Blackstone River paddle big success

Posted 8/16/22

“We’re making a second shuttle trip to pick up paddlers. We have about fifty participating, that’s a lot more than expected,” said Stephanie Covino, program manager for the …

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Blackstone River paddle big success


“We’re making a second shuttle trip to pick up paddlers. We have about fifty participating, that’s a lot more than expected,” said Stephanie Covino, program manager for the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative.

The four mile paddle Sunday started at Festival Pier, Pawtucket (across the River form the new Soccer Stadium development) and ended at the Gano Street boat ramp in Providence. It was the final leg, of a 60-mile paddle, with a smaller group, that started in Worcester, Massachusetts. The public was invited to join this last four mile leg.

“The aim of the paddle (and events that took place during the four day paddle) was to bring attention to the work that has been done to improve the Blackstone River (called the Seekonk River as it passes through Pawtucket and Providence) and the work that still needs to be done.” said Covino.

Greg Vespe, executive director of the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, and I volunteered our vessels to escort the group of kayakers and canoeists on the last leg of the trip. Kayakers included Terrence Gray, Director of the Department of Environmental Management, and his wife.

My boat radio crackled with Vespe’s enthusiastic voice, “I’m not sure what kind of bait I am seeing (on the sonar), but there is a lot of it, along with fish. This is a treasure, I am amazed at how few residential communities are on the River.”

I totally agree... lot of bait, a lot of fish and a River that is a treasure, ready to be reclaimed by the community, from past industrial uses.

Hats off to the Blackstone Watershed Collaborative and Stephanie Covino for a job well done.

Angler input sought on National
Recreational Fishing Policy

NOAA Fisheries is asking the recreational fishing community for their guidance to revise the 2015 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy between August 1 and December 31, 2022.  With the perspectives shared during the 2022 National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Summit, NOAA Fisheries requests your input on revising the Policy.

The agency plans to announce informational webinars and input meetings but anglers can also make comments online. Visit their website to provide feedback on any changes or updates you would like to suggest for the Policy. The URL address is .

The purpose of the National Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Policy is to provide guidance for Agency consideration in its deliberations pertaining to development and maintenance of enduring and sustainable high quality saltwater recreational fisheries. With climate impacts on fishing, stock movement, multiuses of our oceans the new policy is needed to guide NOAA Fisheries.

Watch the policy website for webinar and meeting dates and this column for important issues being discussed by anglers.

Public comments sought on new
cod and haddock regulations

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is holding a public hearing on proposed recreational fishing limits for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock and Southern New England Georges Bank cod. The proposed Massachusetts regulations have been developed to be consistent with proposed Federal rules.

An online public hearing to discuss proposed regulations will be held Tuesday, September 13 at 8 a.m. Register for the online hearing at: .

Written public comment can be sent through 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022 via email to Director Daniel McKierman at or mail to 251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston MA 02114.  For more information visit .

Proposed regulations can be found at DMF Public Hearing Notices |

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass and bluefish. Jeff Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren, said, “The bass bite has been really good all-around Newport with anglers catching fish up to 40 pounds on eels. Frigate mackerel, small bonito and bluefish are chasing small peanut bunker (immature Atlantic menhaden) around Newport too.”

Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box, Warwick, said, “The bluefish bite is good and some are still catching striped bass in the Bay at night with eels.” 

John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “The bass bite is in the lower Bay and out in front, but the bluefish are plentiful with anglers catching them in deep water (40 to 60 feet of water) rather than on the surface.”

Summer flounder (fluke), black sea bass and scup. “Anglers are catching fluke but they are working for them picking through ten or so shorts to catch a keeper (18-inch minimum size),” said Sullivan. The fluke bite remains very spotty with anglers catching them off the coastal shore from the Sakonnet River to Watch Hill but the bite is OK one day and way off other days. The Block Island bite is much the same with the East Fishing Grounds hot one day and not the next. “Scup are not as large as they were but the bite is still very good,” said Giddings of the Tackle Box.

The squid are in. Vespe, of Tiverton, executive director of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, said, “The squid bite this week was very good around Newport.” Littlefield of Archie’s said, “Customers spotted large bait balls off Jamestown and dropped jigs down to identify them. They were squid in large school. All were good size.”

Bluefin and yellowfin tuna, chub maceral, Wahoo and bonito. Sullivan of Lucky Bait & Tackle, said, “The bluefin bite has slowed a bit because of the full moon but should kick right back up in a week.” “Offshore reports continue to improve with yellowfin, bluefin, mahi and even a few wahoo caught recently. Trick is getting out early and finding life,” said Declan O’Donnell of Breachway Bait & Tackle.

Freshwater fishing remains spotty with an enhance bite this weekend. Giddings of the Tackle Box, said, “In Warwick, Gorton’s Pond is producing some nice largemouth bass for customers.”

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

No Fluke, fishing


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