Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

June 16, 14 blog-about: It’s something like a doomsday race – with nobody being sure where the starting gun is even at

It’s something like a doomsday race – with nobody being sure where the starting gun is even at.

Limbering up to the west is the San Andreas Fault. That famed fault line is fully ready – some say it’s champing at the bit -- to crack wide open, orchestrating a multi-state slide into the Pacific. See ya, Left Coast.

Doing stretching exercises to our east is Cumbre Vieja, a living, breathing volcano in the Canary Islands, off northwestern Africa. Like the San Andreas Fault, Cumbre Vieja dangles a massive chunk of terra non firma on its west side. That multi-acre-sized land mass is ready and itchin’ to slide into the Atlantic. Its collapse could surely generate tsunamis the height of upper-shelf skyscrapers for the entire US Eastern Seaboard.

The million dollar question aimed at geologists is “When!?”

The earth experts indubitably offer the same timeframe for either of these teetering time bombs: “It could happen later today or in tens of thousands of years.”

Thanks a lot, geo-breath.

However, I recently had a Left Coast geologist buddy offer an oddly out-there forecast for San Andreas and Cumbre. He rather nonchalantly said “odds are that huge things will hit us long before either of those let loose.”  

Talking on, I soon realized he wasn’t being overly morose or ill-omened. He simply knows his science -- and odd charts. “With our planet, it’s always the sneak attacks that get us.”

As evidence, he pointed out the 2011 Japanese earthquake/tsunamis and the 2004 Boxer Day tsunamis. He even acknowledged Sandy and Katrina as earthly trauma events. “Hell, we could easily have a hundred, even a thousand, destructive events like those before the San Andreas Fault gives way,” he said, chuckling somewhat cynically.

He was even willing to think in terms of meteorites or asteroids striking the ocean.  “There are almost too many things that can happen to us. If you wanted, you could worry about them constantly.”

“The best we can do is having emergency plans in place. In fact, that’s all you can do,” he said, adding, “And always remember that many natural upheavals are far beyond the scope of any human preparation. I’m open for suggestions on how to stop a fifty-foot tsunami.”

His insights at first struck me as gloomy and menacing. But were they? It’s absolutely nothing we haven’t been living with for, well, forever. Oddly, it’s the new and enhanced worrying about them that adds to day-in/day-out uneasiness.

Which circuitously brings us back to our beloved coastal lifestyles.

None of us deceive ourselves into thinking we’re safe near the ocean – any more than folks in Oklahoma can think they’re safe being so far from the sea. The planet is actually an equal-opportunity destroyer – and provider. It should be our call when deciding if we want to risk it all here – or risk it all there. I pick here – and, admittedly, keep my ear tuned and truck fully fueled should any upheavals come knocking.

Life for us earthlings is a bit of a survival game. It’s our call as to where we choose to play it out. The last thing I need are folks trying to tell me where I can or can’t chose to planet-down.  It's my given American right to decide if I want to get hit by a tsunami or a tornado. So back off. 





The Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association will be running a 2-night New Jersey Boater Safety Course.  The Course will be open to the general public as well as to the BHCFA Junior Mates.

The New Jersey Boater Safety Course that will be taught on Wednesday and Thursday, July 23 and 24, and, as noted above, is open to the public.  Pre-registration is required for members of the public.  Members of the public wishing to take this course should contact Capt. Keith Gunsten at 609-660-2245 or KGunsten@hotmail.com

The Course Fee for members of the public is $85 for the 2-night course.  The course runs from 
6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. each night.


Capt. Lindsay Fuller



Truly blessed to live the life I live and not a day goes by that I don't appreciate it. Caught at least 40 bass this morning with @_mbraz_ an the gunner man. Wishing you were here dad.

Truly blessed to live the life I live and not a day goes by that I don't appreciate it. Caught at least 40 bass this morning with @_mbraz_ an the gunner man. Wishing you were here dad. #datbass #livingthedream

Atlantic cod
Atlantic cod. Credit: NOAA
sand lance
Sand lance in the Gulf of Maine. Credit: NEFSC/NOAA HabCam.
Stellwagen Bank map
Map showing location of Stellwagen Bank. Credit: USGS.
Related links:

June 25, 2014
Contact: Shelley Dawicki
PDF/Print Version

Changes in forage fish abundance alter Atlantic cod distribution, affect success of the fishery

A shift in the prey available to Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine that began nearly a decade ago contributed to the controversy that surrounded the 2011 assessment for this stock. A recent study of how this occurred may help fishery managers, scientists, and the industry understand and resolve apparent conflicts between assessment results and the experiences of the fishing industry.

When the dominant prey species of Atlantic cod changed from Atlantic herring to sand lance beginning in 2006, cod began to concentrate in a small area on Stellwagen Bank where they were easily caught by fishermen. The fishermen perceived the Gulf of Maine cod stock to be abundant in subsequent years as they reported increased ease in catching cod, yet the 2011 stock assessment concluded that the Gulf of Maine cod stock had not increased as expected and that fishing rates had been too high even though catches had not exceeded the quotas. Fishermen were skeptical, and the 2011 assessment conclusions were questioned and criticized.

Writing in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, researchers from NOAA Fisheries’ Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) show how the fishermens' observations and the assessment results could both be accurate. Their findings reveal why fishermen targeting these cod would conclude the fish were abundant, and also illustrate how commercial catch-per-unit of effort can be a misleading indicator of stock abundance.  

The NEFSC has been routinely monitoring the diet and distribution of cod and many other marine species since 1973 in an ecosystem survey of waters off the Northeast from Maine to North Carolina and eastward into Canadian waters. By collecting, analyzing, and documenting stomach contents of cod taken in the Gulf of Maine during this survey, the researchers can see what cod eat both seasonally and over time.

“Atlantic herring and sand lance are dominant prey for Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine. This long, standardized time series of data has been invaluable to our ability to both show and understand where and when predators and prey are distributed across the region,” said David Richardson, an oceanographer at the NEFSC’s Narragansett Laboratory in Rhode Island and lead author of the study. “When sand lance are abundant, they account for a high proportion of the diet of cod. Also, cod tend to be more aggregated when they are feeding on sand lance than when they are feeding on other prey.”

An assessment is an examination of fishery stock conditions used to develop catch limits and other management measures. The 2011 assessment results were also controversial because the 2008 assessment had suggested an uptick in young fish that would grow the stock. Ultimately this growth in the population did not materialize, and the catch limits set based on the 2008 assessment were found to be too high.  

“The sand lance-induced cod aggregations led to a number of challenges in evaluating population trends in Gulf of Maine cod,” Richardson said. “During the 2007 and 2008 spring bottom trawl surveys, extremely high catches of cod were recorded at individual stations on Stellwagen Bank, while the remainder of the stock area had low catch rates. At the same time, the fishing industry was experiencing high catch rates of cod in the same small area on Stellwagen Bank. One of the main conclusions of this study is that the trends in cod abundance in this small region were not truly reflective of the overall resource at the time.”  

Atlantic herring and sand lance have very different habitat and life history requirements that affect their distribution. Atlantic herring are migratory, shifting distribution in response to changing oceanographic conditions like temperature.  Sand lance are burrowers, and have a nightly need to burrow into shallow sandy bottom, such as that found on Stellwagen Bank, an underwater plateau covering about 156 square miles located in the southwestern portion of the cod stock area. 

“Data from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center survey and from the fishery both indicate that an increase in sand lance abundance resulted in cod aggregating in a small and predictable area on Stellwagen Bank where they were easily caught by fishermen,” Richardson said. “The cod were fished in a very small area, approximately 100 square miles, while the entire cod stock area on which the assessment was based is 20,255 square miles.”

Michael Palmer, an assessment scientist in the NEFSC’s Population Dynamics Branch at the Woods Hole Laboratory and a co-author of the study, said the concentration of cod and of the fishing fleet was significant. “Between 1994 and 2010 the number of fishing trips occurring in this small area increased by 191 percent, and the number of trips occurring outside this area declined by 46 percent.”

“This shift in the fishery distribution indicates a large influx of fishing effort into this small area during the same time period that sand lance was abundantly available to feeding cod,” said Palmer. By 2010, 45 percent of all Gulf of Maine cod landings came from this area, compared with 12 percent prior to 2005. 

This dynamic is important not only for cod but also for other species, including whales that have been reported feeding on sand lance in the same area. “The change in the composition of the forage fish community in the Gulf of Maine may have driven distribution shifts, not only for Atlantic cod, but also for other predators feeding on the same set of prey species,” said Richardson.

In addition to Richardson and Palmer, study authors include fishery biologist Brian Smith, who studies the link between fish feeding and offshore benthic habitats and leads the NEFSC’s food web dynamics program.

# # #

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on FacebookTwitter and our other social media channels.


 Barfoot's photo.
Sherri & Johnny Johnson got a 36" wooden fluke with steel fins I sculpted and is hanging on there wall in GOOD OLD BEACH HAVEN ! NJ ! Hope it STOKES all your friends ! :-) THANX TONZ ! :-)

Sherri & Johnny Johnson got a 36" wooden fluke with steel fins I sculpted and is hanging on there wall in GOOD OLD BEACH HAVEN ! NJ ! Hope it STOKES all your friends ! 

59 mins · iOS · 

Fishing Striper's catch and release 27"

Fishing Striper's catch and release 27"


(14/P69) TRENTON - Environmental, academic, businesses, science, government, non-profit and youth leaders from throughout New Jersey are encouraged to show off their environmental accomplishments by participating in the upcoming 2014 Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards, with applications now available.

The awards program recognizes outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects throughout the state. Since the awards program was established in 2000, 135 groups and persons have been recognized for their accomplishments.

"Through their dedication to environmental protection, these award winners annually set an example of environmental excellence for everyone in New Jersey to follow,'' said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin, who annually presents the awards to the winners. "The winners and all of those who participate each year set a very high standard for environmental excellence. They demonstrate real environmental leadership through their actions.''

Previously honored projects include Princeton University's ongoing work toward sustainability, Linden's redevelopment of a former landfill as a natural area reconnecting residents to urban waterfronts, community-wide efforts to reduce stormwater runoff to Camden's sewer system, and the American Littoral Society's "Bayscape for Barnegat Bay" program which encourages responsible landscaping practices around the bay, among many others. 

"The spirit of the Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards Program is to honor the outstanding accomplishments and contributions made by our award recipients each year," said Dr. Richard Magee, Technical Director for the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology. "My corporation is proud to co-sponsor this program with DEP and I encourage businesses, educators, institutions, communities, youth and others to put forth nominations about their accomplishments for our consideration this year."

In one major change to the program this year, the category for "Environmental Education" has been divided into two awards: one for adult-led educational initiatives and one for projects that are student-led or have succeeded due to a high level of student involvement. 
The Governor's Environmental Excellence Awards Program is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology, in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. 
Award winners will be honored at a luncheon and program to be held in December. Last year's event supporters included PSEG, Duke Farms, New Jersey Natural Gas, Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Greener by Design. 

Completed applications must be received at DEP by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17. 

The 2014 application and other awards information can be found at www.nj.gov/dep/eeawards.


Recreational Fishing Alliance  
Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732  
For Immediate Release
June 24, 2014     


Supports Southerland Amendment to Protect Recreational Fishing

During a decade of debate on catch shares and individual fishing quota (IFQ) programs, proponents of this fisheries privatization plan have argued that the scheme is strictly for use in the commercial sector.  More recently however, the concept of intersector trading policies which would allow commercial IFQ holders to sell or lease shares to saltwater anglers, for-hire captains and organizations has gained traction in coastal communities.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) staunchly opposes the national catch share policy as it relates to recreational fishing, and has frequently exposed the guide as having been crafted by Environmental Defense Fund specifically to reduce the number of active fishermen.  If recreational fisheries were managed by way of a limited 'fish tag' program as proposed at regional management councils and even implemented in new pilot programs in the Gulf of Mexico, the future of the recreational fishing culture and traditions would be placed at great risk.  

"Some national groups have supported the catch share concept in recreational fishing by way of state-established entities purchasing quota on behalf of private citizens and organizations," said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio.  "Supporting a buy-back program where anglers would have to purchase red snapper tags, either from commercial IFQ holders or from our own government is not in the best interest of U.S. saltwater anglers anywhere." 

Stopping intersector transfer of catch shares between commercial owners and recreational interests would help beat back this privatization scheme in support of saltwater anglers everywhere, which is why RFA supports a recent amendment made by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) to HR 4742 which was recently approved by the House Natural Resources Committee.  The legislation, with the Southerland amendment successfully incorporated, would mandate that "any commercial fishing catch share allocation in a fishery in the Gulf of Mexico may only be traded by sale or lease within the same commercial fishing sector.'' 

Donofrio said the amendment by Rep. Southerland would not impact the use of catch shares as a management mechanism for the commercial sector, but instead would only ensure that those IFQ permits couldn't be sold outside of that sector. 

"What we have now are commercial shareholders who are getting more quota than they actually need to fish for red snapper, just so they can make money by leasing to private entities and anglers currently shut out of the fishery," Donofrio explained.  "This amendment ensures that the commercial sector gets the appropriate quota they need in order to fish, to supply seafood demand, not to supply access rights for others."   

RFA believes strongly that the Southerland allocation amendment approved in the House Natural Resources Committee will make future allocation discussions fair and balanced since current shareholders will not have the same market value on their unfished shares.  Some critics have argued that the language will memorialize commercial allocation, while still others have claimed the Southerland amendment is an attack on the catch share program overall.  RFA believes both arguments are baseless.


"The value that these IFQ holders have now is in the resale and lease outside of their sector, but if the intersector trading is stopped then there should be less need for the full allocation," Donofrio added.  "You can't claim to be feeding a nation when you have more than enough allocation already to sell back to the recreational fishermen." 

RFA has been fighting this corrupted system since the 1990's when the federal government first gave a select group of Alaskan commercial fishermen permits to harvest halibut, and then allowed those same commercial fishermen to sell unused permits back to the general public.  

RFA first met with then Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans Terry Garcia and a group of Alaska charterboat operators in an attempt to fight this scheme, which to this day is devastating the sportfishing fishing industry there with a recreational harvest of halibut comprising of just 10% of the overall allocation with the commercial sector taking the other 90%.   

"This particular amendment by Mr. Southerland doesn't memorialize allocation, it simply states that the allocation you have now can't be sold or leased outside of your sector," Donofrio said.  

"If the commercial sector wants to manage their annual catch limit by allocating shares to their community that's fine, but this change to the federal fisheries law will completely forbid any recreational fishing catch shares, and that's what we want to end this corrupt scheme," he added.  


Click here to see why RFA believes that HR4742 is a good bill for the recreational fishing community.  Join RFA today, and together let's fight recreational catch shares and intersector trading mechanisms, in support of America's right to fish.   

About Recreational Fishing Alliance
The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. 
The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit 


Climate Change is a Major Force in Exacerbating Extreme Weather Events – Harming Our Health, Safety & Economy 

(TRENTON, NJ) – Today, New Jersey State Legislators – including Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Bob Smith, Senator Donald Norcross and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman - gathered with residents affected by extreme weather for a press conference on the need to combat climate change and mitigate future impacts. Participants highlighted the devastating and destructive consequences on our health, safety and economy. They also offered support for bold, new federal action being taken by President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The press conference follows Obama’s historic action on climate change. This includes the recent June 2nd announcement of the Clean Power Plan - which will put in place the nation’s first-ever limits on carbon pollution from power plants.  These groundbreaking new initiatives seek to reduce the impacts of climate-fueled extreme weather, like Superstorm Sandy, now and in the future.

"Clean energy is an environmental priority, because it is also a public health issue and an economic opportunity," said Senate President Steve Sweeney.  "Carbon pollution is responsible for higher levels of asthma and respiratory disease, and it can cause premature death. Reducing carbon emissions is an important step - but we also should be investing in clean energy, including offshore wind and solar power. This will help create a new generation of clean energy jobs and new economic opportunities."

"Climate change is not a partisan issue. Scientific evidence substantiates it,” said Senator Donald Norcross. “All parties must come together to find common ground on this very important issue. It's time to stop the bickering in our nation's capital and find meaningful solutions before this gets worse."

“One of the first, best steps we can take is to have New Jersey rejoin RGGI, the regional agreement that helps reduce carbon pollution.  Because these types of pollutants don't respect state boundaries, regional agreements are needed,” said Senator Bob Smith, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee. “When the governor pulled the state out of the agreement, he took away our first serious attempt to soften the impact of climate change, and then Hurricane Sandy hit just to remind us of how vulnerable we are as coastal state. The governor should rejoin RGGI.”

"The impact of climate change presents a real and present danger for people across the country and throughout the world," said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. "In recent years we’ve witnessed first hand the destructive capabilities of climate change in New Jersey, and studies show clearly that these conditions will only worsen for our children and grandchildren if we don't take action. I'm proud to stand with responsible stewards of our environment today in applauding President Obama's initiative to limit carbon pollution from power plants. And I look forward to the further implementation of his historic national climate change action plan."

“We’re here today to support the Obama Administration’s rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change,” said Jeff Tittel, New Jersey Sierra Club Director. “These regulations will help to create jobs, while reducing air pollution and protecting us from the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels.  This is even more critical in New Jersey because of what happened with Hurricane Sandy, as well as to get our economy going.”

“As a mother of a boy with asthma I know a lot, perhaps too much, about poor air quality and pollen index levels,” said April Kuzas, Jersey City resident and founder of Hudson County Health Focus.  “Last Tuesday was a poor air quality day, and my son's very caring and diligent teacher knew she’d have to limit my son's running and playing for long durations outside - because poor air quality exacerbates asthma. In urban areas, asthma in children is on the rise.  Although we can address it on a local level, we need support on the federal level and must support President Obama's plan. As a mom and as a health care advocate, I will not let big money from the coal industry stop me from fighting for my son's right and ability to breathe.”

“Whether or not one disagrees with the cause, there is no disagreement about the devastating and disruptive effects of the extreme weather we have been experiencing,” said Robert Long, Sea Bright resident. “Even if a cleaner environment doesn't help mitigate the extreme weather pattern – which I believe it will – a cleaner environment is a worthy enough goal in and of itself. And that is why I support President Obama’s climate change plan to curb carbon emissions.”

While communities are spending billions on resiliency efforts designed to minimize weather events, we need action at the federal level to address the root cause of climate change. According to both the recently released National Climate Assessment, as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fifth report, 97% of scientists agree that strong steps are necessary when it comes to national and international policies that limit carbon pollution. This is the only way to cut carbon pollution in a manner meaningful enough to combat the most dangerous effects of climate change and extreme weather.

New Jersey is no stranger to the effects of increasingly frequent and intense climate change fueled extreme weather.  According to a recent report by the Department of Environmental Protection, 8 of the 10 worst storms in New Jersey history have occurred since 1999, and more events are likely to occur in the coming years. Moreover, 2011 was the wettest year on record. With each passing year, as storms get stronger, more violent and cause more damage – the costs of recovery continue to climb. According to research from Rutgers University, the rise in sea level will approach 16 inches by 2050 and 44 inches by the turn of the century in 2100. The Jersey Shore is predicted to experience floods that today happen only once a century every year or two by the end of century.

Over 2011-2012, Superstorm Sandy and 24 other extreme weather events caused damage in excess of $1 billion each -- $188 billion total – and left more than 1,100 people dead.  Sandy was the 2nd costliest hurricane in U.S. history - leaving 131 dead and destroying approximately 380,000 homes. The hurricane first made landfall in the United States in New Jersey – with winds of 80 m.p.h. It created a storm surge that broke the all-time record in New York Harbor. But Sandy isn’t the only instance of extreme weather we’ve seen in recent years. Last Summer, New Jersey endured record heat waves.  In 2011, both Hurricane Irene and a wind-driven thunderstorm “derecho” wreaked havoc on the region, and then a blizzard hit the state before Halloween.

Combating climate change should not be a partisan issue, because it is simply common-sense. Just yesterday, former Governor Christie Whitman was one of four former Republican heads of the EPA to testify in front of the U.S. Senate in favor of prompt climate change action.  She highlighted how there is scientific consensus around this issue and the need for political consensus. Whitman stepped down as EPA administrator after the Bush White House decided against controlling C02 under the Clean Air Act, as the Obama Administration is currently doing.

Polls consistently show a majority of Americans want climate action immediately. 65% of voters support “the President taking significant steps to address climate change now,” according to a 2013 poll conducted by the League of Conservation Voters. Moreover, a recent United Nations report found that greenhouse gas emissions are reaching catastrophic levels, with 95% certainty that humans are the "dominant cause" of global warming since the 1950s.  According to NASA, 97% of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. 

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