Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, June 18, 2020: As I shift this blog to more general LBI/area fare, not just fishing, I’ll surely be heavy into nature

ABOVE: Bring on the al fresco-ites. 

(Please forgive typos -- in a multitasking rush today.) 

Thursday, June 18, 2020: As I shift this blog to more general LBI/area fare, not just fishing, I’ll surely be heavy into nature, which the area still has in abundance – and seemingly increasing a bit in said abundance.

How about this tree frog pic from south Beach Haven. While most folks won’t get as excited as I will over seeing this gray tree frog, it should be inspiring to know that some forms of wildlife are tenacious enough to hold their own on what truly is one of the most crowded resort islands in the nation. Obviously, islands like those comprising Manhattan take the people-per-square inch cake, but when it comes to packing in buildings, we’re no slouches.

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Above: Laura Mutz is at Sea Spray MotelBeach Haven, NJ · So I have a little friend on my chair 

As to nature persevering hereabouts, we can be thankful for Forsythe Refuge in Holgate, BL State Park and, a personal escape favorite, the Dike at High Bar Harbor, which is also in the state parks system.

Those more obvious still-green areas noted, I might be able to align the gray frog to a recently saved area of bayside nature, not far from where this hopper was photographed.

I’ll also give a well-deserved nod of nature approval to the many bayside sedge islands, including Bonnet Island south, permanent home to the Forsythe Environmental Trail, which just reopened after being COVIDed shut.

Staying on the nature trail, let’s zip over Nancy’s place in Ship Bottom, which is a certified backyard nature habitat and home to the very first groundhog I’ve ever seen on LBI. And I did personally see it, only last week, hightailing it down my neighbor’s newly build walkway. If you have never seen a groundhog on the move, it sports one of speediest wobble runs you’ll ever see.

I hope to do a SandPaper story based on this message from Nancy: “My yard is certified by the National Wildlife as a backyard wildlife habitat. birds, squirrels, ducks, rabbits, and at the present a groundhog. In the past a family of racoons, and a pheasant. I research what they eat and feed them. Lots of stories.”

By the by, this spring there were seemingly a few pheasants visiting, likely motivated by the lockdown. I received phots from two LBI locations of markedly different pheasants.

As to backyard habitat, if an Island ever needed them, it’s our paved-over and stoned-under LBI. Hopefully a story on recovering backyard habitat might inspire the few folks still sporting stuff like grass, gardens and trees to tweak things to best accommodate nature.  

Now onward to arguably the most beloved herptile in North America: the box turtle. I have living proof of their Island presence thanks to Tim S. of Barnegat Light. He writes, “J. Saw this little guy last weekend in our backyard in Barnegat light. We actually have yearly sightings on our street, in the dunes, in our driveway and once even up on our backyard deck. Our house is one of the last to leave the landscape around the house mostly untouched. Most everyone wants just stones and the grasses in between chemicaled and burned out. A lot of dead zone properties on the street in summer. Nary a cricket, firefly, dragonfly or toad can survive the chemical onslaught. Anyway, makes us feel good every summer when we happen upon the box turtle.”


Below: The wooded area of the Dike, High Bar Harbor is as ticky as anywhere in the world ... seriously. 

With tick counts going gonzo on the mainland and an increasing number of LBI locales, Tara Smith Ward offers one of the spookiest looks at why ticks can populate with a mere droplet of sucked blood.  I know I'm being distasteful but if we can only convince crazed Chinese diners that American ticks make the a delicious topping for, say, bats and rats.  

"This is a tick that was fully engorged on a dog and fell off. It was put in a ziplock bag and given to me...the person who gave it to me said just wait...it will lay a ton of eggs. It’s been in the bag for over 2 weeks with no air flow and started to lay eggs about 5 days ago and was still today. Imagine not knowing this was on your animal and it fell off and was in your house. You’d have 1000’s of baby ticks. So gross. Please make sure your animals are treated with flea and tick prevention. We know how prevalent they are in our area. We usually find one on us every time we are outside. Use bug spray on yourself! Check your body and your animals please."

As the outside dining becomes more and more quaint, becoming al fresco in the process, the Island is taking on looks I haven't seen since Boy Scout camporees back in the 60s. The conversation to open-air food servicing is both a last ditch effort for some dining establishment and a go-with-the-flow survival tenacity for others. Seeing the coolness of the effort, I’ll go futuristic by saying that after C-19 has aged away to nothing, al fresco dining might remain on the popularity plate.

Out of island compunction, I must quietly wonder about the outdoor charm on days when black flies, greenheads and, worst of the worst, no-see-em gnats invite themselves to a whole other type Island dining experience? For now, I’ll go with what restaurateur buddy told me: “Let’s just take one headache at a time.” I'm in.

To help the optimism cause, I’ll add a tad of common local weather knowledge by pointing out that many a.m. biting insects are forced asunder by late-day sea breezes, right in time for the serving of appetizers and cocktails.

We could have an uncommon showing of forceful afternoon onshore/sideshore sea breezes due to a warming planet. In fact, overall, world wind speeds egged on by sky warmth have significantly sped up oceanic currents. That speed up in currents then fosters greater winds.

For you esoteric types, here’s a link to a telling read in Scientific American, entitled “Ocean Currents Are Speeding Up, Driven by Faster Winds -- Climate change may in part be spurring the acceleration, which could change how heat and nutrients are pushed around the oceans.”:


Anyway, here’s a quick shout out to the many eateries and ice cream parlors going all out to salvage a summer by turning to the great outdoors. 

For one example, check out the look of Northside  in Surf City.


When heading into the Pines, I often take Stafford Forge Road, LEHT. Today, I came across this somber and sobering reminder of the horrific rollover crash that killed one teen and injured two others on Tuesday. Mementos are being placed where the accident happened.  There’s little chance of convincing kids of that age that they are not invincible -- and that ending as a roadside monument signifies a potentially wonderful life that will never be lived. Maybe monuments like this will at least get them thinking.

Oddness: To honor the victim -- ready for this? -- friends in cars and trucks are burning rubber in front of the monument. What can I say? It's a wonder I survived the hot-rodding we did back in the day. Nonetheless ... peeling out to show respect?  



Rockfish leave Chesapeake Bay at a specific length

A new study on striped bass in the Potomac River is providing new insight into rockfish migration. Researchers at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science have discovered that when rockfish reach 32 inches in length they leave Chesapeake Bay and head out to the ocean. 

The study also revealed that the smaller fish which remained in the bay had higher mortality rates compared to the ocean migrators.

“Knowing the size at which they leave, we can do improved management that is tailored better to commercial and recreational fishing sectors those related to catch and size limits,” said study co-author Professor Dave Secor. “It allows us to bring different parts of the fishery into an assessment model to evaluate stock health and test how effective regulations will be.”

The team tagged 100 striped bass, also known as a rockfish, to monitor their movements in and out of the Chesapeake Bay. The larger fish were found to migrate to ocean waters at a length of 32 inches, regardless of their gender.

“By our best estimates they are in the Chesapeake Bay for 9 years, and when they reach 32 inches they head north,” said Professor Secor.

Migrating striped bass spend the summer and fall seasons in Massachusetts, where they contribute to important recreational fisheries. In the late fall, they migrate south and then journey back to the Chesapeake Bay in the springtime to spawn. A few weeks after spawning, the bass return to the ocean. 

The mortality rate of the small resident striped bass that remain in the Chesapeake Bay is 70 percent, which is nearly twice as high as the larger fish that migrate to the ocean. 

The researchers surgically implanted small acoustic transmitters inside of the fish to track their migrations. 

“Biotelemetry has allowed us to move beyond the question of whether Potomac River striped bass leave the Chesapeake Bay, to where do they go when they leave? All arrows point to Massachusetts,” said Professor Secor. “There is a remarkable connection between fisheries in Potomac and Massachusetts Bay and Cape Cod.”

By quantifying the exact size that striped bass reach before leaving the Chesapeake Bay, assessment models can be improved to inform both anglers and fisheries managers. 

“An improved understanding of differential migration allows fisheries managers to specify stock assessments according to different population sub-components, and tailor reference points and control rules between regions and fishing stakeholder groups,” said Professor Secor.

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.


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New Jersey State Police
1 hr · 

Trooper Rescues Occupants from Sinking Vessel in Point Pleasant Canal

Sergeant Michael Krauchuck, of the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau, rescued three occupants from a sinking vessel in the Point Pleasant Canal.

On Sunday, June 14, at approximately 5:08 p.m., troopers from the Marine Services Bureau Point Pleasant Station were dispatched to the report of a 26-foot boat sinking in the Point Pleasant Canal in Point Pleasant Boro, Ocean County.

Based on the preliminary investigation, the boat began to take on water while traveling in the canal. A good samaritan who was nearby helped transfer five occupants from the boat to land, while the operator and two other occupants stayed on board in an attempt to get the boat to a nearby dock. Due to the rough conditions, they were unable to prevent the boat from taking on more water.

Within minutes of the initial call, Sergeant Michael Krauchuck responded to the scene and secured the sinking boat to his State Police vessel. While attempting to pull the boat to the nearby dock, Sgt. Krauchuck realized that they would not make it, because the boat was taking on water too rapidly. As a result, Sgt. Krauchuck helped pull the three occupants onto his vessel and cut the lines before the boat sank.

All of the occupants were transported back to Point Pleasant Station for a medical evaluation by EMS. There were no reported injuries.

Sgt. Krauchuck’s quick and decisive actions may have helped prevent a tragedy

Atlantic City Electric Reminds Customers to Keep Foil Balloons

Away From Power Lines

Metallic balloons can lead to power outages if not disposed of properly

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (June 16, 2020) – The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on many events, including birthdays and graduations, but as families and friends begin to come together again to celebrate these achievements, Atlantic City Electric reminds you not to lose sight of those foil balloons. Foil balloons, also known as Mylar balloons, can cause power outages if they come into contact with power lines. Untethered balloons cause thousands of unnecessary electric service interruptions each year for Atlantic City Electric customers. These balloons also have been known to float for days and can end up having a negative impact on the environment.

When foil-coated balloons contact a power line or other electric equipment, their metallic properties can cause a surge of electricity that can impede equipment. These types of outages are easily preventable. Atlantic City Electric encourages customers to help reduce foil balloon-related power outages and ensure safety by keeping the following tips in mind:

· Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to weights.

· Properly dispose of foil balloons by puncturing the balloon to release helium that otherwise could cause the balloon to float away.

· NEVER touch a power line. Do not attempt to retrieve a balloon or toy that is entangled in an overhead power line. For assistance, call Atlantic City Electric at 800-833-7476.

· Always assume power lines are energized and keep yourself, your belongings and anything you are carrying at least 10 feet away at all times.

Atlantic City Electric customers can learn more safety tips by visiting atlanticcityelectric.com/safety.

Readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Atlantic City Electric’s online news room. For more information about Atlantic City Electric, visit atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available at atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.

J. Saw this little guy last weekend in our backyard in Barnegat light. We actuallly have yearly sightings on our street, in the dunes,  in our driveway and once even up on our backyard deck. Our house is once of the last to leave the landscape around the house mostly untouched. Most everyone wants just stones and the and the grasses in between chemicaled and burned out. A lot of dead zone properties on street in summmer. Nary a cricket, firefly, dragonfly or toad can survive the chemical onslaught. Anyway makes us feel good every summer when we happen upon the box turtle. 

Jean Deery Schaum Jay Mann So Jack was on Bay ave when he saw a turtle get hit by a car. He picked her up, stopped and got a box and headed to our hatchery in HBH. He has been there before photographing our turtles and also he did a release with his wife last year. I was bored because the turtles are late this year. I was so happy when he pulled up with a turtle. She had some mild damage to her plastron. We put her on the sand to assess the damages. She sat there stunned for about 3 minutes. She started then to look for a place to lay. I really didn’t think it was going to happen but we patiently waited while Jack took pictures. She sniffed the air and started digging. Jack got up close so he could photograph the eggs as they came out. We were so happy. I told Jack he had to name her because we were giving the turtles names this year. After being weighed and measured, Jack took her back to Bay Ave to enjoy a nice swim. Can you imagine being hit by a car and then giving birth a short time later? We had a turtle last year named Destiny who was very damaged after being hit. I said a prayer over her and put her in the Bay. The next week she came back out and laid her eggs. Jack was there then also and took pics. We all had tears in our eyes.

Jean Deery Schaum Jack, your photographer, rescued a terrapin today that was hit by a car. Within a half hour she was laying her eggs at our hatchery. The resiliency of terrapins is amazing!

Stunning images that occupy the lacuna between art and science.

Jay Mann Cool! I've long been into ring counting. Just this spring I had loads of folks trying to tabulate a monument tree's age -- from a controversial cut down in Bass River. Yes, there are such things as monument trees -- the biggest and best of a species within the state.

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