Merry Christmas in Barnegat Light
Saturday, December 15, 2018: Looking outside and at the forecast, it’s an ideal day to get some frickin shopping done. With the sometimes-cruel Season of the Gifts now breathing down our necks, a day like this is well-suited to accommodate the touchy task at hand: making gift choices so spot-on that even a pathetically small margin-for-error is somewhat satiated. Hey, a wrong gift can resonate right through the holiday -- and until the "returns" line drops some.
I know, that has a load of Grinch within but if I see one more commercial for the perfect Christmas gift seemingly being nothing short of an absurdly high-end vehicle, I’m gonna …
Calming down a tad, I do look forward to my lone annual vacation, beginning this coming Wednesday, when The SandPaper shuts down for about 10 days. Next week’s SP issue will stay on the streets until January 9th.
During my breakage, I'll be checking my emails and such, though I’m hideous at responding to phone “Messenger” and not all that great with Facebook personal messaging. Nonetheless, any cool nature/fishing items or breaking news/issues are always welcome at email@example.com.
I’m hoping to spend a goodly chunk of my semi-off time tracking (non-lethal tracking) and catching up on carving and artwork. Those activities often come with videos and photos, which I’ll place in here. Speaking of which, I perform this blogging action as an odd form of relaxation – until I run into nuts like those snowy owl pings – so I’ll update with due regularity should urges urge me on. I'm still on the active search for more proof of a local bobcat -- which is just another worthy excuse to get into the outback.
64TH ANNUAL LONG BEACH ISLAND SURF FISHING CLASSIC RESULTS
On December 9, 2018, the 64th Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic officially came to a close. A total of 688 surfcasters participated in this year’s “LBI Derby” with just 40 striped bass registered into the nine-week contest. A rather lean surf run along the entire Jersey Coast led to lower than average striper weigh-ins in this year’s Long Beach Island surf fishing tournament, and not a single bluefish.
GRAND PRIZE STRIPED BASS ($2,000 & PENN rod/reel)
Chris Masino 43.06 pounds Weigh-in date 11/09/18
LARGEST STRIPED BASS SENIOR DIVISION ($150)
John McHenry 34.04 pounds Weigh-in date 11/09/18
LARGEST STRIPED BASS LADIES DIVISION ($150)
Wendy Essinger 8.12 pounds Weigh-in date 11/04/18
SEGMENT WINNERS STRIPED BASS (three at $500)
1- John Chrzanowski 9.42 pounds Weigh-in date 10/26/18
2- Courtland Foos 36.82 pounds Weigh-in date 11/09/18
3- James Worobetz 19.22 pounds Weigh-in date 11/26/18
WEEKLY WINNERS STRIPED BASS (nine at $100 each)
1- Maatteo Delmonico 8.36 pounds Weigh-in date 10/09/18
2- Michael Mitryk 8.14 pounds Weigh-in date 10/19/18
3- Pete Rolando 7.52 pounds Weigh-in date 10/28/18
4- T J Loughrann 10.98 pounds Weigh-in date 10/31/18
5- John McHenry 34.04 pounds Weigh-in date 11/09/18
6- Jeff Knoerzer 16.58 pounds Weigh-in date 11/17/18
7- William D Clark Jr 11.52 pounds Weigh-in date 11/23/18
8- Richard Bergman 8.10 pounds Weigh-in date 11/30/18
9- Pete Kelly 8.69 pounds Weigh-in date 12/06/18
On behalf of its volunteers, participating tackle shops and our loyal sponsors, the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic committee wishes to congratulate our 2018 winners, and look forward to seeing everyone back out on the LBI beaches for the fall of 2019.
The 64th Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic is sponsored by (gold sponsors) Captain’s Quarters Bait and Tackle, Fisherman’s Headquarters, Jingle’s Bait and Tackle, Surf City Bait & Tackle, Barlow Buick/GMC, Bonanni Realtors, DiFeo’s Manahawkin Jeep, Mancini Realty Company, AFW/HI Seas, PENN Reels, Panzone’s Pizza, Tsunami Tackle and The Fisherman Magazine, along with (silver sponsors) Bay Village, the Engleside Inn, Ship Bottom Brewery, the Sandpaper, Woodie’s Drive-In, Long Beach Island Fishing Club, Merchantville Fishing Club and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information visit www.LBIFT.com.
Snowy owls stopping nearby … out of the blue. While most folks find these amazing birds secretive, elusive and easily spooked, I can no longer count the number of times I’ve had them actually fly toward me and land, always in Holgate. It happened again just yesterday. I hadn’t seen a snowy anywhere driving in. I start plugging. As I’m heading back to my truck, over glides a lady snowy, out of the Refuge. (Sorry, no specific locale short of saying you’d be in for a long hike to see same.) She nonchalantly lands well within my immediate vicinity. The odd part was how utterly unconcerned she was about me and how she quite obviously/intentionally turned away from where I was standing. Weird. I was late for a meeting and grabbed this quick video. Her back-turning is easily seen. My only guess is she is a returning owl and has grown accustomed to my truck – and maybe me.
BELOW: Any other LBI anglers miss these bluefish days something awful??? (My photo. Is that Mike C., waders, smiling for the camera?)
Barnegat Bay Partnership
Yesterday the BBP awarded the 2018 Guardian of Barnegat Bay award for "Lifetime Achievement" to two great protectors of the bay -- Gef Flimlin (retired Marine Extension Agent at Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County) and Dr. Ron Baker (retired USGS scientist). Gef started the Barnegat Bay Shellfish Restoration Program ("The best way to reclaim the bay is to reclam the bay!") Ron's years of research helped quantify nutrient loading from the watershed to the bay, providing valuable water-quality data to scientists and decision-makers. Thank you Ron and Gef!
Fun day taking a workshop at MARINE MAMMAL STRANDING CENTER. Terry and are now official volunteers which means that we can get calls for seals, turtles, and dolphins that are stranded on the beach. So EXCITED!!
Kid wants sports car ... dad buys him a violin instead.
'Twas 12 days before Christmas and not all tautog were snug in their beds. Forget visions of sugarplums, it was visions of hermit crabs dancing in their heads.
So who's still pounding bottom looking for old leather lips?
It’s been a while since I did any giveaways here.
So here’s one with a slight twist.
I’ll be giving away a 2nd bar pencil that you have no idea on how’s it’s going to be painted.
It might be just plain white or a all out paint job.
I’m going to bump this one up in the line just for the giveaway.
One entry per person please.
If you want to share my page or invite friends in have at it.
Happy Holidays to all my brother and sisters out there!
A simple I’m in is all it takes.
I’ll pick a winner this Saturday night at 9 pm.
First Major Offshore Wind Project in Jeopardy of Being Blocked
Copyright © 2018 The Boston Globe
By David Abel
December 13, 2018
The warming waters south of Cape Cod have decimated the region's lobster fishery. But it's an ambitious effort to fight climate change that has lobstermen like Lanny Dillinger concerned for their livelihoods.
Dillinger worries that the nation's first major offshore wind farm, planned for the waters between Martha's Vineyard and Block Island — a $2 billion project that will set precedents for the future of wind power in the United States — will transform the area into a maze of turbines and make it too treacherous to fish.
As a result, Dillinger and the rest of the Rhode Island Fishermen's Advisory Board took a unanimous vote last month that could threaten the project, which was designed to supply electricity to Massachusetts, and the Baker administration's plans to curb carbon emissions.
“We're not against wind farms — we just don't want to be collateral damage and stomped out of existence," said Dillinger, 55, the advisory board's chairman, who fishes 800 traps in Rhode Island Sound. “If this goes forward, people will be dying out there. Vessels will be lost. And a lot of fishermen like me would be out of business."
The board's vote, which comes as the federal government holds a long-awaited auction on Thursday to lease nearby areas for other offshore wind projects, poses a significant threat to the 800-megawatt wind farm, an echo of the resistance to the failed Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound.
Vineyard Wind, a New Bedford company, had planned to begin construction next year, but if it fails to do so, it could be forced to forfeit federal tax credits that expire at the end of next year.
In a letter sent to Rhode Island regulators last month, company officials wrote that any delay in the approval process “will have a domino effect and will most likely be fatal to the project."
Although the wind farm would be built in federal waters and supply power to Massachusetts, Rhode Island has the latitude to effectively veto it. By law, development in federal waters cannot interfere with a state's coastal activities, such as fishing, and must comply with state regulations.
After the advisory board voted against the project, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council was slated to decide last month whether to issue a decision that could have effectively killed the project. But at the request of Vineyard Wind, the council delayed its decision until January.
In a telephone interview, Grover Fugate, the council's executive director, echoed the fishermen's concerns.
“We know we need to reduce our carbon footprint, and we very much support renewable energy," he said. “But renewable energy has to be done right. We need to have both the wind and fishing industries to be able to coexist."
A spokesman for Vineyard Wind said the company is seeking a compromise.
“We remain very hopeful and confident that we're going to get a good deal done for everybody," said Scott Farmelant, a spokesman for Vineyard Wind. “There's too much at stake to consider anything else."
The company has floated the idea of providing financial compensation to the fishing industry for its potential losses. Farmelant declined to say how much Vineyard Wind was offering, but he cited landings reports that suggested fishermen collectively have been earning on average only a few hundred thousand dollars a year from their catch in the area.
Fishermen say the crux of the problem is how Vineyard Wind has planned its array of turbines. They say the arrangement and spacing of the turbines, which Vineyard Wind has proposed laying out in rows from the northwest to the southeast, could spark a dangerous conflict between fishermen who set traps on the sea floor and those who drag nets along the bottom.
For decades, the lobstermen and draggers have operated under an agreement in which lobster trawls are set in rows from east to west, with lanes about a nautical mile apart for draggers to pass through to catch squid, mackerel, and other fish.
Fishermen say Vineyard Wind's plans would make it far more likely that draggers would snag their nets on lobster traps and that fishing vessels will collide with turbines, especially in poor visibility.
The company has recently offered to reduce the number of turbines from 108 to 84, reconfigure about a quarter of its 118-square-mile development area to align turbines east to west, and widen so-called transit corridors for fishermen. But the company said it can't revise its entire plan to accommodate the fishing industry.
Such changes would require too much time, study, and permitting for the company to meet its construction deadlines. The turbines already have been designed to meet specific conditions for where they would be installed on the sea floor.
In Massachusetts, where Governor Charlie Baker has touted his administration's efforts to promote offshore wind development, especially during his recent reelection campaign, state officials declined to say whether they were concerned about the project's status.
Vineyard Wind's project would be the first of six large-scale wind farms planned across some 1,400 square miles of federal waters south of Martha's Vineyard. The nation's first offshore wind farm was completed nearby, just off Block Island, in 2016, but it was essentially a test project, with just five turbines producing 30 megawatts of power.
The Baker administration is expecting the state to receive at least 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power over the next decade. Officials say they have worked with fishing groups to try to resolve their differences with the developers, noting that the state has convened more than 100 public meetings on the issue and recommended that the federal government reduce wind development areas by 60 percent to avoid specific fishing grounds.
“The administration is committed to working with all stakeholders in an effort to expeditiously reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, preserve environmental resources, and support the state and region's vibrant fishing industries," said Peter Lorenz, a spokesman for the state's Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
If Rhode Island regulators refuse to certify Vineyard Wind's plan, the company could appeal to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But that process could take too long for the company to meet its tight deadlines.
As fishermen await an offer for compensation from Vineyard Wind, they said the company should understand that the project's impact would be felt throughout the industry.
For many, it would also mean the loss of a way of life.
Ted Platz, who has long fished for skate and monkfish out of Newport, said the wind farms would cause so much damage to the industry that any compensation package should amount to tens of millions of dollars a year.
“The windmills are going to force fishermen into ever-smaller areas, and that's going to put a big strain on the industry," said Platz, 57, who worries he won't be able to remain in business. “A healthy portion of the fleet will disappear if the project is built."
Photo Credit: Ian Dyball/ iStock/ Getty Images Plus
NOAA Fisheries has released Fisheries of the United States, 2017 and Fisheries Economics of the United States, 2016. Fisheries of the United States provides data on commercial landings and value and recreational catch. It also includes data on the fish processing industry, aquaculture production, imports and exports, and per capita seafood consumption. Our Fisheries Economics of the UnitedStates reports analyzes the economic impact of fisheries and related sectors, including employment, sales, and value-added impacts to the broader economy.
The continued, steady high landings and values of U.S. fisheries we’ve seen over the last five years points to the collective progress that our agency, the eight regional fishery management councils, and our stakeholders are making as we work to ensure the sustainability and economic stability of our nation’s fisheries. Ending overfishing was a difficult process that took many years, but we are now enjoying the payoff from the steps we took as a nation to make our fisheries sustainable.
Fishing and seafood consumption in the United States increased in 2017, with landings and value of U.S. fisheries continuing a strong, positive trend. Across the nation, American fishermen landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2017, while the U.S. imported 5.9 billion pounds of seafood, up 1.6 percent. The landed 9.9 billion pounds of fish and shellfish in 2017 represents an increase of 344 million pounds (3.6 percent) from the year before. The value of the landings also increased to $5.4 billion, up $110 million (2.1 percent) from 2016.
Overall, the highest value U.S. commercial species were salmon ($688 million), crabs ($610 million), lobsters ($594 million), shrimp ($531 million), scallops ($512 million), and Alaska pollock ($413 million). By volume, the nation’s largest commercial fishery remains Alaska pollock, which had near record landings of 3.4 billion pounds (up 1 percent from 2016).
Saltwater recreational fishing remains among the nation’s favorite pastimes. The revised recreational fishing estimates survey demonstrates how recreational fishing remains a key contributor to the national economy, with 202 million marine fishing trips taken. The top six recreational U.S. species ranked by harvested weight were striped bass, bluefish, red snapper, sheepshead, yellowfin tuna, and red drum.
In 2016, economic impacts from recreational fishing grew across the board. Nationally, 9.8 million saltwater anglers took recreational fishing trips in 2016 — a 9 percent increase in anglers from 2015. Saltwater recreational fishing supported 472,000 jobs, generated $68 billion in sales impacts across the economy, and contributed $39 billion to the GDP, all metrics that increased 7 percent from 2015 measurements.
The commercial fishing and seafood industry — harvesters, processors, dealers, wholesalers, and retailers — supported 1.2 million jobs in 2016, generating $144 billion in sales impacts and adding $61 billion to the GDP. The domestic harvest produced $53 billion in sales, up 2 percent from 2015, and supported 711,000 jobs across the entire American economy. American lobster and sea scallops had the largest revenue increases, with each product up $46 million in revenue in the past year.
Study Offers 'a Bit of a Window' Into Iconic Young Salmon Stocks on East Coast
Copyright © 2018 The Canadian Press
December 13, 2018
A 14-year tracking study is giving scientists an unprecedented range of data on young Atlantic salmon in four major East Coast rivers.
The iconic species is famous for drawing anglers to the region, but researchers wanted to know more about their juvenile survival rates.
The findings, by the Atlantic Salmon Federation in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ocean Tracking Network, are in a paper published Thursday in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.
"The study started just due to interest and a lack of understanding as to how these fish are behaving and their survival as they are migrating downstream," said Jason Daniels, a research scientist with the federation and report co-author.
"Acoustic telemetry has allowed us to have a bit of a window into what's going on."
The complex technical study tracked more than 2,800 juvenile wild Atlantic salmon, known as smolt, from populations in four rivers that empty into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They include the Southwest Miramichi, Northwest Miramichi, and Restigouche rivers in New Brunswick and the Cascapedia River in Quebec.
Smolt were collected each spring as they made their way downriver and were tagged with small acoustic transmitters that monitored migration speed and survival rates.
"Across the 14 years of study survival estimates varied without trends for the population of the Chaleur Bay, but declined for the populations migrating through Miramichi Bay," the study report says.
The collected data indicated that fish survival depended on factors such as smolt size, distance travelled to open water, the conditions encountered, and the presence of predators.
"There was a positive size-dependent probability of survival through the freshwater and estuary areas," says the study. "The odds of survival of a 16 centimetre smolt were 1.5 to 1.7 times higher than for a 13.5 centimetre smolt length at tagging."
Survival rates for smolt tagged in the Restigouche and Cascapedia through their shared estuary Chaleur Bay fluctuated from year-to-year but remained relatively high — 67 to 95 per cent over the 14-year period.
Those rates were initially similar for smolt leaving the Southwest and Northwest Miramichi rivers and into Miramichi Bay, but that changed in 2010 when a "pronounced downward trend" began with survival rates fluctuating between 28 and 82 per cent.
The drop in survival rates on the Miramichi was attributed to a rise in the population of the predatory striped bass population. The spawning population of striped bass in the river increased from about 15,000 at the beginning of the study to about 300,000 by 2016.
"The spawning period overlaps in timing with the downstream smolt migration," says the report. "Atlantic salmon smolts have been identified in stomachs of striped bass sampled from the Miramichi."
Other factors affecting the smolt survival estimates may include water chemistry in the Northwest Miramichi watershed and changing experimental conditions.
Daniels said the higher mortality numbers for the Northwest Miramichi are a cause for concern given that the average return rate of smolts to the river is around two to three per cent.
"When you see 80 to 90 per cent of those smolts disappearing just in the estuary before they even get to the ocean, you really scratch your head and wonder how you are going to see three or four per cent of those smolts make it back as adults," he said.
The study confirmed that most mortality takes place in the first few days or weeks after smolt leave fresh water. However, the researchers said fish survival improves as the smolt move offshore.
"The estuary is where the majority of the mortality seems to be occurring," said Daniels. "These fish have lived their entire lives in a freshwater environment and they are undergoing a lot of different physiological changes, so they are already in a state where they are stressed out."
Aside from adapting to a saltwater environment, he said they also have to deal with another set of predators, so the results really aren't that surprising.
"Being able to study multiple rivers at once across multiple years allows you to see these trends and compare them to rivers that don't have the same types of pressures," said Daniels. "You can see the relative impact some of these pressures may be having on particular populations of salmon."
'New Bae' Spice Producer on Old Bay Lawsuit: 'We Don't Think We're Doing Anything Wrong Here'
Copyright © 2018 The Washington Post Co.
By Maura Judkis
December 13, 2018
When it comes to steamed crabs, there is usually one option — and the company that makes Old Bay seasoning, beloved and iconic in Baltimore, wants to keep it that way. McCormick, the Baltimore-based spice company that produces the popular seafood blend, filed suit in federal court on Monday for trademark infringement, seeking to prevent Pittsburgh-based Primal Palate from producing a similar spice blend it calls "New Bae."
Primal Palate specializes in organic spices, and is geared toward consumers who follow the paleo diet. When it announced the spice blend in 2017, the company acknowledged that the name was "a terrible pun." Bae is a slang acronym for a boyfriend or girlfriend that stands for "before anyone else." Husband-and-wife founders Bill and Hayley Staley said they chose the name because it was playful.
"It was a nod to Old Bay," Haley said. "We weren't intending to create a replication of Old Bay."
"Old Bay is obviously a respected, revered brand in American cupboards," Bill said. "We never had any intention of confusion. Everything is spelled differently, it looks different."
Old Bay lists its ingredients as celery salt and "spices (including red pepper and black pepper) and paprika." That proprietary spice blend, according to copycat recipes, may include mustard, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, pimento, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon and paprika. The Staleys said they decided to create New Bae as a paleo tribute to the spice — but this time, with all the ingredients disclosed for their health-conscious consumers who might be wary of hidden sources of gluten and sugar. In the announcement for the new spice, which is organic, they called it "a fiery new flavor in your life, giving quite the kick to anything from seafood to roast vegetables to epic potatoes." It's made of Himalayan pink salt, paprika, celery seed, black pepper, ancho chile powder, cayenne, cardamom, allspice, mace and bay leaves.
They filed for the trademark in November, and when McCormick sent a cease-and-desist letter to Primal Palate in April, the couple was surprised.
"We're a very small company," Hayley said. "We were definitely puzzled, for sure."
They said they had tried to engage McCormick in conversations about the brand, but the company declined. In the suit, McCormick points out that Primal Palate has used slogans like "Out with the Old, and in with the NEW" to capitalize on Old Bay's "fame and goodwill." The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"We don't think we're doing anything wrong here," Bill Staley said. "This is a product we think can coexist in the marketplace. The target audience for them doesn't have a lot of overlap."
Old Bay is more than just a seasoning in the Mid-Atlantic. It is practically a way of life. Invented in 1939 by a Jewish immigrant from Germany, Gustav Brunn, the spice is a mainstay of summer crab feasts, but has expanded into beer, vodka, and, briefly, McDonald's Filet-O-Fish.
"Only a select group of foods can claim the cult status of Old Bay," wrote Jane Black for The Washington Post on the spice's 70th anniversary. "Probably only bacon inspires fiercer loyalty. And bacon, it has been noted, tastes pretty good sprinkled with a little Old Bay."
When Marylanders heard about the lawsuit, they came to the brand's defense:
Thought I'd give @PrimalPalate's "New Bae" a try and was disappointed. As much as it tried to beat out @OLDBAYSeasoningyou just can't beat the classics.
Besides, everybody knows Old Bay is best on Maryland blue crabs, not "New Bae". #ImpostersSuck
— The Non-Conformist (@JBurt73) December 12, 2018
New Bae thanks Old Bay for the massive amounts of publicity they've received from the lawsuit
— Nick (@cnkirch1215) December 12, 2018
The Staleys say their lawyer plans to respond to the McCormick suit, which asks for damages as well as the destruction of all of the "New Bae" product. They hope they will prevail, and be able to keep the name — "And not for any similarity to Old Bay," Bill said. "We love how cute and fun the name is."
I often hype the always-fun Melega/Legacies Old & New auctions, most often held over at the Eagleswood Fire Hall. I just as often get taken to task for not offering the info in a timely fashion. Well, here's a way-early alert to a huge auction taking place right after News Year's: January 5. Arrive as 8:30 a.m. for a first look-see at an amazing selection of antiques and such. https://www.auctionzip.com/cgi-bin/auctionview.cgi?lid=3198479
||LEGACIES OLD & NEW INC
Eagleswood Fire Hall
219 Railroad Ave
West Creek, NJ
Harry V. Shourds
Listed Artist, Jesse Hatfield
Hit A Homer Table Top Arcade