45 years fishing for stripers: Capt. Al Anderson’s latest book, Island Stripers, is the result of countless hours of charter fishing at Block Island.
Open access to the Pawcatuck: Thanks to DEM’s purchase of four acres along the Pawcatuck River, Westerly, RI those fishing, canoeing and kayaking now will have better access to the River.
Striped bass panel says lead “yo-yo” rigs OK
Last week, the Striped Bass Advisory Panel of the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council voted not to recommend a ban on a certain type of “yo-yo” fishing rigs. Lead “yo-yo” rigs are used by some commercial and recreational rod and reel fisherman. The number of anglers using them is not known, however, commercial rod and reel fishermen at the meeting and on the panel said they use them.
The practice of yo-yoing involves inserting a lead weight into a dead baitfish such as an Atlantic Menhaden and the use of a rod (wood or metal skewer like a coat hanger or a wire) in the fish to maintain its shape and control it like a puppet when sent to the bottom or to various depths in the water column. The bait is then moved up and down (like a yo-yo) to mimic a bait fish in distress to attract striped bass to the bait. The bait is effective in attracting large stipend bass for those that have mastered the technique. It is practical because you do not need a live well to keep bait live, you can catch and prepare them ahead of time and it is far less expensive for commercial rod and reel fishermen than buying live eels, another popular way to catch large bass. Some commercial striped bass rod and reel fishermen who fish often to catch their quota of fish in season have found it a practical and effective way to fish.
The Panel heard testimony from commercial fishermen on the panel that the lead found in the bellies of striped bass is not harmful to the fish because they catch fish that have lead in their bellies and they are alive. Others said that there are many other commercial and recreational fishing techniques used that contribute greater to the mortality of striped bass and that they were being singled out. Techniques such as up-fishing by commercial draggers (the practice of continuing to catch bass until you catch the largest fish possible discarding smaller striped bass that to not survive after release) and recreational anglers that put too much stress on fish by fighting them for a long time and once released they do not survive.
The issue before the Panel referenced a proposal from Massachusetts that advocated for a ban on just certain types of yo-yo rigs. The Rhode Island proposal was to allow yo-yo rigs as long as the lead weights were attached to the terminal tackle (so the weights could be pulled out of the bait fish and retrieved). This proposal was rejected by the Striped Bass Advisory Panel with members relating that “no scientific evidence”, “no studies” exist that proves lead ingested by striped bass is harmful to the fish.
Although a lot of research with lead and waterfowl has been conducted, little research has been done with lead and fish. For example, a study done on more than 2,000 bald eagles examined by The Fish and Wildlife Service from 1963 to 1986 showed that 119 were diagnosed as having died of lead poisoning (studies like this one lead to the banning of lead shot for waterfowl hunting in 1991). The Department of Natural Resources of the State of Michigan relates on their “lead” website page, “Lead poisoning has been recognized as a mortality factor in waterfowl since the late 1800's. Lead poisoning cases today are either the result of ingestion of bullet fragments, spent lead shot or fishing sinkers and jig heads during normal feeding activities. When the lead reaches the acidic environment of the gizzard (loons, ducks, geese and swans) or the ventriculus (eagles), it is worn down, dissolved, and absorbed into body tissues. Once the lead reaches toxic levels in the tissues, muscle paralysis and associated complications result in death.”
Striped bass presentation
Capt. Al Anderson has produced a new presentation about his latest book and tag & release efforts and is reaching out to fishing clubs and organizations interested in having him as a quest speaker. Capt. Anderson is the South County charter captain that was inducted into the IGFA’s World Fishing Hall of Fame in 2012 for his conservation ethic and noted authoring in the fishing world. His latest book, Island Stripers, is the result of countless hours of charter fishing at Block Island. Contact Capt. Anderson at email@example.com or 401.783.8487.
20th Annual Providence Boat Show this weekend
The 20th Annual Providence Boat Show is being held this Friday, January 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday, January 20 form 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Rhode Island Conventions Center. Show organizers expect a great show. Tickets $10 at the door. Visit www.providcenceboatshow.com for a list of exhibitors, online tickets, etc.
DEM preserves property along the Pawcatuck River
The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has acquired four acres of land in Westerly that will enable the creation of an excellent fishing and boating access site on the Pawcatuck River.
“The Pawcatuck is very popular for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and other forms of outdoor recreation. But currently, no safe public access exists between Bradford and Westerly on the Pawcatuck - a beautiful stretch of river that supports Rhode Island-raised stocked trout and warm water fish species,” said DEM Director
Janet Coit. “Thanks to this acquisition, DEM will be able
to make this spectacular site and several miles of the river readily accessible
to the public.”
Located on Post Office Lane, the property includes over 500 feet of river frontage. In conjunction with DEM’s purchase of the land, the state obtained an easement across the right of way from Potter Hill Road which will be used by the public to access the riverfront.
Three Advisory Panels to meet January 30… attend and provide input
DEM is having a series of three RIMFC advisory panel meetings that impact recreational fishing on January 30th. The status of fisheries, policies and regulations that work their way into DEM species management plans are discussed at the meetings. So, now is the time to let your voice be heard by attending advisory panel meetings. Visit www.dem.ri.gov (Marine Fisheries page) for agendas. The three panels include a tautog meeting at 4:30 p.m., a summer flounder advisory panel meeting at 6:00 p.m. and a black sea bass and scup panel meeting at 7:30 p.m. This new format, offering multiple advisory panel meetings on the same night, hopes to enhance angler attendance at the panel meetings. All meetings will be held at the URI Bay Campus, Coastal Institute Building in the Hazard Room on South Ferry Road, Narragansett, RI.