Listen: Rack and Fin Radio. July 21. NJ State Puts More Pressure on Fishing

Tom P. from Rack & Fin Radio wonders if NJ Gov Murphy is weaponizing environmentalist groups. This could help him increase control over hunting & fishing in the state. Claims of anti-hunter. Anti-fisherman. Green Social Justice Warrior?

Jersey Fishing News. Listen to Rack & Fin Radio. WPG 1450 am.  July 21, 2018.

Guest: Tom Fote.


  • Fishing. One of the biggest industries in NJ. Need more data gatherers.
  • Data will protect our fisheries. NJ needs it’s own fisheries. Awareness of issue is limited.
  • NJ and Florida are two of the biggest fishing destinations. Jersey needs to protect this industry.
  • Pros & Cons of a salt-water fishing licence

New York State may try to grab a slice of NJ fluke quota.

In the 80’s ….. you could keep 14 inch fluke, with an 8 fish limit. Today, size is 18 inches. With 3 fish limit.

  • Disgusted with rules. Few keepers.
  • Party boats & charter boats, tackle shops, being destroyed.
  • From 200,000 boats, down to 149,000 boats

Who is Tom P. of Rack & Fin Radio?

Tom Pagliaroli began writing about New Jersey’s fishing and hunting opportunities in 1979. He was first published in The Fisherman in 1980.

  • He’s been the outdoor columnist for several weekly newspapers, and the freshwater/saltwater/hunting correspondent for Fishing & Hunting News.
  • Published in numerous regional and national magazines and appeared on several cable fishing and hunting shows.
  • Since 2003 he’s been the Saturday morning host of Rack & Fin Radio on 97.3 ESPN FM and WPG 1450 AM.

Fishing report columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. His passion for freshwater, back bay and bottom fishing along with squirrel, deer, turkey, pheasant and waterfowl hunting, and camping is shared with his fiancé Denise Marie Theiler.

Fisheries Management is Not Working….by Tom Fote, (reprinted from February 2002)

In the 30 years I have been involved in fisheries management, I have never felt this disillusioned about the system. I have always promoted conservation because I felt it was the responsible thing to do. I felt we could live with quotas and reductions if the long-term impact was positive. I have always felt that the parties who were most responsible for any problems should suffer the consequences of their actions by have the most stringent quotas.

It is ludicrous to reward those who cause the problem. This was the JCAA philosophy and it had my complete support. In fact, this position has always had overwhelming support throughout the recreational community. As a representative of the JCAA position, I worked throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s to make us a productive part of the system. In the 90’s I served in various positions as a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and felt being part of the system was the most positive approach we could take.

Due to commercial overfishing of many species, we spent most of the 80’s and 90’s rebuilding stocks and as recreational anglers was did more than our fair share. We were not responsible for the overfishing but we were largely responsible for the conservation that resulted in rebuilding the stocks. The commercial and recreational industries all suffered a serious economic downturn during this rebuilding period.

That rebuilding period was successful for some species and we are at a point where we should be reaping the benefits that we are due. Instead, just the opposite is happening. I am thoroughly disenchanted with fisheries management as it exists today. The best word to describe the existing is chaos. We rebuild a stock and then penalize the recreational community for our success.

The people who have enough money to file lawsuits have so intimidated the fisheries managers that a lawsuit is hardly necessary. You know the history of the commercial lawsuits and the environmental lawsuits. You know that we are the ones who are penalized every time they sue, or even threaten to sue. This is ridiculous.

The fisheries managers are so handcuffed by the federal government that they are not allowed to manage. If you need an example of the hypocrisy of the system, you need only look at the management plans put in place by the National Marine Fisheries Service for summer flounder, scup and seabass. And if you need evidence of the ineptness at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission you need only look at the plan for tautog. Some days it’s hard to tell who is the most out of touch with the needs of the recreational community.

What disgusts me the most is the management plans currently in place unfairly attack the poor and subsistence anglers who had no hand at all in collapsing any stock. Yet they are the most negatively impacted because of higher size limits, which effectively eliminate them from the fishery.

This is not my resignation speech, it’s my war chant. We really need to attack the system as it exists rather than continuing to fight on hopeless battle after another. It is time to insist that state governors join with the recreational community and sue the system to protect a vital part of every coastal state’s economy. It is also time to hold our legislators at the state and federal level responsible.

We must demand action and we must be unwavering in our unified approach to this problem. Perhaps it is time to resurrect my old refrain, “Fish don’t vote but anglers do.”

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