Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

July 10, 2013: T-storms have been bouncing around. Winds will soon be swinging out of the west. That should bring in warmer beachfront water and also allow for getting out on the ocean to go after b…

July 10, 2013:

T-storms have been bouncing around. Winds will soon be swinging out of the west. That should bring in warmer beachfront water and also allow for getting out on the ocean to go after blues, triggers, bass and tunas. Please send me any photos or videos so I can put them in here. Lots of folks stopping by.

I got reports of waterspouts over the ocean but I also saw some low scud clouds that were similar looking to funnels but not the same vortex-type things. Of course, waterspouts are always a possibility, even on fairly sunny days. The best LBI waterspout I ever saw was below this one dark cloud in an otherwise clear sky. It danced around for at least 15 minutes, right below the mother cloud. 

Folks still not big on bolting way before a storm starts to thunder. See short bayside video I made today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIHFJQgO31A&feature=youtu.be

Below: You likely heard about this bolt in IBSP. You might then recall two young men dying on IBSP sands when a bolt hit them out of the blue, literally. It was fully sunny  where they were, with a small storm cell passing over Barnegat Inlet, well to the south of their vantage. The bolt came in from the south and east, per witnesses. Spooky.  By the by, Barnegat Inlet is something of storm and lighting magnet, I kid you not. T-storms often follow the exact lay of the inlet, ask any north end longtimer. 

I've lost four friends/close acquaintances to lightning.

Fisherman struck by lightning in Island Beach State Park

lightning-hits-fisher-man-island-beach.JPGIn this file photo, a man walks off a jetty in Island Beach State Park after fishing. Tuesday afternoon a man was struck by lightning while seeking cover as a storm approached Island Beach State Park, officials said. 

SEASIDE PARK — A 48-year-old fisherman was struck by lightning at Island Beach State Park early Tuesday afternoon, officials said.

After being struck, the Berkeley Township resident was alert and conscious and told emergency medical technicians that his legs were numb, said Lawrence Hajna, a state Department of Environmental Protection spokesman.

The man was taken for treatment to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township, Hajna said.

As a thunderstorm approached the central swimming area about 1 p.m., park officials began to clear the beaches, Hajna said. The man was struck at 1:15 p.m.

According to preliminary reports, the man was leaving the beach when the lightning struck his fishing rod and traveled through his body, Hajna said.

Below is a load of interesting fishing 


Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association

            Enclosed is this week’s fishing report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. It is pasted below and also attached as a file. If you have any questions, my cell phone number is 609-290-5942 and my e-mail address is jamesghutch1@aol.com

Thanks for your help,

Jim Hutchinson Sr.


            Unsteady weather continues to make fishing in the Beach Haven area an inconsistent situation for the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association.

            Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” has been fishing the bay recently and has found keeper fluke, along with many smooth dog fish. On Saturday Captain Carl ran off to the 30-fathom line in the ocean. At the 20-fathom line Star Fish and her party found plenty of black sea bass. When they reached the 30-fathom line some very big bluefish bit on their baits, and black tip sharks bit on the bluefish. It all made for an exciting day.

            Captain John Lewis of the “Insatiable” had the Burger and Bednar parties out for some bay fishing. Both trips yielded some fluke and spot but no blowfish. At this point Captain John says he is hoping the wind changes direction so he can get out offshore for some bluefin and bigeye tuna. In the meantime he also took the Finklestien party out for a trip around Long Beach Island. The group enjoyed seeing the bay front homes as well as the entire ocean front. The trip was highlighted with some great photos of Barnegat Light and a waterfront tour of Viking Village.

            Captain John Koegler is also lamenting the recent poor weather and looking forward to less winds and rising water temperatures in the ocean. Current reports put the ocean temperature at 56-degrees which is very low for mid-July. With the winds making things rough in the ocean and excess rain runoff making bay waters murky, he reports he has had to work hard for his fish.

            The bluefish bite recently has been slow in the ocean, but just over the past few days there have been some good catches of big bluefish much further offshore than normal.

Additional information on the association can be found at www.fishbeachhaven.com.


Atlantic Highly Migratory Species News

NMFS published a proposed rule on May 2, 2013, to implement provisions of the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA).  NMFS proposes this action to amend existing regulations and make them consistent with the SCA.  The public comment period for the proposed rule was previously extended, and ends on July 8, 2013.  NMFS has decided to further extend the public comment period for 23 days, until July 31, 2013 to provide additional time for stakeholders and other members of the public to submit comments.




Good news for dolphins

[KION News] by Tracy Hinson - July 10, 2013

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ruled in favor of the dolphins on Tuesday. NOAA ruled to comply with a 2012 World Trade Organization ruling by strengthening the U.S. Dolphin-Safe tuna label.

According to NOAA Department of Commerce, the Dophin Protection Consumer Information Act provides specifications for the use of the U.S. Dolphin-Safe label. NOAA says the act prohibits the use of the label on tuna caught by deliberately chasing and encircling dolphins with purse seine nets.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer praises the decision, "As the author of the original 1990 U.S. Dolphin-Safe tuna label law, I am pleased that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the integrity of this label."  Boxer continues, "Numerous times over the last twenty years the Dolphin-Safe label has been in great jeopardy, and this new rule will help ensure that the label that customers have come to trust and rely on is protected."

NOAA says the ruling will go into effect on July 13, 2013. According to NOAA, the rule would require that any canned tuna sold in the U.S. with a Dolphin-Safe label must have certification that no dolphins were killed or seriously injured in the process, no matter what gear type was used or where the tuna was caught. According to Senator Boxer's office, the certification requirement currently only applies to tuna caught using large purse seine nets in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean says the office.

NOAA says the ruling includes a period of education and outreach to provide the fishing industry with additional guidance on enforcement through January 1, 2014.

According to Senator Boxer's office NOAA's rule is a response to a 2012 ruling by the WTO that labeling requirement created a possible barrier to trade from Mexico. According to the office, Mexico raised the allegations in 2008, even though tuna caught using harmful fishing practices can be sold in the U.S. without a Dolphin-Safe label. The office says that applying the same certification requirements internationally and to all types of gear, the rule addresses Mexico's challenge without weakening the label's current intentions.

Senator Boxer's office reports that according to data from the Marine Mammal Commission and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, 6.5 million dolphins have died in the Eastern Tropical Pacific tuna fishery over the past sixty years. The office also says that NOAA and the Earth Island Institute estimate that the Dolphin-Safe label and other conservation efforts have reduced dolphin deaths by approximately 99 percent since the law was enacted.


The Japanese might be losing their taste for seafood. praise be ... 

[JAPAN REPORTS]   Tokyo  July 9, 2013

FY2012 white paper expresses concern over continued shrinkage in seafood consumption in Japan

<   The Japanese government has recently published its white paper on fisheries for fiscal 2012 (April 2012-March 2013).

<   The annual report analyzed in depth the structural changes underway in Japan, including continued decline in fish consumption and growing dependence on cooked products.

<   The paper noted there seems to be no sign of halt of decline in domestic consumption of fish and shellfish.

<   The proportion of daily intake of livestock meat in Japan outstripped that of fish for the time in 2006.

<   In 2011, average consumption of livestock meat per day totaled 83.6 grams as against 72.7 grams for seafood, with the difference expanding to over 10 grams in favor of the former.

<   As the figures include consumption in the form of eating-out and processed products, it was not possible to give explanation in terms of comparison between fresh seafood and processed food.

<   A high-ranking Fisheries Agency official notes that sluggish seafood consumption is due to the fact that fish are not easy to eat because of the presence of many bones and that the prices are relatively high compared with other food commodities in connection with the proportion of edible parts.

<   On the other hand, a harsh price competition is going on among fast food restaurants such as beef bowl chains, which puts fish in a more disadvantageous position.

<   As other major issues, the white paper focused on the importance of taking appropriate measures regarding recent years’ poor harvests of important commercial fish species such as chum, saury and eel fry.

<   Landings of chum in Hokkaido in fiscal 2012 dropped to the level of 70% as compared with the average for the 2006-2010 period, with those in Iwate Prefecture standing at as low as 30% and those in Miyagi Prefecture at 50% due mostly to the aftereffect of the great earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

<   With the aim to investigate the causes of decline, the government will carry out surveys on released seedlings of each species, starting in fiscal 2013.

<   The paper also noted that, until 2012, the catch of saury and eel fry saw a third consecutive yearly poor harvests.

<   With respect to saury, it emphasized the importance of promoting international resource management.

<   As for the damage on fisheries-related facilities by the great earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, the white paper estimated that the damage value stood at Y1,263.7 billion as of April 2012.

<   About 15,000 out of about 29,000 fishing vessels damaged by the disaster were rehabilitated as of March 2013, the paper said, adding that fish landings at major markets in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima recovered to 71% of the pre-quake level.

<   (Summarized from the Nihon Keizai Shimbun and other sources)

[The Falmouth Forecaster] by Will Graff - July 10, 2013

Clammer Clint Goodenow motored his skiff up to a small white buoy in the Harraseeket River on Monday afternoon and began pulling up yards of rope from the bay floor below.

After reaching the end of the rope, he leaned over the side of the boat and plunged his hands into the water, grabbing hold of a black metal trap. In what appeared to be a delicate balance, Goodenow heaved the trap into the small boat, positioned it above a gray rectangular storage container, and flipped open the latch at the bottom.
<(Below: Greenies as bait for tog: 

Dozens of European green crabs crashed into the container — some 1 or 2 inches across, others 5 or 6. He then pounded the top and sides of the trap to knock loose the remaining crabs.

Three traps later, the 100-pound container was brimming with crabs. Some attempted to spring loose but quickly were snatched up and shut in with a lid.

Goodenow, who is part of the largest effort in the state’s history to study the decline of shellfish populations, describes the swarms of crabs he has seen in the last few years like something from a horror movie.

“They just boil out of the water,” he said.

In recent years, clammers say the rapid growth of the green crabs along sections of Maine’s coast has ravaged shellfish populations, particularly mussels and soft-shell clams.

There is concern now that even Maine’s lobster industry may be at risk.

The crabs, previously held at bay by long, cold winters, have swelled in number in the past couple of decades because of rising water temperatures that no longer keep their populations in check.

The Freeport-funded project now has more than a month of work under its belt, stewarded by town clammers and lobstermen at the direction of scientists. And while the project focuses on green crabs, it will also gather and analyze data on the impact of other factors believed to be contributing to the decline of clam populations: ocean acidification, which dissolves clam shells, and disease.

Researchers and fishermen hope the study can find an effective method to reduce the impact of the crab infestation. If

it doesn’t, some believe it could spell the end of the state’s $25 million fishery and be disastrous for the coast’s ecosystem.

“We’ve been so spoiled in the past and didn’t do anything,” said Chad Coffin, president of Maine Clammers Association, noting that he first noticed green crabs in 2007. “That’s when I first started piecing it together, but I didn’t understand how bad it really is.”

Freeport Town Manager Peter Joseph said clammers working on the project, which involves trapping and fencing off certain areas, are hauling in about 400 pounds of crabs every three days.

Clam eaten by green crab ..

He said the town hopes the nearly $70,000 study will shed light on how to deter green crabs in a way that can be replicated by other towns.

“All marine resources are connected out there, so what benefits us, benefits everybody,” Joseph said.

Kohl Kanwit, public health bureau director for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, said while the disappearance of clams could be caused by a number of factors, green crabs in Casco Bay pose a “huge problem.”

In a recent tour of Freeport’s tidal flats with Coffin and state biologist Pete Thayer, Kanwit said the crab invasion seems to have reached a new level.

“It was shocking to see the numbers of crabs at low tide up under the marsh, burrowed up under the grass,” she said, referring to the salt grass that lines much of the Harraseeket River. “It’s unbelievable how many are there.”

Kanwit said in recent years clam predators such as green crabs and the moon snail have completely shut down commercial harvesting in the once productive clamming area of Northern Bay in Penobscot.

“[Penobscot clammers] tried to resolve their problems by removing the moon snails and they were fairly successful with that, until green crabs moved in,” she said. “The entire flat has no clams anymore, at least not anything anyone can commercially dig.”

Although the crabs are known for eating the juvenile clams, also known as spat, Kanwit said she found “fairly large clams” at entrances to the Freeport flats with chips taken out of their edges, suggesting that some crabs have moved on to larger prey.

Right now, the crabs’ favorite meals are clams, but Coffin warns other species, including the Maine’s most sacred seafood, may be at risk.

“[The crabs’] food preference has systematically moved through all of shellfish resources on a sequence based on convenience,” he said, noting that predation has killed off most of the scallops and mussels, and has now moved on to clams. “When the clams are gone, what are they going to eat? People may think lobsters are big and tough, but they’re not.”

Kanwit said in lab tests pitting lobsters against green crabs, the crabs have dominated. They don’t have evidence of this phenomenon in the wild yet, she said, but lobstermen are reporting catching green crabs in deeper water than they have ever seen.

“It’s potentially logical that it might be happening,” Kanwit said of green crabs preying on lobsters. “It’s hard to make the assumption at this point.”

Richard Wahle, a University of Maine professor who studies marine life in New England, said finding the crabs in deeper water is a disturbing development.

“We’ve always sort of dismissed green crabs interacting with lobsters because they have pretty much disappeared at a 25-foot depth along coastal Maine,” he said. “Seeing green crabs in deeper water does open the possibility of green crabs interacting more with lobsters. That’s something to be concerned about.”

Another alarming result of the green crab invasion is the erosion of salt grass, an important stabilizing plant, along the riverbanks, said Brian Beal, a professor at the University of Maine at Machias and lead researcher of the Freeport project.

“The salt grass dying. There’s maybe 2 or 3 feet of dead sod,” he said. “It’s getting ravaged.”

Beal, who has studied green crabs since the 1980s, said the only evidence he has seen of this kind of erosion is in a photo from the 1950s that hangs on his office wall. A marine warden stands in the marsh with a hatchet he used to chop away the dead sod that had been eroded by the crabs.

Back then, water temperatures soared, creating a fertile environment that fostered a surge of green crabs eerily similar to the one today. The crabs devastated clam populations until a severe cold snap settled in during the 1960s, effectively killing them off and allowing shellfish to return.

The concern now is that extreme increase in water temperatures is not part of cyclical process, but an unnatural phenomenon, said Wahle, who published a paper in late June about water temperature’s impact on lobsters.

One of the most serious threats thought to be caused by the warming temperatures is shell disease, he said, noting that in the last few years they’ve seen a ten-fold increase in parts of Maine.

And while relatively long-term impacts of climate change can seem abstract, Coffin, who has been ringing the alarm about green crabs for several years, said their impact as a result of a changing climate is something that can be seen immediately.

Now, he said, clammers and lobstermen in other towns, who at first dismissed the problem, are beginning to pay attention.

“The full effect could take 20 years,” Coffin said. “But it’s going to happen unless we can do something and start fighting back.”

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