By Frank Richetti
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association October 1998 Newsletter)
The Summer season of 1998 is becoming a fond memory as the Autumn season ushers in the cooler weather and the return of familiar routine to our lives. This means that is time to start our monthly meetings and get on with the important issues that impact on our favorite recreation.
Our September meeting will be held on Tuesday the 28th starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Brick township Municipal building on Chambersbridge Rd in Brick, NJ. Dusty Rhodes, Mid-Atlantic Council member, John Connell, Governors Appointee to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and Tom Fote, proxy for Senator Bassano to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, will discuss the crisis issues for summer flounder and bluefish.
I would like to extend my congratulations to Ed Goldman of the Absecan Saltwater Sportsmen on his appointment to the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council. This Council sets the regulations for all fishing related activities, both commercial and recreational, within our state. Ed is taking over a recreational seat and I know that he will bring energy, insight and perspective to help balance this regulatory body. Good luck, Ed!
There are a number of important bills pending in our State Legislature and a few potential bills that are still in the formation stage. The Elver bill (A675/S457) was never brought to a floor vote, so it is still out there waiting for an opportune time to reopen the commercial harvest of baby eels to satisfy the Asian market. The Menhaden Protection bill (A1827/S722) was never acted upon by our State Senate or Assembly. It is waiting for public outcry to give it new life. There is still talk in the Legislature of a bill to allow commercial netting of striped bass in New Jersey.
Tracking these bills and others like them takes a lot of diligence on the part of our JCAA members. It requires routine trips to Trenton to meet with Senators, Assemblymen and their aides. It requires countless phone calls, emails and faxes to communicate with our network of friends and contacts. It requires printing of letters and action alerts and postage to send them. In short it requires money. In the past two years Jersey Coast Anglers has stepped up its presence in Trenton and all around the state, to fight for the conservation of the marine resources and the fair distribution of its harvest. This effort is outpacing our budget or our ability to raise additional revenue. We need your financial help. The club dues and associate member dues do not cover the cost of publishing the newspaper. The dues dont cover any operational expenses.
I hate to come out and ask for money and I know all sorts of worthy causes have stepped up their fund raising campaigns, but the truth is that we have a lot of volunteers who not only donate their precious time but very often lay out their own money to cover miscellaneous expenses. It is just not fair to ask them to do that. It is fine to support the national organizations, I encourage you to so, but do not neglect the home front. We are the eyes and ears of the New Jersey fisherman and we fight to protect the rights of New Jersey fishermen.
We need each of our member clubs to approach its membership and ask each for a small donation, a few dollars from each person can add up to a substantial amount. This isnt a handout, it is an investment. Its an investment in maintaining a healthy marine resource for the enjoyment of all our families.