March 13 public hearing on key recreational fishing issues
Recreational and commercial fishermen are urged to attend and express their thoughts on proposed amendments to a variety of management plans that regulate the length, catch limit and season of a variety of species.
The Marine Fisheries Division of the Rhode Island Department of Environment Management (DEM) will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 6:00 p.m. in the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, Corless Auditorium, South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI. Important changes to recreational and commercial fishing management plans will be on the agenda including plan amendments for recreational summer flounder; recreational and commercial tautog; recreational scup; recreational black sea bass; Narragansett Bay Atlantic Menhaden; and amendments to statutes and regulations pertaining to fish/shellfish dealer regulations in regard to the reporting of research set aside (RSA) landings.
Visit DEM's web site at www.dem.ri.gov for additional information on all of these proposed amendments. Written comments may also be submitted in advance of the meeting by 12:00 p.m. on March 13, 2013 to the Division of Fish and Wildlife, 3 Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI 02835.
State parks active during school vacation week
As part of ongoing efforts encouraging children, families and individuals to enjoy the recreational resources and outdoor activities offered at our state parks and to increase levels of physical activity, the Department of Environmental Management will hold a series of free activities during February school vacation.
On Wednesday, February 20, DEM Parks & Recreation staff will lead guided hikes and walks around Peck Pond and other trails in Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester. Participants will able to explore beaver dams around Peck Pond and learn about trees native to Rhode Island. The hikes will take place on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Hikers should meet at the warm-up hut/pavilion in the beach area. Also, feel free to bring your cross country skis, snow shoes or sleds to enjoy Pulaski's groomed trails and snow-covered hills.
On Thursday, February 21, the Department will offer tours of the Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown. The tours will run continuously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Lafayette Fish Hatchery is one of three hatcheries where DEM raises fish until they are stocked in the state's waters. During the tours, personnel from DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife will explain the functions and procedures of the Hatchery as well as the life stages of fish.
For more information contact the Division of Parks and Recreation at 222-2632 or visit the website at www.dem.ri.gov.
The Atlantic Menhaden advisory panel of the RI Marine Fisheries Council met last week to review stock status, 2012 performance and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Amendment 2 and its impact on Rhode Island. DEM regulation recommendations as they pertain to Atlantic Menhaden were status quo compared to last year. One proposal was discussed and voted on at the AP meeting… to reduce the amount of fish required before commercial boats can return to fish after the fishery has been shut down. This proposal was moved to public hearing with a vote of non support from the Advisory Panel. DEM has one of the most advanced Atlantic Menhaden species management plans on the east coast that includes commercial vessel reporting before and after a vessel is fishing an area, weekly stock assessments via spotter plane and helicopter (counting schools of fish) and a management model that includes a static biomass threshold, a dynamic fishing cap based on stock assessments, vessel capacity regulations and a host of gear requirements. Atlantic Menhaden management plan recommendations from the AP will now move to public hearing on March 13 before the RI Marine Fisheries Council votes on recommendations that they will make to DEM director Janet Coit.
What's new at the Miami Boat Show?
The Boat US newsletter and website had a good review of new items they saw this past weekend at the Miami International Boart Show, the largest show of its type in the world. Here a few items that caught my eye.
Helm Master offers a revolutionary level of control, even in tight quarters for Yamaha and Mercury outboard motors. It not only makes docking easier, Helm Master also incorporates additional boat control functions, such as automatic trim, speed and automatic steering friction control. With Yamaha Engines, the new Helm Master system integrates multiple components. They include, but are not limited to, exclusive Helm Master Digital Steering Helm, Electronic Key Switch (EKS), digital remote control, electronic control units, steering cylinders and pumps, joystick and Command Link Plus® 6Y9 gauge. At the touch of a button, the system integrates all boat control devices while eliminating the need for bow thrusters in most boats. In addition, a user-selectable high mode allows the engines to operate at higher rpm for increased control when docking.
Propane outboards. LEHR Corporation introduced their new propane outboard engines at the Miami Boat Show. LEHR relates on their website that they first ran propane outboards on research vessels in the North Sea. Captain Bernardo Jorge Herzer, CEO and founder of Lehr said, "Propane is just safer, more efficient and more reliable… that's why we used it on our ships." In addition to outboards LEHR makes propane trimmers and edges for lawn work, lawnmowers and leaf blowers. The outboards come in 9.9, 5 and 2.5 horsepower sizes. The 2.5 horsepower engine uses a standard 16.4 oz. (1 lb.) propane canister (like those small tanks commonly used with Coleman stoves). A tank of this size would last about 2.5 hrs and at top end the 2.5 horsepower engine runs at 3,000 to 3,500 RPMs. Visit LEHR a www.golehr.com.
Sealegs amphibious vessels have three wheels that role down when on land. The Rigid Hull Inflatable (RHI) comes in 20 ft and 23 ft lengths (they also have a 23.5 ft cabin model). They cannot be built smaller due to the size and weight of the hydraulic equipment required to make the amphibian perform in various conditions. It is ideal for when vessels are stored nearby in a yard and you do not want to trailer the boat. Vessels travel about 10 mph on land and 30 to 35 mph on the water. Continuous use on land is limited to 10 minutes as Sealegs is driven hydraulically by an air-cooled motor under the seat. The air-cooled motor is a 24 horsepower Honda, 2 cylinder, 4 stroke which uses the same fuel tank as the outboard. Visit Sealegs at www.
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.