NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

Welcome Home Sgt. TJ Homan, Feb. 6

HUNTING AND FISHING: Freshwater Anglers, River Herring and Tautog Rules Change, Hunter Exposed to Rabies


The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is advising freshwater anglers that a closure of the river herring (alewife and blueback) fishery is currently in effect for the marine waters of the State and a closure of the freshwater migratory herring fishery is expected to be in place by mid-February. The freshwater fishery closure will not include landlocked herring populations.

The Division will issue a public notification when the freshwater closure is approved, which will include details regarding the freshwater take and possession of herring in New Jersey.

More information on the herring closure, as well as changes in regulations pertaining to tautog, can be found at on the division's website.


Reg changes for River Herring & Tautog

NJDEP: Release
February 1, 2012

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing recreational saltwater anglers and commercial fishermen of recent regulatory changes for river herring and tautog fisheries. The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council approved these measures at their January 5, 2012, meeting and DEP Commissioner Martin recently signed these changes into effect. These actions were taken to comply with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) management plans for river herring and tautog. 

Effective immediately, no person shall take, possess, land, purchase, sell or offer for sale any river herring (alewife and blueback) in the marine waters of the State. Only commercial vessels fishing exclusively in Federal waters while operating a valid Federal permit for Atlantic mackerel and/or Atlantic herring may possess river herring, up to a maximum of five percent by weight of all species possessed. 

These regulations were put in place due to concerns about the significant coastwide decline of river herring stocks. The exact cause for these coastwide declines remains uncertain, but numerous factors such as loss of spawning habitat, impediments to fish passage (i.e. dams), water quality degradation and fishing all likely played a role. Amendment 2 of the ASMFC fishery management plan for river herring prohibits both the recreational and commercial harvest of river herring in the waters of states that do not have an ASMFC- approved river herring sustainable management plan. New Jersey does not have an approved plan since the available information on river herring stocks is not sufficient to definitively prove the State's river herring stocks are sustainable. Other states along the East Coast - Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island - have closed their river herring fisheries as well. 

Also effective immediately, the new minimum size limit for tautog (blackfish) is now 15 inches, both commercially and recreationally. The new recreational seasons and possession limits for tautog are found at the following link:


HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that a Lancaster County hunter has undergone post-exposure rabies shots after harvesting and field dressing a deer on Jan. 20, in Valley Township, Chester County, that ultimately tested positive for rabies.

“The hunter contacted us about his concerns that the deer was unfit for human consumption,” said John Veylupek, Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer (WCO).  “The hunter said that he saw the deer standing in a creek, straining and growling.  He thought there was a coyote nearby from the sounds the deer was making.

“After gathering information from the hunter, as well as samples for testing, it was determined that the deer was rabid. Because the hunter had scratches on his hands and had field dressed the deer without wearing gloves, we considered this a human exposure and urged him to contact his doctor about post-exposure rabies shots.”

Dr. Walter Cottrell, Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, reiterated the agency’s long-standing recommendations that hunters and trappers avoid harvesting animals that appear sick and to wear rubber or latex gloves when field dressing any mammal.

“All mammals are susceptible to rabies and can spread the virus in the right circumstances,” Dr. Cottrell said. “To prevent the spread of wildlife diseases, we encourage hunters and trappers to contact the Game Commission about any animals that they encounter that may appear to be sick.  Also, when field dressing any mammal, it is critical to wear rubber or latex gloves to prevent exposure to not just rabies, but also to other disease organisms.”

For more information on rabies, visit the Game Commission’s website (, put your cursor over “Wildlife” in the menu bar listing, then put your cursor over “Wildlife Diseases” in the drop-down menu listing, click on “Wildlife Disease Reference Library” in the second drop-down menu listing and then select “Rabies” in the alphabetical listing.

To Connect with Wildlife, visit the Game Commission at the following: