‘Catch trout are as big as Volkswagens’
The Rhody Fly Rodders will meet Tuesday, March 19, 6:30 p.m. the Riverside Sportsmen’s Association, 1 Mohawk Drive, East Providence.
The seminar topic is trout fishing in Northwest Montana. Expert Montana adventure angler Dan Spedding will give a presentation titled ‘Trout Fishing the Blackfoot Indian Reservation for trout as big as Volkswagens.’
Spedding said, “To put it mildly, the Blackfoot Reservation in northwest Montana presents its share of challenges….but if you’re willing, you will likely catch the largest trout of your life....if not the largest dozen, as the fish are the size of Volkswagens. One thing for certain….it’ll be an adventure.”
Peter Nilsen, Roddy Fly Rodders president said, “Yes, Dan Spedding is back with another wild and crazy adventure as he rambles the back roads of America searching for great trout. In addition to the presentation we will be selling flies for this year’s charity ‘Reel Recovery’. The meeting is open to the public.” Contact Peter Nilsen for information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Capt. Dave Monti Tweeting
This year I am starting to Tweet about ‘Where’s the bite?’, fishing policy, climate change, regulations and other items of interest to fishermen as I take my charter clients fishing, attend regulatory meetings and learn about fishing issues that impact recreational anglers. Follow me on Twitter @CaptDaveMonti.
Speed limit set to protect whales
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has set a ten knot speed limit in parts of Cape Cod Bay to protect endangered right whales for ship strikes. In a press release last week the Division said, “During the late winter and early spring, right whales migrate into and aggregate in Cape Cod Bay where they feed on zooplankton. As we move from the winter into the spring they begin to surface feed. This behavior leaves them particularly susceptible to ship strikes. Ship strikes are a significant source of mortality to these endangered whales. However, the lethality of ship strikes is greatly reduced when vessels are operating at less than 10 knots speed.”
The ten knot speed limit will be in effect annually during the months of March and April within those waters of Cape Cod Bay south of 42° 08’ north latitude, this includes those waters north of Cape Cod that are west of 70°10’ west longitude (see map). The term small vessel refers to all vessels less than 65’ overall length. A complementary federal speed limit applies to all vessels 65’ overall length and greater. Small vessel traffic within the inshore waters of Plymouth, Duxbury, Kingston, Barnstable and Wellfleet Harbors are exempt from this speed limit. The speed limit also does not apply to emergency and enforcement personnel.
For speed limit charts and additional information visit www.mass.gov/marinefisheries or call DMF at 617/626-1520.
Fishermen suggest regional panels to eye cumulative wind farm impacts
It’s very hard to get a handle on offshore wind. We have twenty or so lease areas from Massachusetts to the Carolinas, six of them (all granted to developers now) are off Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The kicker is that each of these lease areas will house multiple projects. Projects that could harm or help habitat and fish in their area. However, the big question being asked by fishermen and scientists alike, is what cumulative impact they will they have on fish and habitat when they are all built, up and running?
For the past few months Vineyard Wind has been in negotiation with fishermen on a mitigation plan for one project… eventually many projects will be built on the east coast. The permitting process and various stages of approval for any one wind farm is daunting including, hundreds of meetings, hearings, permits, negotiations, etc. Who knows what effect several projects in an area will have, developers have been just trying to get their project up and running.
Offshore wind farm developers are much like land developers. They acquire or lease a parcel and then develop it with ocean wind farms as they have the electricity sold. Much the same way that a land developer would develop a large parcel of land only building what they have good reason to believe they can sell in stages.
Last month during mitigation negotiations Rhode Island fishermen on the Fisheries Advisory Board (FAB) of the Coastal Resource Management Council (CRMC) approved a $16.7-million negotiated mitigation agreement with Vineyard Wind. The settlement provides funds for research to study safe effective fishing in the project area as well as research that may help future projects and their relationship to fishing. The agreement also includes $4.2 million in payments spread over 30 years for assistance with direct impacts of the wind farm on fishing in Rhode Island.
The Fisheries Advisory Board of CRMC, the Anglers for Offshore Wind (AFOW) which is a recreational fishermen’s group that supports the responsible development of ocean wind, and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) all expressed concern to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) about cumulative impacts. All expressed concern at public hearings and in writing after hearings pertaining to Vineyard Wind’s Environmental Impact Statement on the project.
RISAA and the AFOW both suggested that BOEM establish regional fisheries advisory committees. The committees would look at wind farms on a regional basis taking into account any negative or positive cumulative impacts on habitat and fish multiple wind farms in a region may have together.
Renewable energy in the form of offshore wind is vitally important for our nation to help stem the tide on climate change and provide clean, affordable energy for all Americans. However, we have to stay on top of things and make sure we do no harm to fish or habitat in the process.
I believe regional committees that keep an eye on individual projects and cumulative impacts of multiple wind farms in a region makes a lot of sense. Like other fishermen I hope BOEM takes this suggestion under advisement and forms such committees. For information on ocean wind farms visit www.boem.gov/Offshore-Wind-Energy.
Where’s the bite?
Cod fishing. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “Things are starting to look much better in Rhode Island. With our new sailing time of 6 a.m. we decided to try some of the local wrecks Saturday. We did find some life on the wrecks with a few nice cod coming over the rails. When steaming between spots we found a good pile of green codfish under the bait. We worked on the area for a few hours but could never get right back on top. The signs of green fish in the local grounds is a very good sign and things should only get better.” Party boats sailing for cod this time of year includes the Frances Fleet at www.francesfleet.com, the Seven B’s at www.sevenbs.com, and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com.
Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Follow Capt. Dave on twitter @CaptDaveMonti. He’ll be tweeting about ‘Where’s the bite’, fishing regulations, national fishing policy, and issues that impact the fish. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit www.noflukefishing.com.