.

The ever warmer Arctic waters could have profound impacts on how fisheries and food webs are managed and conserved in the future as tropical and Mediterranean species migrate into what were once colder waters.

With Arctic waters warming and attracting bluefin tuna, Iceland and Norway in 2014 implemented commercial quotas for the prized fish. “It’s small, only 30 [metric] tons each,” said MacKenzie. “But it indicates that the distribution is really changing.”

“Climate change is really challenging political and diplomatic relationships,” said Nick Dulvy, a professor of marine biodiversity and conservation at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. “Species names will change, and if your quotas are tied to a species name, that’s a problem for the fishery,”

In 2009, after mackerel had spread to the coastlines of Iceland and the Faroe Islands, Iceland set itself a mackerel quota of 112,000 metric tons. That angered the European Union, and conservationists worried that stocks of the humble fish would suffer.


Price of Pacific Bluefin Tuna Plummets, but Iconic Fish Still in Trouble

MacKenzie and his colleagues analyzed the water temperatures east of Greenland using satellite imagery, oceanographic buoys, and measurements from ships. They found warm water had spread from the Southeast Atlantic to Eastern Greenland. August temperatures in 2010 and 2012 were warmer than at any other time since 1870. They recently published their findings in the journal Global Change Biology.

Between 1985 and 1994 and 2007 and 2012, waters with temperatures greater than 11 degrees Celsius in the Denmark Strait and Irminger Sea increased by 278,000 square miles—an area larger than Texas. “It’s only in the past two to three years that we can see that the temperatures of the waters east of Greenland have gotten above 10 degrees Celsius in the summertime,” MacKenzie said.

Not only can bluefin tuna tolerate warming Arctic waters more easily, but their prey can too.

Mackerel have been increasing their reach since the mid-2000s, according to MacKenzie, moving from the European continental shelf out toward the Faroe Islands and on to Iceland.

The oily fish is a preferred prey for tuna, which usually only search in waters where the minimum surface temperature is above 11 degrees Celsius, said MacKenzie. That the tuna were brought in with a load of mackerel in 2012 suggests there was a school of tuna hunting the smaller fish, he said.

Finding bluefin tuna off Greenland is more evidence that climate change is shuffling the species swimming about the world’s oceans. Fish generally found in warmer waters are being spotted in regions formerly filled by cold-tolerant species or are expanding their range. Mackerel have moved into the waters south of Iceland, and anchovy now swim the North Sea.

“Around Denmark, we’re seeing species that 15 to 20 years ago would have been extremely rare, such as anchovy and red mullet,” said MacKenzie.



Notice of Rule Adoption: Amendments to 2016-2017 Fish Code (DEP Rules Site)

Changes to hunting, trapping and fishing regulations involve a lengthy process that ensures public input and may take up to two years to complete. These changes (also called "Rules") are established by the Fish and Game Council through revisions to the Game Code and Fish Code. The Division encourages public involvement in this process.

These changes, or amendments to the Rules, supplement laws pertaining to hunting, trapping and fishing created by the New Jersey Legislature and found in NJ Statute Title 23. Such changes, recommended by the Council's Game Committee or Fish Committee, may include adjustments to season dates, bag/creel limits, or the means by which game, furbearers and freshwater fish may be taken and possessed. (For information on any proposed Legislative law changes to Title 23, such as license types and fees, "Safety Zone" size, etc., visit the State Legislature homepage and enter "hunting" or "fishing" in the "Keyword" search box - most, if not all relevant bills will be found.)

The Committees present the amendments to the Council which votes on whether or not to move forward with each amendment. At this time the Council may modify the initial amendment proposed by the committee. A positive vote moves the amendment forward. Staff prepares a legal document describing the changes for publication in the NJ Register. This document is submitted to the NJ DEP Office of Legal Affairs, for review and assistance in drafting the necessary legal language. The proposal document is then reviewed by a Deputy Attorney General and more edits may result.

Once the legal review is completed the proposal document is submitted to the Governor's Office for review. Once these reviews have taken place, the proposed amendments are published in the NJ Register which is published twice a month.

Upon publication, a 60-day comment period starts. A public meeting is held but cannot be scheduled prior to 15 days after the proposals are published. Once published, the public can view the document on the DEP Notice of Rule Proposals page which has instructions for submitting comments.

All written and oral comments are compiled, logged and responded to by division staff which then forwards this comment document to the Fish and Game Council for review. After considering the public comment, the Council holds a final vote on each of the proposed amendments. The Council may reject the original proposal, modify the original proposal based upon public comment and approve this modification, or adopt the amendment as originally proposed.

Modifications to the original proposal are often compromises between the old rule and the new; the Council cannot introduce and vote on a totally new idea which was not published or commented upon. For example, in 2007, the Fish and Game Council originally proposed that a Bonus Buck Permit be required for all Deer Permit Seasons and the Six-day Firearm Season. After receiving a great deal of negative public comment regarding this change to the Six-day Firearm Season, that part of the proposal was dropped. The Fish and Game Council decided to require the purchase of the buck permit for only the Permit Deer Seasons.

Once these final amendments are adopted at a Fish and Game Council meeting, staff prepare the final legal document which includes a discussion of the comments received. This document is then edited and reviewed up through the Governor's office and published in the NJ Register. These final changes become law five days after publication.

New Jersey's fishing and hunting rules and regulations are summarized in the corresponding issues of the Fish and Wildlife Digest. The Fishing Issue is published in January; the Hunting Issue is published in August.

The public is also welcome to address the Fish and Game Council at any of its monthly meetings during the public comment portion of the meeting. During the public portion of the meeting members of the public are welcome to address any fish or wildlife issue, propose changes and ask questions. See the Fish and Game Council Meetings Schedule for meeting dates and agendas. Those intersted in changes to the trout stocking program can also attend the annual Trout Stocking Meeting in February and ask questions and state opinions directly to staff involved with the program.

Interested and concerned members of the public can also become involved with local sportsmen's group, including their county affiliate of the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs which recommends appointees to the Fish and Game Council. Involvement with an organization amplifies the voices of individuals.

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Comment by J. Terhoon on March 22, 2017 at 7:35pm

It's just you.

Comment by J. Terhoon on March 23, 2017 at 1:44pm

As a follow up to your pictures at the top, thanks for the nightmares and sleepless night.


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