Good luck in 2019 for #19 (formely # 78) ... Long season coming up. Cream rises to the surface regardless of team change.
Friday, February 15, 2019: Did the long haul to the Rip. Yes, via foot. That's enough of that for quite some time.
While the building of the Wooden Jetty groin is done (see photo), there are other aspects of the build, including the hauling in of truck fill. The heavy pile driving equipment will be gone by next week, the fill could take a solid week or more. Could access to the far south end by opened again when the big machines are gone? Maybe. Not counting on it though.
"2/14/2019 The Wooden Jetty Wall is pretty much done. Today, workers were painting the tops of the steel sheets -- where the vibratory pile driver chipped off some of their thick protective coating. There are still some similar touch-ups that will have to wait until after the weekend. Next week should see the heavy equipment moving out, per a township authority I ran into on the beach. The east ends of the Wall and Wooden Jetty pretty much line up, even though, visually, it looks as if Wooden Jetty is out a little further. The rocks that were moved a bit to the north will be placed off the end of the Wooden Jetty Wall. While some sand is being placed next to the Wall, the trucked in material is yet to arrive."
As to my big walk – headphoning music called “Top Indie Picks” on Napster – it was a longer hike then I recall. In fact, when the hell did I ever even walk out there? Biked it a few times.
I was a little put off by a large number of blue claw crab washups.
On Facebook I wrote: “Sudden temp swings in the bay -- and maybe ocean, to a lesser degree -- have seemingly taken a toll on overwintering blue claw crabs. I found at least a dozen washed up, with more swaying in the swash. They were in mint condition -- short of that being dead thing. That's a sign of thermal shock. From a visual angle, it's amazing how colorful winter crabs become. By the by, a commercial wintertime crabber said it has been an above-average year harvesting Barnegat Bay -- between the freeze-overs. I have to think that will translate into exceptional summer cabbing this year, though I'm a chronic up-side thinker that way. (This photo is totally unretouched, as the true sand color indicates.)”
I busted one open to make sure it was not a shed. Yuck! It wasn’t. Had I been a more daring soul – per an Alanis Morrissette song: “I’m brave but I’m chicken shit – I would have boiled one up since the icy water has surely kept it edible. When I posted the above photo, one rather angry commentor said the DOAs are fatal fallout from winter crab dredging. Folks like Dale Parsons and Joe Rizzo would know if that’s a possibility.
I also came across a couple of these rarer fish. Using Dr. Ken Able’s book I ID’ed them. See if you can guess without reading written upside down below. Oh, wait. I have no idea how to put something in upside down. So, it’ll be normal side up.
Back to my lengthy hike. For birders, I saw my season’s first flock of snow bunting. They were as insanely buzz-about as usual, so no photos. I’m just not as patient as Jim V. and the pros. Besides, I had well over two miles worth of sand walking to go.
Worrisomely, along the final beach stretch to the Rip, the erosion is real bad. Should the end open soon, there’s nowhere to drive up and around during high tides. Of course, we only have a couple weeks before the far south end gets shut down for plover. Seems the closure gets earlier an earlier -- then longer and longer.
Snowy owl is as present as ever. You’ll have to find her along the 2.5 mile stretch to the end. She’s not hard to see, though.
(ID: Striped cusk eel.)
The wind speaks in sandy messages ...
Jim Hutchinson Sr.
Strong winds, frigid temperatures, snow, and freezing rain can all make the 2019 fishing season seem very far off. The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, however, have already begun preparations for spring fishing. For some, it has been a chance to just charge their own personal batteries and even do some fishing in the south. Others though are preparing their boats and gear for the season.
Captain John Lewis of the boat “Insatiable” reports that he was fortunate to spend a month in sunny Florida where he ate and fished his way through quite a bit of seafood. Captain John says that the Captains and Junior mates have been active attending local fishing flea markets where they have been spreading the good word on the fishing in Beach Haven and the BHCFA. Upcoming events where the members will be in attendance include the Southern Regional High School Fishing Flea market, the Philadelphia Fishing Show, and the Atlantic City Boat Show at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Once the shows end, the “Insatiable” will be looking to get into the spring striper run and some early season bluefish.
Captain Carl Sheppard reports his boat “Star Fish” is in dry dock at Morrison's Marina in Beach Haven getting new windows installed and her bottom touched up. Meanwhile, the props are being fine tuned for the beginning of the season. The “Star Fish” will launch on the first of April with the new Garmin side scan sonar and GPS system. Her first trip is a bachelor party for 12 persons on April 6th. Captain Carl says he is hoping for a quick warm up and lots of large bass.
Captain Ray Lopez reports he has been working on the “Miss Liane” and upgrading his offshore tackle in preparation for the spring season. Included in this work was upgrading rods and reels and replacing worn cushions with new combing cushions.
Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has done an extensive overhaul of his electronic system as he has transitioned to an all Humminbird system. Captain Brett has them hooked into his Minn Kota Ulterra trolling motor. This permits him to position his boat exactly where he wants to without using a traditional anchoring system.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.
NOAA and USFWS Release Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan
NOAA Fisheries and USFWS released a joint Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan today. The Recovery Plan is the primary tool for guiding the species recovery process. The plan outlines needed actions, criteria for determining when the necessary level of conservation has been achieved, and time and cost estimates for meeting these criteria.
Atlantic salmon were once found in North American waters from Long Island Sound in the United States to Ungava Bay in northeastern Canada. Atlantic salmon are anadromous fish, spending the first half of their life in freshwater rivers and streams along the East Coast of North America and the second half maturing in the seas between Northeastern Canada and Greenland. Today, the last remnant populations of wild Atlantic salmon in U.S. waters exist in just a few rivers and streams in central and eastern Maine.
Atlantic salmon have been listed as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act since 2000, having declined from hundreds of thousands returning to New England rivers to around 1,000 individuals returning in 2017.
Through this recovery plan, NOAA Fisheries together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is committed to giving Atlantic salmon their best chance to recover.
The recovery plan and a web story that explain more about Atlantic salmon conservation and our role in their recovery are available on our website.
As 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon, this Recovery Plan comes at the perfect time.
NUMBERS BEHIND FLORIDA’S PYTHON ROUND UP ARE STAGGERING
The numbers are in for Florida’s python elimination program and they are ridicules. The state hired hunters to go into swamps and remove the unwanted snakes. After they tallied up all the inches and pounds the final numbers were astounding.
According to News Channel 4 out of Jacksonville, hunters killed over two miles worth of snakes with a weight approximately 10.4 tons. In total, 1,711 snakes have been captured during the program which is attempting to get rid of Burmese pythons that continue to do severe damage to the Everglades ecosystem.
Hunters were paid $50 a snake and $25 dollar bonus per foot for snakes over 4 feet. So an 8 ft snake would be worth $150 bucks. Also, a snake found guarding a nest with eggs is worth an additional $100.
The largest python ever killed in Florida was a female that measured 18 feet in length and weighed 128 pounds. If that snake was captured by one of the hunters it would have netted them a cool $400.
Brian Hargrove of Miami captured 235 snakes, the most of any hunter in the program.
Even though those numbers sound impressive much more is needed. Scientist estimate that conservatively there are at least 30,000 pythons in Florida and some researchers say that number could be as high as 300,000. Either way the removal of 1,711 snakes is great but is only scratching the surface.
A lot more work needs to be done. More hunters and money is needed to even put a dent into the population. Hopefully people and Government officials can come together and take even more decisive action.
No Insects, No Food: Pesticides, Deforestation have Caused Largest Extinction Event since Die-off of Dinosaurs
Paris (AFP) – “Unless we change our way of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” concluded the peer-reviewed study, which is set for publication in April.
The recent decline in bugs that fly, crawl, burrow and skitter across still water is part of a gathering “mass extinction,” only the sixth in the last half-billion years.
“Charts showing declining and threatened insects and vertebrates, according to IUCN data (AFP Photo/Thomas SAINT-CRICQ).”
“We are witnessing the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods,” the authors noted.
The Permian end-game 252 million years ago snuffed out more than 90 percent of the planet’s life forms, while the abrupt finale of the Cretaceous 66 million years ago saw the demise of land dinosaurs.
“We estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline — 41 percent — to be twice as high as that of vertebrates,” or animals with a backbone, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys of the University of Queensland in Australia reported.
“At present, a third of all insect species are threatened with extinction.”
An additional one percent join their ranks every year, they estimated. Insect biomass — sheer collective weight — is declining annually by about 2.5 percent worldwide.
“Only decisive action can avert a catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems,” the authors cautioned.
Restoring wilderness areas and a drastic reduction in the use of pesticides and chemical fertiliser are likely the best way to slow the insect loss, they said.
– ‘Hardly any insects left’ –
The study, to be published in the journal Biological Conservation, pulled together data from more than 70 datasets from across the globe, some dating back more than a century.
By a large margin, habitat change — deforestation, urbanisation, conversion to farmland — emerged as the biggest cause of insect decline and extinction threat.
Next was pollution and the widespread use of pesticides in commercial agriculture.
“Thai farmesr spray pesticide over there rice field in Nakhon Sawan province, north of Bangkok on November 17, 2018. (Photo by Chaiwat Subprasom/NurPhoto via Getty Images).”
The recent collapse, for example, of many bird species in France was traced to the use insecticides on industrial crops such as wheat, barley, corn and wine grapes.
“There are hardly any insects left — that’s the number one problem,” said Vincent Bretagnolle, an ecologist at Centre for Biological Studies.
Experts estimate that flying insects across Europe have declined 80 percent on average, causing bird populations to drop by more than 400 million in three decades.
Only a few species of insects — mainly in the tropics — are thought to have suffered due to climate change, while some in northern climes have expanded their range as temperatures warm.
In the long run, however, scientists fear that global warming could become another major driver of insect demise.
Up to now, rising concern about biodiversity loss has mostly focused on big mammals, birds and amphibians.
– Dung beetles in deep –
But insects comprise about two-thirds of all terrestrial species, and have been the foundation of key ecosystems since emerging almost 400 million years ago.
“The essential role that insects play as food items of many vertebrates is often forgotten,” the researchers said.
“Experts estimate that flying insects across Europe have declined 80 percent on average (AFP Photo/DENIS CHARLET).”
Moles, hedgehogs, anteaters, lizards, amphibians, most bats, many birds and fish all feed on insects or depend on them for rearing their offspring.
Other insects filling the void left by declining species probably cannot compensate for the sharp drop in biomass, the study said.
Insects are also the world’s top pollinators — 75 percent of 115 top global food crops depend on animal pollination, including cocoa, coffee, almonds and cherries.
One-in-six species of bees have gone regionally extinct somewhere in the world.
Dung beetles in the Mediterranean basin have also been hit particularly hard, with more than 60 percent of species fading in numbers.
The pace of insect decline appears to be the same in tropical and temperate climates, though there is far more data from North America and Europe than the rest of the world.
Britain has seen a measurable decline across 60 percent of its large insect groups, or taxa, followed by North America (51 percent) and Europe as a whole (44 percent).
© Agence France-Presse
Ambitious New Plan to Save Atlantic Salmon Has Big Price Tag
Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press
By Patrick Whittle
February 15, 2019
The federal government has outlined an ambitious, potentially costly new plan to restore populations of Atlantic salmon in the eastern United States.
American rivers once teemed with the salmon, but populations have declined to the point where the last remaining wild populations of Atlantic salmon in the U.S. exist only in a handful of rivers in Maine. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceare offering a new recovery plan to bring back those fish, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The plan would take decades to fully implement, and focuses on strategies such as dam removals and installations of fish passages.
The estimated cost is about $24 million per year, not including money federal departments already spend on salmon recovery work.