Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, April 03, 2015: And a Good Friday to you – offering a rundown of the beach replenishment

You can kiss that drone good-bye...

Friday, April 03, 2015: And a Good Friday to you – though the weather is hardly in the best of moods.

Below I’m offering a rundown of the beach replenishment since I’m still hearing from folks wondering about that might be called the variables of the fast-approaching project. Obviously, this rapid rundown is sprinkled with my semi-educated guesses but many solid facts are also in the mix.  (Forgive and typos – I’m rushed today.)

Below: Yet another sign of getting up way too early to go fishing ...  

THE REPLEN AND ITS MANY VARIABLES: I want to add to the replenishment variability factors by noting the astoundingly wide beaches of Ship Bottom. I can now drive where I once fished, off the end of the 17th Street jetty. There’s that much sand.

I’ve enjoyed that beach and jetty area – fishing and surfing – since it was built (1964-ish) and it has never been under sand until now. The still-arriving Ship Bottom sand is obviously complements of littoral drifting fill from Surf City’s two replens – and possibly even a few grain from the previous Harvey Cedars replenishments.

Because of the existing sand in Ship Bottom, the “spraying” to be done there – set to begin mid/late April -- could be completed very quickly; way faster than scheduled, assisted by a second dredge. The two dredges, soon to arrive  in SB, will be the Padre Island and the Dodge Island. (“Spraying” is a term the company sometimes uses when speaking of placing replenishment sand.)

Here’s the technical info on that part of the work: Great Lakes will begin dredging and beachfill operations within the borough of Ship Bottom in late April. Pipe landings will be made at 8th Street and 23rd Street. From each landing site, construction will first progress north and then flip and progress south. Beachfill operations are expected to last 35 days within the borough of Ship Bottom.

HEADING SOUTH: If only beach replen things could be as easy as in Ship Bottom.

The phase of the work from 106th Street (Nebraska Ave.) south to 131th Street is an entirely different beach-fix animal. Starting, tentatively, in June, Great Lakes will be dealing with a stretch of very anorectic beachline. I’m bettin’ that work is gonna be a slow-go, though I believe it will still progress faster than currently predicted, due to the extra barge and a growing knowhow on the part of Great Lakes. As complex as the entire procedure is, workers catch on as things progress, in a practice-makes-perfect way.

Here’s the info: For this section of the project, the first pipe landing will be made at 121st Street (work will first progress north to 106th Street and then flip and progress south to about 131st Street).  Five pipe landing sites will be necessary for this section of the project.

Now, onward to my favorite Holgate area.

Despite all my mental maneuverings to figure out how and at what speed the sand replen might advance, I’m still only able to state the Holgate obvious: It’s a bitch trying to even guess at when sprayed sands will begin in Beach Haven Inlet.

One thing seems certain, it’ll be a power spraying, with a third dredge, the Liberty Island, scheduled to mobilize to the project site in August 2015.

While I’m far from conversant in the technical subtleties of heavy-duty dredging, I picture all three dredges attacking the “remaining section of the project” (BH Inlet) in something of a shotgun start. It’s hard to envision how the three barges – and each one’s complex piping – will be positioned to avoid getting in the way of each other.

The stretch from the Beach Haven/LBT line (Osborne Ave.) to the submerged south jetty, just south of the Holgate parking lot, is not all that large. I guess that’s me further hoping that once the replen is fully focused on the Holgate area, it’ll be competed really fast. Hey, I got fish, and mullet, to catch right about then – and right about there.

Now, to the biggest factors known to coastal mankind and its replenishment projects : the skies and seas. You’ve heard the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs,” well, for beach replenishment, it can just as easily start raining monkey wrenches – into the works. Weather variables define the term variables. They lurk constantly on the horizon – and can throw that monkey wrench into the best laid sands of mice and men.

As to the weather and upcoming big beach fix, one can only think purely anecdotal. Firstly, we’re likely and allegedly past the prime winter storm season and – doubly anecdotal – we just might have stormed ourselves out this year. Hey, there’s something to be said for the likelihood of things lying down after having the skies go gonzo (and frigid) on us for so long. I’ll also note that the Great Lakes guys have experienced some savage LBI weather in past Replens — and the just dusted themselves off and were back at work before the swells had gone.


This cop has lost it in so many ways ... 


Of late, we’ve gotten a slew of calls about wildfires. Well, they ain’t so wild. They’ve been control burns, technically called “prescribed burns,” though who writes the prescriptions is unknown – and unwilling to come forth when prescribed burns get totally out of control and go all wildfire-ish. Oh, it happens – lots.

The spring burns should now be done, ended by the state on April 1. That is already a governor-signed extension from the usual mid-March deadline. 

Fire departments in Ocean County are thankful to see the burns fizzle out. For every call to the media about the smell of smoke, they’ve been getting dozens. Expectedly, many folks fear the smell is from within their homes. I know this by scanner monitoring.

The controlled burns have been around for many a moon – and criticized for just as long by environmentalists and naturalists. I’ve never been wild about them, even though most forms of wildlife are hibernating or, if not, can escape a slower prescribed burn – providing it doesn’t go feral. In fact, I’m fully supportive of controlled burns in pure pineland areas, which thrive from regular burns.  It’s the fringe wooded areas, not pinelands in nature, that can become problematic, when burns are done as late as April.

According to the NJ Forest Fire Service, “… Since 1928, the Fire Service has used fire as a tool to protect the lives and property of our residents living near the forestlands of New Jersey. We do this by setting fires under exacting conditions to reduce the underbrush (the "fuel" for a fire), in areas that are prone to fire, or that may be located in a position where we feel we can defend against an oncoming wildfire. The use of fire in this way requires a level of skill and competence that we encourage through extensive, ongoing training.

“The primary purpose of prescribed burning in New Jersey is to reduce the hazardous accumulations of forest fuels. This aids in the prevention of wildfires, reduces the intensity of the fires, and also provides a foundation for safer, more effective fire suppression and protection operations.”



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Scope of EM Requirement - Who Needs to Install Video Camera Systems?

As of June 1, 2015, a vessel with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit may not depart on a fishing trip with pelagic longline gear on board unless it has an installed, operable, and certified electronic monitoring system.

  • The requirement for an EM system applies to any U.S. flagged vessel with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit with pelagic longline gear onboard, regardless of where it is fishing.
  • A vessel with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit that does not have pelagic longline gear onboard is not required to install an electronic monitoring system.

Scheduling Installation of EM Systems

  • NMFS has made funds available to offset costs for some of the Amendment 7 EM systems and installation by the NMFS-approved contractor.  Given the limited funding available to offset the costs associated with EM equipment and installation, vessel owners and operators who would like to take advantage of the paid installation  must, by APRIL 20, 2015, notify the NMFS-approved contractor, Saltwater, Inc., at 1-800-770-3241 of their intent to have a system installed; otherwise, funding cannot be guaranteed.
  • Vessel owners must make plans for their vessel(s) to be in one of the ports specified in the table below during the relevant time period to take advantage of this funding.  Vessel owners and/or operators must call the NMFS-approved contractor, Saltwater, Inc., at 1-800-770-3241, to schedule the required EM installation and training.
  • If a vessel owner and/or operator of an eligible vessel is not able to coordinate installation for one of the dates in the table, the vessel operator must contact the EM technicians at Saltwater,  Inc., at 800-770-3241, to determine whether another mutually-agreed upon date/location is feasible for installation and training (at a cost to the vessel owner for any travel costs incurred).  NMFS cannot guarantee that an alternate date will be available.  Therefore, vessel owners and/or operators should make a concerted effort to adhere to the EM installation schedule.

 Dates and Locations of Electronic Monitoring Installations.


Date Range (2015)

Name of Port

April 14 through 23

Wanchese, North Carolina

Dulac, Louisiana

May 11 through 17, and 19 through 25

*To Be Determined

Barnegat Light, New Jersey

*Contact Saltwater, Inc., or NMFS Highly Migratory Species Division staff at (978) 281-9260 tosuggest a location for this May installation, as the location has not yet been determined.  NMFS will schedule the location to accommodate vessel owners and minimize travel costs to the extent possible.


Funding for Installation of EM Systems

  • NMFS has identified funds to pay for EM system equipment and installation before June 1, 2015 for the 135 vessels with Atlantic Tunas Longline permits that are eligible to receive Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) shares pursuant to Amendment 7.
  • Based on the number of eligible vessels that request EM systems by April 20, 2015, NMFS will consider funding EM systems and installation for owners of non-eligible vessels to cover some or all of the costs associated with installation. NMFS will communicate additional information to permit holders as more information on the status of funds becomes available.
  • Owners of eligible vessels not able to schedule installation at a time/location within the published schedule will be required to pay for the contractor's cost of  travel to their port and will have to determine a time and location outside of the published schedule that works for both Saltwater, Inc, and the vessel owner.
  • Partial Installation:  Owners of eligible vessels that decide to switch gears after initial EM installation, or who choose to  only  partially install an EM system initially, may be required to pay for resulting service calls to reattach or finish EM installation if all necessary EM components were not installed at the time of initial installation

Additional Details and Requirements for Installation

  • Vessel owners must call the NMFS-approved contractor, Saltwater, Inc., at1-800-770-3241 to schedule the date of installation and training, by April 20, 2015, and at least one week in advance of the desired date of installation.  The scheduled dates and locations of installations are listed in the table on page 1.
  • Prior to the scheduled date of installation, vessel operators must purchase a fitting for the pressure side of the line of the drum hydraulic system, as was specified in the final rule for Amendment 7.  The fitting may be either "T" or inline, with a female ¼ inch threaded "National Pipe Thread" (NPT) port, to enable connection to the pressure transducer (a component of the EM system).
  • The vessel owner and/or operator must provide information verbally, or in writing to the NMFS-approved contractor, Saltwater, Inc., about the power supply and other vessel infrastructure, and other information as needed. 
  • Vessel operators need to be present during the entire day of installation to assist with camera placement; hydraulic fitting, skipper education, and certification.

After Installation Procedures

  • Regulations require vessels to have an EM system installed, operational, and certified by June 1, 2015, to fish for HMS with pelagic longline gear.  NMFS strongly recommends that vessels operators become familiar with and test their EM systems prior to June 1 by operating the system during at least two fishing trips and sending the computer hard drives containing the system data to the designated address at the end of each such trip.  The system's operation and testing instructions are contained in the skipper education guide that was/is supplied by Saltwater, Inc., during EM system installation.  Vessel operators should coordinate with Saltwater, Inc., regarding the specific procedures.  The address to send hard-drives is:

Chang Zhao / Earth Resources Technology, Inc. (ERT)
8380 Colesville Road
Suite 100-A
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Additional Reminders

  • As of June 1, 2015, a vessel with an Atlantic Tunas Longline category permit may not depart on a fishing trip with pelagic longline gear on board unless it has an installed, operable, and certified electronic monitoring system. 
  • Amendment 7 also implemented requirements that were effective on January 1, 2015, to submit bluefin tuna catch reports via VMS after hauling each pelagic longline set, as well as coordinate with dealers at the time of landing to enter data on bluefin catch into the online Individual Bluefin Quota (IBQ) system.
  • NMFS and Saltwater, Inc., will continue to work with vessel operators to troubleshoot any issues that arise, and provide assistance so that vessel operators can learn and implement the new requirements and procedures. 
  • Please communicate your electronic monitoring questions and concerns to Saltwater, Inc., at 800-770-3241, and your VMS questions to NMFS at 800-758-4833. 
  • Change in Vessel Ownership / Vessel Sale:  The new owner of a vessel with an installed EM system must contact Saltwater, Inc., to ensure that the new vessel operatorunderstands the EM system function and their responsibilities, and coordinates with Saltwater, Inc., to modify the EM Certification document (to reflect the new ownership information).

This notice is a courtesy to HMS fishery participants to help keep you informed about the fishery.  For further information, contact Thomas Warren or Brad McHale at 978-281-9260.  This information will also be posted on the HMS website at:http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms/documents/fmp/am7/index.html

Below: An abstract from 

Scientific Report No. 80
The efficacy of electronic
monitoring systems: a case
study on the applicability of video
technology for longline fi sheries
Robert T. Ames

Longline fishing vessels in the United States, Canada, and worldwide have insufficient
at-sea catch monitoring. Electronic monitoring (EM) technology was investigated in order to determine whether it could provide a viable solution to some of the catch monitoring deficiencies.
EM systems are composed of automated processing devices with data loggers linked to digital video cameras, a hydraulic transducer, and a global positioning system. In 2002, EM systems were installed aboard two International Pacific Halibut Commission longline research vessels to evaluate the precision of EM video technology compared to at-sea samplers.

Analyses of fishing effort, piece counts of catch, and catch composition were conducted. The results showed that both methods of quantifying fishing effort were biased, but the biases were insignifi cant, even considering external variables such as gear snarls and inclement weather. Five of the six piececount categories showed that the observational methods were not statistically different, even though the video analyst missed slightly more pieces than the at-sea sampler. High catch rates increased the observational discrepancies for two of the three piece count categories investigated. Catch composition results showed low p1 and p2 discrepancy rates (i.e. the rate of differences in observations) for most fish. However, seven of the 17 species investigated had p1 discrepancy rates greater than ten percent. The causes of the high discrepancy rates occurred because the
video analyst grouped catch into more general species categories than did the sea sampler.
Insuffi cient recording frame rates, image compression levels, and the lack of a second
outboard camera with a wide-angle lens were the principal causes of the identifi cation limitations.
These limitations were related to the study design and not the use of video technology as a method for longline catch identification. These identifi cation deficiencies could be resolved with the use of an improved camera layout and an increase in video frame rates and resolution.
Although some identifi cation limitations were found during this study, overall the analyses
demonstrated the effectiveness and benefits of EM technology for longline fisheries management. EM technology has a future role in the formation of a functional and cost-effective monitoring program for the conservation and sustainability of marine resources. ...

Full read: 


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Comment by Dave Nederostek on April 3, 2015 at 7:00pm

Re beach replenishment. Now, Great Lakes does a good job. And the beaches, when they are completed are much wider. I witnessed it for a month down in the 50's in Brant. But there is no doubt, after viewing that area recently, ALL of their work has been for naught. What was probably a 300 foot wide new beach in 2013 is now down to an alarming 35 at high tide  ( and that was with a stiff west wind). Past 57 th it is just as wide as before. And there was no replenishment done there because of one  homeowners' refusal. Just an observer's tale.  


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