NJDFW'S SOUTH JERSEY PUBLIC FISHERIES FORUM
HELD AT SALEM COUNTY SPORTSMEN'S CLUB ON
FEBRUARY 26, 2005
These are the webmaster's notes on issues that may be of interest to
bass fishermen. Many other issues were presented and discussed
that are not detailed here. This is not intended to be an
official record of this event.
* Of course, the most notable item for tournament bass fishermen
was the announcement that the $17.00 fee for tournament permits at WMA
lakes was being waived for this year. Any money already submitted
for permits will be refunded to the submitting clubs. The primary
reason given was that it was unfair to charge fishermen for the use of
these facilities when hunters are not being charged for similar
use. It appeared that the permit fee regulation would be staying
on the books for now and that this is at least an interim action.
[Let's hope this change becomes permanent. See the "Issues"
section of this website for more details on the WMA permit fee issue.]
* Chris Smith (fisheries biologist & bass fisherman)
presented a summary of bass
tournament results at NJ Wildlife Management Area lakes. In
addition to it being interesting in general, this
be helpful to clubs in their selection of lakes on which to host buddy
tournaments. Some interesting trends were noted, including a
general decline in tournament fishing success in 2004. Chris will
be making the summary data available to
fishermen soon (hopefully, to this website too).
* Although during Chris Smith's presentation it was noted that
population of stocked smallmouth bass in Union Lake was thriving
and increasing through 2003 (with a notable decline in catches in
2004), it was stated
that there were no plans to stock smallmouths in any lake in
2005. It was noted that the decline in smallmouth catches at
Union was accompanied by a similar decline in largemouth catches there
in 2004. The biologists stated that there may be some
consideration given to placing smallmouth bass spawning structures in
Union at some point and to performing a smallmouth population inventory
* Freshwater Fisheries Bureau Chief Lisa Barno noted the
continuing decrease in freshwater fishing license purchases in NJ from
1991 through 2003. There was a slight increase in 2004
however. This trend was later mentioned in a presentation by Al
Bernetti when he explained the urgent need to get youth involved in
fishing activities, including his organization -- Teen Anglers.
* During a discussion of additional muskie stocking at various
locations in NJ, a fisheries biologist stated that there is no hard
evidence that this species harms the bass population in a body of water.
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