No Fluke: West Bay Anglers raise $12,000… new fishing regulations coming

West Bay Anglers raise $12,000… new fishing regulations coming
The raffle tickets kept crossing the table, the math was pretty simple: $1 a ticket.  But by the time they were done, after 18 weeks of Lobster Raffles this winter, the West Bay Anglers had raised $12,000 for charity.  Half was donated to their Take-a-Kid Fishing Foundation that takes 450 children fishing each summer aboard the Seven B’s party fishing boat out of Point Judith.  A second check for $6,000 was donated to Impossible Dream in Warwick.
Dianne Penza, executive director of Impossible Dream, said “I have to tell you a story about an eleven year old girl who is losing her eyesight which will be gone in six months.  We asked her what she would want and expected the usual answer… Disney World.  But we were surprised when she said I want to see my grandfather one more time.  So we are sending her overseas to see her grandfather.  Your donations make trips like this possible.”
The Lobster Raffles occurred for eighteen Saturdays in a row during the fall and winter months and the prizes are unusual. Yes, there are lobsters—large lobsters, ranging from six to 14 pounds. In addition to lobsters, prizes included small appliances, hams and roasts, flat screen televisions, a GPS system and a gold necklace. In total they had about 30 different items at Saturday’s raffle.
Pat Gallien and Art Bryer, both of Warwick, are the club’s new president and vice president, both elected in January. For information about the club contact Pat Gallien, dadothad@yahoo.com.

Latest on saltwater fishing regulations
A fishing regulation public hearing was held at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus on Tuesday, March 13.  Public comment was heard on a variety of amendments to RI Marine Fisheries Regulations noted below.  The next step is that the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council will vote on amendments at an April 1 public meeting, and their decisions, along with recommendations from DEM’s Marine Fisheries department staff, will go to Director Janet Coit for consideration.  The hope is that most recreational regulations (the saltwater fishing rule book) will be approved and in place shortly after the April 1 meeting.
• Summer flounder:  we are likely to see some liberalization in minimum size, from 18.5” in 2012 to 18” in 2013.  Catch limit will likely stay the same at eight fish per angler per day with a season from May 1 to December 31.
• Tautog: only change will likely be an earlier spring season start date of March 1. Other than this date change, regulations will likely stay the same; 16” fish with split season.  Three fish per angler per day March 1 to May 31, closed season from June 1 to July 31, three fish per angler per day August 1 to Oct. 19, and six fish per angler per day from Oct. 20 to Dec. 15. There is a ten fish boat limit in all seasons (which does not apply to charter and party boats).
• Scup: regulations will be liberalized as scup biomass is plentiful.  General fishery: 10” fish with a 30 fish bag limit from May 1 through December 31; Party and Charter: 10.5” fish with a 30 fish bag limit from May 1 through August 31, 45 fish bag limit from Sept 1 through October 31, 30 fish bag limit from November 1 through December 31.  Additionally, an experimental 9” fish from select non-boat ramp shore locations including Rocky Point and Fox Point is being considered.
• Black sea bass:  regulations are up in the air as we recently received clarification on regional quotas (RI must take a 32% cut in 2013).  As it looks now, a 13” fish or one slightly larger will likely be approved with a bag limit of five fish per angler per day with a season starting June 15 and running to or through November.  We will have to watch this one closely as user groups weigh in on some of the new options.
• Atlantic Menhaden: recreational and commercial regulations will likely stay the same for 2013.

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years.  He holds a captain’s master license, a charter fishing license, and is a member of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association board.  Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke Charters website at www.noflukefishing.com, his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com  or e-mail him fishing news and photos at dmontifish@verizon.net.

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