View Full Version : Public Trust: Public Trust Access Issues in Deal, NJ

06-27-2010, 02:35 PM
The new DEP ruling that Finchaser was talking about is one of the biggest things to happen to Public Access for shore fishermen and other beach users in the past few years.

Many don't understand the significance of this reading. Finchaser did, that's why he posted it up. http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/images/icons/icon3.gif


What it does, according to the ruling, is give shore towns carte blanche to restrict fishing and other access as they see fit.

The only way to fight this is to institute a series of lawsuits to fight for our access. Since most fishermen have very little time to devote to these issues, there's very little chance of a court case, and those town officials and DEP architects of this plan know it.

Feel free to post any comments regarding Deal in this thread.

It will only get worse before enough people get upset enough to try to combine forces and fight it.

Welcome to the current reality. :2flip:

07-10-2010, 12:27 PM
This happened almost 20 years ago, where surfers and others were not welcome in Deal NJ.

Prior to that, some fishermen were allowed. The fishermen had an understanding with the police. They would put a plug on the dashboard. When the police came by on their rounds, they would see the plug, and not give the guy a ticket.

Somewhere during that time frame, the homeowners decided they didn't want surfers or fishermen on the water in front of their pristine properties.

Signs were put up, and parking and access restrictions were enfoced. A lot of people were angry about this, but not many knew what to do...

07-10-2010, 12:49 PM
Some of you may have heard of Curl, some may not have.
That's his internet name.

He's a fisherman, a surfer, a guy always willing to give surfing advice or fix a cracked board for a reasonable price, a good source of access historical info, and a friend. :HappyWave:

Through conversations with him, I understood the following:

The town of Deal didn't want surfers or any other people on their beaches who weren't residents.

Curl, being the activist that he was, knew there were some Constitutional issues here. He was well aware of the Public Trust Doctrine, and its implications.

Unfortunately, you need money and legal talent to fight the towns that restrict access. Whether a cause is justified or not, you can't fight them in court for free. Many towns know that and pass restrictive ordinances, figuring there's a small chance they'll face a court challenge.

The town of Deal knew this.

Hoever, Curl, and a small group of his friends, weren't going to take it lying down. They loved to surf, still do, and weren't going to give up access without a fight.

Curl put up a few thousand of his own savings, hired a lawyer, and they went after the town on the access issue, putting the case on the doket for a court hearing.

He managed to rally the troops, getting a lot of surfers and fishermen to sign petitions, and raised awareness of the town meeting dates.

In the end, the way it was related to me, the town "blinked". They agreed to give access to Curl, his friends, other surfers and fishermen, if they would drop the lawsuit. :clapping: :thumbsup:
The town didn't want to litigate a Public Trust Issue. They felt no one would be organized enough to challenge them. They failed to understand the sheer determination of Curl and his friends until it was almost too late.

I relate this story here, with his permission, to let you people out there know that with a determined interest group, changes can and will be made. :learn:

One reason for my lack of confidence in getting things done like this in today's climate is..... I have seen the apathy in fishermen. I've been to the March on Washington, and seen the reality that only a very small % of fishermen are willing to organize for a cause. Only a small % of guys are consistently interested in fisheries management meetings, and things of that nature.

If the story isn't about 40 or 50# striped bass, it's hard to hold peoples' interest. :huh:

That's why I believe the towns will win on these access issues, one town at a time.

I would love to be proven wrong on this. With the apathy and laziness that exists today, I don't see that happening. :don't know why:

11-17-2012, 03:59 PM
A member here brought this to my attention.
Someone was fishing in Deal, trespassed across a closed area, and was given a ticket.

IMO the person who was given the ticket was clearly in the wrong.
The writing of the ticket was discretionary on the part of the officer.

There are ways to reduce the risk of getting a ticket, ways of having a conversation, before it's written.
Can't begin to discuss that here as took years to learn how to address different branches of LE with the specific amount of respect for the jobs they do.

And speaking of the jobs they do, a big hand here for all the brothers in LE and the risks they take. :clapping: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
They have a serious looting problem now, much larger than what is on the news feeds.
They are just doing their jobs.

There is also a safety issue. There are some areas where you would need to descend rock strewn rubble 10-15 feet to get to the water. This becomes a liability on the part of the town if they are lax in keeping people out of dangerous areas.
If the Chief tells them to crack down on fishermen, that's what they will be doing, and no one should fault them for doing their jobs. :learn:

11-17-2012, 04:01 PM
Anyway, I started this thread to talk about access issues in Deal.
The above post really didn't pertain to the Public Trust. In times of crisis the rights of the individual, can be usurped by the need to protect and maintain safety. We all need to be aware of that.

As mentioned in other threads, fishermen will have reduced access going forward,
Not just now, but in the future.

We can rant against it, call it unfair, or work to change the opinions folks have of fishermen out there.
Food for thought.

If there are any further developments in Deal, feel free to post here. Thanks.

11-19-2012, 03:37 PM
Why would someone park by the orange fencing? Seems a bit lazy to me.

11-20-2012, 08:11 AM
I haven't fished Deal in over 20years. Used to go down there quite a bit. Got hassled too much. People complaining about us being there all the time, hardly any parking, police around all the time, just wasn't worth it. I have no idea how it is today, but it seems to me the surrounding population dictates our access there, and they would rather us not be there. I got tired back then of constantly showing my driver's license, so I never went back. I never felt good about giving in, still bothers me today.

As far as people wandering into areas they shouldn't be, well, what are ya gonna do, some people just never learn.

11-20-2012, 09:04 AM
, but it seems to me the surrounding population dictates our access there, and they would rather us not be there. I got tired back then of constantly showing my driver's license, so I never went back. I never felt good about giving in, still bothers me today.

As far as people wandering into areas they shouldn't be, well, what are ya gonna do, some people just never learn.

Thanks for that, Surfwalker. :HappyWave:

There are some there and in the border areas of Long Branch that still don't welcome fishermen, but it's understandable now that I hear it from both sides.
The recent incident where someone took a dump by the cabanas at Allenhurst, the disrespectful behavior of a small few each spring parking in a frenzy when the fish come in...

I completely sympathize with homeowners who don't want us there....and their reasons for feeling that way.

With each incident of selfishness or careless disprespect, it becomes harder and harder for me to unilaterally support the rights of all fishermen to fish these areas. We are our own worst enemies sometimes. Additionally, when we lose access, we do not have the collective committment to have a massive gathering and protest, like Finchaser and some of the fishing clubs did in the 70's.

Or threaten a lawsuit, like a good friend who hooked up with Surfrider threatened the town of Loch Arbor and Long Branch with to gain access for surfers.
I believe that was in the 80's.

11-20-2012, 12:37 PM
Hey guys I was checking the Web for Public trust Doc. and found this. I just start reading it.