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Rule Proposals Rescinded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
Boating & Fishing Advisory Info
April 10, 2013
Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795
CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION GEARS UP FOR BUSY
RECREATIONAL FISHING AND BOATING SEASON ALONG THE
JERSEY SHORE; LAST OF RECREATIONAL USE ADVISORIES
LIFTED FOR RARITAN BAY
(13/P34) TRENTON -- With recreational fishing and
boating season getting into gear, the Christie
Administration today released a "Jersey Shore Open
for Boating" fact sheet and flier to educate the
public on having a safe time on the water.
"Governor Christie and I are committed to ensuring
that our coastal communities are open for tourism
and recreation this season after all our state has
been through because of Superstorm Sandy," said
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner
"We have come a long way. Marinas and charter
fishing operations are gearing up for the season ,
and water quality is excellent," Commissioner Martin
said. "We want everyone to know that New Jersey's
waterways are open for your enjoyment. We just ask
you to use common sense and caution as cleanup
"The waterways in some areas may be very different
than before Superstorm Sandy, and boaters need to be
aware of obstacles and adjust their speed
accordingly for safety," said Colonel Rick Fuentes,
Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
"Everyone is reminded to be mindful of their
surroundings and always follow commonsense measures,
such as wearing personal flotation devices."
"The companies cleaning up the coast are doing a
great job. The Governor is on top of it," said Fred
Brueggemann, incoming president of the Marine Trades
Association of New Jersey. "We know that Barnegat
Bay has been a priority of his since he took office
long before the storm. We look forward to working
with the DEP and DOT to ensure a wonderful boating
The DEP continues to monitor water quality along the
entire coastline, with all test results meeting
recreational use standards. The DEP recently lifted
the recreational fishing and boating advisory in
place for Raritan Bay since Superstorm Sandy hit at
the end of October. As a result, all recreational
use advisories have now been lifted across the
The DEP will continue to work with the New Jersey
Department of Health as well as county and local
health agencies to ensure protection of water
quality and the safety of the public now and into
the summer season. Recreational bathing beaches will
be thoroughly monitored, with any closings posted on
the DEP's website at www.njbeaches.org
State contractors under the direction of the DEP
have been focusing on removing debris from bays,
channels, rivers, inlets and other coastal waters
since the beginning of March, removing pieces of
structures, docks, bulkheads, boats, and cars.
Priority is being given to areas that pose a threat
to public safety and the environment or impede
The DEP is working with the NJ Department of
Transportation, the Marine Services Bureau of the
State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Coast
Guard Auxiliary, and municipalities to assess
boating safety as cleanup progresses.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation has been
doing sonar surveys and marking areas where debris
is to be removed from state navigation channels. The
Army Corps of Engineers has also been working on
clearing the Intracoastal Waterway of debris.
"Our focus during waterway debris removal remains on
public safety," Commissioner Martin said. "While
this work is ongoing, it is imperative that boaters
be particularly attentive while out on the water."
Boaters should travel at slower speeds, always wear
personal flotation devices and stay tuned to Channel
16 for public safety alerts. They are advised that
some navigation channels may have shifted or become
shoaled. Anyone observing floating or submerged
debris should report this to the DEP at
To view the flier and fact sheet visit:
For more information on the waterway debris removal
. Follow on Twitter: @NJBeachReport.
Media coverage of the effort to
resovle gear confilcts on reefs.
NOTE: The letter from DEP
Commissioner, Bob Martin, to NJOA Chairman,
Anthony Mauro, with a proposal to resolve fixed
gear conflicts on the artifical reefs can be
found at the link that follows:
John Oswald of The Asbury Park
Press covered the developing story in his
"Solution to gear conflict
inches forward" (link follows)
While the effort to remove
commercial gear from New Jersey's artificial
reefs has been moving at a glacial pace, at
best, there are indications from the New Jersey
DEP and Gov. Christies' office that momentum is
picking up. What the solution will look like and
when it will be implemented are questions that
won't be answered anytime soon, but DEP
Commissioner Bob Martin has indicated to a
number of outdoor groups that he's anxious to
get the situation resolved.
One key reason to get the problem rectified is that New Jersey has
been denied federal funds for its artificial
reef program since money for the reefs comes
from the U.S Sport Fish Restoration Fund, which
can only be used for recreational fishing. New
Jersey was cut off from these funds nearly two
years ago. Reef funding also comes from an
excise tax imposed on the sale of recreational
Legislation aimed at outlawing commercial gear on the reefs has
passed in the New Jersey State Senate on several
occasions only to be stymied in the Assembly.
Peter Grimbilas, chairman of the Reef Rescue
Fund, who has been fighting this battle in the
legislature for the past six years, said the
issue has really gained some traction in past
three months or so.
The recent movement can be attributed to one simple word:
Because the reefs were funded and built for recreational use, a
number of outdoor groups were solidly against
the idea that any portions of the artificial
reefs should be used for commercial fishing.
Commercial interests argued that because
sections of the reef were built on naturally
occurring structure and these were historic
fishing grounds in use for years, commercial
fishermen should have access to them. A
During a conversation with Grimbilas in December, Commissioner
Martin told him that nothing will be
accomplished unless there is compromise. He
asked Grimbilas and other members of the New
Jersey Outdoor Alliance Conservation Foundation
to come up with a list of conditions that would
appease most of the members.
"We canvassed the members of the NJOA and asked them what will make
you accept a compromise," said Grimbilas.
On that list were a number of stipulations, chief among them were
that any regulation would satisfy U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service requirements for the
restoration of federal funds and that the state
would petition the Mid-Atlantic Fishery
Management Council for SMZ designation for all
of New Jersey's offshore reefs.
In addition, if commercial gear were to be allowed on a small
segment (16 percent) of the state's two inshore
reefs, the state would build a new reef equal to
or greater in area that will be designated
exclusively for recreational use.
In a letter dated Feb. 7 to Anthony Mauro, chairman of the NJOA,
Commissioner Martin wrote "that as part of a
proposed compromise between recreational and
commercial fishing communities, the DEP will
commit to establish commercial zones within each
of the two in-state reefs, create a new state
reef and petition the Mid-Atlantic Fishery
Management Council (MAFMC) for Special
Management Zone (SMZ) regulations for the
existing 13 reefs in federal waters that
essentially prohibit the use of pot gear."
"The 23 council members of the NJOA (CF), which include some of the
largest salt water fishing organizations in New
Jersey, are excited by the proposals because it
would both eliminate gear conflicts --- and
equitably represents the interests of the
recreational angler," said Mauro
"This is a major movement by the DEP," said Grimbilas. "It's
important to note that this is only a proposal
at this time, and the NJOA (CF) is currently
reviewing it. The NJOA (CF) has not announced
any agreement, nor has the Christie
Administration to our knowledge."
The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) also reported movement on
the effort to remove commercial gear from New
Jersey's reefs while preserving the commercial
sector's access to those reefs.
"Anglers and angler groups have been fighting hard for over six
years to address the access issues at New
Jersey's artificial reef complex and I think
we're finally seeing light at the end of the
tunnel," said Jim Donofrio, executive director
of the RFA. .
Donofrio said the Governor's office appears to be in agreement with
a 2012 legislative appeal by Assemblyman Nelson
Albano, chairman of the New Jersey Assembly
Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee,
which would prohibit commercial fixed gear from
over 95 percent of New Jersey's two inshore
artificial reef areas.
Chairman Albano's legislation would also prohibit all fixed gear
from the state reef system during the prime
recreational fishing period from May 15 to Oct.
1, while simultaneously directing the NJDEP to
initiate a pot management plan for state
officials to account and monitor the actual
number of fish pots presently deployed --- and
by whom --- in New Jersey coastal waters.
"Whatever come out of the governor's office we'll embrace.," said
Jim Hutchinson, executive director of the RFA.
"We support the effort by the Governor's office, providing that it
allows the potting to continue only on the
traditional areas that have minimally deployed
materials as expressed by Chairman Albano in his
legislation," said Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman
of the RFA-NJ chapter.
Whatever solution is adopted, don't expect it to come too quickly.
It will probably be another two years before
this situation is resolved. But at least now
there is some activity.
The Economics of
Sportfishing: ASA Releases Report
Southwick Associates was
also recently busy working with the
American Sportfishing Association (ASA)
to highlight another financial pillar of
conservation, fishing, as described in
the report, "Sportfishing in America: An
Economic Force for Conservation." With
the USFWS reporting that 33 million
Americans age 16 or older went fishing
in 2011, and ASA estimating
there are potentially as
many as 60 million Americans of all ages
who consider themselves anglers in the
country, fishing at least once every
five years, the sportfishing community
is undoubtedly vital to the economy and
In fact, it is estimated
that anglers spend approximately $48
billion annually on equipment, licenses,
trips, and other fishing-related items
or events with an economic multiplier
effect of $115 billion impacting our
nation's economy. Each angler spends
roughly $1,441 per year supporting
828,000 jobs that account for as much as
$35 billion in salaries and wages. Plus,
through excise taxes on fishing tackle,
fishing licenses and personal donations,
anglers contributed nearly $1.5 billion
in dedicated funding to fisheries
conservation in 2011. And these numbers
promise to grow with the population of
anglers growing 11 percent between 2006
# New Jersey Resident
Salaries & Wages: $583,147,807
Federal Tax Revenues: $158,769,630
State Tax Revenues: $137,228,333
Top 10 States:
Non-Resident Fishing Destinations
Ranked by Number of
# Non-resident anglers
More Fishing Quick Facts
More Americans fish than
play golf (21 million) and tennis (13
were a company, the amount spent by
anglers to support fishing-related
retail sales would rank number 51 on the
Fortune 500 list.
more revenue ($48 billion) than Lockheed
Martin ($47 billion), Intel ($44
billion), Chrysler ($42 billion) or
Google ($38 billion).
activity generated by sportfishing is
greater than the economies, measured in
Gross State Product, of 17 states.
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.
**RFA NEWS ALERT**
For Immediate Release
RFA BASS RIVER TOURNAMENT JUNE 8
Contest Details & New RFA T-Shirts Debut in Cape May
May 2, 2013 - Attention all New Jersey and Pennsylvania boat anglers, don't miss the Strictly Boaters Boat Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 3-5, at South Jersey Marina in Cape May. The first area 'on-water' show of the 2013 season, the Strictly Boaters Boat Show has been designed specifically for boat buyers and sellers, and is the perfect spot to find the best possible deal before the fishing season kicks into high gear.
Join the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and our RFA-NJ chapter, as we premiere our 2013 t-shirt line featuring beautifully designed artwork of both a summer flounder and striped bass, emblazoned on high-quality, American-made Jensen tees with front pocket. Available in bold red for 'fluke' and clean white for 'striper' these $20 RFA t-shirts will go fast, so get to South Jersey Marina early!
Also be sure to pick up an entry blank for the first ever RFA Bass River Summer Flounder Tournament to be held on Saturday, June 8th at Viking Yachting Center on the Bass River in New Gretna, co-sponsored by Breeze's Bar & Grill on the Bass River.
In what organizers hope to one day refer to as the "Bass River Classic," cash prizes totaling $2,000 will be awarded to the top three boats in the contest ($1,000, $750 and $250) based on combined weight of the heaviest two summer flounder - or fluke if you prefer!
Entry is just $75 per boat through May 24th - $90 after - and includes a t-shirt for the captain and four wristbands for captain and crew for the Friday and Saturday night festivities at Breeze's Bar & Grill. Captain's meeting kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night, June 7th at Breezes with the mandatory rules meeting at 7:30.
One-day tourney commences at sunrise Saturday with final weigh-in back at the dock n' dine dock at Viking Yachting Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with an awards ceremony with door prizes at 5 p.m.
Calcuttas will also be coordinated for single heaviest flounder of the contest, and there will also be special prizes including Lamiglas rod with reel combo, and special trophies for anglers 12 and under. Boundary lines for the contest are south to Absecon Inlet and north to the Causeway in Ship Bottom.
All tournament proceeds will benefit the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and Tuckerton Seaport & Museum.
Pick up entry blanks where you pick up your gear, at Scott's Bait & Tackle in Mystic Island, Viking Yachting Center in New Gretna, or at Chestnut Neck Boat Yard in Port Republic (where launch facilities are available for those looking to trailer in!)
The first annual RFA Bass River Summer Flounder Tournament is sponsored by Viking Yachting Center, Breezes, Lamiglas, The Fisherman Magazine, Sea-Tow of Atlantic City, Scott's Bait & Tackle and Chestnut Neck.
For additional details, go to www.bassriverclassic.com.
Recreational Fishing Alliance
Martin / 707-357-3422
For Immediate Release
January 30, 2013
NJ ANGLERS CLAIM DRAG ISLAND VICTORY
Praises State Officials For Pledging Support for
May 14, 2013 -
South Jersey surfcasters have claimed victory at
Drag Island this week after learning that
efforts to preserve access rights to this
historic Somers Point walk-up hotspot have
The Drag Island Access Preservation Association
(DIAPA), together with the Recreational Fishing
Alliance (RFA) and its New Jersey chapter (RFA-NJ),
was informed this week by Sen. Jeff Van Drew
(D-Cape May) that walk-on access will continue
at Drag Island once the State of New Jersey
finishes completion of the new southbound
Parkway bridge project at Somers Point, and that
plans to completely demolish the Beesley's Point
Bridge are being modified to accommodate
fishermen and nature enthusiasts alike.
According to RFA executive director Jim Donofrio,
the plan to preserve the access rights enjoyed
by New Jersey residents for the past 85 years
includes a fishing pier extension on the south
side of Drag Island which will extend into Great
Egg Channel, with a portion of the Beesley's
Point Bridge maintained for walk-on access to
Drag Island. This all comes by way of ongoing
political negotiations following months of
public support and letter-writing by New Jersey
"I know sometimes folks get frustrated when
things don't happen in government immediately,
but this is one particular access victory that
would not have been possible without the efforts
of government officials, both elected and those
appointed, who helped fast-track this effort in
Trenton," Donofrio said.
"In addition to Sen. Van Drew who has long
championed angler issues in New Jersey, RFA is
thankful to the folks in the Christie
Administration, particularly Commissioner Bob
Martin and his staff at the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) as well as the
Department of Transportation (DOT) who got
together and figured out a way to ensure
progress with preservation," added Donofrio.
Van Drew, who originally met with anglers back
in February regarding Drag Island, gave credit
to DOT Commissioner Jim Simpson, DEP
Commissioner Martin, and Gov. Christie for
approving the project. "This couldn't have
happened without them. This project caps off an
extraordinary commitment they have made to South
Jersey. This truly will increase public access
in a way that makes sense and does not infringe
on residents' property rights. Generations of
fishermen and nature lovers will enjoy this
spectacular area. This project is a win for
residents and visitors alike," Van Drew said
in the Atlantic City Press.
"I would like to personally thank Senator Van
Drew and the RFA for their tireless efforts in
Trenton to ensure the enjoyment of shore based
fishing and other nature related activities at
Drag Island for generations to come," said
founding DIAPA representative and longtime RFA
member Bill Shillingford. "We are also thankful
for the positive positions of the DEP and
Division of Fish Game and Wildlife in preserving
access to Drag Island. This is a good example of
how groups working together for a common cause
can get positive results."
George Bucci, a founding member of DIAPA,
overjoyed at the news, said "Being local to the
area and having fished Drag Island over the
years and now with my children, I thought the
access issue was important enough for me to get
involved to preserve access for everyone for
future generations to enjoy. I cannot express
how happy I am about the results here."
Shillingford and Bucci both praised the efforts
of another DIAPA founder, local attorney and
avid angler Pat Martin. "Without his sound legal
advice and insightful guidance, I am not sure we
would be where we are right now."
"I am extremely pleased with the results here,"
Martin said. "Senator Van Drew took the time out
of his busy schedule to meet with us, genuinely
listened to our concerns and believed in our
cause. RFA also committed to our efforts. I want
to personally commend the Senator and RFA for
fighting in Trenton to preserve access to Drag
Island on our behalf."
RFA-NJ representative Greg O'Connell said the
decision to protect public access at Drag Island
may seem a minor victory for folks not familiar
with this particular stretch of fishing area,
but he explained that it's a huge public access
win for the state's anglers. "We've had so many
meetings with the DEP in recent years where
we've heard the pledge of no net-loss of access,
so in the grand scheme of things, the
preservation of Drag Island traditions helps set
a major precedent for public access in New
The Atlantic City Press reported today that
there would be parking on the Atlantic County
side, which Van Drew said eventually could be
expanded into "a wonderful recreation area." Van
Drew noted the new southbound parkway bridge
over Great Egg Harbor Bay and Drag Island will
also have an additional lane for cars and a
separate path for bicycles, the only bike lane
on the parkway.
"With this project, we are creating a more
convenient and efficient way for residents to
continue to enjoy our region's beautiful coastal
areas. I want to thank the anglers who worked on
this issue and state officials who approached
this idea with an open mind. This is what
happens when we all work together for the good
of the community," Van Drew said.
Van Drew also reminded anglers that this could
take some time to get accomplished, perhaps a
couple of years. "All the T's have not been
crossed and the I's have not been dotted," Van
Drew told the Atlantic City Press.
O'Connell added that RFA-NJ will continue to
monitor the progress of the initiative, but
added that the pledge from Van Drew and the
Christie administration together is great news
for all New Jersey constituents.
"At a time when the state budget was being
negotiated and an ongoing DOT project was well
underway, to take time to help shepherd our
cause through the proper channels in Trenton is
proof that government does work when the people
take the time to get involved," O'Connell said.
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