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September 2014

News & Events

General Meeting - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

American Legion Hall
137 New Market Road
Dunellen, NJ
Meeting starts at 8 PM - Non Members are always welcome!

NJ WILD Outdoor Expo

September 13 and 14, 2014

The 5th annual NJ WILD Outdoor Expo, a celebration of the state's bountiful natural resources and rich outdoor heritage, is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 13 and 14.  At the Expo the public will be offered a welcoming hand to the state's great outdoor venues and experiences.

The Expo, to be held rain or shine at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, will include classes, lessons, demonstrations and exhibits on a host of outdoor activities. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

A host of environmental and conservation exhibits, demonstrations and seminars are planned. Participants, ranging from avid outdoorsmen to novice adventurers of all ages, can learn about and try a wide variety of activities at the Expo. Included will be fishing, kayaking, camping skills, rock climbing, wildlife watching, shooting sports, geocaching and plenty more.  Many of the free activities and programs offered can also help to fulfill Boy Scout and Girl Scout badge requirements. The complete list of free scout badge activities at this event can be found on the event website.

For more information, view the NJ DEP news release at; for directions to the Colliers Mills WMA and more information, including a video tour of the Expo and a complete listing of 2014 programs, visit: .

2014 International Fly Tying Symposium

November 22nd and 23rd 2014
Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ

Didymo Update

We received the following information from the Raritan Headwaters Association detailing the most resent information on didymo or "rock snot". For more information on the Raritan Headwaters Association, visit their website,

Didymo: A Cautionary Tale

Prior to the spring of 2013, it was widely believed that people using the stream for fishing, kayaking, boating and other watersports were unintentionally spreading a nuisance alga, Didymosphenia geminata, as they traveled from stream to stream. This alga is commonly known as “rock snot” or didymo for short. However, new studies and publications indicate that didymo is actually native to our streams and the recent blooms are the result of wide scale environmental changes.

Why is didymo considered a nuisance?

When didymo blooms, it grows stalks that create thick mats that smother the bottom of the stream. The mats are yellowish or brown and appear slimy; however the actual texture feels like wet wool. The mats trap fine sediment and may negatively impact the fish, plants, and bugs that live in the stream.

When didymo blooms were observed in the Delaware River and other streams across the country in the 2000s, clean water advocates were alarmed. The blooms appeared to be a recent phenomenon, since didymo was not known to be present in these streams.

New Findings

In the past, the didmyo was believed to be found only in pristine streams characterized by clean, cold, low nutrient water. Its range was thought to be limited to mountainous, northern regions. Hence, people were believed to be introducing this alga to streams where it was previously absent. New research indicates that didymo can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, nutrient levels, and pollution. In fact, didymo is found on all continents except for Africa, Australia and Antarctica. When there are elevated levels of phosphorus in the stream, this alga exists as a single cell and often escapes detection because of its microscopic size and relatively low abundance.

According to new research, when phosphorus levels drop below 2 ppb (parts per billion) in the stream, didymo attaches to rocks on the streambed and grows stalks that create clumps on rocks or thick mats on the bottom of streams. These growths are called nuisance blooms. The blooms are the results of changes in stream nutrient levels rather than the introduction of new didymo cells by people. These findings are validated by historical and fossil records of didymo in the United States. For example, lake sediment cores from the Delaware River region contained fossils of didymo specimens. Researchers noted that didymo was present in the early 1800s in streams that were only recently observed to be experiencing blooms. Hence, didymo is native and is not being introduced by human activity.

Lingering questions

Once didymo is present in the stream, can we get rid of it? Currently, there is no solution to eradicating this nuisance alga.

Another question is whether global environmental changes are occurring that are causing phosphorus levels to drop, triggering didymo growth in streams. Climate change is thought to be a possible culprit. In one scenario, snow melts earlier in the year washing nutrients into the stream. Plants take up those nutrients sooner causing a drop in phosphorus levels later in the growing season. Research is underway to explore different hypotheses.

Now what?

Now that we know didymo to be native should we drop it from our water quality concerns? The answer is NO! Now we need to train stream users to recognize this alga when it is blooming and be vigilant about reporting it. Once we are aware of the blooms we can study them and determine the best way to manage didymo. Additionally, if New Jersey’s new fertilizer laws–intended to curb phosphorus levels in streams–are effective, will blooms of didymo be observed more frequently? Only time will tell. However, didymo is the lesser evil, as having too much phosphorus in our streams can lead to algal blooms and fish kills.

Furthermore, while research has shown didymo to be native in other parts of the country, no research has been conducted in the Raritan River watershed to prove that it is present and native.

Leave No Trace

Although didymo turned out to be a red herring, equipment is still vulnerable to transferring other known aquatic invasives like whirling disease, zebra mussels, water chestnut, New Zealand mud snail and future unknown threats. Aquatic invasive species are not native to an ecosystem and when introduced can cause economic and/or environmental harm or threaten human health. Therefore Raritan Headwaters advocates being cautious and continuing to clean gear after visiting a stream or lake.

Please strive to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by cleaning your gear. First INSPECT your gear and remove any rocks, mud, plants, moss or other materials from you gear. Then CLEAN your equipment with water and a brush to remove any attached materials. Finally, DRY your gear completely in the sun.

Take Action!

Raritan Headwaters is currently training volunteers to become River Ambassadors to serve as a positive presence at parks and community events, inspiring and educating visitors to take personal responsibility for keeping the Raritan River healthy, clean, and safe. In part, we are launching this program to help spread awareness about the importance of leaving no trace at the streams and rivers enjoyed by fisherman, kayakers, and boaters. Stream users will be encouraged to go beyond the basic leave no trace principles and adopt a practice of inspecting, cleaning, and drying their gear to prevent the unintentional spread of aquatic invasive species.

President’s Letter

September 2014

I hope everyone enjoyed their summer, I certainly enjoyed mine.  The cooler than average temperatures made it quite comfortable to spend time outdoors.  I started my summer with ten days in Montana at the begining of July and experienced some of the best fishing I have had in the Yellowstone region.  This had been a year where you could actually enjoy some summer trout fishing in New Jersey if you picked your days right.  We had some down right cool weather this summer, which should increase survival rates of holdover fish.  I am looking forward to the shorter days, the cooler weather and the changing colors.  All that spells autumn trout fishing, my favorite time of year!

It was a very quiet summer for CJTU.  Not much to report.  We did get some promising news on the Point Mountain Project.  The permits have finally been submitted and we are now awaiting final approval for the project.  There is a chance, though slim, that we may see work started this fall.  We're keeping our fingers crossed!  

Although CJTU will not be present at this event, I wanted to let everyone know about the NJ Wild Outdoor Expo.  The New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo celebrates the state's bountiful natural resources and rich outdoor heritage. The event is held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area in Jackson Township, Ocean County. The 2014 dates are September 13 and 14. The Expo is an annual event which is free of charge and takes place rain or shine.  This event is right in my backyard and I attend it every year.  It is a great day out with the family with planty of activities for everyone.  You can get more information about the event by visiting

However, CJTU will have a booth at the upcoming Fly Tying Symposium.  The 2014 International Fly Tying Symposium will take place on November 22nd and 23rd 2014 the at the Garden State Exhibit Center, Somerset, NJ.  If your at the show stop by our booth and say hello.

We will be bringing back the fly swap for our September meeting.  I believe this swap's theme will be "go to flies".  I'm excited about this one.  It's always great to see other angler's secret weapons.

We have a lot of things in the works for the upcoming months which I will discuss further when all the details are fleshed out.  Were hoping to add some new activities and programs which our members should enjoy.  If you have an idea or suggestion for a chapter activity drop me a line or grab my ear at a meeting.  That's it for now, tight lines...

Tight Lines
Bart Lombardo