Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

  Thursday, January 02, 2014: My long-term winter forecast was “If you don’t like the weather wait a day.” I emphasized wild swings in things. I know it’s too early to assess my assessment but tomor…


Thursday, January 02, 2014: My long-term winter forecast was “If you don’t like the weather wait a day.” I emphasized wild swings in things. I know it’s too early to assess my assessment but tomorrow night we will see insane single-digit actual air temps, then, by Sunday we will see temps back into the 50s. If that isn’t a wild swing just wait until later in the winter -- based on jet streams being like a yo-yo, dropping arctic-polar air one day then being drawn instantly upward (north) essentially pulling in mild southerly air.  

For now, this fast-moving storm is going to be a full-blown bitch for daily life. Screw the snow, that won’t be overly invasive but having temperatures drop as much as 30 degrees in one day – to sub-zero wind chills -- means everything that is soaked by first rain then snow on milder ground will freeze solid. That drop will freeze doors (home and vehicles) shut. Important suggestion: Lift windshield wipers way from windows to prevent freezing to windshield.  No, it won’t deform spring mechanism – unless you pull the wiper too damn far out to begin with … so don’t.

As for frozen steps here’s an odd tip. I’m not sure if it works but it’s kinda fun to experiment:

(Fey's Tricks of the Trade)

Instead of treating your icy walk with salt, which can kill the grass, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1/2 gallon of warm water and pour it over your steps and sidewalk. The dishwashing liquid helps prevent the ice from re-freezing. To make the ice melt faster, add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol (or add beer, but really - who wants to waste beer?) to the mixture.


Pre-storm, I used to grab a five-gallon bucket of beach sand to throw down on the from and back stoops. Sure it gets tracked into the house but tell me no sand arrives during the beach months.


See astounding owl photos by Jim. V and his young daughter at http://exit63.wordpress.com/ (samples below)

Where's Snowy?

Where's Snowy?

Snowy, are you hiding from burd-ers?

Snowy, are you hiding from burd-ers?

Or are you just eating sand again? (Question for someone with knowledge: why do Snowies eat sand?)

Or are you just eating sand again and don't want anyone to see? (Question for someone with knowledge: why do Snowies eat sand?)


I got one of those cute emails from a little gal worrying that our snowy owls might die in the dangerous cold weather soon to arrive. I chuckled and was about to send off a cute-inclined response about the arctic origins of the owls and how they can easily take a night of single-digit cold … but I hesitated. Instead, after some research, it turns out that it’s never a slam-dunk survival scene for a young snowy owl when nailed with a severe and sudden drop in air temps -- even with its artic roots. The upside to this cold snap is its short-livedness. One night and pretty much done. Still, the polar plunge is going to test the mettle of NJ’s temporary snowy owls. No, I didn’t let all that science stuff leak into my response. I simply said, “I’m sure they’ll be just fine.” I resisted a hideous little urge to add, “And if one does bite the sand, I’d sure like to have its feathers.” Just sayin’.


Cod fishing continues to die out.


Most of the cod on Cape Cod now comes from Iceland

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [NPR] By Rachel Gotbaum - January 2, 2013 - 

Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

The fish once sustained New England's fishing industry, but in recent years, regulators have imposed severe catch limits on cod and the fish remain scarce.

"I've never seen codfishing this bad," says Greg Wilinsky, who's been fishing on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. "It looks to me like it's over. And I can't catch any codfish."

It's so bad, many fishermen say, that for the first time, they cannot catch enough cod to even reach shrinking government quotas.

At Finely JP's, a seafood restaurant on the Cape, owner John Pontius says he has always served local cod, but the shortage caused prices to skyrocket. So for a while, he took it off the menu.

Now Pontius serves cod imported from Iceland. He is not alone.

"Everybody up and down the road has got the same cod from Iceland on their menu right now. If it's on the menu, it's more than likely Icelandic," he says.

To deal with the shortage, New England fishermen are turning to other types of fish – specifically, dogfish. But dogfish is considered a "trash fish" and has almost no market in the U.S.

Gloucester, Mass., north of Boston, was once the busiest fishing port in the world because of the abundance of cod. But those times are long gone.

"This fishery has been declared a federal disaster," says Chris Duffy, manager of fish wholesaler Cape Ann Seafood Exchange.

In his warehouse, Duffy shows off vats of freshly caught whole dogfish packed on ice. Virtually all of it will be shipped overseas to Asia and Europe.

"This undersection here is called the belly flap — those go to Germany, and they get smoked. They take the skin off of this, and you have the dogfish backs – they're big in Europe, and they'll chop it up into cutlets with the meat in it that they'll fry it that way," he says.

Duffy and other fish wholesalers are trying to build a local market for dogfish. But it's a hard sell. In America, he says, it's just not popular.

"I know what they do with dogfish. They send it to England mostly, and the English use it as fish and chips — and I believe that's why they put vinegar on their fish and chips," says Romeo Solviletti. He's the manager of Connolly's Seafood, just down the block from the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange.

"I mean, I'm sure there are people who eat dogfish around here," he says, "but we don't sell any of it."

Nonetheless, the firm white fish is slowly making its way into markets in New England, including into the dining rooms of some hospitals and universities.

John Pontius says the best way to wean customers off cod might be to change the name of Cape Cod altogether. His suggestion? Cape Dogfish.


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