Saturday, July 28, 2018

NJDEP Seeking AmeriCorps Recruits

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is seeking recruits for the 2018-2019 AmeriCorps Watershed Environmental Class. After completion of training, an AmeriCorps New Jersey Watershed Ambassador receives compensation for 1700 hours of work over a 10- to 11-month period: $13,732.00. Also known as the domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps was first hosted by the DEP in 2000.

Here's the link to the NJDEP press release covering the operations in detail:

High Water

Grass got dry and parched, and then rain began falling about a week ago and just hasn't stopped. I got the press release on Thursday evening from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and I will link you to it, but I've been too busy to post it until now. The National Park Service did not expect a river closure due to unusually high water.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Big Smallmouth Weighed-In at Dow's Boat Rentals

It's definitely exceptional.

I was just thinking, earlier today before I read Laurie Murphy's report (below), that the biggest smallmouth I know of weighed-in at the shop was under five pounds. That certainly doesn't mean bigger haven't been caught. And regarding largemouths, the largest widely known to have been caught in Lake Hopatcong weighed about 8 3/4 pounds, but a 10-pounder was once found dead.

Not a lot going on here at the lake with the rainy weather we are having, but several nice fish have made their way to the scale. Jimmy Welsh landed 2 nice smallmouth, one weighing 3 lbs and the other weighing in at 4 lbs 7 oz. Richard Hilton, while casting rubber worms along the docks, had himself a Largemouth Bass weighing 5 lbs 10 oz, and a Channel Cat at 4 lbs 4 oz. Kirra Gilfilan also had a Channel Cat that weighed in at 6 lbs 8 oz. Tommy Togno, while fishing with his family on a rainy afternoon,  had a walleye that weighed in at  4 lbs 4 oz. Crappie and Hybrids are also still hitting, along with some pickerel. The Knee Deep Clubs next contest is for Catfish, to be held on August 11th & 12th, from 6 PM on Saturday until Noon on Sunday. Have a great week...

Pond Declined


Years ago, I wrote posts about the bass pond closest to home, about a hundred yards from where I sit now in our living room, and the number and size of bass caught was astonishing. Then we got hit by two consecutive hard winters about four years ago, the second resulting in a fish kill here. The pond is very shallow and the ice was very thick. One of the dead bass Matt found would have weighed about five pounds. Despite finding so many dead bass, we still caught some and nice size the spring and summer thereafter. I optimistically assumed the fishery would come back around in a few years. I wasn't sure if the bass would be as big--averaging two pounds--because 10 years ago the fish averaged about 11 inches, so I was aware the pond was going through phases before those hard winters came.

A few years have passed, leaving me puzzled rather than optimistic. Mike Maxwell says the same as Matt. The pond is dead. Back in April, I did catch a little nine-incher, but that's all I caught, and tonight, neither of us got a hit. We were fishing a buzzbait (Matt), and a spinnerbait, instead of plastics, having anticipated muddy water when in fact the clarity is normal. We didn't care to walk back and retie, and besides, Matt used to score as many 45 bass on a weekend using buzzbaits here exclusively.

The fishing was better after the kill. Why it's worsened, rather than improved, I have no idea. We keep a watchful eye on it. The fishing pressure, which never was heavy, has been even less since the kill.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

State Keeping an Eye on River Herring

An interesting link (below) to NJDEP F&W operations concerning river herring.

When I was about 12, I got filled in on the herring run. My friend David Voorhees, who I knew from church and school, told me about the use of gold hooks, weighted by one-ounce sinkers to get a good cast and a little depth on a medium retrieve. The herring hit that shiny hook and once brought up above the bulkhead at tidal Trenton Delaware River, got tossed in a garbage pail. My friend, his father, and I think his uncle used to fill a garbage can full, take the fish home, and pickle them.

Sure enough, my mother knew how to do that. Or I guess, she figured it out. In any case, I eventually got over to the river and brought some herring home. I did this two or three times a couple or a few May afternoons years apart. The way my mother prepared the herring, they were better than any I've bought at a supermarket.