September 21, 2014
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A plan to reduce conflicts over ocean resources
No Fluke
Captain Dave Monti

Scram… this ledge zoned for striped bass only

Did you hear the one about the striped bass and the seal? The striped bass feeding on the Southwest Ledge off Block Island saw a seal feeding and said, “Scram, Mr. Seal, this ledge zoned for striped bass only.”

We can’t control where fish go, but we can plan what activities are allowed to take place in certain areas of the ocean. Ocean planners in Rhode Island are pioneers in what is called ocean spatial planning. It is like zoning used by cities and towns with commercial, residential, and industrial zones … except it takes place in the ocean. Planners identify shipping lanes, areas for fishing and areas for energy development. Energy development like the windmills being built off Block Island and the larger 200-plus turbine wind farm planned for the ocean between Block Island and Martha’s Vineyard.

Rhode Island Coastal Resource Management Council is a leader in ocean planning. The council’s work has served as a model for New England and the country. A film highlighting Rhode Island’s role and New England’s ocean planning efforts will premiere in Providence on Oct. 28. “Ocean Frontiers II, A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea” brings audiences face to face with those now embarking on the nation’s first multi-state ocean plan.

Karen Meyer, Green Fire Production’s executive director and producer of “Ocean Frontiers II,” said, “The people of Rhode Island impressed us with the passionate effort that went into the Rhode Island Ocean SAMP. We see this as an ideal example to share with New England and the rest of the country as ocean planning across the region gets underway.”

A spotlight on Rhode Island reveals how collaborative planning reduces conflicts over ocean resources and puts us on a new path of ocean stewardship. Rhode Island citizens – coastal planners, fishermen, Native American tribal leaders, environmental advocates, scientists, and wind energy executives – are featured in the film, showcasing the Ocean State’s work to not only identify options for developing offshore wind power, but to prepare for the full gamut of impending demands upon the state’s ocean waters.

The world premiere of “Ocean Frontiers II” will take place on Monday, Oct. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Providence Public Library Auditorium, 150 Empire Street, Providence. After the screening, there will be a discussion with people featured in the film, moderated by Sunshine Menezes, executive director of the Metcalf Institute at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. The event is free and open to the public; reservations are requested. Visit http://bit.ly/OceanFrontiers2RI to RSVP. A film trailer is available for viewing at www.ocean-frontiers.ort/trailer.

DEM stocking ponds and lakes with trout

Janet Coit, director of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM), said, “There’s nothing better than heading to a favorite fishing spot on a crisp fall day to experience the delight of catching … beautiful brook and brown trout.” Approximately 6,000 trout will be stocked by DEM in the following locations: Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond; Carbuncle Pond in Coventry; Olney Pond in Lincoln; Barber Pond in South Kingstown; Silver Springs in North Kingstown; Carolina Trout Pond in Hopkinton; Big Round Top Pond in Burrillville; Stafford Pond in Tiverton; Blackstone River; Wyoming Pond in Hopkinton; Pawtuxet River in Cranston and West Warwick; and the Wood River. All areas will be stocked before Columbus Day.

Currently there is an advisory for J.L. Curran Reservoir in Cranston and Melville Pond in Portsmouth because of blue-green algae blooms in both bodies of water. Rhode Islanders are urged to avoid recreational activities in these bodies of water.

Summer flounder, scup and black sea bass AP meeting Oct. 15

The summer flounder (fluke) advisory panel (AP) of the RI Marine Fisheries Council will meet Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. Scup and black sea bass meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. These are public meetings and one of the first steps toward establishing (primarily commercial) regulation recommendations. Recreational fishing regulations are discussed at a later date. The meetings will be held at the URI Bay Campus, Coastal Institute, Hazard Room, off of South Ferry Rd. in Narragansett.

Where’s the bite

Striped bass. Matt Conti of Snug Harbor Marina said, “The bass are migrating south, not staying in any one place like they do in the summer. That’s why anglers are experiencing a good bite some days and a soft bite other days. Things have slowed a bit along the southern coastal shore and at Block Island.” John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle in North Kingstown said, “Bass have been on the surface. One of my customers landed two nice bass in the Austin Hollow, Jamestown area last week and then moved on to Dutch Island and landed two more.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle in East Providence said, “Customers Kevin and Albert Bettencourt of East Providence have been landing keeper bass at night in the Warren River using eels.” Angler Russ Weymouth fished the southwest side of Block Island last week and could not hook-up.

Tautog fishing trips start on the Frances Fleet Oct. 19 at 6 a.m. I fished the Coddington Cove jetty this weekend with little luck. The Brenton Reef and Seal Ledge area off Newport are still holding keeper-sized tautog and black sea bass with a number of anglers limiting out, said John Wunner of John’s Bait. “The water is cooler than last year, so tautog fishing is stronger than usual. They are in 15 to 20 feet of water now and will move to 30 to 40 feet,” said Matt Conti of Snug Harbor. “I fished with my friend Thieu Truong on Friday at Hope Island and we caught three nice tautog. I went back out Saturday afternoon with my wife Carole and we caught five nice keepers and one keeper sea bass,” said angler Charlie Prisco of Warwick.

Northern Kingfish are being caught near Hanes Park, East Providence. Some anglers have caught 10 to 12 fish an outing, said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & tackle.

Bonito. Eric Lundgren of Cumberland said, “There were schools of Bonito one mile southeast of Charlestown Breachway at 11 a.m. on Sunday. Birds were diving and there was a lot of bait on top of the water. I cast a silver metal lure [and hooked one].” Angler Chris Jalbert said Monday, “[We] fished along Moonstone [Beach] for stripers … we got close to a good blitz and we had three fish on when my son’s reel makes that high-pitch whining sound that braid makes when it’s flying through the guides. ‘That’s no schoolie striper!’ [It was] a 7.2-pound greenie [bonito].”

Cod fishing continues to yield quality fish on the Frances Fleet. Cod weighing 20 to 25 pounds have been caught on most trips. Matt Conti of Sung Harbor said, “Cod fishing has been good for this time of year. Anglers are encouraged.”

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. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at www.noflukefishing.com; his blog at www.noflukefishing.blogspot.com or e-mail him at dmontifish@verizon.net.


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