Recreational fishermen will hate this: Regulators want more spiny dogfish in the water
Federal fishery regulators slashed the coastwide commercial quota for spiny dogfish by nearly 60%, from just over 29 million pounds to 12 million pounds.
The Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission's spiny dogfish management board based its decision on declining trends in several indicators including survey abundance, catch per unit of effort, pup production and dogfish growth. New Jersey's share of the quota fell from 2.2 million pounds, to just over 900,000 pounds.
While recreational fishermen have little palate for spiny dogfish ,which is viewed by this sector as more of nuisance fish that voraciously feeds on juvenile sea bass and fluke, and tangles up fishing line, gillnetters did establish a market for the spiny dogfish.
Kevin Wark, a Barnegat Light gillnetter and Garden State Seafood Association board member, said the cut will have some impact on the value of their total dock landings. The dogfish has relatively low value but processors in New Bedford, Massachusetts, who buys New Jersey's spiny dogfish, sell the product to consumer markets in Europe for the product as well as domestic markets for dietary supplements and food for livestock.
On the boats
This weekend was as slow as it's going to get around here, as far as fishing goes as no boats sailed for blackfish or offshore for porgies. The quick temperature drop was a bit of a shock to the system after a mild January and, because of the wind that brought it, the ocean wasn't in great shape for boats to break the inlet.
More:Sea bass season faces possible loss of July to meet 10% cut
That cold air was gone by Sunday, though, and the mild weather is back again, where it's forecast to stay for at least the next 10 days. A few boats, Ocean Explorer, Mimi VI, Paramount and Sea Owl will be trying for blackfish and/or codfish during the week. The Dauntless party boat should be back from dry dock by Tuesday and join them.
The mild winter weather has not allowed for safe ice to form at the state's largest freshwater body, Lake Hopatcong, but it did get cold enough Friday to mess up the access for anglers who were catching crappies and perch off the the docks and piers. Laurie Murphy at Dow's Boat Rentals said a thin layer of unsafe formed around the edges of the lake. It was just enough so that anglers couldn't get bait into the water over the weekend.
Build a fishing rod, other fishing events
Brielle Bait & Tackle has filled the slots for the February rod building class. Greg Bogan said there's been a lot of interest this winter in learning the craft. As such, they have scheduled another rod building basics course to run in March. The course will cover everything one needs to know about assembling a fishing rod from scratch. It's a three-night course, 7 to 9 p.m. on March 20, 22 & 24. The cost is $95 and space is limited. Call the shop at 732-528-5720 for more info or to sign up.
What's biting: Get the latest fishing reports here
The Hi-Mar Striper Club's annual flea market will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Middletown VFW Post 2179 in Port Monmouth, New Jersey. The cost is $5 per person, 15 and under get a free entry.
The Asbury Park Fishing Club's "original plug show" and flea market returns on March 19. This will the be show's 30th anniversary. The show, which draws the best plug makers on the East Coast, will be held at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park. The hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radel is not reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he is a history professor. Reach him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: NJ fishing: Spiny dogfish quota slashed