Rhode Island and Massachusetts have scheduled hearings to gather public input on Draft Addendum I to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic menhaden (commonly called pogies). The Addendum considers potential changes to current provisions for commercial allocations, the episodic event set aside (EESA) program, and the incidental catch and small-scale fisheries (IC/SSF) provision.
Over the years anglers have advocated for Atlantic menhaden conservation measures that left enough fish in the water as forage fish for striped bass, bluefish, tuna, whales, osprey and other animals that rely on these fish for sustenance.
The Rhode Island online webinar hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. To register for a virtual public hearing webinar please click HERE [attendee.gotowebinar.com] and select the hearing(s) you plan to attend from the dropdown menu. Hearings will be held via GoToWebinar, and you can join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
The Massachusetts meeting will be held in-person Wednesday, Sept. 14, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA. For information contact Nichola Meserve at 978,619.0017.
NOAA Fisheries announces dates
for angler input sessions
NOAA Fisheries is asking the recreational fishing community for their input at three webinars to update the 2015 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy. With perspectives shared during the 2022 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit, NOAA Fisheries requests angler input on revising the Policy.
The three meeting dates are: Aug. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (EST); Sept. 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (EST); and November 16 from 6 to 7 p.m. (EST). You just need to express your perspectives at one of the sessions. To register for a webinar or provide an online comment visit www.fisheries.noaa.gov/event/public-presentations-recreational-fisheries-policy-update .
During the webinars, NOAA Fisheries will provide a concise overview and history of the Policy, answer questions, and accept comments and suggested improvements.
The public comment period and electronic comment portal will remain open through Dec. 31, 2022.
The purpose of the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy is to provide guidance for Agency consideration in its deliberations pertaining to development and maintenance of enduring and sustainable high quality saltwater recreational fisheries. With climate impacts on fishing, stock movement, multi-uses of our oceans the new policy is needed to guide NOAA Fisheries.
Where’s the bite?
Striped bass and bluefish. The striped bass bite in upper Narragansett Bay improved this weekend. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “The water is still warm and sort of defies what is happening but keeper slot size bass (28 to <35 inches) were caught all the way up to Pawtucket this weekend. Anglers are catching fish with swimming and mid water lures five to seven inches in length with some anglers using chunks of Atlantic menhaden.”
John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “The water is still very warm, 77 degrees in the upper Bay but this weekend we had bass at Rumstick Point and Barrington Beach but they were picky with anglers trying to hook up using jigs, tube & worm and lures of all types but the striped bass were not feeding. The bluefish bite remains fairly strong at Rocky Point, Warwick Light and Barrington Beach.”
Bonito and false albacore. Now is the time to fish for bonito as the fish caught were larger this week. Still a lot of small fish around but nice fish are being caught too.
“Angler Dave Garzoli weighed in a 9.2-pound bonito for the RI Saltwater Anglers Association tournament. Anglers are hooking up with bonito off Narragansett and at the East Wall of the Harbor of Refuge, South Kingstown. We had one report last week of false albacore in front of Newport but no reports of anglers hooking up,” said Henault of Ocean State Tackle.
Summer flounder, fluke, black sea bass. “Anglers have not been able to hook up with keeper black sea bass in the Bay. They are catching smaller fish. One customer said the ratio this year is about five keepers compared to the 125 small black sea bass (under 16 inches) that he has caught. However, scup fishing remains strong with customer Albert Bettencourt of Riverside catching his limit (30 fish/person/day, 10-inch minimum) with fish ranging from 1.5 to 2 pounds and a strong bite off Conimicut Point and Warwick Light.”
Scup fishing was good in the lower Bay round the bridges with fish to 15 and 16 inches being caught family often. The summer flounder (fluke) bite is still very spotty in the lower Bay, south of the bridges and out in front of Newport with the keepers being caught just in the 18 to 19-inch range. Henault of Ocean State said, “The best fluke bite is in the Block Island Wind Farm area, off Newport and the Sakonnet River, and off Scarborough beach in Narragansett. But angler need to know where to fish with ideal conditions (wind and tide in line).”
Tuna bite. The yellowfin and bluefin tuna bite is still strong close to shore. Angler John Stavrakas said, “We saw a bunch of life near the Gully (whales, dolphins, birds, slicks) and went lines in there. By 8:30 a.m. we had two nice yellowfin in the boat (48 and 54 inches). Spent the morning trolling within sight of Block Island. I couldn’t believe we were catching yellowfin within sight of the Island, nice yellowfin at that.”
Freshwater fishing remains sluggish with water still being very warm. Henault of Ocean State Tackle said, “We have anglers fishing for largemouth but things are slow. Some pickerel being caught in northern Rhode Island and Massachusetts ponds, however, it will now be a matter of waiting for the early fall stocking of trout by the States of Rhode Island and Massachusetts once the water cools a bit.”
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.
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