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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, May 07, 2019: Below is a load of 2019 regulatory and state record stuff

Above: This blue is toast ... Check out the plug. 

Tuesday, May 07, 2019: Below is a load of 2019 regulatory and state record stuff – right out of the new DEP digest.

I see that a late good-buddy of mine, Bert Harper, still holds the seatrout record. Let me tell you, having heavily fished seatrout in Florida, his seatrout was a monster!

Seatrout, spotted

11

2

1974

Bert Harper

Holgate Surf

The somewhat of a break in wind and weather is allowing anglers to again get at the big blues and bass. Of course, weather – and wind specifically -- is aligned to be as changeable as an old-world chameleon – going from S to N to E to S … and back again. The upside is how winds won’t be overly nasty, overall, i.e. plenty of windows for boat and beach angling. Becoming more necessary to watch realtime radar for fast-moving and pop-up storms.

Since yesterday, there has been a drop-off in the total number of hookups, bass and blues, though the size is inching up on the chopper front.

In my weekly SandPaper column, I make note of the lack of smaller eater/cocktail/tailor blues. This lack is going on its fourth year running. The lack has shown – make that not shown – both spring and fall.

I keep a close eye on the spring run of blues, those between one and five pounds. They’re perfect for jerking, drying and smoking. Smaller springtime blues are highly bay oriented, as they move north. They know to steer well clear of their overgrown, ravenous and cannibalistic kin in the ocean. What’s more, the bay provides quick-bite forage, like shrimp and crabs. That crustacean emphasis is why their flesh is so sweet in spring. Autumnal blues, fattened on fatty fish forage, are stronger tasting and take longer to dry due to the increased oil and fat in their flesh.

Mulling over many striper reports and weigh-ins, many of the arriving bass are running thin, though not all that far from the ordinary. Such sleekness sometimes happens when foraging is consistently fine. There’s no pressing need to pack on the pounds since tough foraging times are rare. What’s more, striped bass are seldom chow hounds. Nonetheless, there are always some cows that are obviously obese. There is always the natural genetic propensity for fish to assume a given body-type, as demanded by DNA. Averaging out, bass in the medium body-build range are the norm.

The spring-arrival chopper bluefish are very typically lean-bodied. Fish like the 14-pound Chris Masino chopper (seen further below) could easily gain 30 percent body weight if they would only return here come fall. I’ll openly hope the once-traditional fall flip-flop of blues will finally play out this year … but I have a bad feeling they won’t. (I’m using reverse psychology: I’ll allege they won’t return … so I can be proven totally wrong.)

I need to make another mention that some huge fluke are showing as bycatch. “I caught the biggest flattie I’ve ever caught and I had to throw it back,” said a fellow I know -- a supreme stickler for regulations … so it went right back, no hesitation (like I might have had.) He won’t even purse the tails of striped bass when measuring them, even though that’s totally kosher. Pity. His wife is one of the best seafood cooks going. She slices striper fillets into like-sized strips, coats them with a magic rub, then fast fries them in sesame oil. By the by, I have had mixed luck with drying striped bass. I’ve had a couple remarkably good smoked batches and then some dried batches that were just too dang fishy. I think they need to be marinated longer than most fish, prior to smoking or drying.

For Island arriving anglers and family: For those of you heading south from the Causeway (Ninth Street), the county has paved Central Avenue the entire length, not just as far as 17th Street. Smooth. As to the insanely bumpy Boulevard from Ship Bottom to Beach Haven, that will not get smoothed out by summer … or during summer, or even after summer, per the mayor.


Below: To truck and protect. Ship Bottom PD goes for looks and functionality with the latest "cruiser" in its motor pool. I might have opted for huge Baja tires and one of those driver's side exhausts that run up to the roof. The machine-gun turret package was a tad too expensive.Image may contain: car and outdoor
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New Jersey State Record Marine Fish

Species­

Lbs.

Oz.

Year

Angler

Where Caught

Amberjack, greater

85

0

1993

Edwin Metzner

Off Cape May

Bass, black sea

9

0

2015

Steve Singler

Atlantic Ocean

Bluefish

27

1

1997

Roger Kastorsky

5 Fathom Bank

Bonito, Atlantic

13

8

1945

Frank Lykes, Jr.

Off Sandy Hook

Cobia

87

0

1999

John Shanchuk

Off Sea Bright

Cod

81

0

1967

Joseph Chesla

Off Brielle

Crab, blue

8¾” pt. to pt.

2008

Raymond Ponik

Bayonne

Croaker, Atlantic

5

8

1981

Frederick Brown

Delaware Bay

*Cunner

3

2.4

2015

Jorge Antonio Costa

Mud Hole

Dogfish, smooth

19

11.2

2013

Michael J. LaTorre, Jr.

Sculls Bay

Dogfish, spiny

15

12

1990

Jeff Pennick

Off Cape May

Dolphin

63

3

1974

Scott Smith, Jr.

Baltimore Canyon

Drum, black

109

0

2008

Nick Henry

Delaware Bay

Drum, red

55

0

1985

Daniel Yanino

Great Bay

Eel, American

9

13

1988

Warren Campbell

Atlantic City

Fluke

19

12

1953

Walter Lubin

Off Cape May

Flounder, winter

5

11

1993

Jimmy Swanson

Off Barnegat Light

Hake, red (Ling)

12

13

2010

Billy Watson

Off Manasquan

Hake, white

41

7

1989

Wayne Eble

Off Barnegat Light

Kingfish, Northern

2

8

2004

Chester Urbanski

Barnegat Bay

Mackerel, Atlantic

4

1

1983

Abe Elkin

Manasquan Ridge

Mackerel, king

54

0

1998

Fernando Alfaiate

Off Cape May

*Mackerel, Spanish

9

12

1990

Donald Kohler

Off Cape May

Marlin, blue

1,046

0

1986

Phil Infantolino

Hudson Canyon

Marlin, white

137

8

1980

Mike Marchell

Hudson Canyon

Perch, white

2

12

1998

Michael King

Little Beach Creek

*Pollock

46

7

1975

John Holton

Off Brielle

Porgy

5

14

1976

Victor Rone

Delaware Bay

Sailfish

43

4

2006

Dr. John Tallia

Linden Kohl Canyon

Seatrout, spotted

11

2

1974

Bert Harper

Holgate Surf

Shad, American

7

0

1967

Rodger West

Great Bay

Shad, hickory

2

13

2011

Robert Macejka

Mantoloking

Shark, blue

366

0

1996

William Young, Jr.

Mud Hole

Shark, bull

Vacant (Minimum Weight 150 lbs.)

Shark, dusky

530

0

1987

Brian Dunlevy

Off Great Egg Inlet

Shark, hammerhead

365

0

1985

Walter Thackara

Mud Hole

Shark, porbeagle

Vacant (Minimum Weight 100 lbs.)

Shark, s-fin mako

856

0

1994

Christopher Palmer

Wilmington Canyon

Shark, thresher

683

0

2009

Bennett Fogelberg

Fingers

Shark, tiger

880

0

1988

Billy DeJohn

Off Cape May

Sheepshead

19

3

2014

William Catino

Longport

Spadefish

11

6

1998

Cliff Low

Delaware Bay

Spearfish, longbill

42

0

1989

George Algard

Poor Man’s Canyon

42

0

1997

Joseph Natoli

Hudson Canyon

Spot

0

13

2003

Robert Belsky, Jr.

Little Sheepshead Creek

*Striped bass

78

8

1982

Al McReynolds

Atlantic City

Swordfish

530

0

1964

Edmund Levitt

Wilmington Canyon

*Tautog

25

5.92

2015

Frank LaMorte

Atlantic Ocean

Tilefish, golden

63

8

2009

Dennis Muhlenforth

Lindenkohl Canyon

Tilefish, gray

23

4

2015

Mark Milici

Lindenkohl Canyon

Triggerfish, gray

6

11

2016

James Massimino

Sea Girt Reef

Tuna, albacore

77

15

1984

Dr. S. Scannapiego

Spencer Canyon

Tuna, big-eye

364

14

1984

George Krenick

Hudson Canyon

Tuna, bluefin

1,030

6

1981

Royal Parsons

Off Pt. Pleasant

Tuna, skipjack

13

4

1999

Craig Eberbach

Wilmington Canyon

Tuna, yellowfin

290

0

1980

Wayne Brinkerhoff

Hudson Canyon

Tunny, little

24

15

1977

Mark Niemczyk

Off Sea Bright

Wahoo

123

12

1992

Robert Carr

28-Mile Wreck

Weakfish

18

8

1986

Karl Jones

Delaware Bay

Whiting (silver hake)

Vacant (Minimum Weight 2.5 lbs.)

Below ... NOTE: Black sea bass regulations in the print version of the Marine Digest’s page 21 chart are incorrect for the May 15–June 22 season. The correct regulations for this season are 10 fish at 12.5 inches. Please mark your copy of the printed Digest.

State Size & Possession Limits

Saltwater Marine Fishing RegulationsNew JerseySaltwater Fishing

2019 New Jersey Recreational Fishing Seasons, Minimum Size and Possession Limits

Regulations remain in effect until changed. For the most current regulations, go to NJFishandWildlife.com or call the marine fish “listen-only” information line at (609) 292-2083. Regulations in red are new this year. See Finfish Regulations for how to measure fish. Note: No species of fish with a minimum size limit listed below may be filleted or cleaned at sea. Party boats licensed to carry 15 or more passengers may apply for a permit to fillet the these species. See also Summer Flounder, Finfish Regulations.

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Harvest & Possession Limit (per person unless noted)

American Eela

No Closed Season

9″

25

Black Drum

No Closed Season

16″

3

Black Sea Bass
(Min. length excludes tail filament; see Finfish Regulations.)

May 15 – June 22

12.5″

10

July 1 – Aug. 31

12.5″

2

Oct. 8 – Oct. 31

12.5″

10

Nov. 1 – Dec. 31

13″

15

Bluefish (Snapper)

No Closed Season

None

15

Cobia

June 1–Sept. 30

40″

1 fish per person; no more than 3 fish per vessel

Cod

No Closed Season

21″

No Limit

Haddock

No Closed Season

18″

No Limit

Pollock

No Closed Season

19″

No Limit

Red Drum

No Closed Season

18″

1 not greater than 27″

River Herring

No Open Season

None

0

Scup (Porgy)

No Closed Season

9″

50

Shad
Delaware River & tributaries

No Closed Season

None

6 (maximum of 3 American shad)

All Other Marine Waters

No Closed Season

None

6 (no American shad may be harvested or possessed)

Sharkb, c, 
Aggregate large coastal group

Jan. 1–May 14 and
July 16–Dec. 31

Aggregate Large
Coastal and Pelagic: Shortfin Mako:
Male: 71″ fork length
Female: 83″ fork length
All others 54″ fork length

Hammerheads:
78″ fork length

Other listed sharks: None

One shark (of any species, except prohibited species) per vessel per trip; plus one Atlantic sharpnose shark per person per trip (no minimum size); plus one bonnethead shark per person per trip (no minimum size).

Hammerhead group
Non-blacknose small coastal group
Blacknose group

No Closed Season

Pelagic group

No Closed Season

Spanish Mackerel

No Closed Season

14″

10

Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass
Delaware River & tributaries**
(Calhoun St. bridge to Salem River & tributaries)

March 1–March 31
and June 1–Dec. 31

one @ 28″ to < 43″ and one ≥ 43″

2

Delaware River & tributaries**
(upstream of Calhoun St. bridge)

March 1–Dec. 31

Atlantic Ocean (0–3 nautical miles from shore­)

No Closed Season

Rivers, bay andestuaries

March 1–Dec. 31

3–200 nautical miles (federal waters)

Prohibited

0

Summer Flounder (Fluke)
Delaware Bay and tributariese

May 24–Sept. 21

17″

3

Island Beach State Park, shore fishing

May 24–Sept. 21

16″

2

All water except as above

May 24–Sept. 21

18″

3

Tautog (Blackfish)

Jan. 1–Feb. 28

15″

4

April 1–April 30

15″

4

Aug. 1–Nov. 15

15″

1

Nov. 16–Dec. 31

15″

5

Weakfish

No Closed Season

13″

1

Winter Flounder

March 1–Dec. 31

12″

2

Blue Crab
peeler or shedder

No Closed Seasond

3″

1 bushel

soft

No Closed Seasond

3½”

hard

No Closed Seasond

4½”

Lobster (carapace length)

See closed seasons on Mollusks & Crustaceans

33⁄8″

6

Hard Clam (license required)

No Closed Season

1½”

150 clams

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Stephen DiEugenio to Betty and Nicks Bait and Tackle Fishing Club
John, the wind died down tonight and this big boy hit one of those $4 silver flash spoons I bought from your shop...Caught it just north of Tices in the bay about 300 yards off shore...I followed that cut on the map in there to about 4' of water...casted where i heard the splash and Pow!...Fish On!
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, ocean, sky, cloud, outdoor, water and nature

Chancey Charters

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature

*************************************************************

Brian Bowker to Holgate Update
May 3 at 7:29 PM · 

What!!!!!!!/-/ Holgate has a free air station - thank you Long Beach Township for this gift

No photo description available.
************************************************
What goes in must come ... Oh, gross!
Farmed Fish Volumes to Surpass Wild Catch Production by 2020

© WRBM Global Feed William Reed Business Media Ltd
By Jane Byrne 
May 6, 2019

Wild-catch seafood production is flat, while aquaculture keeps growing, says Rabobank in an industry note.

“We expect future growth in seafood to continue to come from aquaculture, which will be driven by improved genetics, new husbandry technologies, innovations in aquafeed, and the switch to more efficient and intensive farming technologies," reported Rabobank based animal protein analyst, and report author, Beyhan de Jong.

In 2020, the volumes from aquaculture production will surpass the volumes from wild-catch seafood. However, the researcher said the growth of aquaculture is expected to slow down in comparison to the last decade, said the seafood market specialist.

Seafood trade has grown by a CAGR of 4% from 2012 to 2017 to reach an estimated US$153bn, according to the overview. The increase in seafood trade in recent years has been driven primarily by farmed species, consisting of high-value premium crustaceans and marine species and lower-value whitefish species traded from Southeast Asia to western countries.

Rabobank expects this trend to continue.

EU remains largest fish and shellfish importer

The EU is still the largest importer of fish and shellfish, and it increased its imports by US$4bn from 2012 to 2017, concluded the report. The second largest seafood importer, the US, also imported more seafood in the last five years, with an increase amounting to US$5bn. China also significantly increased its seafood imports by more than US$3bn. This value increase in the EU, the US, and China is predominantly driven by increased salmon and crustacean imports, said the analyst.

She expects the EU and the US to remain the leading seafood importers, due to the high demand for seafood in these regions. However, she reckons China could overtake Japan sometime soon: "The current African swine fever (ASF) situation in China's pork production is leading to increased seafood consumption, and there is demand growth for imported and, particularly, premium fish due to increasing purchasing power and food safety concerns over local production in China."

Aquaculture to surpass wild catch production by 2020 © Source: Rabobank 2019

China is still by far the biggest exporter of seafood

Both in volume and value terms, China is still by far the biggest exporter of seafood, followed by Norway, said de Jong. Both countries have added more than US$2bn to their seafood exports between 2012 and 2017. However, there was only a minor increase in the exported volumes, said the analyst.

Vietnam overtook Thailand in seafood exports, reaching the third rank in the top seafood exporters in value, as per the study. The increase in Vietnam’s exports mainly resulted from whitefish and crustacean trade. India also made a big jump from the 8th place to the 4th place, with an increase of US$3.7bn – also driven by increasing shrimp exports, according to the industry note.

“In the upcoming years, we expect China and Norway to keep their positions as the main seafood exporting nations. However, we expect a slower growth rate in Chinese seafood exports.”

Whitefish still has the largest traded volumes, which remain stable despite changes in trade flows. This category consists of farmed and wild-caught species, said Rabobank. A big portion of this trade flow includes China’s re-exports of processed whitefish from Russia.

In comparison to 2013, China’s whitefish exports – mainly tilapia – to the US have dropped by 33%. However, Vietnam filled this gap by increasing its exports to the US, which is dominated by pangasius, said de Jong.

Crustaceans and salmon

From 2013 to 2017, crustacean trade increased globally, with the US, the EU, and China increasing their crustacean imports, said the analyst. India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico, and Ecuador have been the main suppliers due to higher and more efficient production in these regions.

Likewise, salmon trade increased globally due to demand growth. "For example, Chile doubled its salmon exports to China in the last four years. In fact, all salmon producers, and particularly Norway, increased exports to all consumer regions."

Leading global seafood exporters and importers. Source: Rabobank 2019

Marine ingredients supply

Due to improved supply conditions in Peru, the report noted the fishmeal and fish oil trade has increased in the last four years.

“Driven by its large aquaculture industry, China remains the largest consumer of fishmeal and fish oils, which are supplied mainly by Peru. Relatively higher prices of fishmeal and fish oils have also led to a value increase in trade flows.”

Rabobank is alert to the potential for a slight shift in trading patterns given recent trade wars, and tariff tiffs but also due to a change in the way fish farms might operate in the future.

Increasing protectionism, current uncertainties in trade relations among several trade partners, the growing aquaculture sector in different parts of the world relying on land-based and offshore farms, and biological challenges in the animal protein sector such as ASF could change seafood trade dynamics and routes in the upcoming years, concluded the report.

Plant-Based Tuna Aims to be the Future of Fish — Without The Smell

Copyright © 2019
By Jeannette Settembre
May 6, 2019

This tuna has a catch — it’s not fish.

Vegan food company Good Catch has created a version of albacore tuna said to look and taste just like the real thing without using any fish. It’s the latest alternative food product to take a bite out of the $13.7 billion plant-based industry following the growing popularity of lab-grown “meat” brands like Beyond Meat (BYND, US) and Impossible Foods.

Good Catch uses legumes, beans and algae to mimic the flavor and texture of real tuna, and it’s packaged in pouches instead of cans. The product has been two years in the making, said co-founder Chad Sarno.

“In terms of texture, that was probably the biggest feat. Diversifying the proteins enabled us to create the texture with six different beans,” Sarno told MarketWatch.

Another selling point: The fragrance — or lack thereof. Canned tuna’s pungent odor is said to be one reason why sales have sunk in recent years.

Some people don’t want to eat it tuna in public places because of the smell, Sarno said. “We use algae oil and seaweed extract. It gives it the taste that tuna has, but smells more like the ocean than it does fish.”

There is a catch. Good Catch sells its 3.3-ounce alternative tuna packets for $5.99 available nationwide on the same shelf as traditional tuna at Whole Foods (AMZN, US) and e-commerce based retailer Thrive Market. That’s significantly higher than traditional 5-ounce can of tuna, which ranges from $1.50 to $1.67 for varieties like Chicken of the Sea and Bumble Bee. The brand is rolling out frozen plant-based fish items like crab cakes and fish patties by the end of the year, Sarno confirmed.

egan food company Good Catch has created a version of albacore tuna said to look and taste just like the real thing without using any fish. It’s the latest alternative food product to take a bite out of the $13.7 billion plant-based industry following the growing popularity of lab-grown “meat” brands like Beyond Meat (BYND, US) and Impossible Foods.

Good Catch uses legumes, beans and algae to mimic the flavor and texture of real tuna, and it’s packaged in pouches instead of cans. The product has been two years in the making, said co-founder Chad Sarno.

“In terms of texture, that was probably the biggest feat. Diversifying the proteins enabled us to create the texture with six different beans,” Sarno told MarketWatch.

Marine Species Identification

Saltwater Marine Fishing RegulationsNew JerseySaltwater Fishing


Copyright © 2019 Patch Media
By Deb Belt
May 7, 2019

The blue crab population in Maryland's portion of Chesapeake Bay is growing by double digits, good news for fishermen, diners and the tourism industry. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources released the results of its 2019 Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, showing the blue crab population is "healthy and thriving."

Every year, from December to March, marine biologists dredge 1,500 sites throughout Chesapeake Bay, measuring the populations. Here's what they came up with. The survey showed that the Bay-wide blue crab population increased 60 percent from last year, to an estimated total population of 594 million crabs. The rise in adult abundance of blue crabs was higher than anticipated given a poor influx of juveniles in 2017 and 2018. This is a sign that blue crab management has been successful at allowing more crabs to reach the spawning stock, state officials said.

The adult female population climbed to 190 million, a 29 percent gain from 2018 and the adult male population increased to 80 million or a 38 percent increase. Mild winter temperatures also helped increase both juvenile and adult blue crab overwintering survival rates, according to a news release.

"The blue crab population is both healthy and thriving, which is great news for the entire Bay," said Maryland Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio in a press release. "Under Governor Hogan's leadership, these results are a clear indication of the effectiveness of our management plan for blue crabs, an iconic species that is essential to Maryland's economy and the Bay's ecosystem."

Ahead of Monday's announcement, Gov. Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan went to Mike's Crab House in Riva to dine on their first crabs of the season.

"We are proud of our administration's strong record of skilled environmental stewardship, which begins with safeguarding the Chesapeake Bay," said Gov. Hogan in a statement. "Today's results are further proof and a shining example that our efforts to protect Maryland's blue crab population, while ensuring the health of our state's most important natural asset, have been successful."

The juvenile crab population also increased from 167 million in 2018 to 324 million this year. Since blue crabs spend the first part of their lives in the Atlantic Ocean they rely heavily on favorable currents, temperatures and winds to bring them into the Chesapeake Bay where they grow and mature.

"The female abundance of blue crabs is close to our target and the juvenile population is above average," said Natural Resources Fisheries Monitoring and Assessment Director Michael Luisi in a news release. "We expect a lot of variability in the blue crab population, and taking a conservative approach offers stability for the fisheries in the face of swings in abundance."

In 2018, baywide harvest was 55 million pounds, which is similar to the 54 million pounds harvested in 2017.

Salmon-Eating Sea Lions Targeted at Columbia River Dam

Copyright © 2019
By Keith Ridler
May 3, 2019

More California sea lions preying on imperiled salmon in the Columbia River below a hydroelectric project on the Oregon-Washington border are being killed under a revised policy, federal authorities said Friday.

The National Marine Fisheries Service made public reduced criteria for removing sea lions at Bonneville Dam about 145 miles (235 kilometers) from the Pacific Ocean.

The new guidelines that went into effect April 17 permit any California sea lion seen in the area on five occasions or seen eating a fish to be put on a list for lethal removal.

The former criteria required both those marks to be met. Officials say 10 sea lions have been killed so far this year, most as a result of the policy change.

Robert Anderson, the agency's marine mammal program manager, said the Pinniped-Fishery Interaction Task Force decided to make the change after dissatisfaction with current efforts. A study found the change could increase the number of sea lions killed by 66 percent.

Officials are authorized to remove 92 California sea lions annually from the area, but have never come close to that number. Meanwhile, billions of dollars have been spent in Idaho, Oregon and Washington to save 13 species of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Salmon and steelhead congregate near the bottom of the dam to go up fish ladders, facing some delays in "getting through the pinch points, and sea lions have figured that out," Anderson said.

The California sea lions at the dam are all males, with some 200 to 300 showing up and numbers typically peaking in the spring.

They're bulking up on salmon, with some sea lions reaching 1,000 pounds (455 kilograms), before swimming roughly 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to breeding beaches at the Channel Islands off the California coast. Once there they try to establish territories, not eating for a month while mating with females in their area of control and fighting off rival males.

"It's kind of classic biology," Anderson said. "Get as big as you can to try to be successful."

An estimated 70,000 California sea lions are drawn to the breeding beaches. The overall population rebounded from about 30,000 in the late 1960s to an estimated 300,000 today, following the passage of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act.

California sea lions at Bonneville Dam were a rarity until they started showing up in the early 2000s. Authorities began the lethal removal list in 2008. Since then, some 400 sea lions have made the list, with 229 removed. Of those, 15 have been sent to zoos or aquariums, seven died during capture, and 207 have been euthanized.

Killing sea lions "is not a long-term solution," said Russ Kiefer, an Idaho Fish and Game fisheries biologist, noting the main problem for salmon and steelhead is habitat degradation along their migration corridor. "It won't be a game changer, but it will help."

Snake River sockeye salmon, which reproduce in high-elevation Idaho lakes, teetered on extinction for several years before an elaborate hatchery program involving Fish and Game was created.

Last year for the first time, Stellar sea lions outnumbered California sea lions at Bonneville Dam, Anderson said. Federal authorities don't have authorization to remove Stellar sea lions, which can reach 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms). Stellar sea lions at the dam are also all males, bulking up before heading back to the Pacific Ocean and then, the majority, north to breeding areas.

In December, President Donald Trump signed a law that allows any California sea lion spotted 112 miles (180 kilometers) upriver from the mouth of the Columbia River to be put on the lethal removal list.

However, federal officials haven't been doing that because they don't have authorization, a process that would first require a request from Idaho, Oregon or Washington.

Four tribes with fishing treaty rights can also make that request: Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation in Washington, Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, and Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs in Oregon.

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Canadian Scientists: Human Noise a Threat to East Coast Whales

Copyright © 2019 Victoria Times Colonist
May 7, 2019

A human-made racket under the ocean is a growing threat to three types of whales off the East Coast, Canadian scientists say.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada released its findings Monday on the sei whale, fin whale and Sowerby's beaked whale following a gathering of 43 scientists in St. John's, N.L.

The independent scientists said the continuing low numbers of the sei whale following decades of whaling led them to ask for an endangered designation - meaning the species is facing "imminent extinction."

They also recommended to the federal Fisheries Department that fin whales and the Sowerby's beaked whales should continue to be designated as species "of special concern." Both already have this status under the Species at Risk Act, meaning they might become endangered if nothing is done.

Hal Whitehead, co-chair of the marine mammals sub-committee, said relatively little was known about how the sei whale was faring in the Atlantic since the end of commercial hunts in the early 1970s - less than a lifetime ago for the third-largest whale on Earth.

But when the whale scientists dug into the data, they found the animals were still faring poorly. Whitehead said 40 years after the end of whaling, there are still only "a few hundred" of the sei whales left.

As with the other two species examined, much of the blame was attributed to deaths from fishing-gear entanglement and strikes by large ships in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

However, the assessors have also documented growing levels of noise from ships, navy vessels and ongoing seismic exploration for oil and gas off Canada's coast, and concluded they are harming the whales'ability to communicate.

The precise figures on human-generated noise have not been publicly released.

"It became apparent to all of us the magnitude of the threat that these species ... face in the waters of Atlantic Canada," Whitehead said in a telephone interview.

"In particular, the growth of the noise that we are putting into the water."

The scientist said the data indicated more ships are traversing the areas of whale habitat, but one of the largest contributors is seismic oil and gas exploration off Newfoundland and Labrador.

"These are extremely noisy operations, and we're getting more information that this noise is serious for these animals because they are acoustic animals. That is how they sense their environment and how they communicate with each other," he said.

The Sowerby's beaked whale, which is slower and smaller than the fin and sei, is believed to be particularly susceptible to noise.

The committee says that much like bats, the Sowerby's beaked whale uses sound to navigate and to hunt, and human-generated noise impairs its ability to find its way.

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Massachusetts Environmental Police
 

On Monday, May 6, 2019, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Dennis Police Department contacted Massachusetts Environmental Dispatch to report they had located an individual fishing without a valid saltwater license and in possession of undersized striped bass. The individual will receive a citation for possession of undersized striped bass, possession over the limit of striped bass, and fishing without a valid saltwater license.

Conservation of natural resources is everyone's responsibility. The Massachusetts Environmental Police would like to thank the Dennis Police Department for their diligence and commitment to natural resource conservation.

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