Saltwater angler Ken Warchal saw Long Beach Island’s beaches grow, but the fishing decline, when sand was mined a few years ago from an area known as the “Harvey Cedars lump.”
Now, Warchal is worried a similar thing is about to happen to an offshore area known as the Manasquan Ridge. The sand-mining operation would replenish strands and build dunes on North Jersey beaches devastated by Hurricane Sandy — but at what cost to saltwater anglers?
“At Harvey Cedars, they went through a prime fishing area. They got away with that one. The Army Corps of Engineers’ own environmental assessment shows the Manasquan Ridge is prime, essential fish habitat,” said Warchal, vice president of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association.
The association is threatening a lawsuit and pushing political buttons as it tries to get the dredging operation moved to a less fishy part of the ocean.
They have the support of environmental groups.
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has officially certified, and is pleased to announce, the catch of a new state record saltwater fish.
Frank LaMorte of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, reeled in the new state record Tautog on April 17, 2015. The fish weighed in at 25 pounds, 5.92 ounces eclipsing the previous state record, which had stood since 1998, by 5.92 ounces.
The fish measured 33″ in length and had a girth of 23″. Frank was fishing off the boat Fishin’ Fever IV, captained by Tom Daffin. The boat was anchored when Frank reeled in the fish. Frank was using a Star rod and a Shimano reel with 65-pound braided line. A crab served as the bait.
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is notifying boaters, recreational and commercial fishermen and divers that thirty-six thousand cubic yards of dredge rock obtained from the Port Authority of NY & NJ, Howland Hook Marine Terminal Berth Deepening Project, will be deployed on the Shark River Reef Site beginning November 24 through December 31, 2014. The shale rock will be transported to the site and deployed by hopper scow at predetermined locations.
In total, 10 hopper scow loads of rock will be deployed on the reef site as part of the division’s Artificial Reef Program.
During construction, tugs will be pulling large barges of shale bedrock. Work on the site will be continuous so boaters must constantly be aware of the reduced maneuverability of these tugs and allow them the right-of-way.
Adding rock to the ocean floor provides much needed hard-structure habitat for fish, lobster and other marine life. The rocky ridges will become attachment surfaces for invertebrate marine life, such as mussels, barnacles, sponges and anemones, and will provide hiding places for bottom-dwelling species like sea bass, blackfish, crab and lobster. The shale rock ridges will create productive fishing grounds for centuries to come.
The locations where the rock will be deployed are as follows:
The most important game fish in local waters is in deep trouble. The writer, a renowned fisherman and longtime conservation columnist for Salt Water Sportsman, thinks he knows why.
Scuttlebutt and bad news have the tendency to travel faster than good news or the real facts. That’s human nature and nowhere is it truer than around the docks, where all anglers become possessive about their favorite quarry. When something changes for striped bass, New England’s premier sport fish, and that change is perceived to be bad news, you can be sure the sky will soon be predicted to fall.
Royal Parsons was part of a crew that swapped giant tuna records like it was nobody’s business but their own. When it was done, his record is the one that still stands.
Parsons was six-feet, four-inches tall and weighed 220 pounds. His wife, Joyce, called him the “Gentle Giant,” a nickname she said was first given to him by his friends.
On August 8, Clean Ocean Action learned that the participants in the Rutgers-led seismic survey off the Jersey shore, set to occur this July and August, had decided to postpone the survey until the summer of 2015. Due to equipment malfunctions on their vessel, the Marcus G. Langseth, the researchers were unable to obtain the 30 days of data needed before the expiration of their federal authorization on August 17.
Upon hearing the news, COA Executive Director Cindy Zipf said, “It is a victory for marine life this summer, and for the state of New Jersey and thousands of citizens that have rallied to their defense. The coastal economy won’t be a victim of Rutgers’ seismic blasting off our coast…this year. However, we are stunned that the National Science Foundation, Rutgers and others are going to try again next year given the many members of Congress, the State of NJ, NJ State legislators, fishing, diving, tourism, and ocean advocacy organizations, and nearly 20,000 petition signers have opposed the project.”
“They blind-sided us last time, but now time is on our side and we will demand that the permitting process have robust congressional and state oversight and ample time for public review. We, the people, will be prepared and organized to advocate on behalf of New Jersey marine life to stop this dangerous experiment.”