N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.2 - Pound nets

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) The following words and terms shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Department" means the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

"Heart" means an upright fence of netting forming a heart-shaped (round or square) compartment located between the leader and the pocket. It is designed to cause fish to circle in front of and eventually enter the pocket of a pound net.

"Leader" means an upright fence of netting that acts as a barrier to fish and guides them toward a trap; the netting is made of heavy twine, not designed to catch fish by the gills.

"Navigable channel" means a channel marked with navigational markers including poles, piling or buoys, by the Coast Guard or the State.

"Pocket" means an upright fence of netting forming the final compartment of a pound net in which trapped fish accumulate.

"Pound net" means a large fish trap, consisting of a leader, pocket and one or more hearts, held in place with poles, the netting of which reaches from the bottom to above the surface of the water.

"Staked or anchored gill net" means an upright fence of monofilament or nylon netting, held in place at each end by stakes or anchors, that catches fish by snagging their gill covers as they try to pass through the mesh of the net.

"Submarine pound net" means a pound net that is totally submerged beneath the water and held in place by anchors.

(b) General requirements for all pound net users are as follows:
1. No person may install, operate or maintain a pound net in the marine waters of the State without having first obtained a license from the Department.
2. The Department may establish limits on the number of licenses to be issued for pound nets in Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay and in the Atlantic Ocean within three nautical miles of the coastline.
3. Licenses must be renewed annually.
4. Holders of pound net licenses from the previous year shall have first priority in obtaining a new license, provided they apply before March 1 of the current year.
5. Any person operating any fish pound net in the marine waters of New Jersey, must, at the time of emptying the net, return to the waters wherein the net is located all species less than the minimum size limits specified pursuant to 7:25-18.1.
6. No person may, by boat, anchor, dredge or otherwise, willfully and without reasonable cause, interfere with, break, damage or destroy any fish net or associated equipment being lawfully used by a license holder.
7. The Department may require any licensee to submit a money surety bond to insure removal of pound net poles and apparatus as required by these rules.
8. Violation of the rules in this section will subject the violator to money penalties, loss of license and/or injunctive relief under 23:2B-14.
(c) Specific requirements for pound net users in Raritan, Sandy Hook and Delaware Bays are as follows:
1. Any person applying for a pound net license must indicate the specific proposed site for the net, as designated by a chart developed by the Department. Sites which have not previously been located on the approved chart must be approved by the Department prior to issuance of a license.
2. New pound net sites must be at least 3,000 feet from a previously located pound net site, when measured parallel to the shoreline, and must be at least 1,000 feet from any navigable channel.
3. Any pound net license holder has priority in retaining a pound net site previously licensed by him or her, provided that he or she has actively and lawfully fished that site during the previous year and has submitted a license application prior to March 1 of the current year. After March 1, any citizen may apply for any available site on a first-come basis.
4. No staked or anchored shad net may be placed within 3,000 feet of an operating pound net. However, shad nets may be set on licensed pound net sites by the license holder or on unoccupied, approved pound net sites, provided the shad nets are set end-to-end with and in line with any existing pound nets.
5. Pound nets must be placed end-to-end so as to form a straight line, perpendicular to the shoreline.
6. The maximum allowable length of a pound net, including leader and hearts, is 750 feet.
7. A minimum distance of 50 feet must be maintained between any two pound nets, shad nets or combination thereof, when measured perpendicular to the shoreline.
8. A pound net license holder must maintain a nameplate, on the offshore pole of the net not less than six inches square, on which shall be legibly marked the identification number of the pound, as assigned by the Department.
9. A flashing, amber light must be displayed between sunset and sunrise on each of the two end poles of a pound net or a continuous row of pound nets. These lights must be placed at least 10 feet above the mean high water level and must be of sufficient brightness to be visible for at least three miles in all directions (360 degrees) at such times and under such weather conditions as would allow visibility of 10 miles.
10. Within 30 days of the termination of fishing activities for that year, all poles and stakes must be removed by the pound net license holder.
11. The pound net license holder will be responsible for the cost of pole and/or stake removal where the Department accepts responsibility for such removal, due to the licensee's failure to comply with 10 above.
(d) Specific requirements for pound net users in the Atlantic Ocean are as follows:
1. When submitting a request for an ocean or submarine pound net license, the applicant must specify the specific proposed site-location for placement of each net. Upon site approval, the Department may issue the license. (Note: Permission for location of ocean pound nets is also required from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.)
2. No portion of a pound net may be set within 1,500 feet or greater than 7,000 feet from the mean low water line on the ocean shoreline.
3. No row of pound nets may be erected or operated within one and one-half miles of any other row of pound nets, when measured parallel with the coastline.
4. No more than two pound nets may be joined together.
5. A minimum distance of 1,000 feet, when measured perpendicular to the coastline, must be maintained between individual or paired pound nets set in a row.
6. A row of ocean or submarine pound nets must form a straight line with the nets placed end-to-end.
7. The maximum allowable length of an ocean or submarine pound net, including leader and pocket, is 1,100 feet.
8. The minimum mesh size for ocean or submarine pound nets is two inches, stretched.
9. Ocean pound nets shall be maintained in compliance with the following additional requirements:
i. White reflectors must be placed around the top of each pole so as to reflect in all directions;
ii. Flashing amber lights must be displayed on the inshore and offshore poles of nets or rows of nets, between sunset and sunrise; these lights must be placed at least 10 feet above the mean high water level and must be of sufficient brightness to be visible for at least three miles in all directions (360 degrees) at such times and under such weather conditions as would allow visibility of 10 miles.
10. Submarine pound nets shall be maintained in compliance with the following additional requirements:
i. At least eight fluorescent orange floats, at least 12 inches in diameter, shall be maintained along the length of each net, including the inshore and offshore ends.
ii. The pound net license holder shall maintain a nameplate, not less than 12 inches square, on which shall be legibly marked the identification number of the pound, as assigned by the Department.
11. The license holder must completely remove all pound net poles and stakes, within ten months of the termination of fishing activities.
12. The pound net license holder will be responsible for the cost of pole and/or stake removal, where the Department accepts responsibility for such removal, due to the licensee's failure to comply with 11 above.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.2
Amended by R.1984 d.439, effective 10/1/1984.
See: 16 New Jersey Register 1866(a), 16 New Jersey Register 2543(b).
Amended by R.1991 d.132, effective 3/18/1991.
See: 23 New Jersey Register 37(a), 23 New Jersey Register 848(b).
Lighting requirements affecting pound nets increased on (c)9 and (d)9ii.
Amended by R.1994 d.248, effective 5/16/1994.
See: 26 New Jersey Register 291(a), 26 New Jersey Register 2021(b).

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