Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, February 09, 2017: If it was perfectly predictable, it wouldn’t be called whether … uh, better make that weather.

When it really pays to be a lousy shot. For non-sports types ... he's shooting at wrong basket. 

Latest addition of "He seemed so much smarter at the pet store": 

Thursday, February 09, 2017: If it was perfectly predictable, it wouldn’t be called whether … uh, better make that weather.

A zig here and a zag there and we get off easy … if easy is what you’re looking for in a low-snow way. I always put in a sympathetic plug for the folks trying to pay off that truck-front plow. Hey, don’t rage on me for simply passively siding with low/no snow thinking. I have no power over the heavens, at least not like the skiing and school-going types who pray for snow. Maybe they should volunteer at church a bit more.

SRHS stayed the wait/see course and held classes today, while Pinelands and Barnegat went into the auto-close mode ... apparently very prematurely. 

One of the main snow killers this go’round was the tenacity of the rain before the turnover to white. I showed a solid .48 inches of rain, which would translate into about six or so inches of snow. At the same time, the intensification of the storm over the ocean didn’t play out quite as predicted, missing its prime over-ocean detonation point – to our local advantage. Face it, the beaches sure wouldn't have liked another gouging ... nor would the public works folks.

I again get to buttress my now monotonous point regarding how quickly storm systems have been moving through our area, going back as far as 20 years now. I have no doubt there is something bigger in play with this one-and-done storm tendency. If I were to venture guess, it has to do with an interplay between the rapid intensification of storm systems, due to the energy intake from the warmer ocean-surface waters, and the enhanced rotation common to such an intensification. The atmosphere, through the west-to-east Coriolis effect, now more rapidly transports the highly-energized system, westward.

While having nontropical systems move through our area more rapidly might sound like a good thing, in the long run it has drought written all over it.

A swing and a miss for me was my prediction/expectation that we had seen the last cold of the winter. While I stick with a very mild late winter and spring, this odd storm will usher in nasty-ass wind-chills tonight and tomorrow.  Here’s hoping we got enough snow to protect those too-early flower blossoms, though most early-flowering bulbs are bad-asses, nail tough Hollanders. 

I had noted how early we'd be hearing thunder this spring but I wasn't expecting the winter storm type rumbles we heard this a.m. 


Four McDonald's in San Francisco Testing Snow Crab Sandwich Item

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Mercury News] by Linda Zavoral - February 9, 2017

Following its Gilroy Garlic Fries success, McDonald’s of the Bay Area is testing another regional favorite: a Crab Sandwich.

Believed to be a first for a fast-food chain, the sandwich features snow crab blended with seasoned mayonnaise and diced celery, served with tomato slices and romaine lettuce atop a toasted sourdough bun that’s been brushed with herb butter.

Helping develop the recipe for McDonald’s was Bay Area chef Ryan Scott, a “Top Chef” contestant, TV-radio personality and owner of Finn Town restaurant in San Francisco.

“We wanted to test our own take on the beloved crab sandwich,” Nick Vergis, McDonald’s Co-op President for the Greater Bay Area, said in a statement. “We’re excited for our customers to try it and share their feedback.”

The sandwich will be offered starting at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, at four McDonald’s in the South Bay. Three are in San Jose (2191 Monterey Road; 2699 Union Ave.; 4838 San Felipe Road) and one is in Santa Clara (3509 Homestead Road). Prices may vary by location.

McDonald’s regional favorites campaign is a nationwide one, with company managers testing dishes and ingredients they think will sell in various locations. For example, a Pesto Mozzarella Melt was put on the menu in Southern California and a bratwurst promotion was offered in Wisconsin.

If the Crab Sandwich passes muster with customers, it could be sold in 250 McDonald’s in the greater Bay Area later this year.



Barnegat Bay Action Update - Special Announcement
NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

February 2017

Some of DEP's Warm Weather Barnegat Bay Program Opportunities

The NJ Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife will host three unique, hands-on outdoor programs this spring and summer that are designed to introduce adults and youth to the natural beauty and wildlife of Barnegat Bay.

First, the Division of Fish and Wildlife will conduct a free 2-day Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) training April 28-30 in Waretown (Ocean County).

HOFNOD targets teachers, staff and volunteers of schools, community and faith-based organizations looking to engage youth in an ongoing or year-round fishing, conservation and aquatic education program.

HOFNOD is a great way to introduce youth to fishing and their local waters and other natural resources while supporting positive outdoor recreation activities and life skills. The program can be used by most organizations.

For more information or to register for this program, visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2017/hofnod_train04-17.htm on the Division's website.

In addition, the Division of Fish and Wildlife and its partners are offering for teens three exciting summer programs based at the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center, located off Island Beach State Park in Barnegat Bay.

These unique, educational and fun programs include fishing, research and field experiences in a beautiful location.

For information, please visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/sedge_summer17.htm on the Division's website.

Finally, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, in partnership with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, is offering a 3-day 2-night locavore program for adults interested in learning what's edible in and around Barnegat Bay.

The program will be held on August 11-13 at the Sedge House, a renovated ducking hunting lodge with 7-bunk rooms where participants will live a conservationist lifestyle.

Participants will spend time identifying and harvesting edible plants, algae, digging clams, netting crabs, and fishing, all while learning about the salt marsh ecosystem, conservation, and renewable resources. For more information view the page and/or flyer linked below:
* www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2017/baytobowl17.htm
* www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/education/baytobowl_flyer17.pdf


Commercial Fishing Interests Fight New York Offshore Wind Project in U.S. District Court
Heat map of scallop fishing effort in the area around the proposed New York wind energy area. The proposed wind energy area is in blue.
WASHINGTON (Saving Seafood) – February 9, 2017 – Lawyers representing a host of fishing communities, associations, and businesses, led by scallop industry trade group the Fisheries Survival Fund, argued in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., yesterday against the lease sale of 127 square miles of ocean off the coast of Long Island for wind energy development. A ruling is expected in the coming days.
The plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction against the wind farm lease, which the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) preliminarily awarded to Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil for $42.5 million at auction in December, arguing that the site of the project is in the middle of important fishing grounds, particularly for the valuable scallop and squid fisheries. They claim that allowing the lease sale to go through would cause irreparable harm to commercial fishermen and is unlawful.
The plaintiffs argued that the lease sale would have an immediate impact on fishing interests by giving the government and Statoil free rein to conduct a number of harmful actions, including installing a meteorological tower that could damage scallop beds, and performing sonic testing that studies suggest hurts fish populations. The plaintiffs also said that, should the lease proceed, additional investments make it nearly certain that a wind farm will be constructed, permanently restricting fishermen who make their livelihoods in the area.
Lawyers representing BOEM and Statoil countered that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate immediate and irreparable harm to their livelihoods, saying that any impact on fishermen would not happen for years, and that there would be time to address fishing concerns in future environmental assessments.
Federal law requires a balanced process that considers all stakeholders when developing wind energy projects, but the plaintiffs said that fishing concerns have not been properly addressed in the siting of the New York wind energy area.
BOEM estimates the value of fishing grounds in the proposed wind energy area at $90 million, a figure that the plaintiffs argued is too low because the government used less precise vessel trip reports instead of more accurate satellite-based vessel monitoring systems. The defendants argued that the lease siting process was transparent, including meetings with fishermen and multiple requests for information.
The plaintiffs responded that their more accurate information was ignored, the location of the wind farm was chosen in private, and fishermen never had a chance to advocate for alternative sites.
The plaintiffs maintained that their complaint was not against wind energy as a whole, pointing out that Mayor Jon Mitchell of New Bedford, Mass., a plaintiff in the case, has been an outspoken proponent of wind energy development. Specifically, they are challenging the use of the unsolicited bid process that allows private entities to claim part of the ocean for wind energy development.
The plaintiffs in the case are the Fisheries Survival Fund, the Garden State Seafood Association, the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce, the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative, the Rhode Island Fishermen’s Alliance, the City of New Bedford, Mass., the Borough of Barnegat Light, N.J., the Town of Narragansett, R.I., SeaFreeze Shoreside, Sea Fresh USA, and the Town Dock. The case was heard by Judge Tanya S. Chutkan.
Harvesting Sharks Could Be Key to Saving Them
February 8, 2017 -- The following is excerpted from an article by Lesley Evans Ogden in Scientific American. It was published February 7.
Sharks and their relatives face an existential crisis unprecedented in their 420 million years on the planet. A global trade in products from these animals fuels the capture of tens of millions of individuals a year. Strong demand combined with poor fishery regulation and high levels of incidental catch have resulted in many populations being overfished, with some now facing extinction.
Many activists argue a total ban on shark fishing is the only solution to slow or halt the decline. But a 2016 study found the majority of shark researchers surveyed believe sustainable shark fisheries are possible and preferable to widespread bans. Many reported they knew of real-world examples of sustainable shark fisheries. But a global roundup of empirical data exploring which species are being fished sustainably was lacking.
New research, appearing in the February 6 issue of Current Biology, is filling that gap, and the findings bolster the idea that around the world, some sharks are being fished sustainably. Nicholas Dulvy, a marine conservation biologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and shark ecologist Colin Simpfendorfer of James Cook University in Australia recently examined global stock assessments of 65 shark populations of 47 species. They found 39 of the populations, representing 33 different species, are fished sustainably—that is, they are harvested at levels that allow them to remain stable in size and not edge toward extinction. Although these 33 species account for only a small fraction of the world’s sharks, rays and their kin the chimeras (collectively referred to as sharks), which in total number more than 1,000, they are proof of concept that sustainable shark fishing is possible.
Cross-referencing stock assessments sourced from the scientific literature, government agencies, known experts and internet searches with other data sets including United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization catch statistics and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories, along with trade records, Dulvy and Simpfendorfer calculated the take of biologically sustainable sharks comprised 7 to 9 percent of global totals. But there are two components to sustainable fishing: the biological capability of the fish to withstand harvesting and the careful management of that harvesting by humans. The researchers found only 4 percent of global trade in sharks was directly sustainably managed.
Dulvy, who co-chairs the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, says the science “comes straight out of population modeling theory,” and the idea of maximum sustainable yields. To set limits on what can be harvested sustainably, researchers need to know the proportion of old versus young fish in a population as well as the speed with which individuals can reproduce—factors that affect the entire population’s ability to grow, decline or remain stable in numbers. Many shark species are so poorly studied that scientists do not yet know these basic parameters. But, theoretically, any species whose biology is well understood can be managed sustainably.
Read the full story at Scientific America


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