First of all, a Happy Holidays to you all, and the very best for the upcoming New Year! May 2017 be a healthy and happy New Year for you and your loved ones! Also, may you have good fishing in 2017 too!
I have Good news for you and also very Bad news for you.
First the Good News - after almost 10 years of trying, we got the commercial traps off the 13 reefs in federal waters! This is after our letter writing, sending post cards, calling legislators, attending meetings and signing thousands of petitions to free our reefs from choking traps. This is not only good news, but it is Great News! Under a compromise agreement, the two reefs in state waters (Sandy Hook and Axel Carlson) have a shared agreement that allows both commercial traps to be on them at specific locations and the other spaces on these reefs for recreational anglers only. To make up for the loss of space on these reefs for recreational anglers, a new artificial reef will be built for exclusive use by recreational anglers in the Manasquan area.
The 13 reefs in federal waters can be used by ALL anglers who use hook and line. This issue was resolved at a Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAMFC) meeting on December 12th in Baltimore, Maryland. I attended this meeting and I will give you a "behind the scenes" account of it in another section of this newsletter.
Now the BAD NEWS - It appears that we are looking at possible a minimum size for fluke in 2017 at 19 INCHES! Discussions for the new 2017 fluke regulations were held by the MAMFC in Maryland on December 14th. I also attended this meeting along with JCAA member Paul Haertel. Paul's column in this newsletter will address some of the issues used by the MAMFC to justify this increase in minimum size. I also wrote a column in this newsletter that again gives more of a "behind the scenes" account of this terrible MAMFC meeting.
At our December 27th General Membership meeting we will be selecting a slate of officers for 2017. We are looking for a Recording Secretary and a Corresponding Secretary. If you are interested in volunteering for one of these positions contact Don Marantz at (908) 347-1434. We will also be accepting nominations from the floor on the night of the 27th at the General Membership Meeting.
Also at our December 27th General Membership Meeting we will be having food brought in for all those in attendance. So arrive early and enjoy the food compliments of the members of the Board of Directors.
On another subject, 2016 is rapidly coming to a close and the JCAA would appreciate any donations you can give to support this organization that is made up of all volunteers with the exception of one paid staff member who manages our office. Your donation not only helps us to help you with these fishing issues, but you can use your donation to lessen your tax burdens. JCAA is a non-profit 501 C-3 organization and as such any donation made to JCAA is tax deductible. Please send your donation to: