Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, February 22, 2013: I’m on one of those tazmo runs – tons to do and no time to do same. It all stems from the big fix. I apologize for laps in entries here but anyone suffering from Post Sandy Stress Syndrome can relate. And as I've noted, I’m well ahead of the curve when it comes to getting my life back on path. Now if I could only find some familiar landmarks ...
If you happened to find wayward floating fishing gear (mainly tackle boxes) after Sandy, please make a concerted effort to relocate the rightful owners. Face it, the odds are pretty good that found goods were likely from someone in the nearby 'hood.
I know three LBI folks who lost significant tackle boxes.
I'd like to think that found stuff would be returned out of the goodness of a finder's heart, but I have researched, to the hilt, and also learned that found good are legally NOT the property of the finder. Dead opposite. The finder MUST immediately begin searching out the rightful owner -- or turn found items into the PD -- or be guilty of theft. That's the law, I promise you. I discovered this while answering questions about vessels found stranded or free-floating.
By the by, I was asked to pass on info about the Sandy Support group at St. Francis Center.
I’m getting reports of insane fishing out on the wreck. I’m talking epic, near-all-time togging and black sea bassing.
Season info: “For the first time since 2009, the recreational black sea bass fishery will be open from January 1 through February 28. The minimum size limit remains at 12.5 inches and the possession limit will be 15 fish. These regulations pertain to both New Jersey state waters as well as Federal waters. The Division is also advising that recreational black sea bass measures will likely change from 2012 regulations later in 2013 - all new regulations will be announced on the division website and via the NJ Marine Fishing E-mail List when they are determined.”
Black sea bass Video
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold its next public forum to discuss freshwater fisheries culture, research, management and recreational angling in New Jersey on Saturday, February 23, at Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest in Burlington County. The forum will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Anglers are invited to share their views and recommendations for the future of freshwater fisheries research and management in New Jersey with Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists. Preliminary results of the recently completed trout angler telephone and on-line surveys, as well as 2012 field sampling results, will be presented. Anglers are invited to ask questions and comment on any aspect of the division's fisheries management programs. By providing input, the public can help guide the development of all New Jersey's freshwater programs and the regulations which govern them.
Pre-registration is not required but is appreciated, and will help ensure that all attendees can be accommodated. Individuals can pre-register by calling 908 236-2118 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include name, address, phone number and the number of people attending.
Don't miss this exciting opportunity to shape the future of New Jersey's freshwater fisheries programs.
Historic Batsto Village is located on Route 542 in Wharton State Forest, Washington Township, Burlington County. It is about 45 miles southeast of Philadelphia and approximately 25 miles northwest of Atlantic City. The nearest town is Hammonton, NJ 08037, which is about 8 miles to the west.
Directions via MapQuest.
The good news is the sharks are staging an impressive comeback. I’m guessin’ you might be able to guess the bad news. In a nutshell: In 2012, the U.S. saw the highest number of shark attacks, 53, in over a decade:
University of Florida reports 2012 U.S. shark attacks highest since 2000
— Shark attacks in the U.S. reached a decade high in 2012, while worldwide fatalities remained average, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File report released today.
There were seven fatalities worldwide, which is lower than 2011 but higher than the yearly average of 4.4 from 2001 to 2010. It is the second consecutive year for multiple shark attacks in Western Australia (5) and Reunion Island (3) in the southwest Indian Ocean, which indicates the localities have developed problematic situations, said George Burgess, director of the file housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus.
“Those two areas are sort of hot spots in the world – Western Australia is a function of white shark incidents and Reunion is a function most likely of bull shark incidents,” Burgess said. “What I’ve seen in all situations when there’s been a sudden upswing in an area is that human-causative factors are involved, such as changes in our behavior, changes in our abundance, or an overt shark-attracting product of something that we’re doing.”
Eighty unprovoked attacks occurred worldwide, slightly more than 2011. Four attacks were recorded in South Africa, three of which resulted in death, which is higher than its recent average of one fatality per year. Australia had an average year with 14 attacks and two fatalities, despite the media attention regarding incidents in Western Australia that resulted in a government-sanctioned culling hunt for endangered white sharks.
“The concept of ‘let’s go out and kill them’ is an archaic approach to a shark attack problem, and its opportunities for success are generally slim-to-none,” Burgess said. “It’s mostly a feel-good revenge – like an ‘eye for an eye’ approach – when in fact you’re not likely to catch the shark that was involved in the situation. The shark that was involved in the situation also isn’t necessarily likely to do it again.”
Following long-term trends, most shark bites occurred in North American waters (42).
The 53 U.S. incidents include Hawaii and Puerto Rico, which are not recorded as occurring in North American waters in the International Shark Attack File database. Florida led the country with 26, followed by Hawaii (10), California (5), South Carolina (5), North Carolina (2) and one each in Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Puerto Rico.
One fatality occurred in California, and Hawaii had the highest number of attacks since seven in 2007, more than its yearly average of four. Most incidents in Florida occurred in Brevard (8) and Volusia (7) counties because these central east coast beaches are high aquatic recreation areas, especially for surfers, Burgess said.
“The numbers from an international standpoint were on target for the last couple of years because, in theory, each year we should have more attacks than the previous year owing to the rise of human population from year to year,” Burgess said. “Thus the shark attack rate is not increasing even though the number of shark attacks is rising. Shark attack as a phenomenon is extremely uncommon, considering the millions of hours humans spend in the water each year.”
The 2012 U.S. fatality rate of 2 percent is far lower than the 22 percent for the rest of the world, likely due to superior safety and medical capabilities in the U.S., Burgess said.
“We could reduce risks by avoiding areas and times when sharks are most common, and where danger is at its highest,” Burgess said. “A perfect example of that is in Western Australia, where people have been getting hit in areas of known white shark abundance at times of year when white shark numbers are at their highest – the responsibility is upon us, as humans, to avoid such situations or else pay the consequence.”
Surfers experienced a majority of shark incidents with 60 percent, largely due to the provocative nature of the activity. Swimmers were affected by 22 percent of attacks, followed by divers, with 8 percent.
Burgess said 30 million to 70 million sharks are killed every year in fisheries, and people need to recognize humans pose a greater threat to elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) than sharks do to humans. Worldwide over-fishing, especially to meet demands for flesh and fins used in shark fin soup, an Asian delicacy, continues to contribute to the decline in shark populations, Burgess said.
In the case of a shark attack, researchers advise taking a proactive response, such as hitting the shark’s nose, since they respect size and power.
“Shark attacks are rare and it doesn’t matter whether you call them attacks or bites or bumps – your chances of having any of them are slim,” Burgess said.