Friday, December 28, 2012

12.28.12 Found some interesting things today on both sides of the sea wall

     Well today I "pulled" the boat and dropped it off at Gateway Marine to get winterized and shrunk wrapped. While there she'll get some body work done on some fiberglass chips that were caused by 1) Clousers bouncing off the hull 2) Attempting to put her in and out at the damaged Belmar ramp shortly after Sandy and 3) a few tough load at the ramp in low water. So in March she'll be ready to roll. This spring I'll have on dual prop trolling motors to work in stealth mode in the rivers and on the flats. 
     On my way up to Middletown I made a detour and stopped at Lake Takanassee located in Long Branch. The water looked low and a quick glance from the parking lot where the old Takanassee Beach Club used to be, or as others may know it as U.S. Life Saving Station #5, was all it took to see why. After this last Nor'Easter the dam and the eastern end of the lake breached causing it to drop considerably.  
     I walked down to the beach where several guys working metal detectors worked the fresh sand and looked up. I tried to see if this was opened up by someone looking to control flooding at the back of the lake into West Long Branch, but it wasn't, at least from my eye. On the Elberon side the lake had cut a deep trench into the properties of the homes there, exposing both rocks and concrete deadmen that were placed there a long time ago to prevent erosion and breaching of the dam. I asked some guys who were fishing on the west end of the lake if they knew what happened. They said that yesterday the water was blowing under the railroad overpass from the smaller lakes in Takanasee Lake Park and Whale Pond Brook. They also said that wood was removed from the eastern side of the lake to let the lake drain. I didn't see any controlled area on that end of the lake or any piles of large wood or machinery that would have removed the wood. 
     I think this is a serious situation that needs to be addressed quickly. I spoke with Capt Paul Eidman of the Anglers Conservation Network, HERE, and he said he was going to contact the DEP. This could be a win-win for both the health of the lake and the return of river herring to a viable freshwater spawning ground. For sure a new dam needs to be constructed, and the installation of a fish ladder or some other type of passable diversion could allow fish to pass. One of the guys I spoke with said he recently caught a sea-run brown trout that was confirmed by the NJ DEP. ( I am going to follow up on that story). 
    With the current storms and rainfalls and flooding Lake Takanassee needs a good shore clean up all the way around the main lake and the smaller lakes in the park. So if you know any groups looking for a project, this one would be perfect. 


     So after leaving Long Branch and heading north on Ocean Avenue I saw this house located on the Shrewsbury River just north of the Rumson Bridge. I think this may be the only alternative homeowners have in the towns located on the rivers, bays, and oceanfronts. Get the house up high and on sturdy pilings. I read and interesting story in The Star Ledger about a home that survived where the breach occurred in Mantolocking, HERE.

     On my way home I couldn't help stopping in Sea Bright to see how the 13 million dollar beach replenishment fared after the latest storm. The first thing I noticed was the flooding that had occurred on Ocean Ave and the sand that was stacked on the road sides of the sea wall. I saw a few other interesting things. One the sand has been pushed up to even grade with the top of the sea wall, don't know if that is permenant. Two, at Galilee Road a swath was cut leading to private steps, and during the storm two days ago it created a funnel and the water and sand poured up and over the sea wall and onto Ocean Ave. Three, on the beach, sand had already been lost back into the sea. Check the pictures where the sand has been cut and carried away from groins that were covered in the past weeks. And fourth, as the machinery moves into Sea Bright and approaches the destroyed Driftwood Cabana Club, excavators there work feverishly to remove the building and debris so that sand can be pumped up onto the beach? And lastly, I noticed the make up of the sand in some sections of the "beach nourishment", it looks more like concrete mix than sand pumped from the ocean floor. 

I'll stay on it and keep you informed.