Climate change is impacting our coastal shoreline, our habitat and the fish we like to catch, eat and/or release.
If you’re interested in what’s changing and how to use strategies and actions to address climate change, you’ll want to attend this free online Climate Fishinar on March 23 and April 13 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Last week, Climate Fishinar partners, led by the Coastal Resources Center and the Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, announced a free online Climate Fishinar series titled “Climate Change Effects on Recreational Fishing and Boating: Opportunities and Actions.”
This is a two-part webinar series that will engage Northeast recreational anglers, boaters and climate experts. They will discuss how climate change is affecting traditional uses – both good and bad. Strategies and actions taken by individuals, governments and industry to respond to these changes will also be discussed.
As part of the Climate Fishinar series, the organizers are holding a photo contest. Submit your photos that illustrate positive or negative climate impacts on fish, habitat or resource users and you’ll be entered for a chance to win one of two $250 cash card prizes. Photos could include habitat change, fish that have left the area, fish here in greater abundance due to climate impacts, etc.
The organizers plan to project photos during each session. The deadline for Session I is Friday, March 18. Session II and the final deadline is Wednesday, April 6. To participate, please send photos to me, Dave Monti at [email protected], as I have been asked to coordinate entries. Each photo should be accompanied by the name of the photographer, the location where the photo was taken, and a brief one to two sentence description of the photo.
To view a list of participating charter captains, experienced fishermen, and climatologists, or to register for Session I on March 23, visit https://seagrant.gso.uri.edu.
Event participants include the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Ørsted, l American Saltwater Guides Association, Ocean Conservancy, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and Safe Marinas.
Proposed Restricted Fishing Days in the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Fishery
NOAA Fisheries announces a proposed rule regarding the use of Restricted Fishing Days (RFDs) in the General Atlantic Tuna category and HMS Charter/Headboat fisheries for 2022.
Under the proposed rule, NOAA Fisheries would establish a specific RFD schedule. Daily bluefin tuna commercial retention limits would be set at zero every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from July to November for the 2022 fishing year.
Atlantic tunas Authorized general category vessels may not fish (including catch and release and tagging and release), possess, retain, land or sell bluefin tuna of any size class on an RFD.
Vessels authorized by HMS Charter/Headboat may fish, possess, retain or land bluefin tuna for recreational purposes in accordance with applicable HMS Angling category rules, but may not commercially fish or land bluefin tuna on an RFD.
Rhode Island council calls for more conservative tautog regulations
Recreational anglers in Rhode Island have advocated for new tautog regulations to protect this slow-growing species. Preliminary data from NOAA last week showed there had been a more than 250% increase in harvest in 2021.
At the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council meeting on Monday, the council voted to recommend that the director of the RI Department of Environmental Management make the regulations more conservative. In a 4-to-2 vote, the RIMFC approved a plan to limit each angler to no more than one fish over 21 inches and cut the fall “bonus” season from a bag of five to a bag of four fish per person.
Many charter captains, members of RISAA, the Island Current party boat and the Freedom Boat Club spoke in favor of this proposal at a public hearing and at the Board meeting saying how important it is to protect this fishery. The RI Party & Charter Boat Associated expressed concern about making the regulations more conservative and argued for the regulations to remain the same at the highest harvest limit.
The New England Saltwater Fishing Show is underway
The New England Saltwater Fishing Show is this weekend and there’s still time to see it Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m. at the Rhode Island Convention Center. The show is the largest saltwater fishing show of its kind in the Northeast. The show features tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, apparel and more. More than 300 fishing-related manufacturers are represented at the show. Children under 12 are admitted free and Sunday is family day with all women admitted free.
Where’s the bite?
Fresh water: “We’re in a downturn,” said Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle in North Kingstown. “Before trout season ended last week, customers were caching trout. We weighed a three pound fish, but now things are going very slowly. Some anglers target largemouth bass, but that’s about it. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle in Riverside said: ‘The pond at Willet Avenue was producing for some of our young angles who were fishing there over the school holidays last week but things have slowed down. Some customers who buy minnows fish in northern Massachusetts where some ponds still have safe ice.