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Old 04-09-2009, 09:31 AM
DarkSkies DarkSkies is offline
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Default Raritan Bay: Is it worth fighting for?

Here's something I was working on somewhere else. I think it's so important we should all share info and opinions on this:

So we now have significant usable pieces of the Raritan Bay shut down or on the way to having access restricted.

1. Laurence Harbor: We have the Laurence Harbor area, from Sayreville to Cliffwood, which is being partially fenced in now, and the rest of that area which may be fenced by the time they decide how much lead is there, and have committee meeting after committee meeting deciding how many more studies they should run. Look for more of that area to be shut down in the future.

2. Cliffwood Beach:There is part of Aberdeen's Cliffwood area recently shut down because of the littering, pizzing in public, and all the other disrespect some careless fishermen have heaped upon the residents there.

3. Union Beach: There is the famous section of Union Beach, called Pebble Beach, where generations of fishermen have been fishing, but for some reason the new generations think it's ok to treat the place like a trash dump, burning tires, plastic, paper, and having a complete disregard for the future enjoyment of others.

4. Atlantic Highlands: There is the rock jetty at the harbor inlet that was shut down a few years ago. Guys used to fish that place all the time. Someone fell, got hurt, and sued the marina, so now it's fenced off. Security guard told me you set foot on there, they will call the police and have you arrested.

5. Belford: The Belford Co-op, which owns the concrete docks there, was nice enough to let people fish that broken concrete for years. someone fell, sued them, and now it's off-limits. Of course, people migrated to the jetties and another area over there. The last 2 summers have been horrendous. It was like a circus down there. People brought their tents, dogs, kids, and overnight bags. I got nothin against bringing kids to the beach, but man you can't camp overnight there!!!

It's only a matter of time before those homeowners get together with the police chief and ask him to enforce littering or other violations, or look for some obscure violations to harass people so they won't treat that place like a campground at Woodstock.

I haven't been to Pebble Beach for years because of the crowding. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say with the other closures, more fishermen will be driven to these other places, and a popular place like Pebble Beach will be closed or have severe parkiing restrictions in place by the middle of this year, or by the spring of next year.

Fishermen just don't get it. Joe used to say that Access, once lost, is rarely if ever regained. Maybe people don't understand that concept because they're not used to losing access in NJ.
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:34 AM
DarkSkies DarkSkies is offline
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Default Re: Raritan Bay: Is it worth fighting for?

For those who don't read the NY forums, for the past year I have involved myself with other fishermen groups, fighting for access in Brookhaven, LI.

Why should I, or you, give a rat's azz about some snobby beach in LI? Who among us will ever fish there?
I know I'll never fish there, and I honestly didn't care about that frikkin place until I realized something....
If they can close access to fishermen in LI, they can (and will) do it in NJ!!! Remember St Alphonso's and Pullman Ave in Long Branch last year, closed because of the insane behavior of fishermen.

So that's why I got involved, and keep getting involved in Brookhaven, Laurence Harbor, Long Branch and the ocean areas, etc. I wasn't satisfied enough with ranting about it on the internet. I saw that when fishermen organize with other groups, we can present a force that people will have to deal with.

There's other groups out there doing the same thing, NJ Outdoor Alliance. Anthony Mauro, a member here, is a tireless spokesman for the outdoorsman. Then there's fishermens groups like the RFA, SSFFF for fluke, and many others.

Well, I'm kinda busy with the job, wife, kids, fishin, etc, can't I just contribute money and let someone else take care of it?
Doesn't work that way because this issue is about us, as fishermen, and the trash we leave behind, and the disresppecting of the property of people who live there.

Well, what can I do about that, Dark? I don't litter, I don't disrespect property. It''s the other guys out there!!
I completely agree, the people who love fishin are not the problem.

But ranting about it on the internet doesn't solve things either. I wonder if a few of us would decide to be more vocal, WITHOUT causing a fight or putting yourself at risk, if it would eventually make a difference?

Someone on another site suggested signs in Spanish and English to tell people littering ain't cool. A good idea, but how effective will that be?

People do things because they feel they can get away with it. How about when you see someone littering, speak up, right then and there? If you don't feel comfortable, call the police with descriptive info and vehicle license number.

There are many partying late at night, you'll never reach those people, they'll continue to litter until the fines are $1000 and enforced.

But for the other people who we see littering, and can't be bothered, and then come to rant about it on the internet? What good does that do?

So what's the point of my long-winded rant here?
Well, like many of you, I felt powerless to do anything about this. I rationalized and said I can't do anything about the selfish actions of others. That may be true to some extent.

But I can speak my mind, and organize with others who feel the same way. I'm asking anyone who reads this if they ever felt the same way. If "yes", then why not take a more active role in what's happening out there?

I know some of this may seem corny or pointless, but originally I thought getting involved in Brookhaven was pointless. They recently had an election there, and the BS candidate that was partly responsible for the beach closure was not elected to the position he wanted.

I apologize for the long-winded rant, but I'm tired of these places getting restriced because of the poor behavior of a select few.

So we do have power to change things, people, even if we do by picking up one piece of trash at a time.

I would appreciate any ideas others have. I know there are better ones out there than the ones I put out in this thread. Let's hear 'em. I can tell you now that with my involvement in these things, I feel like Im making a difference, though it's sometimes frustrating (and I miss a lotta fishin time because of it).

If anyone is interested in the cleanups, updates, or learning more, or getting involved, hit me up at [email protected]

Somebody's gotta do it. If you leave it up to "somebody" else, it won't get done.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:39 PM
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striperchaser striperchaser is offline
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Default Re: Raritan Bay: Is it worth fighting for?

I agree if I can help send me pm. don
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Old 04-17-2009, 12:44 AM
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StormCaster StormCaster is offline
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Default Re: Raritan Bay: Is it worth fighting for?

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:04 PM
giantsquid2008 giantsquid2008 is offline
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Default Re: Raritan Bay: Is it worth fighting for? ABSOLUTELY!

My father always said that you should leave a place cleaner than you found it. When I go fishing I always bring a few black garbage bags in hopes of catching fish. On the way out I always grab as much trash as I can carry and take it home. I trust that my kids have learned from this and will do the same - always. I'm not trying to brag but instead pass along a good idea. It's easy to teach a kid to fish - but teach them to fish with respect for the environment.

The Japanese enlightened me as they stacked a few stones here and there in the middle of the woods, or wrapped a stone in a leaf and left it in respect of mother nature. In my mind the people that are causing us pain are not fishermen, they're drunks and druggies. people that are serious about fishing don't do this nonsense. I wish that someone here could come up with a way for us to support law enforcement in their effort to determine "who's who" in this unfortunate situation.

If anyone has ideas about how to secure our access and preserve the reputation of decent fishermen let me know and count me IN!

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