$1.1-million awarded for wind farm studies, and COVID-19 fishing
INSPIRE Environmental, Newport, in conjunction with the New England Aquarium and Standard Approaches for Acoustic and Imagery Data, will use acoustic telemetry to study highly migratory species. The initiative will include the acoustic tagging and tracking of species such as tuna and sharks at popular recreational fishing spots in wind farm areas. The study aims to provide new bassline data on highly migratory species enabling ongoing assessment of any impacts (negative or positive) of offshore wind on highly migratory species and associated recreational fishing.
“Rhode Island is a proud partner in this landmark effort to conduct regional scientific studies on fisheries resources prior to the start of any offshore construction activities,” said Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit. “The selected studies will help to fill data gaps and allow for informed decision-making while paving the way for meeting Rhode Island’s renewable energy goals and advancing climate mitigation efforts.”
Atlantic bluefin tuna closure
The Angling category in the northern area (north of 39°18’ N. lat.) for trophy bluefin tuna closed May 21, 2020 and will remain closed through December 31, 2020. Trophy bluefin tuna are those that measure 73 inches or greater. Note that the Angling category fishery for school, large school, or small medium bluefin tuna 27 to less than 73 inches remains open. Visit https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/ .
As a charter captain I plan on implementing a series of guidelines, as part my COVID-19 Plan to get back to fishing with customers.
Earlier this week I fished with a colleague practicing many of these precautions to test them out and added a few based on the experience.
Masks were worm on the vessel and six foot separation was practiced, tackle box remained off limits except for the captain, bait was cut wearing gloves, ideally it should have been put in separate containers for each angler, each of us used our own gear. Hands were washed or sanitized frequently.
After the fishing trip all gear, tackle and tools touched by anglers were put aside. The vessel was washed with soap and rinsed thoroughly. All fishing rods, tackle and tools i.e. plyers, cutting board, knives, filet gloves, tackle were washed in soapy water and rinsed thoroughly. High touch areas were then disinfected with cleaner.
Fishing is a sport/activity that can be safely implemented in a pandemic bringing solace to individuals and joy to families and friends. Make sure you take a number of passengers that safely allows six foot separate. At press time the State is developing such a formula for charter boats based on the length and beam of your vessel. Visit www.dem.ri.gov for details as they are released.
Family/household units are treated differently in that masks and social distancing are not necessary.
The below list of guidelines was developed from proposals made to Governor Gina Raimondo from the American Saltwater Guides Association, the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and standing RI Health Department and executive orders from the Governor. It is an integral part by my charter fishing business COVID-19 plan and my personal plan for fishing with others recreationally.
No Fluke Fishing LLC, COVID-19 Guidelines
- Completion of a COVID-19 health screening
the day before the trip which would include contact information on all
trip participants (name, email address, phone number and city/state of
residence) e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
- Passengers also asked to respond to the following question the day before the trip. “Are you or anyone else in your party experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.”
- Request that all passengers who are feeling ill or showing any signs of being infected cancel the trip prior to arrival with no penalty for cancellation.
- Before boarding the vessel the temperature of passengers, crew and captain will be taken using an infrared thermometer. Any sign of fever, the trip will be postponed or cancelled with no penalty for cancelation.
- Limiting the number of clients on board: No Fluke Fishing limits vessel trips to three to four passengers depending on the type of trip. Phase I State of RI fishing regulations will change as conditions improve; presently they set the boats limit to six passengers plus captain based on the length and beam of the vessel.
- Passengers provide their food and drink in small personal container, no communal cooler.
- Vessel will practice social distancing (six feet) as required when fishing and when vessel is underway if at all possible. Passengers must practice social distancing.
- Passengers are asked to rinse, wash and sanitize hands regularly.
- All cabins, commonly touched surfaces, and equipment on the vessel will be sanitized between trips. The entire vessel is thoroughly cleaned at the end of each fishing day.
- Charter fees will be collected online whenever possible to encourage paperless transactions.
- All persons (captain and passengers) are required to wear face coverings during charter boat operations in accordance with RIDOH regulations. Gloves are encouraged when possible.
- No sharing of gear and tackle, ask captain to get supplies out of cabin and tackle boxes for you.
Where’s the bite?
Tautog. Kiana Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “We weighed in a 25” male tautog last week.” Ed Manning of Little Compton caught a 20” tautog off Little Compton Beach. Catching tautog from the beach is often not an easy task. “Customers caught keeper tautog this weekend at the Day Marker and Conimicut Light. At times there were so many boats fishing these spots it looked like a wagon train. One customer caught two keepers at the Day Marker but they were in the 16” to 17” range. Primarily small fish.” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside. “The tautog fishing picked up this week with a good bite at General Rock, Plum Light and off Hope Island.” said Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick. Jeff Ingber of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Last weekend the tautog fishing was off. Once the front arrived things shut down.” Dereck Kolodziejczak reports on the RI Saltwater Angler Blog, “We fish all over Narragansett bay , Newport, Providence for tog Friday, Saturday and Sunday both sides of the tide 10-40’ of water. STRUGGLE CITY!”
Striped bass. “Apponaug and East Greenwich Coves, Warwick Light and Bear Point, Prudence Island have all been good for school striped bass fishing.” said Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle. Nathan Heywood of Red Top Sporting Goods, Buzzards Bay, said, “There are a lot of school striped bass in the Cape Cod Canal now with an occasional keeper being caught. Soft plastics, bait and all types of lures seem to be working.” Jeff Ingber of Ocean State said, “Striped bass in the 22” to 26” range are all over the East Passage and in the West Passage they seem stretched out from Warwick Light to Quonset Point.” Kiana Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle said, “Customers are catching fish all the way up the River to Pawtucket.” “We have bass in the upper reaches of the Bay. The bite has been good off Veterans Parkway in front of the orthopedic medical office building, at Bull Point and India Point, Providence.” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.
Freshwater. “Customers are experiencing a good pickerel and largemouth bite at Stump Pond.” said Jeff Ingber of Ocean State. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “The largemouth bite is good in area ponds. Shiners are the bait of choice.” John Lavallee of Continental Bait & Tackle, Cranston said, “With the cold April we have an extended trout season. Carbuncle Pond (Coventry) has been very good. But Meadow Brook Pond (Bradford) and Carolina Pond (Richmond) have been great too.”