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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, December 20, 2019: That was some frigid air, which reminds me of a lost name in the long history of American merchandising.

Coming soon to a deer drive near you ... 

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Friday, December 20, 2019: That was some frigid air, which reminds me of a lost name in the long history of American merchandising. It was some unnamed employee who came up with one of the most creative brandings in what would later become the Madmen genre.

It all began in 1916, with the Guardian Frigerator Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That tiny company was created by Nathaniel B. Wales and Alfred Mellowes, who coinvented the first true refrigerator -- upping the electrical ice box, dubbed the DOMELRE, invented by Fred W. Wolf. That refrigeration unit, place atop ye olde fashioned ice boxes, kept blocks of ice from melting so quickly.

Mellowes constructed his prototype fridge by attaching an electric refrigeration system to a wooden cabinet, creating an internalized source of iciness.

Certain it would be as stone-cold success, Mellowes went into business, hoping to mass produce his self-contained refrigerators in a small factory. Therein, he and a few other enterprising folks started hand-assembling the appliance that would truly change the world, though not all that quickly.

The killer problem for Guardian clan was the slow-go aspect of fabricating what was, even by today’s standards, a complex electrical unit. At a full hands-on tilt, the company could only manage a fridge a week. That was far too slow to make ends meet. Within a couple years, prospects for the company froze, losing a load of money for both Mellowes and his investors. Teetering on bankruptcy, Guardian was ready to pull the plug on what would be one of the biggest inventions of a very inventive century. To the rescue came William C. Durant, the head guru at General Motors.

In 1919, Durant personally backed the electric refrigerator concept, essentially buying the company through share ownership. Putting the building might of GM factories behind the effort, he took the refrigerator venture to Fortune 500 levels. 

It was Durant’s takeover that brings me back to the essence of this tale: one of the greatest and cleverest brand names of all time.

Once in the driver’s seat, Durant assigned his GM sale-pitchers to devise a catchy name for the first mass produced refrigerator. With a suggested brand name in hand, up steps … who knows who? But someone lost to the so-called annals of time came up with the ingenious moniker … Frigidaire.  Brilliant. Out of respect, the unknown namer should jump to mind every time we hear “frigid air” is moving in – or maybe when we open the  fridge, the everyday nickname gleaned from Frigidaire.

Boy, that show how much free time I have on my hands during this Christmas break.

Below: The investors of the first refrigerator -- and an employee displaying what he thinks about putting an dang things together.  

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HOLGATE: I drove the hard-frozen surface of Holgate today … without even airing down! I was gliding high up the beach in my quite-heavy, eight-cylinder, full-cab Silverado Chevy … on 35 psi tire pressure! Do not try this at home, buggyists. I’m a trained profession, who was ready to quickly hop out and air down at the first sign of sinkage. While it got a bit boggy when I was forced down to the water’s edge at about the 9,000-foot mark, I kept momentum in drive until I could once again mount the higher frozen beach. It was quite bumpy up there.

Below: Lake Holgate frozen over (near parking lot.) 

As to any sighting of interest, short of a couple immature bald eagles near the entrance, I saw squat. The big snowy must have kept on truckin’ south, though I really didn’t give the far south end dunes much of a look-over. I also didn’t sight any of the harbor seals moving into the area. You’ll see an announcement of their arrival in a Marine Mammal Stranding Center communiqué down below.

Everything is running late this year, even a personal favorite of mine, snow buntings. They got here about a month late, as was the case with that snowy. Seals had usually been here long ago.

A Holgate snow bunting grassing about ... (12/15/2019

Right before this bitter air moved in, I was driving Holgate and saw serious splashes a goodly ways out. No, it wasn’t diving birds, coming and going. I got a good gander with bincos and it was some sort of subsurface species hitting the surface with decent force. If I had to guess, it was schoolie (or larger) stripers going after sand eels, which are extreme surface runners when in a panic. In January, those sand eel balls will really show.  

Down below: Tom Fote statement on  December Joint Meeting of ASMFC & MAFMC

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Here's a seasonal job opportunity with the Division of Fish and Wildlife for someone with a very specific skill set. The Endangered and Non-Game Species Program is looking for a boat operator for the black rail survey, specifically "A boat operator for a 15' G3 40 HP motorboat for nocturnal call-playback surveys of coastal marshes of the NJ Atlantic and Delaware Bay shorelines." Some of the job requirements are, "Verifiable and extensive experience as a boater, (especially at night) with preference given to those who are familiar with NJ waters. Familiarity with boat maintenance and ability to make minor repairs and troubleshoot in the field in difficult conditions (nighttime). Ability to use GIS and/or Google Earth for mapping survey routes, and navigation systems for following routes in the field. Familiarity with secretive marsh birds, especially Black Rail, a plus but not required. Applicant should be in good physical condition, willing to work independently and as part of a team (nocturnal surveys will always have an assigned surveyor on-board), organized and enthusiastic about working to help protect one of NJ's most endangered species." For more information go to: https://www.njfishandwildlife.com/ensp/job20blkrailboat.htm

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Possum cleaning ticks off an obviously highly grateful young buck. 

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Marine Mammal Stranding Center

They're heeerre! Yes the harbor seals are starting to make their appearance on NJ beaches and bays. So, we are again reminding everyone that they are on the beach or docks to REST! These youngsters are only a few months old, and they just did a marathon swim from up north, so PLEASE stay 150 feet away and LET THEM REST! The absolute worse thing you can do is post a photo and location of a seal on social media. They don't need-1. People near them (they will run back into the water, OR they might bite you!) As far as they're concerned, you are a predator. 2. Food- they can catch their own, as they have for months. 3. Blankets- they may look like they are cold, but under that fur is a thick layer of fat that allows them to survive in cold water. 4. Selfies- so whose benefit are you really thinking about when you take a selfie with a seal? Please stay away, ask others to respect the animals, and call us- 609-266-0538. We answer 24/7, and will check on the seals to see if they need our help. We thank you for spreading the word. They are a federally protected species- https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/harbor-seal

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Chuck Tyman Manny
Awesome Day on the water!! Thanks to Daniel DiPasquale and Mike Michael Greene for coming and sticking it out!!! Released!!
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  • Blackfish Bobby trained his kids well!!! Check out Andrew's beast!!!

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    We got Maureen!!! New pb for the Capt

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December 2019 Council Meeting Report

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council met December 9-12, 2019 in Annapolis, Maryland. During this meeting, the Council:

  • Approved the use of regional conservation equivalency for the recreational summer flounder fishery in 2020*
  • Approved status quo recreational scup and black sea bass management measures in state and federal waters in 2020*
  • Approved recreational bluefish measures for 2020 consisting of a 3-fish bag limit for the shore and private mode and a 5-fish bag limit for the for-hire modes*
  • Approved a scoping document for the joint Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/ Recreational Allocation Amendment*
  • Agreed to develop the Black Sea Bass Commercial Allocation Addendum/Amendment as a joint action with the ASMFC*
  • Approved a supplemental scoping document for the Bluefish Allocation and Rebuilding Amendment*
  • Approved the Commercial eVTR Omnibus Framework with a 48-hour reporting deadline
  • Selected a preferred alternative and approved the Omnibus Risk Policy Framework
  • Selected preferred alternatives and approved the Surfclam and Ocean Quahog Excessive Shares Amendment
  • Approved the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan
  • Approved the Comprehensive Five Year (2020-2024) Research Priorities document
  • Finalized the EAFM summer flounder conceptual model and agreed to move forward with development of a summer flounder recreational discards management strategy evaluation
  • Identified four areas of expertise needed on the Scientific and Statistical Committee
  • Reviewed and approved a list of actions and deliverables for the 2020 Implementation Plan
  • Received an update on habitat activities

Read the full December 2019 Council Meeting Report for details on these discussions and decisions. Briefing materials, presentations, motions, and webinar recordings are available here.

* Items denoted with an asterisk (*) were undertaken during joint meetings with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Management Board and Bluefish Management Board.

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Report on December Joint Meeting of ASMFC & MAFMC

For a number of reasons, I did not make the Joint ASMFC/MAFMC meeting in Annapolis. I did listen to most of the webinar. It was really frustrating.

Scup: As I pointed out at the August Joint Meeting, I never saw such a crazy proposal with a total disregard for the impact on the recreational sector. Years ago when the scup quota was set up, we were fishing between 26 – 30% of the scup fishery. The majority of the scup fishery was bycatch. That bycatch was in several fisheries and was destroying the scup fishery. The bycatch was larger than both the commercial and recreational fisheries combined. To placate the commercial side and give them incentive to reduce bycatch, the Council through the NMFS proposed reducing the recreational quota by 18%. As usual, I was upset by this proposal. But back in 1996, people told me there would never be any regulations on scup, black sea bass and other recreational fisheries. I said they were wrong and regrettably I was proven right. Here we are in 2019. We are now looking at the fourth or fifth reiteration of surveys to gather recreational information. We keep tweaking the models and trying to get better response rates. In 2007, Dr. John Borman, in his Congressional testimony, pointed out that in order to get good recreational statistics we had to increase the funding from 11 million to 50 million dollars. We are still only spending 11 million dollars a year and think of what 11 million dollars bought 40 years ago compared to now. Though I went to college during the dinosaur days of punch cards, the adage holds true, garbage in, garbage out. Here is the proposal. Presently we are at a 50 fish bag limit. Because of the MRIP numbers, we are now fishing above our 18% quota. To stay within the quota, the reduction necessary would have been 58%. In the heat of the discussion at the August meeting, I said we should never have been at 18%, the commercial sector is not harvesting 20% of their quota every year and the bycatch is still high, probably more than the recreational catch. But the most important thing is that we are two times over the threshold, way above the target. The scup stocks are one of the healthiest and NMFS doesn’t see any immediate problem. I stated if they are going to destroy the recreational scup fishery, I will regrettably recommend New Jersey takes this issue to the Secretary of Commerce. Our rationale would be that this change in quota would not impact the stocks at all but have a huge economic impact from Massachusetts to Virginia on the recreational scup fishery. After the MAFMC members were balking at voting on this, NMFS said they had to vote. So they voted to take the 58% reduction with the idea that they would come up with a correction. The correction is to ignore all their charts and graphs and punt. They didn’t admit they were wrong but decided to leave the scup fishery at status quo. NMFS and ASMFC didn’t want to look like fools if this issue went to the Secretary of Commerce.

Black Sea Bass: Again, another species where the catch has been overly restricted by the precautionary measures of the SSC and NMFS. The SSC and NMFS don’t trust their own data. When the science says the quota could be much higher, NMFS says they don’t trust the data. But when the data reduces the recreational catch, NMFS treats that data like the gold standard. There was a great deal of flack about the proposed changes for the recreational sector. There was a huge outcry from the recreational sector to increase the quota for both the recreational and commercial sectors since there is an abundance of black sea bass and an expansion of their range. NMFS thought they were magnanimous in suggesting staying at status quo. No one believes that this was an appropriate solution. I believe we will still go over the quota because of the abundance of black sea bass available. Actual catch in the recreational sector reflects availability, not quota.

Summer Flounder: To refresh your memory, when the new MRIP numbers came out on summer flounder, NMFS told us they were underestimating the size of the stocks for many years. Because of the retrospective analysis, we have been taking larger numbers of summer flounder than has been estimated. In August of 2018, NMFS increased the commercial quota by 49% to reflect the larger biomass. What did they do to the recreational sector? They kept regulations in place that would cause us to underfish our quota. They didn’t trust their own numbers, so they rewarded us with status quo. For the last four years we have been underfishing our quota and 2019 was no different. We are under quota by 24%. I was appalled when one of the staffers treated the underfishing as a non-issue. We all know if the commercial sector underfished by 24%, that would be a huge issue. Why are we treated differently? The commercial fishery spends money to get economic data on the value of the catch and uses that data to convince NMFS to rule in their favor. According to their own Magnusson Stevens Act, NMFS must do an economic study to show the impact of regulatory changes on the recreational sector. Because we never won a lawsuit on the recreational data, NMFS feels secure in just ignoring this requirement. Why??? Because NMFS does not manage fisheries using common sense or to protect anglers. They pretend to protect the fish. What they are really doing is managing to avoid lawsuits that might be filed by NGOs. In the 80’s and 90’s they learned how much money the lawsuits would cost them and they manage to avoid this at all costs. Since the recreational and commercial sector’s NGOs don’t have deep pockets, they also don’t have the same ability to sue.

Bluefish: I was never so disappointed with Council and Commission members as I was when they failed to point out that NMFS has been transferring quota to the commercial sector from the unused recreational quota for years. Tens of millions of pounds of bluefish have been caught by commercial fishermen since the late 90’s using the “so called” unharvested recreational quota. With the new MRIP numbers, it becomes apparent that NMFS should never have been transferring quota for all these years. NMFS, not the fishermen, have gotten us into this situation. But they will not suffer any economic impact. They will not lose any salary for the mistakes they have made. But they will certainly punish the recreational and commercial fishermen for NMFS mistakes. As always, we take it on the chin for their bad data and once, again, the commercial and recreational fishermen are the bad guys because we were overfishing. Understand, fishermen don’t create the regulations. That is the job of NMFS. When they don’t do their job correctly, the fishing industry suffers. In the last few years, NMFS has succeeded in putting many businesses that serve the recreational and commercial communities out of business. Once again, there was absolutely no reference to the economic impact of these new regulations and Magnusson Stevens was totally ignored. For the recreational community, there will be reduction to a 3 fish bag limit, down from 15. For the for-hire sector, the decrease will be from 15 to 5. For the commercial fishery, the reduction will be 18%. No one from NMFS admitted this was their fault and, as always, blamed us for over fishing.

With the party and charter boats and the private boats, there has always been a discussion about whether there should be separate regulations. Years ago, the recreational industry, considering the pros and cons, decided separate regulations would not work. If you do sector separation regulations correctly, they are based on quotas; one for the private and surf and one for the for-hire sector. This would get us fighting among ourselves as we see in the Gulf of Mexico. It would also stifle the growth of the party and charter boat industry. When you set up quotas, you set them up based on historical catch. Often when the availability is low on a species, party and charter boats will fish for something else so their customers need to catch fish. This skews the

historical data. When the stocks become abundant and other party and charter boats want to fish on that species, they are confined to the low percentage. If you are not in a separate sector, no one cares if the party and charter boats catch more fish since we are all recreational anglers. That is why we did not create separate sectors with these new regulations. We did not want to play one sector of the community against another. NMFS wouldn’t mind since that would move the heat from them.

Since NMFS followed no rules in creating the new regulations, all the above discussion is moot. Sector separation was never part of the amendment or addendum on bluefish. It has never been used as a tool for bluefish. There is no precedent. And the results followed none of the normal rules. The public had no idea that this would be proposed and so the public was not represented at these decisions. There was no transparency. As always, no questions were accepted through the webinar. The one for-hire sector participant in the audience was always for sector separation without understanding the consequences for the recreational sector at large. There is no way to effectively monitor this and no penalties were built in. This was a travesty of fisheries management and I cannot believe not one of the Commissioners or Council members raised these objections.

The most depressing part is many recreational anglers from Maine to Florida began their fishing for snappers. I am teaching my young great nephews and nieces to fish by catching snappers off my dock. I also teach them we should eat what we catch and at a limit of 3 snappers, do we stop fishing or fish and release. All those piers in Seaside will need to limit the young anglers as they learn to fish. What NMFS has accomplished is to reduce the growth of the recreational sector. The recreational fishery coastwide was down by 24% in 2019. There are plenty of fish but we can’t keep them. The decrease in participation continues to get worse year by year. If you can’t catch a fish to keep, many anglers don’t bother to go fishing. They also don’t bother to teach their children or grandchildren how to fish. The next generation doesn’t learn to be stewards of the resource. We are watching the demise of recreational fishing and the industries that depend on fishing.

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Omega Protein 'Disappointed' By Decision to Impose Moratorium on Virginia's Menhaden Fishery

December 20, 2019

The U.S. Department of Commerce is threatening to prohibit menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay if Virginia continues to be out of compliance with catch limits. Omega Protein, a producer of omega-3 rich fish oil that operates in the area, is speaking out on the verdict, saying that the threat is "disappointing."

"This is the first time that a moratorium has been placed on a fishery that is not overfished and is healthy by every measure," the company said in a statement.

The cap was set at 51,000 mt – a number that Omega Protein exceeded. The company said that while they understand the importance of the cap, they decided to allow their fishermen to continue fishing because the lowered cap would have caused significant economic harm.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Menhaden Management Board ultimately found Virginia's menhaden fishery to be out of compliance for exceeding the cap. However, Omega Protein, who would be impacted the most by this ruling, argued that stock assessment in 2017 showed that the menhaden fishery was being sustainably managed and was not experiencing overfishing.

"The ruling is the result of a requested federal non-compliance review from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), following Virginia's decision not to adopt the Commission's fishery management provision further lowering the cap on menhaden reduction harvests in the Chesapeake Bay," reads Omega Protein's statement. "The Company maintains that the 41 percent decrease in the Bay cap has never been based on science, and is unnecessary for the conservation of the menhaden fishery. Since it was first implemented in 2006, no evidence has been produced showing that it is necessary, or that localized depletion of menhaden has ever occurred in the Chesapeake Bay."

According to the ruling from the Department of Justice, lawmakers must bring Virginia into compliance with ASMFC's catch limits. If the state fails to do so they will face a moratorium in June.

Omega Protein says that they will work with ASMFC, as well as the Commonwealth of Virginia, in order to life the moratorium and bring the fishery back into compliance.

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Carl Hartmann
American Angler --- <'///>br/> www.Americananglerus.com

WELCOME AMERICAN ANGLER

Catch N Release tourney

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The American Angler Catch N Release Tourney is next for our members only. March 1st thru April 15th, 2020.

More to come! Aly's Corner

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Up for sale is new OTW Sand Spikes. These heavy duty Sand Spikes are made of the highest quality aluminum with a signature red fishing rag attached. Normally these Sand Spikes go for $45.00 or more but as a special for the month of February, we are selling them for 39.95. And if you are a American Angler Fishing Team member, take off an additional 10% OFF

This offer is for pick up only!

For questions  cfishigotu@aol.com

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