Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
As to nearshore fishing, that is a little tough to tout. It just ain’t overly happening. But that’s summer angling at its iffiest.
They’re still getting fluke off the beach but nothing like in weeks past. According to Fishermen’s HDQ there has been some fair fluking bayside. Bill’s Bait and Tackle in Harvey Cedars is busily making up its own “Bucktail and Teaser Fluke Rigs,” which seem to be working well. Bill is suggesting folks go with GULP on the bucktail and real squid on the teaser. I always like hearing squid is in play. Squid is always offers an unbeatable fluking presence.
A big bring-down for anglers and beachgoers alike is the 55-degree (at best) water temp in the surf? The upwelled water, sparked by south winds, really throws a wrench in the getty-up of surf fishing. We should be seeing some kingfish, which hang around near the beach. Nippiness is a shocker for them, as they move up from the south. They slow down their eating, or move further out.
Even fluke, which kinda like briskish water, can be thrown off their eating game, as their metabolisms gets bounced around by colder water.
Report from Walter P: Tried some fluking this morning. Caught the outgoing 64 degrees and drifted the inlet with nothing to show. Turned the corner and headed up IBSP about ½ mile. Headed into 15’ of water and drifted out with nothing, not even junk. Water temp was a frigid 53 degrees, which probably explains why nothing was interested.
There are small bluefish near the inlets – and offer at least something fillet-ish for the cooler. These are that just-usable size, between a snapper blue and a lower-end cocktail blue. I don’t consider snappers proper table fare and have long been stumped by there being no size limits on this very important species. I refuse to even acknowledge the nonsense that “little kids fish for little snappers.” How many little kids catch a tiny snapper and say, “Let’s eat?!” None. In fact, most snapper-catchin’ kids I’ve seen enjoy the hell outta letting the snapper go.
Sharks are still hanging heavily in the hood. However, they are yet another species that can lose its eating edge in cold waters. Nonetheless, some near-in brown sharks are being caught -- but nothing like what’s coming. Just wait until the seas calm down and typical summer waters (70s) move in. You are going to see a veritable shark conga line along the sandbars.
FREE BEACH BADGES OR WHAT?
I was taught by former state senator and ongoing Surf City Mayor Len Connors that the worst possible thing for any LBI municipalities is having even one bit of home rule removed from their hands.
Here’s where I’m going with this. There has been an effort to get county-level government to take over the running of beaches – all beach matters, in some instances. I believe this stems from never-ending efforts to get what might be called a unified state-wide beach badge. It seems to some politicos that the backdoor to such a takeover of beachfront responsibilities would come with a shift from local to county control.
By the by, I’m absolutely in lockstep with any efforts to consolidate beach badges – but only if we can do so in an orderly, Island manner.
Note “Island manner” carefully. A one-badge-fits-all effort has to be done in-house, not up at county or state levels.
I’ll also note such an LBI omnibadge ain’t soon happening, not until new faces and attitudes are in office. That’s not to remotely suggest we oust anyone at this point. It just indicates that certain local political powers-that-be -- I’ll point to the above-mentioned Surf City – feel a solidified beach badge could not only cost them a tanned arm and leg in the short run but also impinge on absolute hometown rule in the longer jog. Will an ultimate LBI beach badge ever grace our suits and towels? I think it could happen, especially with replenishment efforts being looked upon as local/state/federal gifts to the entire state.
In that case, what about no badges at all? Nope. It costs astronomical amounts to guard and clean up after beaches have been swarmed upon daily – by state and out-of-state beachgoers. No coastal town, make that its taxpayers, can pick up the multimillion dollar tab, short of the considering the unthinkable – tolled bridges onto LBI.
If you haven't been Ship Bottom fired to death from various sources, here's the vids I took. Fire began in an outside cigarette receptacle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptdoRMJFrco&feature=youtu.be
Photo by: Ruben Perez
Atlantic striped bass stocks may be in trouble again, as they were in the early ’80s. Then, the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act (1984) established a unique state-based, federally backed management regime that successfully rebuilt depleted populations. But now, spawning stock numbers have been in slow decline again since reaching an astronomical level in 2004.
These fish are highly managed and regulated. Every state in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has been conducting abundance surveys and tagging programs for decades, and we know more about the stock size and age composition of striped bass than possibly any other fish species. Yet the complexity of their life history makes developing management regimes difficult.
Stripers are long-lived (up to 30 years) and slow to mature, and they spawn in freshwater rivers, where environmental conditions have a major impact on spawning success. The rivers feeding Chesapeake Bay produce between 65 and 75 percent of the Atlantic coastal stock, so spawning success there is extremely important for maintaining a healthy coastwide population.
There was overall strong spawning success there from 1993 through 2003, with slightly lower levels from 2004 through 2010. The spawning stock biomass (SSB) peaked in 2004 at an estimated 80,000 metric tons of fish and has declined to about 60,000 metric tons today. Back in the bad old days, the SSB was estimated to be less than 5,000 metric tons, so there are plenty of spawners available. In fact, the young-of-the-year (YOY) index for 2010 was the fifth highest since 1970, but for 2011 it was one of the lowest, and 2012’s was slightly under the median. Scientists haven’t been able to pinpoint specific environmental problems that are responsible, and there is growing suspicion that angler harvest of 40-plus-inch bass has played a role. The current assessment indicates that the SSB is large enough to sustain the stocks, the stocks are not currently overfished, and fishing mortality has already been declining over the past few years.
So, yes, there is reason for concern, but there is not yet reason to panic. The stocks are much larger than they were prior to the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act, and the scientists and managers at the ASMFC are on the case. A new addendum to the Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan to reduce fishing mortality is in the works. A spate of possible regulatory actions will be presented by the time this is in print; a public comment period ran through July. The addendum should be made final at the ASMFC August meeting, with implementation likely occurring in January 2015.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [WTOP] By Kathy Stewart - July 8, 2014 -
WASHINGTON, Each year scientists and natural resources mangers study the size and duration of so called "dead zones" in the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to figure out the impact on life in the Bay.
But the dead zones in the Chesapeake are growing. Scientists who predicted the increase aren't surprised. Tom Parmham, a scientist with the Maryland Department of a Natural Resources, says, "It's nothing to be alarmed about. It's slightly higher than average."
Dead zones are areas deprived of oxygen and that means crabs, fish, oysters and other Bay life can't survive there.
"Dead zones are caused by excessive nutrients from farms, sewage plants, fertilizer and sewage plants," says Parmham.
Dead zones are influenced by pollution and weather conditions. In fact, Parmham says the slightly higher increase in dead zones came as no surprise because of heavy rain and the runoff associated with it. A June study shows that Maryland's portion of the Bay has the 8th largest dead zone in 30 years.
"The rain comes down and runs off the land and eventually makes its way to the bay. What comes off the land are the fertilizers," says Parmham
That provides the fuel for algae to grow and that algae blooms cause the dead zones.
"What this means for the bay is that we are still working towards restoring the bay and we're not there yet."
Photo Credit: Instituto del Mar del Peru
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Saving Seafood] - July 8, 2014 -
When President Obama announced his intention June 17 to expand a marine sanctuary west of Hawaii, many environmentalists praised the move as a needed protection, but the region’s main fishing group says it could do more harm than good.
According to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, composed of representatives from the fishing industry as well as some state and federal officials, the federal protections would unfairly penalize and economically harm the area’s fishermen, and the conservation effort may not even be enforceable.
“The NGOs push the president to make these monuments, then the NGOs leave, and the local government and the federal government are held to try to live up to the promises,” Sylvia Spalding, spokeswoman for the council, said. “But without the resources, we can’t.”
The extended Pacific Remote Islands Marine Sanctuary would be the world’s largest, covering seven islands across nearly 782,000 square miles of federal waters and prohibiting energy exploration, fishing and other activities. The current sanctuary zone extends 50 miles around each island’s coast, protecting marine life like coral reefs. The extension, which is not specified yet, could cover up to 200 more miles, areas Spalding says contain only open-ocean, highly migratory fish like tuna.
“They’re penalizing the U.S. fishermen even after the president recognized that through our management system we have reduced illegal fishing,” she said.
(This story is important because of the acidity angle ... something we have to really worry about. See my weekly column this week -- jmann)
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Marlborough Express] July 8, 2014
Photo Credit: Aquaculture.org