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Island Beach State Park after Sandy


Rule Proposals Rescinded
New Jersey Beach Buggy's Paul Harris and Paul Novello, along with NJOA, NJ Federation of Sportsman and JCAA were in attendance at a meeting held this week with Commissioner Martin, Deputy Commissioner Boornazian of the NJ DEP and Mark Texel Director of NJ State Parks Department. The topic was to discuss the new state park rules pertaining to mobile sport fishing on Island Beach State Park, Brigantine and Corson's Inlet. The commissioners where aware of some comments that we brought forward thanks to over 300 letters and emails that they received from members and others that took the time to express their concerns about the rule changes. NJBBA looks forward to be working with the DEP's park systems to help rewrite new rules pertaining to mobile sport fishing. At this time they have already started to rewrite the new rules. I would like to thank all those that took the time from their daily lives to respond to the DEP.  
Paul Harris - President
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NJOA LogoNew Jersey Outdoor Alliance

PO Box 655

Belmar, NJ 07719

"Preservation through conservation"


Officers: Ed Markowski, Captain Pete Grimbilas, Jerry Natale, Len Wolgast, PhD., Anthony Mauro 

NJOA: NY after NJ fluke quota...
and quotas from regional states by using "Fluke Fairness Act"
Schumer pledges to use clout to pass 'Fluke Fairness Act'

Originally published: November 4, 2013 3:41 PM
Updated: November 5, 2013 12:25 AM

Sen. Charles Schumer Monday fired another salvo in the battle against New York's disproportionately small share of the federal fluke fishery with proposed legislation that he said would "end the unfairness."

Surrounded by boat captains and advocates at the Captree State Park fishing dock, Schumer vowed to push a bill through Congress that would do away with what he said was the faulty data and uneven quota system on which New York's small share is based. And he said he would use his connections and clout in Congress to see to it.

"I've got a lot of friends in the Senate, I've got a lot of clout in the Senate," he said. "I will use it."
The so-called Fluke Fairness Act would require that federal fisheries managers use up-to-date research and data to set quotas, which now limit New York's share of the commercial fishery to 7.6 percent of the federal allotment. States such as North Carolina and Virginia get more than 20 percent. Out-of-state boats fishing in New York-area waters can sometimes take thousands of pounds of fluke, but must steam to home ports to unload their catch.

Regulators recently shut down the commercial fluke fishery in New York because this year's quota was met. Other states that haven't met their larger quota fish through the fall.

"This has been an incredible injustice," said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which supports Schumer's proposal.

Same for recreational fishing, Schumer said, where New York anglers' 17 percent quota means they can keep fewer fish than even neighboring states such as Connecticut and New Jersey, whose boats frequently travel into New York waters. New Jersey anglers fishing in season can keep five fluke of 17.5 inches compared with New York's four fish at 19 inches.

A regional approach Schumer and others have pushed would make the three states' recreational quota the same.

Fishing boat captains say it's badly needed.

"We've always taken the blunt end of the rules," said George Bartenback, owner of the Captain Rod party boat moored in Captree. "If people could go home with a couple more fish, it's a big help."

Schumer and industry advocates have pushed hard at the federal level to change the rules within the existing federal fishing regulators. But fishing councils that dictate the rules have resisted, he said, because they are largely controlled by states that have no interest in change.

Rep. Tim Bishop is considering introducing companion legislation in the House, spokesman Oliver Longwell said. At the same time, he said, Bishop will explore the feasibility of incorporating the measures in a bill to reauthorize the Manguson Stevens Fisheries Act, which set the original restrictions.The current rules not only frustrate recreational fishing captains and their patrons, but they also are bad for the fish stock, fishermen say.

Jim Hutchinson, managing director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, an advocacy group, said the rules force anglers to target the largest fish, often breeding females. Even worse, he said, the undersized fish thrown back have a 10 percent mortality rate -- about one in 10 that are tossed back die.

Emerson Hasbrouck, a senior educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension's Marine Program, said New York's more restrictive quota isn't about preserving a depleted fish stock.

"Summer flounder is fully restored, it's not overfished," he said using another name for fluke. The restrictions are in place, he said, because other states that have a larger percentage of the quota don't want to give it up -- even though some don't fully fish their allotment.

Hasbrouck said New York's low allotment is doubly unfair because the coastal fluke population is shifting -- to New York waters. "The population center has shifted northward," drawing boats from as far south as the Carolinas, yet, "New York fishermen are allowed the least fish."

NJOA: HOFNOD Training in December

Release from NJ DEP:

NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting another 2-day training
for adult staff and volunteers of youth-centered community and/or
faith-based organizations looking to offer an ongoing or year-round youth
fishing, conservation and aquatic education program. Hooked on Fishing-Not
on Drugs (HOFNOD) is a statewide youth fishing education program which
introduces youth to fishing.

The program includes learning about local waters and other natural
resources while supporting positive outdoor recreation activities and life
skills. HOFNOD is flexible enough to be tailored to fit most organizations.

The workshop will be held December 13-15, 2013 at the Girl Scout's Camp
Sacajawea South in Newfield, NJ. Participants of this training will be
responsible for delivering the program to youth from beginning to end. The
registration deadline is Friday, December 6, and there is a non-refundable
registration fee of $40 per person.

For more information, including the online registration form, visit on the
division's website.

To learn more about HOFNOD, visit , also on the Division's

NJOA: Bill to ban deer baiting passes NJ Senate Committee
NOTE: Yesterday, in an act to defy responsible committee oversight and conventional wildlife management methods, a state senator used his position as committee chairman to circumvent the expertise of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee and have an animal rights bill heard in his own committee (Senate Economic Committee) to ensure the bill was passed. Animal rights groups Humane Society United States and NJ Sierra Club are behind the bill. The bill would unilaterally remove deer baiting as a wildlife management tool, potentially throughout New Jersey.
Bill to require bear-proof garbage cans in some areas advances through N.J. Senate committee
By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on November 14, 2013 at 2:06 PM, updated November 14, 2013 at 6:03 PM
TRENTON --- If you live in bear country, repeatedly leaving an open jar of honey outside would earn you a fine of up to $1,000 under a bill that is advancing through the state Senate.

The Senate Economic Growth and Agriculture Committee today approved the measure (S2369), which would apply not just to Winnie the Pooh's favorite snack, but any food waste left accessible to bears in areas the animals are known to frequent.

Instead, residents and businesses in high black bear traffic areas would be required to use bear-resistant containers or dumpsters. Public and private campgrounds would have to make the containers available as well. Farms, however, would be exempted.

The bill, which was approved by a vote of 3-2, would also ban baiting bears and deer for hunting in areas with a large bear population.

"We're not talking about fish," said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), the committee's chairman and the bill's sponsor. "This baiting takes bears and deer out of their natural environment, into the public environment, and not only is a danger to the public but it takes the sport out of it. True hunters don't need to bait.... Baiting is nothing more than target shooting."

Bear country residents would only face fines after first receiving a warning. The minimum fine would be $50, and the maximum $1,000.

The committee's two Republicans, Sens. Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), voted no.

Anthony Mauro, president of the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, said that baiting is a tool that can be used to control deer population by wildlife management professionals and should not be taken off the table.

"If professionals feel baiting an animal is a tool necessary to manage deer populations, we see this as a unilateral ban which is not good for forests," he said. "Then we can't manage deer properly," Mauro said. "It's not good for vehicles collisions, helping control Lyme Disease cases, minimizing landscape damage."

Mauro also said the bill is not clear on what would be considered areas with big bear populations, noting they've been spotted in all 21 counties. He said it would also be an unfunded mandate for rural residents.

"People in these areas will have to buy those expensive screw-off garbage tops. On top of that, waste management companies... are going to have to have someone ride along or spend time unscrewing all those lids," Mauro said. "And that costs is going to be transferred to those people."

Twenty-six states ban deer baiting while 18 of the 28 states that allow bear hunting ban baiting them, according to the Animal Protection League.

"Access to garbage and bait changes black bear behavior and foraging habits," the League said in a press release. "Feeding can lead to food conditioning, habituation to humans, conflicts, and property damage. Feeding, via trash or bait, also leads to increased reproductive rates, physical size and numbers, and reduces bear range."


Jersey Coast Anglers Association

About Jersey Coast Anglers Association
The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a non-profit organization formed in 1981. The original objective of the JCAA was to combine a loosely fragmented group of marine sportfishing clubs in order to form and promote a united consensus on issues relevant to saltwater anglers in New Jersey. Over teh years, the mission of the JCAA has remained unchanged, but now has the added goal of joining forces with organizations having similar objectives in states along the East Coast and national organizations. While the JCAA is relatively young, it has emerged as the most effective organization of its kind on the East Coast. For more information, or for information about becoming a member of the JCAA, please call (732) 506-6565 or visit


Fluke and Sea bass Regulation Update 3/27/14

There will be a special meeting of the NJMFC that will be held at 4 PM on April 3rd at the Stafford Township Municipal building located at 260 East Bay Av., Manahawkin. Regulations for both fluke and sea bass will be decided at that meeting following public comment. All concerned fishermen are encouraged to voice their opinions at this meeting.
There was another advisors meeting on 3/27/14. Regarding fluke there were no ...changes in the options being considered. The majority of advisors favored option 2 but I sensed that there was also considerable support for option 1. I believe that either option has a good chance of being adopted. I think whichever one has the most public support at the upcoming NJMFC meeting will be the one that is chosen.
Option 1 - 18” size limit, 5 fish bag limit, season May 17th – September 21st
Option 2 – 18” size limit, 5 fish bag limit, season May 23rd – September 27th
There is also the possibility of a special 16” size limit for shore based fishermen at Island Beach State Park. This is a proposed pilot program that could be expanded to other areas next year. This possible option is being developed further and may be explained at the meeting on 4/3. However, if it moves forward, it will not be voted on until the council’s May meeting.
Regarding sea bass there were a couple new options developed pertaining to the split bag season. One in particular garnered unanimous support. This new option is as follows:
12 ½” size limit, 15 fish bag limit from 5/19 – 6/30, 3 fish bag limit from 7/1 – 8/31, 15 fish bag limit from 9/1 – 9/6 and a 15 fish bag limit from 10/18 – 12/31. There were 7 other options that were considered and at least a couple of them will be presented at the meeting on 4/3. I don’t want to speculate on which ones they might be but I will let you know once they are finalized by the council.

Paul Haertel
President, JCAA



Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)

Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732


For Immediate Release

  February 27, 2014  


NOAA Fisheries Rewards New England Draggers Again

The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries strikes again!


NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced that the $75 million appropriated by Congress as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget will be allocated to six fisheries across the country that were declared fishery disasters by the Department of Commerce in 2012 and 2013.


Of the total $75 million in federal fisheries disaster funding, Alaska's salmon fisheries will get close to $21 million, Florida will receive $6.3 million for problems relating to oyster harvest in the Gulf of Mexico, while commercial oyster and blue crab fishermen in Mississippi will receive $10.9 million.


NMFS said that the four coastal New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will share close to $33 million in federal fisheries disaster relief for depleted groundfish stocks there including cod and flounder, while another $1 million will be sent to commercial fishermen in American Samoa following the tsunami of 2009.


Meanwhile, fishermen in New York and New Jersey will share just $3 million to address the devastating impacts following Superstorm Sandy.


In 2013, New York and New Jersey were awarded $5 million in fisheries disaster relief, which after sequestration cuts amount to just over $2 million per state to be allocated to both recreational and commercial fishing businesses impacted by Sandy. According to Jim Donofrio at the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), that money has not yet been implemented because it's too little to disperse to those impacted by the storm of the century.


"If every fishing business owner in New York and New Jersey that was hit hard in the aftermath of Sandy were to show up at the state capital looking for some of this NOAA grant money, they'd probably be able to get a check for $75," Donofrio said. "Well great news, here's another 50 bucks for you."


"New York and New Jersey were thrown under the bus with the Sandy relief money," added John Mantione of the New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association.


On January 14, 2013, Donofrio sent a letter to Congress on behalf of its members urging support of amendments to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act in order to increase the available funding for states affected by Sandy, at least to $50 million. "By working with state officials in New York and New Jersey, and alongside individual stakeholders and industry groups in these affected states, we knew the figure for uninsured and uninsurable loss alone in the recreational industry would eclipse the $150 million mark," he said.


By the Commerce Department's own follow-up estimate, the losses from Sandy to New Jersey was anywhere from $78 to $121 million and approximately $77 million for New York.


Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) whose 2013 House amendment to increase the fisheries disaster relief funding for New York and New Jersey alike was voted down in Congress said called the NMFS announcement disappointing. "The decision to allocate only $3 million for New York and New Jersey fisheries that were devastated by Sandy out of a total appropriation of $75 million is unfair and diminishes the true extent of the damage caused by the 'once in a century' storm," Pallone said.


"New Jersey's fishing industry is a critical driver of our state's economy, which was harshly impacted by the Superstorm Sandy and I have repeatedly called on NOAA to make recovery of our fisheries a top priority," the congressman noted, while calling the funding "insufficient and unrealistic."


Rep. Pallone went on to cite the Commerce Department's report which estimated $193 million in total losses for New York and New Jersey fisheries combined, saying "I find it confounding then, that NOAA has only allocated such a small and inadequate amount of funding to help us recover when the agency itself identified a far more serious need."


While RFA has praised the efforts of House members like Pallone, Jon Runyan (R-NJ) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) for trying to get additional funding through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Donofrio said U.S. Senators from Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida and Mississippi were far more effective in shaking down NMFS for a better allotment of the $75 million in funding.


"New England draggers have consistently overfished in areas they've been allowed in, and their Senate leaders reward them with $33 million in fisheries welfare, not a dime of which is going to the beleaguered charter and for-hire sector. This commercial bias continues at the federal level while our recreational community in New York and New Jersey suffers at the hands of a broken bureaucracy and a federal law which doesn't properly reflect our unique recreational community," Donofrio said.


"If no one in Washington or at NOAA Fisheries is going to help our fishermen and recreational industry sufficiently recoup what was lost as defined under federal fisheries law, then maybe our New York and New Jersey senate delegation can fix the law and help our anglers to keep fishing," Donofrio said.


RFA said the total funding available to support commercial and recreational fishing industry losses following Sandy adds up to about $3.75 million for each state, New York and New Jersey. While the funding mechanism and distribution method has yet to be established, RFA hopes both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New York Department of Environmental Conservation will work transparently with stakeholders in the days and months ahead to develop a strategy.


"Our recreational sector was never looking at handouts to sit at home like the New England commercial sector, but we were just looking for an honest hand so that our folks can keep fishing," Donofrio added.


According to NOAA Fisheries, states receiving funding have broad latitude to determine the best use of the funds to meet the unique needs of their local businesses and communities, as the monies can be used for activities that, "restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, and to assist a fishing community affected by such failure."


* In 1970, President Richard Nixon transferred almost all functions associated with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries to the Department of Commerce and the office was renamed the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Recreational Fishing Alliance  
Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732  
For Immediate Release
March 27, 2014     


RFA-NJ Hosts Public Discussion in Manahawkin With NJDEP   

Slot striper? One fish bag limit? Increase the size from 28 to 34 inches? Leave it alone?


When it comes to striped bass, everyone's got a management answer - but what exactly is the question that fisheries managers are asking? Whether you fish by boat or by beach, if you're a New Jersey striped bass angler the time for management discussion has arrived!


On Wednesday, April 23rd from 7 to 9 p.m., join Russ Allen of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife at the Holiday Inn on Route 72 in Manahawkin, just east of Exit 63 off the Garden State Parkway, for a special public forum exclusively on striped bass management.


Hosted by the Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ), this free event features an overview of the latest Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) striped bass assessment results, current coastwide stock status, New Jersey's survey results and potential ASMFC management actions.


The forum will offer attendees a unique glimpse at what fisheries managers discussed at the ASMFC Striped Bass Board meeting back in February. ASMFC will take up the striped bass discussion again at their spring meetings in Alexandria, VA which start on Monday, May 12th. In response, the public will be asked to comment on a series of management options this summer which are designed to meet conservation goals and targets for Atlantic Coast striped bass stocks; any changes to the recreational or commercial sector are expected to be implemented in time for the 2015 calendar year.


Organizers at the RFA-NJ say the Wednesday, April 23rd event at the Holiday Inn of Manahawkin is designed as an open forum for individual saltwater anglers, for-hire captains and members of the recreational tackle community, those with a direct interest in the future of striped bass management along the coast.


"We held a similar forum in February at the Atlantic City Boat Show which was very well received, but we're hoping this time to get more folks from the surf community involved in the discussions, especially casters from the Central and North Jersey Coast," said RFA-NJ board member Greg O'Connell, recently tabbed as National Shore Access Representative for RFA.


"The planned forum should not only educate anglers on the state of the fishery but also provide an opportunity to have their thoughts and opinions heard by the folks tasked with making the changes," O'Connell said.


Members of the RFA and the RFA-NJ chapter will be reaching out to various fishing club leaders in the coming days to encourage active participation in this public forum, which is being held to inform interested members of the public about the upcoming management discussions, while providing an unofficial forum for public feedback.


"At the boat show there was plenty of discussion about slot fish, poaching, and even some of the out-of-state efforts by some to open the EEZ to striped bass fishing, which as we learned in Atlantic City has very little support in the community," said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio, a longtime opponent of reopening the EEZ to striper fishing. RFA was originally founded in 1996 in part as a response to NOAA Fisheries' efforts to reopen federal waters to striped bass harvest.


"New Jersey anglers are blessed to have one of the leading striped bass experts along the entire Atlantic Coast working in our own DEP offices, and we're very thankful that Russ is offering up his time to meet with the public on April 23rd," Donofrio said.


Donofrio also went on to praise state legislators for their ongoing commitment to the recreational fishing community, particularly with regard to striped bass. At a meeting this past weekend of the Strathmere Fishing and Environmental Club attended by Donofrio, Capt. Nowalsky and elected officials from the Cape May District, South Jersey anglers learned first-hand that efforts to open up commercial striped bass processing in the state have officially been stalled by one particular Trenton saltwater angler.


"New Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bob Andrzejczak of Cape May County made it fairly clear to his fellow anglers in Strathmere that this unwise legislation would not be going anywhere in his committee," Donofrio said. "This is a bad piece of legislation which we're afraid could create a black market for New Jersey fish to enter restaurants and also pose legal problems with the current gamefish status of striped bass."


"Our thanks to Chairman Andrzejczak for his pledge to defeat those efforts," said Donofrio.


In New Jersey, recreational size limits are set by the New Jersey Legislature; state law also forbids the commercial harvest or sale of striped bass in the state. "Whatever actions the ASMFC decides to take in the coming months, it's going to be up to the New Jersey Senate and Assembly, along with our Governor, to come together to make it work," Donofrio said.


"If you want to see this done right, it's a good idea to get away from those keyboards for an evening and participate in public dialog with your fellow anglers," he added.


Wednesday night, April 23 from 7 until 9 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Route 72 in Manahawkin, approximately 1 mile east of Garden State Parkway Exit 63. It's on the South Side of Route 72, just past Home Depot on the right. Admission is free.

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