Last week the Commercial Fisheries Center of RI hosted three fishermen from the United Kingdom. Merlin Jackson, John Nichols, and Colin Warwick spoke with several RI fishermen about their experiences fishing with operating wind farms off their coast near Ramsgate, England.
The fishermen spoke about mitigation, safety issues, and best practices for fisheries liaison officers and recommended that Rhode Island's fishermen stay involved in what will be a long process. The meeting was organized by Capt. Rick Bellavance, a wind farm liaison for fishermen, who is a member of the Commercial Fisheries Center and president of the RI Party and Charter Boat Association. Capt. Bellavance said, "These fishermen have actually experienced fishing in the area of wind farms so it was great to hear their point of view. Last year I visited the UK to see how fishermen there were coping with windmills so it was great to have them come to the US so our fishermen could hear about their experiences fist hand."
The funds to bring the fishermen to Rhode Island came from the Ocean Conservancy. The UK fishermen also planned to meet with fishermen and government officials from Baltimore, MD to Portland, Maine.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Pabst Blue Ribbon announced that their Northeast striped bass, fluke and bluefish Tournament that will take place June 1 to September 14, 2014 with $50,000 in prizes. New for 2014 is an expanded Tournament into Massachusetts. Weigh stations will be located along the MA coast for anglers to with their catch in addition to last year's locations in Rhode Island, Long Island and Connecticut. Visit www.pbrfishing.com for entry details, rules and regulations.
Fly tying tips and tricks
Capt. Ray Stachelek will demonstrate fly tying tips and tricks at the February 18, 6:30 p.m., Rhody Fly Rodders meeting at the Riverside Sportsman's Club, East Providence, RI. He will be showing successful flies for both fresh and saltwater. Peter Nilsen, president of the Rhody Fly Rodders, said "Capt. Ray Stachelek has been winding thread for 50 years, is a pro-tyer for Umpqua, and an author of many fly fishing articles. He has been providing fly fishing and light tackle charters in Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound for many years."
Nilsen continued, "Capt. Ray's presentation is an excellent informational fly tying program with some great Micro photography, about learning to make the task of fly tying and 'winding thread' easier and simple. The presentation will include tips to improve anyone's bench performance regardless of tying level. He will also discuss and cover the progression of some our tying tools in fly tying history." For information contact Peter Nilsen at pdfish@
delegation seeks input
on Reauthorization Act
The Rhode Island Congressional delegation is seeking input and comments on the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in order to effectively prioritize and advocate policies most important to Rhode Islanders during reauthorization discussions. The meeting will take place Friday, February 14, 4:00 p.m. at the URI Bay Campus, Hazard Room at the Coastal Institute Building.
Due to time constraints, we will allow those interested to register for a speaking slot in advance. A limited number of slots will be available. To register please email Annamarie_Laura@
whitehouse.senate.gov with your name and topic(s) your remarks will address. There will be at least 30 minutes of time available for additional comments on a first come, first serve basis. This session is open to the public and RSVP is not required.
Free DEM February school vacation activities
As part of ongoing efforts to encourage children, families and individuals to enjoy the recreational resources and outdoor activities our state parks have to offer, the Department of Environmental Management will hold free activities during February school vacation.
On Monday, February 17, DEM will offer demonstrations and lessons on snow shoeing, cross country skiing and ice fishing with opportunities to try each activity at Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants should bring their own equipment. If the depth of the snow is not adequate for skiing or snow shoeing or if there is no safe ice for fishing, staff will lead guided hikes and walks around Peck Pond and other trails in the park. Activities begin at the warm-up hut/pavilion in the beach area.
On Tuesday, February 18, DEM will offer tours of the Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown. The tours will run continuously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Lafayette Fish Hatchery is one of three hatcheries where DEM raises fish until they are stocked in the state's waters. During the tours, personnel from DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife will explain the functions and procedures of the Hatchery.
Day care centers and groups are welcome. Activities are subject to cancellation/change based on weather conditions. Please contact the Division of Parks and Recreation at (401) 667-6200 or visit the website at www.dem.ri.gov for updates.
ASMFC decision could have negative impact
on summer flounder
In strong opposition delegations from RI, MA, NJ, and VA opposed the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board move to approve Addendum XXV, establishing regional recreational management for 2014. However, the plan for regionalization was approved.
Last month Rhode Island delegates to the ASMFC heard strong opposition for regionalization from the recreational fishing community. At a public hearing, anglers testified that the plan would allocate more fish to states like New York that have consistently overfished their quota. Anglers fear that with more fish and relaxed summer flounder fishing regulations for New York that they (and other states) would greatly overfish in 2014 causing major problems for summer flounder, a fish stock on the decline.
Robert Ballou, Rhode Island ASMFC delegate and chairman of the RI Marine Fisheries Council said at a Council meeting Monday "The Rhode Island delegation opposed regionalization along with Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts but lost the vote four to seven." Ballou said that DEM staffers were meeting this week and next to align MA and RI regulations and run plans by the ASMFC Technical Committee. The RIMFC summer flounder advisory panel chaired by Rich Hittinger was planning a meeting for next week to address recreational summer flounder issues, specifically the impact of ASMFC regionalization mandates on RI recreational summer flounder regulations. At press time a date and time had not been posited for the advisory panel meeting.
Where's the bite
Cod fishing. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet reported a good cod bite last week with some anglers limiting out (ten fish/angler/day) and cod to 32 pounds being caught. "The top fish every trip was in the twenty plus pound range. On Saturday about half of the fish on the boat were in the 12 to 18 pound range… Both bait and jigs worked this past week but fresh shucked clams were probably the best on most trips. A handful or two of small keeper Pollock and some red hake mixed in from time to time but generally speaking it has been mostly cod fish. The Frances Fleet will continue to sail daily at 5 am weather permitting, visit www.francesfleet.com . Other party boats sailing for cod include the Seven B's at www.sevenbs.com, and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com .
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain's master license and a charter fishing license. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Monti at email@example.com.