No Major Changes Inland

No Major Changes Inland
No Major Changes Inland

Away from the coast, hunting and fishing going as planned

Hurricane Sandy did the most damage on the coastal areas of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut because of high water, otherwise known as the "storm surge." Higher-than-normal full moon tides along with the surge meant huge waves, marinas and boats destroyed, and an enormous amount of water damage.

All of that has killed the fall striped bass and blackfish seasons on the coast, but inland, things aren't as bad. Though it's more than a week after Sandy hit and many people still don't have power – and also may be dealing with house damage – a fortunate few are out hunting and fishing.

"Once you get off the coast, hunting and freshwater fishing is pretty much unaffected other than power and access issues," said Jim Sciacia, spokesman for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. "But a lot of power has been restored, and inland access probably is not a problem."

Hunting seasons are "all going according to plan," he said. "Pheasant season is opening up this weekend and none of our [pheasant] stocking plans are significantly changed. The only concern we have is whether hunters can get in the parking areas because of downed trees and wires. But the research we've done so far seems to indicate that things will go as planned."

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation wasn't able to comment on any specifics except noting that New York City and Long Island hunters can apply for leftover deer management permits by phone since they'll have trouble finding hunting license agents (stores) that are open.

Lake and river access doesn't appear to be a problem in most areas, but that doesn't mean everything is normal. Though Sandy didn't dump nearly as much rain as expected, the storm did cause some rivers and lakes to flood.

It also caused others to fall: Some waters in New York and New Jersey were drawn down in advance of Sandy, which did and still does affect fishing. New York's Mohawk River, for example, was dropped three to five feet below navigation levels, which caused at least one bass tournament to be canceled.

"They closed the locks indefinitely, and also lowered the water level to where it was actually dangerous to run anything but small outboards," said Tom Tresnell, marketing director for the New York B.A.S.S. Federation Nation. "Basically you have a lot of canceled tournaments up in the New York area."

His bass club also canceled a post-Sandy tournament on Connecticut's Candlewood Lake because of gas station safety concerns.

"We decided to cancel because basically we didn't think it would be good to get in line [with boats] at the gas pumps – we were worried about our personal safety," he said.

He was referring to the fact that the long lines for gas have brought out the worst in some people.

Gates at Maryland's Conowingo Dam on the lower Susquehanna River were opened post-Sandy to release water, prompting more concern about the upper Chesapeake Bay's fragile grass. This habitat in the upper Chesapeake is super important for largemouth and smallmouth bass, striped bass, ducks, geese and other game species.

New Jersey bass pro Pete Gluszek said he's "most worried about" the upper Chessie.

"It received a lot of rain and there definitely was a big tidal surge," he said. "The last thing I want to see down there is the grass ripped out like was 30 years ago by another hurricane. It took 20 years for the grass to come back."

So far it seems he and others with that concern don't need to be worried. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that the upper Chesapeake is only suffering from poor water quality due to the dam release and runoff from the storm. But it's keeping an eye on the upper bay to be sure.

On the plus side, Maryland hadn't had much rain though the summer and fall, and this influx of water (Maryland and Virginia got more Sandy rain than New Jersey and New York) could mean good things for fall waterfowl hunting and next year's fishing.

One further note: Because of Sandy, Virginia extended the deadline for the construction of stationary blinds for waterfowl hunting (east of I-95 only) to Nov. 15.

Recommended for You

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

Lure Lock Tackle Cases: No-Spill, No-Scent

Glenn Walker talks us through the soy-based technology that makes Lure Logic cases spill-proof and scent-proof. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...


7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...


12 Great Catfish Baits

Jeff Samsel

Dozens of different bait types are commonly used for catfish, including these five great...

See More Stories

More Stories


Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...


3 Coyote Guns

Brad Fitzpatrick - September 28, 2017

A rimfire, old standard and new import top our list of favorite rifles for coyote hunting...


Coyote Calling Tips for Hunting at Close Range

Tim Lilley - January 09, 2014

Brian Meyer likes to have coyotes within 20 yards! He uses an SKB shotgun for his coyote...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.