The raffle tickets kept crossing the table, the math was pretty simply… $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. $6,000 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, Narragansett. A second check for $6,000 was donated to Impossible Dream in Warwick.
Pam Tameo, raffle chairperson and past president of the West Bay Anglers said, "We thank all of you for what you have done, we do not take kids fishing one day, but eight days during the summer and you make this happen." As she addressed the 150 or so people present at the final Lobster Raffle that took place Saturday at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #7, Warwick, RI. Pam has been an active club member for over 16 years, her husband Frank Tameo, past vice president, has been active in the club since it started, over 27 years ago.
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 but large lobsters ranging from six to fourteen pounds. They have a raffle table with small appliances, a meat table with hams and roasts of all types, a miscellaneous table, one of the last raffle tables had a 50" flat screen TV and the final table had a flat screen TV, a GPS system, two large lobsters and a gold necklace. In total they had about 30 different items at Saturday's raffle.
Pat Gallien is the club's new president and Art Bryer the new vice president, both were elected in January and both live in Warwick, RI. The West Bay Anglers has both men and women members. For information about the club contact Pat Gallien, president, at dadothad@yahoo.
Latest on saltwater
A fishing regulation public hearing was held at the University of Rhode Island Bay Campus on Tuesday, March 13. The meeting took public comment 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 April 1, 2013 (this is a public meeting too), then 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/angler /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 (2012 start was April 15). Other than this date change regulations will likely stay the same; 16" fish with split season. Three fish/angler/day March 1 to May 31, closed season from June 1 to July 31, three fish/angler/day August 1 to Oct. 19, and six fish/angler/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 bio mass is plentiful. General fishery: 10" fish / 30 fish bag limit - May 1 through December 31; Party and Charter: 10.5" fish / 30 fish bag limit - May 1 through August 31, 45 fish bag limit - Sept 1 through October 31, 30 fish bag limit - November 1 through December 31. Additionally, an experimental 9" fish from select non-boat ramp shore locations such as Rocky Point, Fox Point, etc. 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/angler/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 firstname.lastname@example.org.