New webpage for offshore wind farm development
The New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils launched a new webpage that's designed to serve as a repository for information relevant to offshore wind development activities in the Northeast Region.
The Councils worked closely with NOAA Fisheries on this collaborative effort. The webpage provides one-stop-shopping for fishermen and other stakeholders who are searching for essential resources associated with offshore wind energy production. The page provides direct links to government agencies, offshore wind developers, fishery liaisons, Council-developed comments, and more.
Deepwater Wind shares plan to prevent gear damage
Deepwater Wind, developers of the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), has adopted a first-of-its-kind procedure designed to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from offshore wind energy activities. The procedure was developed in close coordination with the commercial fishing industry and is based off extensive feedback from fishermen in ports up and down the Atlantic coast.
Deepwater Wind is the first American offshore wind developer to adopt such procedures. The procedure’s key focus is on providing frequent updates on offshore activities to fishermen, via Deepwater Wind fisheries liaisons and a team of fisheries representatives based in regional ports, as well as through online updates for mariners and twice-daily updates on VHF channels.
While Deepwater Wind expects there will be only limited impacts on fishing gear from offshore wind activities, the company has included a process for gear-loss/damage claims should they occur.
Deepwater Wind is currently in active development on utility-scale wind farms to serve Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Visit http://dwwind.com/information-for-mariners for the procedure and policy.
Where’s the bite
Fluke/black sea bass/scup. The black sea bass fishing this weekend off Newport was excellent. I fished with three anglers Saturday that landed eight nice keepers to 24” (the largest black sea bass ever caught on my vessel, the state record is 26”). Fishing slowed a bit on Sunday’s trip but was still good. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet said, “The sea bass seemed to have taken over almost everywhere we go. Anglers are reporting that their baits are not even hitting bottom before the sea bass inhale it. Biggest fluke of the week was around 10 pounds. It seems another body of fish has pushed in on the beach.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Mariana, South Kingstown said, “The fluke bite this week was in about 50 feet of water off beaches along our southern coastal shore doing better than the windfarm and other areas around Block Island. I think areas south of Block Island have been fished out a bit for now.” Scup fishing is good wherever there is structure and water movement. Nice scup landed at the Newport Bridge and off Brenton Reef this week. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle Riverside said, “Colt State Park and Sabin’s Point are red hot for scup. Customers are catching their limit (30 fish, 9” minimum size).”
Striped bass fishing has been outstanding off Block Island with a slow bite in the Bay and off Newport and Jamestown. Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown said, “Customers are fishing hard for bass off Block Island and the bite is very good. Anglers are finding success with live eels and maceral.” Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Mariana said, “The sport fishing vessel Kyma caught four fish over 40 pounds this weekend using top water lures. The bite on the southwest side and the southeast side of Block Island has been very good. Fish are being taken on ells, umbrella rigs, live maceral and top water lures in the mid-forty pound range during day and night hours.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle Riverside said, “Customers are killing the bass on the southwest side of Block Island. Eels are the bait of choice and customers are catching twenty to forty pound fish early morning or at night using eels. Actually customers are catching some bass in the Bay north of Conimicut Light trolling tube & worm. Fishing with Atlantic menhaden has slowed due to their availability.”
Offshore. Elisa Cahill of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said, “Bluefin tuna fishing has picked up with anglers hooking up multiple times with reports of a number of very large fish breaking off. The sport fishing Midnight Rumble captained by Jim Noon caught a fish that weighed over 500 pounds last week, with the vessel Twenty-Five catching thee fish in the 250 to 300 pound range, Tuna Wish catching a 262 pound bluefin and many others landing fish too.” Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle said, “The bluefin bite is hot now for our customers, a lot of fish in the 200 to 300 pound range being caught.”
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 a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.