Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, June 02, 2007: Waves: Choppy 2-4 feet out of the south; cold dirtying water; upwelling lowering water temps back into the 50s, potential low 50s if winds persist.
Winds were a serious factor today, though a load of boats were plying the nearshore water. I hung out at a secret beach near B. Inlet and saw a modest flow of angler traffic heading out for fluke.
Smiler of the day was the way a goodly number of captains were testing the “No Wake” dogleg just west of the lighthouse (and around to Myers Hole). I was noticing lots of wake-makers. Then, in nothing flat, everyone was immaculately well-behaved. I saw the reason, as that largish all white F&W Enforcement boat came into view. It eventually sped off to the north and west and sure enough the speedos resurfaced.
I had very mixed angling reports all day. Many tales of great bassing but they all reflected back a day or two. Today saw some modest fluking in the bay. Wreck fishing for seabass has been a pick at best. If anyone is having beyond pick-ish luck, please let me know. No exact sites will be mentioned, of course,
Here’s a surf report from an area that had been exceptional a short time back.
The EPA has discontinued its visually famous helicopter pickup of beachline ocean water for quality testing.
For years we’ve regularly seen the large federal chopper flying low, right off the beach, frequently stopping to hover only 20 feet off the water. If you binoc-ed the hovering chopper, you could see the slow lowering of the tethered testing equipment to take surf samples for analysis.
The purpose of the summer-long testing was multifold. Along with offering a sense of water-quality security to beachgoers, it allowed government agencies to quickly detect trouble – and issue an alarm if the water quality went too far south.
On a larger scale, the testing was a way to home in on which areas of ocean water were hit worst by the likes of algae blooms and various water degradations. By figuring the nastiest areas, the government could, theoretically, track down the source of pollution.
The program was ended because the findings, year after year, showed the exact same thing: abnormal oxygen levels, most often due to nitrogen over proliferation. The cause of that problem is all too well known: humans – and their insatiable build-out of the coastline. Huge inflows of nutrients into the system, most often coming out of the NewYork area (particularly down the Hudson river and into the bay) are the worst thing damaging the water quality.
The recent brown tide around Sandy Hook was a manifestation of what I call the over-nutrification of the water, most often incited by fertilizer and petroleum run-off.
Yes, petroleum leads to over-nutification.
While living in California, I was amazed at the bio-richness of oil-based materials, as they broke down. Studies are routinely done around California’s nearshore oil derricks, which always loss some raw crude as the oil is pumped off the sea bottom. While the likes of oil spills are obviously horrifically dangerous to the ecology and ocean environment, the breakdown of smaller amounts of crude oil actually create a very nutritional medium that encourages plant growth, algae and such. The long-term affects of street petroleum residue-- in the form of sewer run-off that winds up in the ocean and bay -- quite likely exacerbates the over nutrification from fertilizers (often petroleum-based themselves), the main source of potentially devastating algae blooms.
It is unlikely well get back the ocean water testing chopper this year, unless Congressmen Saxton and Pallone pull off a miracle. They’re two of the main D.C. movers in acquiring the funding each year. Both of them see the EPA’s point that the testing funds would be better spent looking for the source of the problem instead of simply identifying the same problem every year. Studies to find the starting place of problem will likely be the direction the EPA takes by next year.