News for the week of November 15 submitted by Bill Schemel
Three awards given by the Federation to worthy individuals are the Keith Griffiths Memorial award, the Frank Valgenti award and the George P. Howard Conservation award.
The Keith Griffiths Memorial award is presented to a Federation member who best exemplifies the dedication and service to the Federation at either the county or state level. The award winner must be a Federation member.
The Frank Valgenti award is given to the a person who promotes hunting, fishing and trapping in the state of New Jersey. This person does not have to be a Federation member and can be anyone in the public sector or legislative office.
The George P. Howard Conservation award is given to an individual who has shown by example ways in which he or she has helped conserve the natural resources of New Jersey by promoting the wise use of those resources.
Nominations will be taken until April 1, 2011. They can be sent to Ed Cuneo at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 609-567-9082.
Apshawa Preserve to get 300 acres of fencing to limit deer damage
A report last week stated that 300 acres of the Apshawa Preserve in West Milford, Passiac County, would be fenced off to limit the amount of deer damage being done to the ecosystem.
The New Jersey Conservation Foundation was putting up the fence according to Ross Kushner of the Pequannock River Coalition.
―According to the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the fence is intended to protect and encourage native plants by preventing deer from browsing on them. While we applaud the idea of promoting native plants, a forest is a complex system. You cannot surround a substantial portion of it with a high fence without impacts that extend far beyond deer and plants. Animals often utilize different areas in different seasons, with specific lands being key to their survival at varying times. That complexity seems to have been missed here. Restricting the movement of wildlife with a fence can be deadly for them. This is especially true in winter, which can be a difficult time for wildlife. The effect on everything from black bear to cottontail rabbits, and on endangered species such as bobcat, was ignored or at least not fully considered.
As far as timing, we have learned that much of the fence is already in place. The plan is to use volunteers to drive deer (and other animals) out from this 300-acre tract on December 5th, and then complete the fencing.
We are hoping that cooler heads will prevail, and the fencing will be suspended until these concerns are addressed. For now please continue sending emails to the Director of Passaic County Parks, Raymond J. Wright, Jr. at email@example.com or to other appropriate parties. Tell them to stop the fencing at Apshawa.
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting
The ASMFC met for the 69th annual meeting last week in South Carolina. While there were no major surprises, there were some changes in some of the fisheries.
The Addendum II of the striped bass management plan was discussed. It was decided that the commercial harvest of the fishery would stay the same. There had been a push to get the commercial limit raised. The Federation as well as other New Jersey organizations were against an increase in the commercial limit and went on record stating such.Other news included summer flounder, tautog, and spiny dogfish. The summer flounder fishery was given a boost over the summer when models showed that the biomass had increased. While no harvest limit was set last week (that will come in the Spring) there was talk about the commercial harvest. New Jersey’s commercial harvest was only at 52% with a week left in the season so that was the good news. MRFSS survey will determine whether it will be better news. This has always been a sticking point as the data from that survey has been labeled as ―fatally flawed‖ by scientists.
The tautog committee is looking at an addendum in which it will address the black market problems that have plagued the fishery for some time now as the numbers of this fine eating fish have dropped in the past 10 years. By the way, tautog season opens for the recreational angler this week.
Meanwhile, the spiny dogfish, which has been subject to much Federal protection in recent years, saw an increase in its commercial harvest limit from 15 million pounds to 20 million pounds starting in May of 2011. The fish, which is an aggressive predator, has seen its numbers increase exponentially because of the protection it received in last 10 years. Unfortunately, some experts feel that the fish has wreaked havoc with fisheries such as summer flounder and that the increase in the commercial catch is only a drop in the bucket.
Essex County to have controlled deer hunts on park land
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. outlined plans for the fourth annual Deer Management Program in Essex County last Monday. The program will be continued in Essex County South Mountain Reservation for the fourth consecutive year and in Essex County Eagle Rock Reservation and Essex County Hilltop Reservation for the second consecutive year. It will be conducted over a six-week period on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Tuesday, January 18th to Thursday, February 24th. To maximize safety, the three reservations will be closed to the public on the days the Deer Management Program is being conducted. Reducing the number of deer is part of an ongoing initiative by the administration to preserve and restore the forest ecology in Essex County’s open spaces.
The program will be conducted in South Mountain Reservation on Tuesdays, January 18th and 25th and Thursdays, January 20th and 27th and in Eagle Rock Reservation and Hilltop Reservation on Tuesdays, February 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd and on Thursdays, February 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. The Executive pointed out that the program has been scaled back in South Mountain Reservation from six half days to four half days in the evening and in Eagle Rock Reservation from six full days to eight half days in the evening. The reduction in the number of days is attributed to the success of the program during the first three years.
This and That
The Ray Neirle Chapter of New Jersey Trout Unlimited will hold its annual banquet on March 18th at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin, Camden County. Contact Bob Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The East Brunswick Council last week voted 4-1 to oppose the black bear hunt scheduled for the week of December 6-10. East Brunswick is not included in the bear management zones and has not had any reports of black bears in the township.
Attention Deer Hunters!
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Game Needs your help!
Please donate a tooth from any deer harvested during the 2010-2011 season To supplement our biological collecting effort to determine age, health and population densities of the state’s deer herd. Pull an incisor tooth (bottom, front tooth) from any deer harvested including fawns and big bucks. This will not affect normal head mounts! Contact:
Northern region – Dan Roberts 908-735-7040 Central Region – Jodi Powers 609-259-6965 Southern Region – Joe Leskie 609-748-2043
For more news click link