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Rule Proposals Rescinded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
Harris - President
Make a Difference
Involved! Stay Involved!
Markowski, Captain Pete
Grimbilas, Jerry Natale, Len
Wolgast, PhD., Anthony
and quotas from regional states by using
"Fluke Fairness Act"
Schumer pledges to use clout to pass 'Fluke
Originally published: November 4, 2013 3:41
Updated: November 5, 2013 12:25 AM
By MARK HARRINGTON email@example.com
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
To learn more about HOFNOD, visit
also on the Division's
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
"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
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
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
"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
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 www.JCAA.org.
Fluke and Sea Bass
The fluke and
sea bass regulations are still up in the air but here is
what I know at this point. The NJ Bureau of Marine
Fisheries is working feverishly while trying to develop
regulations that will best serve our fishermen. However,
their hands are tied by the regionalization plan that
was forced upon us by the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission. The NJBMF is working the ASMFC and
the other states in our region to resolve this matter.
Regarding fluke, we know that Connecticut, New Jersey
and New York are all in the same region and therefore
must have the same size limit, bag limit and season
However, each state is allowed to select the exact dates
for their seasons. We also know that it is virtually
certain that the size limit will be 18” but there is now
a possibility that there could be either a 4 or 5 fish
bag limit. Research has shown that the harvest for our
region would not be too much different with either a 4
or 5 fish limit. Therefore, it seems possible that even
with a 5 fish limit, our region would be projected to
stay under the quota. Season length is another issue
that is being discussed. Addendum XXV approved a 128 day
season but there are other factors in play and a 119 day
season is being considered as well. It is too time
consuming for me to explain this further.
However, at the advisors meeting on 2/27, we received
some clues as to what our fluke season might look like.
A number of proposals were discussed and there was a
consensus that we wanted to extend the season as far
into September as possible. In part, that is due to the
fact that sea bass season will be closed by 9/18 or
sooner. At that time of year we are only allowed to keep
one blackfish so if the fluke season is also closed,
there will be little for inshore fishermen to fish for.
Options that were favored by the advisors would have the
season open on 5/17 or 5/23 and extend through either
9/21 or 9/27. Another option in play would have the
season beginning on 5/23 and ending on 9/18.
Traditionally, our fluke regulations are set at the New
Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting in March but we
do not know if this will be resolved by then. There may
have to be a special council meeting in April if the
proposed regulations are not ready to be voted on by
their March 6th meeting.
Regarding sea bass the news is not good. We are in a
region with Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and
Rhode Island. The region over fished its quota last year
and depending on which data is used, the entire region
will have to cut back by either 3% or 7%. Each region is
given a quota and each state within the region is given
a target quota to assist in developing their
regulations. In 2013 New York harvested 125% of their
target, Connecticut harvested 150% of their target but
New Jersey harvested only 61% of its target. New Jersey
did its job in setting stringent regulations so that we
did not exceed our quota but we still have to cut back
by either 3 or 7%. It is unfair and hard to believe but
that is the way it is under this regional plan, the
states that exceed their targets are rewarded while the
states that under fish their target are penalized. I can
only imagine how the regional fluke plan is going to
At the advisors meeting a number of options regarding
sea bass were considered and a couple new ones were
suggested that the NJBMF will try to develop and receive
approval for from the ASMFC. It seems certain that we
will have a season that begins on 5/19 with a 12 ½” size
limit. We also know that the season will be closed from
9/18 or sooner through 10/17 or later. There is a strong
possibility that the season could be closed by early to
mid –August if the bag limit remains high. The options
that were on the table at the meeting included those
with 12, 15 or 20 fish bag limits. I suggested that the
bag limit be reduced to 3-5 fish in July so that the
season could be further extended into August or even
September. The majority of advisors agreed with me on
this as it would enable fluke fishermen to spice their
catch with sea bass during the late season. The NJMFB
agreed to develop this proposal but it is uncertain if
the ASMFC will approve it.
The next meeting of the NJMFC will be held at 4 PM on
March 6th at the Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic
County Library, 306 Jimmie Leeds Rd., Galloway, NJ.
08205. It is uncertain if the fluke and sea bass
regulations will be voted on at this meeting. However, a
proposal to open the winter flounder season year round
is expected to be considered. The size limit and bag
limit will remain the same, 2 fish at 12”.
Please also “like” the Jersey Coast Anglers Association
Facebook page. There is a lot more information there
regarding fisheries issues.
Hutchinson, Jr. /
**RFA NEWS ALERT**
For Immediate Release
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.
Hutchinson, Jr. /
For Immediate Release
RFA To Sift Through
Details As Saltwater
Anglers Look Towards
notice a big
as House Natural
just unveiled a
in Santa's shop
in recent weeks,
RFA is now
members of the
to determine if
really in order
for the New
and would renew
and amend the
Act - last
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year 2013 -
deal with the
"It also would
based on sound
science and all
who are impacted
by this law can
have an active
role in the
Act has enabled
the U.S. to have
the best managed
fisheries in the
world and has
to address their
"Yet, as the
severe cuts to
"I believe there
are updates to
the law that
and ensure there
is a proper
needs of fish
and the economic
the key themes
of the draft
into line with
to reform the
law on behalf of
good to see some
but we want to
make sure that
this draft will
not upset the
"RFA has been
about the need
to amend the
fisheries law to
and needs of the
don't want to do
that at the
To read the
the new draft
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