Not that they only want to restrict our SPEED, here is another BILL looking to take areas away from us!!! So much for trying to beach your boat
NJ Boating Bill S-220
Fishery News Posted 12/13/02
The following news item appears courtesy of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association -
New Boating Bill S-220 Will Restrict Anglers and Others
by Phil Celmer
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association December 2002 Newsletter)
The New Jersey Senate Bill S-220, sponsored by Sen. Leonard T. Connors Jr., R Ocean, seeks to designate selected areas of our bays, island shorelines, and costal river banks as off limits to recreational fishing, clamming, crabbing and shrimp trawling by those who use a motorized vessel. As written these areas are to be determined by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. These areas would even be off limits to the boater who wishes to beach his or her powerboat in the shallows to enjoy many of our tidal islands and beaches with the kids in the summer. Inadvertently entering these areas could result in fines issued to you of up to $5,000 and assessment of damages and restoration by others which would also be paid by you .
The Bill S-220 seeks to prohibit power vessel operation in any waters less than 12 inches deep within 100 feet of any beach or shoreline. It is not clear whether this bill would provide any additional restrictions on the open bay in shallow areas or exactly when the depth is measured. As currently written it can impose an off limit zone of 100 feet around any small island or shoreline. For example, this bill S-220 could, if enacted, prohibit fishing with a motorized vessel (your boat), in an area known to many Barnegat Bay anglers as “The Sod Banks” which lie just inside Barnegat Inlet along Oyster Creek Channel.
Already, Tim Dillingham of the Sandy Hook based American Littoral Society is pushing to amend the bill to extend the off limit zones to 300 feet. This group’s efforts, I remind you, have been the root cause of New Jersey’s failure to capitalize on over 600 free subway cars that didn’t make it to our artificial reef program. Delaware anglers and SCUBA divers are enjoying their subway cars on their artificial reefs. Why not New Jersey anglers and divers?
We as anglers and/or boaters do not need another law to tell us not to go where only the foolish would venture. No one respects the bounty of the grass bed more than the recreational shrimper getting his or her grass shrimp for a day of fishing for weakfish or the crabber in his small skiff showing the kids how the blue crab angles to the baited handline.
Enforce the current laws before you enact more “feel good” legislation. For the sake of New Jersey’s one billion dollar recreational sector, tell Governor Jim McGreevy and Commissioner Brad Campbell not to approve this bill if passed. Call on the Senate and Assembly not to pass Bill S-220. If for some strange reason they do pass it, then write to Governor James McGreevey and ask him not to sign it.