Day: April 7, 2020

Governor Murphy’s Bait And Switch, Leaves Some Trout Anglers On The Hook

April 7, 2020

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.


It is kind of interesting the first day of trout season was moved up to April 1, 2020 from the official opening day of April 11, 2020 creating a lot of hype to entice people to get outside and enjoy an opportunity in the outdoors, while practicing safe social distancing.

The hype of an early season, nice weather and the willingness to get out doors to escape the COVID-19 pandemic, many anglers purchased trout stamps and fishing licences bringing in cash to the Division of Fish and Wildlife. Then all of a sudden 7 days later the door was slammed shut on State and County Park lands with waterways that are now closed due to executive order.

Governor Murphy’s executive order left no exemptions for hunting and fishing on state parks or even county parks. This closed many miles of trout stocked waterways that licence holders have paid for though “trout stamps” as an add on to the licence fees.

The average fisherman spends $22.50 for a basic fishing licence and an additional $10.50 for a “trout stamp” allowing them to fish trout stocked waters. The investment is $33.00 before even tossing a line in the water.

Was that April 1 early opening date an April fool joke or a way to grab some quick money to solve a budget issue? This stinks like a dead fish.

As of right now as far as we can tell “Wildlife Management Areas” are still open for passive recreation. If that changes it will be posted on the Fish and Game website here

Remember to check out story on safe fishing

Fishing licences, trout stamps, hunting and other licence options can be purchased from this link.

Current licence fees for fishing:

(Licenses are valid from date of purchase to Dec. 31 of each year)

All Around Sportsman (includes Resident Fishing,
Firearm Hunting and Bow Hunting licenses)
Resident Fishing (Ages 16-64 yrs.)$22.50
Sr. Resident Fishing (Ages 65-69 yrs.)$12.50
Resident Trout Stamp$10.50
Non-Resident Fishing (Ages 16 and up)$34.00
Non-Resident Trout Stamp$20.00
7-Day Vacation Fishing (nonresidents only)$19.50
2-Day Vacation Fishing (nonresidents only)$9.00
Fishing Buddy LicensesInformation

Entire stocked water list here:



All State Parks have recently been closed. The following waters are trout stocked and will not be open for angler access. These closures will also affect angler access areas on rivers within State Park boundaries:


D&R Canal
D&R Feeder Canal
Green Turtle Pond
Lake Aeroflex
Lake Hopatcong (State Park/ramp)
Lake Musconetcong (State Park/ramp)
Lake Ocquittunk
Little Swartswood Lake (State Park/ramp)
Mingamahone Creek
Ringwood Brook
Round Valley (Park area)
Sawmill Pond
Sheppard’s Lake
Swartswood Lake (State Park/ramps)
Stony Lake
Wawayanda Creek
Wawayanda Lake

4/3/20 – Catch and release fishing for trout began at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1. Most trout waters will temporarily close to fishing again at 12:01 a.m. on April 11 and the season will re-open at the legal time of 8:00 a.m. on April 11 (the official Opening Day of Trout Season), at which time trout can be harvested within established regulations, including a creel limit of six trout per day where allowed. Gear restrictions on special regulated areas still apply.

The United States Passes 400k in COVID-19 Cases Tonight

April 7, 2020, 11:10 pm ET update

World: Cases: 1,433,588 Deaths: 82,078

United States: Confirmed Cases: 400,412 Deaths: 12,854

New Jersey: Confirmed Cases: 44,416 Deaths: 1,232

Updated stats can be found here:

Coronavirus Dashboard at this link tonight’s stats updated at 11:10 pm

Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Tracker (was down at 11:10 pm)

New Jersey Details:

We have 3,361 new positive #COVID19 cases, bringing our total to 44,416.
• Atlantic: 144
• Bergen: 7,533
• Burlington: 733
• Camden: 736
• Cape May: 94
• Cumberland: 71
• Essex: 5,078
• Gloucester: 311
• Hudson: 4,949
• Hunterdon: 234
• Mercer: 837
• Middlesex: 3,717
• Monmouth: 2,770
• Morris: 2,239
• Ocean: 2,641
• Passaic: 4,101
• Salem: 31
• Somerset: 1,033
• Sussex: 331
• Union: 4,358
• Warren: 255
• Under Investigation: 2,220

We’ve lost another 232 New Jerseyans to COVID-19, bringing our total to 1,232 deaths.
• Atlantic: 4
• Bergen: 263
• Burlington: 13
• Camden: 12
• Cape May: 2
• Cumberland: 2
• Essex: 232
• Gloucester: 5
• Hudson: 103
• Hunterdon: 2
• Mercer: 24
• Middlesex: 100
• Monmouth: 71
• Morris: 87
• Ocean: 85
• Passaic: 62
• Salem: 3
• Somerset: 40
• Sussex: 15
• Union: 95
• Warren: 7
• Unknown: 5

We currently have 7,017 hospitalizations, including COVID-19 positive patients and persons under investigations.

1,651 individuals are in critical care. 94% of those individuals – 1,540 individuals – are on ventilators.

Monmouth County has 2,800 positive cases 
of COVID-19; all County parks to close

FREEHOLD, NJ –Monmouth County Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone and Freeholder Deputy Director Susan M. Kiley have announced that, due to an Executive Order signed today by the Governor, all Monmouth County parks will be closed, effective April 8.

“It is very unfortunate that the state and county parks had to be closed because of the lack of social distancing that has been taking place,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “We cannot stress enough that social distancing is the only tool we have to fight COVID-19. We need everyone to do their part to flatten the curve by staying at least six feet away from each other and staying home when feeling sick.”

All public shall be restricted from parks and golf courses. Park and golf course entrances and parking lots will be gated or barricaded and visitors who gain park access by foot or bike shall be directed to leave, as the parks will still be patrolled. Marina services are suspended but owners shall be provided access to their boats.

As of April 7, there are 2,800 positive cases of COVID-19 in Monmouth County.

The breakdown by municipality is as follows:

  • Aberdeen: 78
  • Allenhurst: 1
  • Allentown: 1
  • Asbury Park: 55
  • Atlantic Highlands: 10
  • Avon-by-the-Sea: 8
  • Belmar: 4
  • Bradley Beach: 11
  • Brielle: 17
  • Colts Neck: 38
  • Deal: 19
  • Eatontown: 77
  • Englishtown: 11
  • Fair Haven: 15
  • Farmingdale: 10
  • Freehold Borough: 68
  • Freehold Township: 196
  • Hazlet: 105
  • Highlands: 10
  • Holmdel: 93
  • Howell: 240
  • Keansburg: 40
  • Keyport: 30
  • Lake Como: 6
  • Little Silver: 24
  • Loch Arbour: 1
  • Long Branch: 139
  • Manalapan: 237
  • Manasquan: 20
  • Marlboro: 219
  • Matawan: 63
  • Middletown: 247
  • Millstone: 33
  • Monmouth Beach: 11
  • Neptune City: 11
  • Neptune Township: 145
  • Ocean: 123
  • Oceanport: 30
  • Red Bank: 58
  • Roosevelt: 2
  • Rumson: 23
  • Sea Bright: 7
  • Sea Girt: 8
  • Shrewsbury Borough: 20
  • Shrewsbury Township: 3
  • Spring Lake: 6
  • Spring Lake Heights: 10
  • Tinton Falls: 48
  • Union Beach: 16
  • Upper Freehold: 21
  • Wall: 96
  • West Long Branch: 30
  • Unknown: 3

Monmouth County news updates and information regarding the COVID-19 situation are posted at

Covid-19 Total Cases (2624) In Ocean County:

Total as of Tuesday, 4/7/2020 at 12:00 pm

Effective as of March 28, 2020, the data represented below identifies the municipality or mailing address which was self-reported by the resident at the time of testing. It may not necessarily represent the municipality of residence.

Town NameNumber of Cases
Barnegat Light2
Bay Head2
Beach Haven5
Harvey Cedars0
Island Heights2
Little Egg Harbor27
Long Beach Township8
Ocean Gate3
Ocean Twp. (Waretown)12
Pine Beach2
Point Pleasant Beach13
Point Pleasant Borough63
Seaside Heights12
Seaside Park3
Ship Bottom5
South Toms River27
Surf City3
Toms River435
Total Positive Cases: 2624 

Allentown: Lions Club’s Memorial Day Parade Is Cancelled.

April 7, 2020

ALLENTOWN, NJ (MONMOUTH)–Allentown Borough just released that the Allentown Memorial Day Parade is cancelled due to health concerns COVID-19.

Robbinsville Township and Central Jersey Urgent Care Partner to Open Test Site Beginning April 9

April 7, 2020

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (April 7, 2020) – Robbinsville Township and Central Jersey Urgent Care have partnered to make the Township municipal building parking lot available for COVID-19 testing beginning Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The nasal swab testing is by appointment only via online registration at:

Those wishing to be tested must be symptomatic, or have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive patient. Testing will be conducted in the rear of 2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691 on Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The site also will be open for testing on Monday, April 13, Wednesday April 15 and Friday, April 17 beginning at 9 a.m. Testing is available without a prescription to residents of Mercer County. Robbinsville residency is not required. The Municipal Building and Senior Center remain closed to the general public.

Testing will be limited to one person per-household. The cost for self-pay individuals without insurance will be $99 paid via credit card (only) at the time of service at the site. Those with insurance also will be required to provide a valid credit card, but only after insurance is applied will any remaining patient responsibility be charged to the card. Please contact your healthcare insurer for coverage verification, and be prepared to upload your photo ID and insurance card (if available) during registration. No cash will be accepted.

Notification of both positive and negative results will be made by phone in 2-3 days.

The Robbinsville Township Office of Emergency Management continues to encourage social distancing and frequent hand-washing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Robbinsville Fire Department Extinguishes Car Fire On NJ Turnpike

April 7, 2020

Photos by: Dennis Symons, Jr.

ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department was dispatched to mile marker 61.4 south bound inner roadway for a car fire at 1 pm this afternoon. The Robbinsville Fire Department arrived and extinguished the well involved car fire. No other information was available about the fire.

Governor Phil Murphy Takes More Draconian Measures, Closes State, County Parks And Forrests

April 7, 2020

Ocean County was closed last week. See story from March 31, 2020 here most beaches already closed.

This closure does not include several Federally owned parks such as Gateway National Recreation Area. You can visit Gunnison Beach “Gunny Beach” in Sandy Hook — a known clothing optional nude beach and let everything air out, but you can’t go to the Union Transportation Trail in Upper Freehold Township or fish on the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area and enjoy the outdoors.

OPINION: Governor Murphy’s Bait and Switch leaves trout anglers on the hook: It is kind of interesting the first day of trout season was moved up to April 1, 2020 to entice people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing. The state needed to get people to purchase trout stamps and fishing licences bringing in cash to the Division of fish and game. Then 7 days later most trout stocked waterways are closed since the majority are on now closed state or county property due to executive order. Was that an April fool? This stinks like a dead fish.

Federally Owned Parks List Here Check Each Park To See Closures Due To COVID-19

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced Executive Order 118, closing all state parks and forests and county parks to further social distancing measures. “My Administration’s top priority is to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 cases, so we do not create a surge within our health care systems and overwhelm the health care professionals who are managing our response on the frontlines,” said Governor Murphy. “We have seen far too many instances in our parks where people are gathering and socializing in groups and by closing these areas, we are further limiting public interactions to only the most essential purposes. Data shows that our aggressive efforts to flatten the curve are beginning to make a difference; however, we must continue our push to flatten it to the point where our day-over-day increase is zero.”Under Executive Order No. 108 (2020), municipalities still have the authority to keep municipal parks open or closed.The order shall take effect on Tuesday, April 7, at 8:00 p.m.For a copy of Executive Order No. 118, click here.

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy announced that effective at 8pm on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, all state parks and forests will be closed until further notice . This full closure includes all park lots, grounds, facilities, trails, playgrounds.

All park gates and entrances are CLOSED. Trail use is PROHIBITED. Save yourself the trip and STAY HOME to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

New Jersey State Park Police will patrol park areas to ensure the public is following the Governor’s directives to stay home to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

To keep your family and our entire New Jersey family safe, stay home, practice good hygiene and follow all State and CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19.

To learn more about COVID-19 or find resources, go to COVID19.NJ.GOV, text NJCOVID to 898-211, or call 211.

For updated parks information, please follow this Facebook page or visit the Division of Parks and Forestry’s website:


Ocean County Park System closed last week.

Local Parks: Will add more to the list as closures expand:

Hamilton Township, Mercer County = Closed

In regards to the Governor’s decision to close all State and County parks beginning at 8pm tonight, April 7th, please see the below message from Mayor Martin:

As a result of today’s announcement by the Governor that he is closing all State and County parks as of 8pm tonight, I have ordered all municipal parks closed as of 8pm tonight.  This order pertains not only to Veteran’s and Sayen park but all “neighborhood” parks as well.  While I wanted all parks to remain open, I am concerned that if our parks remain open, they would not be able to safely handle the additional visitors.  It would put your safety, and the safety of our parks employees, in jeopardy and I cannot take that chance. Please continue to keep up your social and physical distancing, washing your hands, and abiding by all CDC recommendations.  By all of us working together, we will get through this together.  You all continue to make me #HamiltonProud!
For more information and to read the Executive Order click here.

Robbinsville Township, Mercer County = Open as long as people practice social distancing.

KN 95 Masks Available to Robbinsville Seniors

April 7, 2020

 ROBBINSVILLE, NJ – (April 7, 2020) – The F.D.A. last week issued an emergency use authorization for KN95 masks, which are almost identical in performance to N95 masks.

The C.D.C. lists KN95 masks as a suitable alternative when N95s are not available. The Robbinsville Township Office of Emergency Management are making those masks available to seniors Age 60+.

  • The masks are available (one per-person) to Robbinsville Township Seniors Ages 60+ only
  • Please call Renee Burns at (609) 575-2032 to make pickup arrangements through the Senior Center between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • The metal part of the KN 95 mask goes above the bridge of your nose and all lettering upright. If you are using the N95 mask, the foam should be on the bridge if your nose and all lettering upright
  • If your mask has one colored side, that colored side should face out
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks
  • To remove the mask: Take it off from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • The mask is re-usable, however it must be replaced if it becomes wet or moist

Travel Insurance, Ski Pass Insurance Will They Pay for COVID-19 Claims?

April 7, 2020

When purchasing airline tickets to ski passes there is usually an extra “insurance” policy to cover unforeseen circumstances that you may not have an opportunity to use your flight or ski pass. You would not want to suffer a loss of your investment into a ski pass if something were to go amiss; so you read the marking material and decide to purchase a pass insurance. You feel a little more confident that your money was spent wisely purchasing the insurance policy, that is until you file a claim.

Ski pass insurance is offered when purchasing the Ikon Pass a multi resort season pass. These passes cost anywhere from $699 to $999. for 2020-2021 season and prices vary depending on time of year purchased, pre-season prices are lower and as it gets closer to opening day the prices increase.

In this story we are going to examine the Trip Preserver “Ski Pass Preserver” Underwritten by Arch Insurance Company and administered by Red Sky Travel Insurance in relation to a COVID-19 resort closure that made housing “uninhabitable” because it was closed by the government order.

I purchased a 2019-2020 Ikon Base Pass on March 6, 2019 for $649.00 with a $30.00 renewal discount bringing the price to $619.00. After buying the Ski Pass Preserver Insurance for $37.14 the total bill was $656.14 I took the payment plan so it was not a big chunk all at once. Paying for the insurance it always felt like you were covered.

Each year I purchase a multi-resort pass such as the Ikon (prior to Ikon was MAXX) early so you get the best deal because the longer you wait there is usually significant price increases closer to opening day. Even though I knew at the time I most likely would not use the pass until the following spring it is usually a good enough deal to grab it early since western resorts cost close to $200 per day for window tickets and eastern resorts run around $100 per day or more depending on the resort. At those window rates you could well exceed the cost of a pass on one small trip.

One of my friends has a house near Killington Resort in Vermont and is shared with family so every March we would spend a planned week there and visit Killington and Sugarbush Resorts. That Vermont trip did not happen because of the resorts shutting down due to COVID-19; Killington suspended operations on March 15, 2020 until further notice. In addition to that annual spring trip to Vermont I had a trip booked to Colorado and should be in Summit County as I write this article but instead stuck at home on the east coast due to COVID-19. My Colorado Trip was supposed to be from April 3 to April 10 and would have visited Copper and Winter Park Resorts in Colorado. Copper Mountain and Winter Park suspended operations on March 15, 2020 indefinitely until the COVID-19 crisis resolved.

Knowing both mountains were closed and the season ended prior to using my pass at all for the 2019-2020 season I decided to file a claim on the insurance I purchased at time of sale.

I wrote into Ikon and they said contact Red Sky and a few days later Red Sky stated they would not cover COVID-19 but I could choose to file a claim and provided a link. I went to the website and filed a claim with supporting documentation of lodging dates, flights, government closures, and lodge/housing closures.

Reading the policy I felt that a government closure from COVID-19 a Natural Disaster would be covered as per their advertising. “Uninhabitability of the destination vacation home caused by a natural disaster” The building is uninhabitable because of the government closure due to the COVID-19 virus.

I could see if the conspiracy theorists are right and COVID-19 was made in a chemical weapons laboratory in Wuhan China and somehow escaped maybe it would not be a “natural disaster”. For now scientists say the COVID-19 was or is naturally occurring and skipped over to humans in China naturally. Not to digress we will leave that to someone else to figure out and write about.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued Colorado a Disaster Declaration on March 28, 2020

FEMA The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a Colorado Disaster Deceleration on 3/28/2020 due to the COVID-19 virus.

President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Colorado

Release date: 
March 29, 2020
Release Number: 
WASHINGTON — FEMA announced that federal emergency aid has been made available for the state of Colorado to supplement the state, tribes and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic beginning on Jan. 20, 2020 and continuing.
Federal funding is available to the state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct federal assistance under Public Assistance, for all areas affected by COVID-19 at a federal cost share of 75 percent.
Lee dePalo has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. Additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further assessments.

Summit County Colorado Ordering Short Term Lodging Closed. I was staying in Summit County where my lodging is.

I filed the claim and a few days letter I received an explanation of benefits denying the claim.

“We have received and reviewed your Season Pass Cancellation claim of your trip for travel dates December 1, 2019 through May 25, 2020. We have determined that we are unable to approve your claim or to provide any benefits under your claim.

There are no benefits under a travel insurance policy for shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders issued as they are not quarantines as defined by the CDC. These orders are intended to reduce harm from the spread of coronavirus in a community. Unlike quarantines, there are many exceptions provided under these orders that permit one to leave their homes for essential activities including but not limited to, seeing a doctor for medical care, grocery shopping, pick up carry out orders from restaurants, to bike or run, so long as social distancing is practiced

Reason Code 59: Shelter-at-place or Stay home order*. There are no benefits under a travel insurance policy for shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders issued as they are not quarantines as defined by the CDC. These orders are intended to reduce harm from the spread of coronavirus in a community. Unlike quarantines, there are many exceptions provided under these orders

Travel insurance is generally misunderstood to insure every circumstance. It does not. It only insures the perils listed in the policy, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions. While we certainly understand your disappointment at the full denial of this claim, please understand that we must consider each claim and the applicable facts under the terms and conditions of the policy purchased. In closing, it is our position that the benefits issued were calculated correctly. If you have any additional information that you feel would affect our determination, please email it to the following address for review:

Where to turn to next?

Since my home state is New Jersey where I purchased the insurance policy I filed a complaint with the State of New Jersey Division of Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection Services.

This story will be continued but this is where I am in the process of trying to make a claim on an insurance policy.

I know others who have purchased passes with no insurance that just took the loss. Those pass holders are hoping that Ikon would provide them some kind of credit or discount towards next year’s pass. For the souls like myself who purchased insurance thinking you are covered, so far your are not covered according to the insurance company.

How ever this works out either through a state agency like New Jersey who is currently working on legislation to make insurance companies pay for COVID-19 losses or though possible future “class action” lawsuit by some attorneys. You may get something, you may not get something. Time will tell how this all plays out.

As for now I recommend holding off on purchasing any multi-resort passes until this COVID-19 situation is resolved or we get a better idea how next season will go. You could purchase a 2020-2021 and if the season is canceled or cut short again because COVID-19 or another situation you could lose your investment in a pass product even if you have purchase insurance thinking you are safe from a loss.

At the time of the writing of this article I could not find anything on the Ikon web page in regards of any discount or assurance of 20/21 season investment in a multi resort pass.