|    New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife|
Seventy percent of the responding anglers said that reefs were an important component of their overall fishing activities. The most heavily fished reef sites included Sandy Hook, Sea Girt, Barnegat Light and Cape May. Ninety-two percent of the fishermen reported excellent or good fishing success on reefs. Respondents preferred shipwrecks for fishing, followed by concrete, rock and tire units. Sea bass, tautog and fluke were the favorite target species of reef anglers.
The attributes that fishermen most liked about New Jersey's reefs included:
The aspects they most disliked included:
- close to inlets
- numerous reefs
- numerous fish
- numerous species
- lots of action
The most frequently cited recommendations for improving the Reef Program included:
- too far from inlets
- lose fishing rigs
- too many fish traps
- build more reefs
- closer to shore
- bigger reef structures
- recreational fishing only
- institute bag and size limits
"Reef Balls" are concrete fish habitats designed by a firm in Sarasota, Florida and are used worldwide to build ocean artificial reefs. They are igloo-shaped and hollow and have over a dozen access holes for fish. Measuring 4 feet in diameter and 3 feet high, they weigh 1,400 pounds each.
Through a cooperative project between Southern State Correctional Facility, located in Delmont, and the Division's Reef Program, inmate laborers use fiberglass molds to fabricate Reef Ball habitats. The structures will be stockpiled until early summer, when over 600 of them will be barged offshore for placement on New Jersey reef sites.
These designed habitats are expected to maximize use by fish, especially those species, like tautog and sea bass, that hide under ledges or in caverns. The internal cavity will also provide juvenile fish refuge from larger, ocean predators. To further enhance their value as sanctuary habitat, the Reef Balls will be widely dispersed on the sea floor.
OCEAN WRECK DIVERS IV -- the 85' bow section of a tanker was sunk on August 7 on the Sea Girt Reef at 26908.5 43506.7. Sponsored by Ocean Wreck Divers.
KING BARGE -- a 140' deck barge sunk on September 14 on the Sea Girt Reef at 26910.5 43193.4.
MAKO MANIA -- a 174' navy tanker sunk on July 16 on the Shark River Reef at 26794.7 43482.4. Sponsored by Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association and Budweiser.
FRTC REEF -- An M-60 Army tank sponsored by the Forked River Tuna Club was sunk on the Barnegat Light Reef on August 21, 1998. Dedicated to the memory of the members of the Forked River Tuna Club who have crossed the bar.
CLIFFORD J. LIPKE, Sr. REEF -- Sixteen Army tanks sponsored by friends and family of Clifford Lipke were sunk on the Sea Girt Reef on August 21, 1998. In loving memory of an avid fisherman.
HARRY J. WHITE REEF -- An M-60 Army tank sponsored by friends and family of Harry J. White was sunk on the Barnegat Light Reef on August 21, 1998.
VHFC II -- An M-60 Army tank sponsored by the Village Harbour Fishing Club was sunk on the Barnegat Light Reef on August 21, 1998.
EXPLORER -- An M-60 Army tank sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Explorer's Club was sunk on the Axel Carlson Reef on August 21, 1998.
GEORGE GILBERT REEF -- An M-60 Army tank sponsored by friends of George Gilbert was sunk on the Barnegat Light Reef on August 21, 1998.
Vessels and reef structures currently available for adoption include:
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife
P.O. Box 418
Port Republic, NJ 08241
609-748-2020 or Fax: 609-748-2032
|Garden State North||1.1||6.5||66-83||79|
|Garden State South||0.6||5.1||57-63||42|
We are now systematically running from reef to reef to obtain GPS coordinates for each of our structures - over 1200 of them! The only way to get accurate GPS coordinates is to actually position a vessel over the structure. Mathematical conversions between GPS and LORAN that can be done by both LORAN and GPS computers are just not accurate enough ot find a wreck on the sea floor.
Eventually, reef charts sold by the Artificial Reef Association will depict both LORAN and GPS grids and coordinates so you will be able to find the reefs no matter which navigational coordinates you use.
|Ocean Wreck Divers IV||4007.750||7356.345|
The ARA has raised most of its funds through the sale of Reef T-shirts and Reef Charts. Donations from individuals and fishing and diving clubs are particularly helpful. If your club would like to sponsor the sinking of a vessel on a reef, contact: