Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
In order to avoid exorbitant pull-out expenses, Pedro opted to do prop repairs his own way. ...
Dumb -- but still fun -- joke of the day ...
A Beekeeper goes into a Pet Store and orders 12 Bees! After leaving the Store, he notices he has 13! He goes back and says, "I think you made a mistake, you gave me 13 Bees" The Store Owner says, "No mistake Sir, the last one was a freebee"!!
Update about "Jax" -- dog that was ejected from car v. pole accident on Cedar Bonnet Island. From Stafford Animal Control, via the Stafford PD:
Efforts are being made to secure the dog safely. Jax was sighted today and appears to be uninjured. We are asking the public not to intervene at this time in attempting to rescue or secure the dog.
When dogs go missing, they experience fight or flight, and right now, Jax is in flight mode. When dogs experience flights, they run and will continue to run out of fear even from their own owner. They do not recognize their name, they do not recognize their owners, and they are solely focused on survival.
What does this mean? It means that any noises are perceived as a threat, which will force the dog to hunker down in an area that he feels safe or run as far as he can. Dogs will hear your footsteps long before you even see them.
To avoid running Jax into the water or into traffic on Rt. 72, we ask that you allow us to secure him safely. This process can take some time.
A few things about Jax – He is afraid of men, water, cars, and the rain. Based off of this information that was provided by the owner, we are using methods to prevent him from running further due to fear and stress, but will also allow him to decompress.
Right now, it is safe, unharmed, and in an isolated area.
The goal is to keep it that way, so we can secure him and reunite him with his family.
Thank you for your cooperation from the Stafford Township Animal Control Department.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019: Starting off oddly, an email from Dan G. read, “I got a Spanish mackerel using my teaser (fly) with plug. I got it on the fly. I didn't know the size rules, so it was released but after looking it up it was more than legal at near 20". Anyway, I have now caught more tropical fish post Sandy then all the rest of my 50 plus years fishing here on LBI.”
Hmmm. This is where I get to casually note I once held the state record for Spanish mack. It weighed 8-6; taken in Holgate on a Hopkins.
As to this tasty little mackerel making LBI a regular summer stopover, I say bring it on. Might this happen due to warming seas? Let’s get them here first then worry about that.
There’s no overlooking the near-beach shark presence. One fellow messaged me that he has never seen sharking this brisk so early in summer, though only on certain nights. Big rays are also in the mix.
While we can’t target most sharks, per se, when surfcasting, there’s nothing illegal with just happening to hit the after dark beach bearing ultraheavy fishing equipment highlighted by 100-pound test line and wire. No better way to go after kingfish and fluke, right?
Of all the forbidden sharks, sand tigers are the most visually exhilarating among more common beach-caught shark species. The toothage of sand tigers is likely the wickedest of any fish in the world, though they have no inclination to use their cutlery on humans. Can accidental sand tiger bites occur when fishing or (way less likely) wading in turbid waters? Any creature with teeth can issue a bite.
Not that you’ll readily snare a sand tiger. They’re not all that common, especially when in among frequent biters like brown sharks, aka sandbar sharks, the coast’s largest beach shark.
I’m tempted to list a couple beach sharks that can actually be kept by anglers, but accurately ID’ing them -- to the exclusion (and release) of other lookalike protected species -- is often for experts only. For example, half the nationally protected brown sharks, when taken by unknowing fishing folks, are dubbed threshers, due to the brown’s relatively long tail (caudal) fins. However, the tail fins of browns are less than one-third the length of thresher shark tails. A thresher’s tail can be longer than its body. It is legal to keep threshers but illegal to keep browns, even though we have one of the largest seasonal population of browns in the world.
Speaking of they’re-everywhere browns, not only are they of no concern for swimmers but experts consider them one of the safest sharks to swim with – though I’m not endorsing same, mind you.
Angler Note: When returning protected sharks to the water make it ASAP-plus. Unhooking a shark in the suds – instead of fully beaching it -- is kindest of all. As rough and tumbly as shark appear, many can’t support their own weight when out of water. Their internal organs get crushed.
Fluking is just fine, so come on in. Be it bank, boat or even beach the flatties are cooperating. Defining the might in general terms, it’s what I’d call average. There has been a decline in smaller fish but it’s way too early to make anything major out of that. By next month, I’m sure we’ll be neck-deep in throwbacks – I mean gentle releases.
Released fluke suffer severely from mishandling – unlike stripers, which are bruisers. Forget that nonsense that bass suffer a 50 percent post-release mortality. That mortality is likely well under 20 percent, possibly under 10 percent.
Speaking of stripers, the big-ass biomass – and it was quite impressive throughout spring – has drifted northward. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a goodly number still in the ‘hood. Those are both resident bass and even some late-running members of the big biomass. A number of fine keepers have come off the beach over the past week. While bait is the better way to go, early-day plugs and jigs is the funner way to find them. Think in terms of small- to medium-sized shallow diving plugs. Teasers are timely. Also think smaller along jig lines, going sub one ounce. White bucktail and plastics work well in the current hyper clear waters. Teasers also work with jigs.
While up in Conn.
With the first heat wave of the season predicted to begin later this week, New Jersey could be seeing temperatures in the upper 80s and into the 90s for three straight days. Whether the soaring temperatures send you cheering to the beach or running to the relief of an air-conditioned room, it is important for everyone to recognize that high temperatures bring the possibility of a heat stroke.
Heat stroke, also referred to as sun stroke, is the most severe form of heat illness and can cause damage to the brain and if not treated immediately, can be fatal. Those at greatest risk for heat stroke are children under four years old and adults over 65.
That did not take long! Ladies and gentleman, fishing enthusiasts, we have our first LIMIT of the season. Thats right, you heard correctly, fluke LIMIT, caught by Mike! Good group of people today, lots of short fluke to go with the keepers, with a healthy amount of dogfish biting, which is fun for the little ones! Come fishing with us soon, you could be the next person posted on here holding the limit! .
"It was crazy," Jim Nelligan told USA Today/For The Win Outdoors. "We started wondering who did this, and why?"
The answer didn't take long to emerge.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that Capt. Jason Rose used a zip tie to attach his wedding band to a steelhead he caught and released on May 4 across the lake near the port of Whitehall, Mich. Rose had been married for nearly a decade when he and his spouse decided to go their separate ways.
"I am a fishing guide; she was always against me following my dreams and hated how much I fished," Rose told the Sun-Times.
"Four years went by since our divorce. I felt I needed to get rid of that ring, but I didn't want to just toss it to the bottom, pawn it or any of that kind of thing. So I released it the best way I know how. I am convinced that ring is cursed. My life has been nothing less than great since I released it."
The steelhead and ring reemerged more than seven weeks later when Joe Penar caught the fish on Nelligan's boat "Grey Lion II" while they and two others fished the Pass the Passion tournament by Salmon Unlimited of Illinois. They were fishing for lake trout by the R4, a famous buoy east of Chicago's north suburbs, the Sun-Times reported.
"The fish made several jumps out of the water when we caught it, so it seemed normal for a steelhead," Nelligan told For The Win Outdoors. "When we first saw it we wondered if it was some kind of DNR [Department of Natural Resources] tag initially, but then we saw it was a wedding ring."
The wedding band is silver with one diamond in it and the inscription, "SDH Steel."
"I didn't know steelhead get married," crew member John Massard quipped upon seeing the wedding ring.
Rose was surprised upon hearing the news about his fish and ring. He told the Sun-Times "none of us can believe someone caught it."
It was hardly a surprise to Nelligan, however, when he learned the story behind the ring.
"That was my first guess, a divorce, but funny that the guy says the ring is cursed," Nelligan told For The Win. Because, "That ring is cursed. Ever since it came on my boat, I've had problems with my Glendinning engine controls, the switch to raise the helm floor to get at the engines broke and the hose at my dock burst. Sheesh!
"I think we'll mail it back to him, no return address!"
Copyright © 2019 CBC/Radio-Canada
By Richard Cuthbertson
June 25, 2019
In the parking lot of an Irving gas station in Aulac, N.B., not far from the Nova Scotia border, Curtis Kiley popped the trunk of a Toyota Corolla.
Inside was a white bucket containing what looked like a giant hairball, the type that might be pulled from a bathtub drain.
Except it was alive — a wriggling, slithering mess.
This was just an initial sample Kiley had brought to show a prospective black-market buyer, a woman he knew only through text message as "Danielle."
He was ultimately hoping to unload up to 300 kilograms of the tiny creatures, a huge haul worth $1.3 million on the open market, but one he was offering at a steep discount.
Moments later, Kiley's world turned from dollar signs to handcuffs. He'd been nabbed in a federal fisheries sting, one targeting poaching in a little-known but enormously lucrative industry that plays out each spring in Nova Scotia's rivers and brooks.
At the centre of the undercover operation by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in May 2018 was the most unlikely of creatures — baby eels.
"It is one of the bigger [eel] cases that I've seen in my career," said Chris Sperry, DFO's acting chief of conservation and protection in southwest Nova Scotia.
The innocuous little fish at the heart of this poaching case, the details of which have not been previously reported, has in recent years become the centre of international smuggling schemes worth tens of millions of dollars and that stretch from Europe to New England.
It's also become a global conservation headache, as the price for baby eels — also called elvers or glass eels — has skyrocketed in the bid to supply fish farms in Asia, where they are grown to market size to satisfy the huge appetite for eating eel in places like Japan.
The money involved is only rivalled by the extraordinary life cycle of the species, known in North America as American eel.
Every year, billions of eggs hatch in the Sargasso Sea, a vast expanse of water and floating seaweed in the north Atlantic, adjacent to Bermuda. Over a year, larvae resembling minuscule willow leaves drift along in the Gulf Stream to destinations spanning from the Caribbean to Greenland.
By spring, they have become tiny eels, and millions swim the final stretch through brackish estuaries to rivers in Nova Scotia. Here they will mature into adult American eels and spend between four and 40 years, before finally returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.
"It's quite an amazing story," said Rod Bradford, an aquatic biologist with DFO who provides science advice on the status of American eel in the Maritimes.
It's during that spring run that dozens of fishermen in Nova Scotia and southern New Brunswick, working under nine tightly regulated licences, set their nets in the dark to catch upwards of seven tonnes of elvers.
Eels are difficult to breed in captivity, which means aquaculture facilities in Asia must depend on "seed" stock. The elvers that are legally fished in the Maritimes are packed in a little water, chilled in ice and put on airplanes to China.
When they reach market size, they are split down the back, gutted and often fried into a dish called kabayaki. It is particularly popular in Japan, which accounts for 70 per cent of the world's eel consumption.
In the early years, following the first licences in the 1980s, fishing for elvers in Nova Scotia generated little more than cottage-industry income, as little as $25 a kilogram. By 2006, the price sat at about $110.
But in 2010, Europe banned the export of elvers following a 20-year crash in population that led to the European eel being declared critically endangered.
As supply declined, elver prices shot up. By 2015, the elvers in the Maritimes were being sold for an astonishing $4,685 a kilogram. Last year's price kept pace at $4,500.
A burgeoning black market has followed.
Jennifer Ford, DFO's regional manager for resource management, said the implications of that are significant. There's been a recommendation to list the American eel as threatened in Canada, following declines in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River area. A decision has been pending for several years.
As a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Canada must show it has control over the elver fishery or could face export restrictions that would shut down the industry.
"At this point we feel that the species is sustainably managed and that the fishery is going well," Ford said in an interview. "But there are risks if we can't demonstrate that fishery is being managed sustainably."
And things can quickly get out of hand.
In Maine, poaching became such a problem that last year, the state was forced to shut down the fishery early. Dozens of people have been charged in a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigation called Operation Broken Glass. Some have even gone to prison.
Last year, Spanish and Portuguese police busted a smuggling ring they say was preparing to send five tonnes of baby eels to China in 364 suitcases.
European police believe as much as 100 tonnes of elvers were illegally exported in 2018, in what the conservation group Sustainable Eel Group calls "one of the planet's greatest wildlife crimes."
"That's a cautionary tale," said Genna Carey, an elver fisherman in Nova Scotia and the president of the Canadian Committee for a Sustainable Eel Fishery. "We don't want to be there."
The legal elver industry in Nova Scotia remains guarded. Carey, for instance, is reluctant to detail fishing techniques, worried it will provide a blueprint to poachers.
And they are out there. The local elver world is a small one, so it's easy to know who's an outlier. Given elver fishing is done in remote areas and at night, when the creatures are on the move, there are also safety concerns about bumping into poachers in the dark.
When Kiley was sentenced earlier this month, federal prosecutor Derek Schnare called the case "a very serious regulatory crime with far-reaching consequences," one that amounted to "the black market destruction of the fishery."
Kiley, 31, who has a criminal record that includes drug and weapons offences and aggravated assault, had been on the radar of fisheries officers long before the undercover operation that targeted him. The season before, both he and his brother had been under surveillance and charged for illegal elver fishing.
In April 2017, according to an agreed statement of facts at his sentencing, the pair smashed the window of a former Esso station in Sable River, N.S. Getting inside, they then hauled off 20 kilograms of elvers being stored there, and that had been legally fished under the licence of Waycobah First Nation in Cape Breton.
RCMP and fisheries officers later searched a property in Shelburne, charged the brothers and retrieved 17 kilograms of elvers.
"It's a very lucrative business, is all I can tell you, for a very few people," said Brian Decker, owner of the building that was broken into.
"And that's where the problem comes in. Lots of money for just a handful of people, and other people want to get in onto it and they can't because it's controlled by the fisheries, for licensing and whatnot."
The next season, DFO kept a close eye on Kiley and a small group seen fishing in a brook off the LaHave River in Nova Scotia's Lunenburg County. It included his common-law wife, a member of the Acadia First Nation in southern Nova Scotia.
Kiley is not Indigenous, and Schnare told the court he had been poaching under "the guise" of his partner's food, social and ceremonial fishery licence.
On May 8, 2018, using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, Kiley contacted two people in the elver industry, asking if they wanted to buy. Both were suspicious, and the emails were forwarded to DFO.
Two weeks later, federal fisheries officers set up their sting. One contacted Kiley by text, posing as a buyer named Danielle looking to ship elvers to Hong Kong. She was in Toronto, but would return to New Brunswick in a week.
"Well, I live in Halifax and wanna meet up with soon as u get back, and well we got a couple different groups doing it and all of us together got around 250kgz," Kiley wrote in one text, later upping the amount to 250 to 300 kilograms.
He even offered to inquire about a "dummy company" to handle the money, and said he would sell the elvers for just $1,500 a kilogram, about a third the price of the legal market but one that would still net hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When he was arrested, Kiley had about 300 grams of elvers. DFO remains circumspect about what happened to the remaining 250-300 kilograms. A spokesperson said it cannot divulge that information as a co-accused who was allegedly with Kiley when he met the undercover officer will be going on trial next month.
Kiley ultimately pleaded guilty to various fisheries and criminal charges. He was sentenced to $17,500 in fines and two years probation, and was given five months in jail for the break-in and another case involving a stolen car.
As part of a pre-sentence report, he told a probation officer he'd faced financial problems and been motivated by money. He suggested police had been "picking on him."
There is one remarkable aspect to the sentence. For two years, Kiley is barred from being within 20 metres of any inland waterway, except if he's driving by.
"First time I've seen an order like that," said Sperry, with DFO enforcement.
Last week, on a river near Chester, N.S., fisheries technicians from the non-profit Coastal Action unlocked a series of boxes wedged under a bridge and scooped out elvers, to be weighed and measured before being released upstream.
The work has gone on for more than two decades and represents one of the longest-running elver "recruitment" studies in North America. The numbers help dictate quotas for the local fishery and determine which rivers can be fished.
In recent years, between two million and four million elvers each spring climb have climbed this waterway, which means the news, at least in Nova Scotia, is good.
"The indications are that we have moved beyond the low point in eel abundance, at least here in the region," said Bradford.