Back in 2006, it was among a trickle of Gulf of Mexico shrimp boats that headed up the East Coast. Today the Lilly Rose is on its second generation operating in the Mid-Atlantic trawl fisheries.

“My father basically built this boat in 2006,” said Gus Lovgren, whose father, Dennis, brought what was then a decade-old Texas shrimper north to the Fishermen’s Dock Cooperative at Manasquan Inlet. “At the time, everyone was switching their vessels over.”

The gulf shrimp fleet was on hard times, beset by imported shrimp flooding the markets, low prices and rising fuel costs. But New Jersey fishermen had gotten into the day boat scallop fishery, and good prices financed replacing aged wooden draggers.

“It made the wooden vessel fleet obsolete,” said Lovgren. The northward migration of steel shrimpers has continued (see “Former La. shrimper reimagined as NJ’s Swaggy B,” NF September 2017).

The Lilly Rose fishes primarily in the Northeast multispecies trawl fishery, where summer flounder, black sea bass, scup and whiting are landed in their seasons. Along with New Jersey’s seasons, Lovgren holds state permits for landing in North Carolina and Virginia.

With its Caterpillar 3412 engine, the Lilly Rose is fairly matched in horsepower with the rest of the co-op fleet, “but put me up against any other boat and I can get way ahead of the fleet,” he said.

With continuing price instability from the covid pandemic, landing that fish first can bring an extra $1 or $2 per pound:  “You’ve got five or 10 boats that can come in on the same day and flood the market.”                          

Boat Specifications

HOME PORT: Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. OWNER: Gus Lovgren BUILDER: Williams Boat Works, Coden, Ala. YEAR BUILT: 1996 FISHERIES: Summer flounder, black sea bass, scup, whiting HULL MATERIAL: Steel LENGTH: 76 feet BEAM: 22 feet DRAFT: 11 feet TONNAGE: 96 gross/58 net PROPULSION: Caterpillar 3412, 530 hp GEARING: Twin Disc 518 6:1 PROPELLER: 59-inch bronze in 60-inch Kort nozzle SHAFT: 4-inch stainless steel GENERATOR: Kubota 4 kW SPEED: 9 knots FUEL CAPACITY: 10,000 gallons FRESHWATER CAPACITY: 3,500 gallons FISH HOLD CAPACITY: 50,000 pounds  CREW: 3 ELECTRONICS: Furuno suite with radar, color sounder, GPS, plotter; Icom VHF radios; two Dell PC computers; Shipmate chart plotter.


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Associate Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for more than 30 years and a 25-year field editor for National Fisherman before joining our Commercial Marine editorial staff in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.

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