"We just got $100", said Pat Gallien, president of the West Bay Anglers. Pat was performing his role as MC at the groups final "Lobster Raffle" when unsolicited a member walked up to him and handed him $100 to help take kids fishing. Pat said, "This type of thing happens all the time."
The West Bay Anglers were done after eighteen weeks of fundraising Lobster Raffles this fall and winter and they raised $16,000…$8,000 was donated to their take a kid fishing foundation and $8,000 to the Warwick based Impossible Dream. With the money The West Bay Anglers foundation take 450 children fishing each summer aboard the Seven B's party fishing boat out of Point Judith.
Pam Tameo, raffle chairperson and past president of the West Bay Anglers said, "You haven't seen anything until you see a child catch their first fish… we take kids fishing eight days during the summer and you make this happen… we thank all of you for what you have done."
About 150 people attended the final Lobster Raffle at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7, Warwick. Frank Tameo, Pam's husband, who has been an active member of the West Bay Anglers for over 28 years said, "We are here, committed to raising funds for children, and you know it has been a pretty good this year." Last year the group raised $12,000, so $16,000 in donations this year was outstanding considering the bad weather and the economy.
Dianne Florio-Penza, executive director of Impossible Dream, said "These funds will be used for our playground to support facilities that allow children with disabilities to play alongside their friends."
The Lobster Raffles occur every Saturday throughout the fall and winter months and the prizes are unusual. Large lobsters ranging from six to fourteen pounds are raffled. They usually have a raffle table with small appliances, a meat table with hams and roasts of all types, a miscellaneous table, and the last raffle table Saturday included a 50" flat screen TV and three very large lobsters.
West Bay Angler
Pat Gallien who has been president since January 2013 said, "Our membership dues are $50 per year and we are one of the few clubs that awards cash prizes (rather than trophies) for our tournaments. We have year- long tournaments as well as specie specific tournaments like tautog with runs from May 17th -25th or fluke the entire month of August. In addition we have our special William Beaudry Jr. Memorial Striper Tournament June 14 to June 22 this year. The entry fee is $25 with a top price of $500, two second place $200, prizes one for women and one for men, and two $100 third place prizes, one for women and one for men. For information about the club contact Pat Gallien, president, at email@example.com .
Summer flounder (fluke) size likely to be 18"
Summer flounder has undergone a new regional management approach originally combining RI and MA into one region. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) engaged this regional approach that in essence grants more fish at smaller minimum sizes to states like New York that have historically overfished but related that they need more fish and lower minimum sizes to even things out among coastal states. However, many observers believe that this new regional plan in not an appropriate strategy to engage, particularly with the fish stock of summer flounder on the decline. Many fear that the new regional plan will lead to overfishing in 2014 to the point that highly restrictive measures may be necessary in 2015 to get the fishery back in line.
Last month the summer flounder advisory panel of the RI Marine Fisheries Council and DEM staff voted to recommend and advocate for status quo for recreational fishing, in other words keep the regulations the same as last year, an 18" minimum size, with a bag limit of 8 fish/angler/day. This recommendation was approved unanimously by the AP even though our regional partner Massachusetts was at 16" last year and wanted to stay close to that size because they did not overfish last year even at 16". Robert Ballou, chairman of the RIMFC and a Rhode Island ASMFC member said, "The AP is coming down on the side of conservation here, not wanting a smaller size as they believe a smaller size would lead to overfishing in Rhode Island."
On March 13 the ASMFC voted to approve Rhode Island's (and Massachusetts') request to have different summer flounder regulations. Rick Bellavance, ASMFC legislative proxy from RI and president of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association said, "The Board did in fact re-open the addendum and split RI off into its own region. So we will be at status quo for next year. My thoughts are that we did the right thing for the resource and reduced the likelihood that the total coastwide Recreational Harvest Limit (RHL) will be exceeded. On the flip side we are making it easier for NY's region to overharvest on our backs because we "should" harvest conservatively in 2014 and what we don't harvest will be used to offset any other regions overages. If we still blow the coast RHL then as I understand it, the regions that made the overages will have to pay it back i.e. NY, CT, NJ, or any other region that goes over."
So if recommended by the RIMFC and approved by DEM director Janet Coit, our summer flounder regulations for 2014 will likely be close to last year… an 18" minimum size, with a bag limit of 8 fish/angler/day.
Public hearing March 25
A public hearing regarding proposed amendments to RI Marine Fisheries regulations is scheduled for Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 6:00 p.m. at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett. Twenty-one agenda items in total will be considered including recreational summer flounder, winter flounder, tautog, scup, black sea bass and striped bass regulation amendments. Commercial tautog, striped bass, striped bass floating fish traps and Atlantic Menhaden amendments will be addressed as well as a variety of other issues pertaining to artificial reefs, shell fish closure regulations, etc. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for public hearing agendas and details.
Saltwater fishing show next week
The New England Saltwater Fishing Show is scheduled to take place Friday, March 28th to Sunday March 30th. Steve Medeiros, president of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA), said, "This is our eleventh year and it will be the largest show ever with a focus on angler education. We have ninety seminars, demonstrations and workshops scheduled." The New England Saltwater Fishing Show is being held at the RI Convention Center and will have over 250 exhibitors including tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, clothing and much more. Seminar topics include inshore and offshore fishing, specie specific seminars on tautog, fluke, striped bass, tuna, bonito as well as tactics for jigging, chucking, chumming, night fishing and more. Visit www.nesaltwatershow.com for a complete list of seminars, workshops, speakers and show information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.