Wednesday, July 6, 2011

07.06.11 Monmouth Beach beach replenishment will be just in time for the fall run

Monmouth Beach fall 2010

    The US Corp of Engineers and local officials have announced that 7.5 million dollars has been awarded to New Jersey for beach replenishment along northern Monmouth County beaches. Dan Radel of the Asbury Park Press reported that those funds in addition to an already 2.5 million in Federal Funds and 5 million from New Jersey will go towards the project. The target areas are from Sandy Hook to north Long Branch. For those that remember, West End  and Pier Village were "replenished" a few years ago. Work will begin this September and start along Monmouth Beach, just in time for the fall run. Sand will be pumped from offshore and spread along the work area beaches.
     It is always a debate on weather beach replenishment is a good or bad thing. The answer is always different depending on who you talk to, residents, surfers, bathers, and fisherman. An easy sloping beach is great for wading but it then lacks structure in the form of bars, cuts, and rips for the bait and fish to move in and along the beaches. Jim Freda, from Shore Catch Guide Service, wrote about this very issue on his StriperSurf blog, you can read his opinion in that post HERE.  Here's another opinion from a post on StriperOnline. It's from a user named Squidlips, he believes,

As far as the wash being a safer place after beach replenishment, unfortunately it looks like the opposite may be true. In the Monmouth Beach- SeaBright area the north ward current is so strong that you cant hold bottom on an ever mildly rough day.
I really do feel for you guys. This thing has pretty much destroyed my club. All my shoreline spots have been buried as well as the near inshore structure we used to fish with the tin boats. The weakfish was one of our club logos. the AVERAGE fish went 10-12 lbs. Our club record was 17+. All the lumps and rock piles have been buried. No weakies there any more. Heck why do ya think I have so much time to sit at this stupid machine. The fall aint much better. The fish go streaming down the beach like it was the Indy 500. Lucky to get one day out of a school then they are gone....
Cripes, any body wanna buy some tackle...

     So the debate will continue. I know I like fishing along the beaches and rocks and like to "read the water" in order to find fish. So all you guys who love Big and Little Monmouth and lower Sea Bright in the fall you've been warned.

In 2009 I worked on a story for The New York Times and made the below images of the work done in Long Branch.

Long Branch, February 2009

Completed West End beach replenishment, February 2009