Fishing camp… it’s not all about the fish
Fishing appeals to our sense of adventure and teaches us patience. It is one of those activities where science and art converge. It teaches us to be good stewards of the environment and it allows us to build a lifetime of memories and friendships.
June marks the third year of a highly successful fishing camp for youth that will take place Tuesday, June 26 through Thursday, June 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Rocky Point State Park.
The three day camp, sponsored by the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM), will host 50 children from seven to twelve years old.
Steve Medeiros, RISAA president said, “This is the third year holding the camp and we continue to fine-tune the camper experience by adding more fishing to the program. Last year we added a day of fishing on the Seven B’s party boat out of Galilee and it was a big hit. This was in addition to fishing from shore and from volunteer vessels on Greenwich Bay and in the Warwick Neck/Rocky Point area.”
Medeiros said, “Our aim is to give children a proper introduction to the sport. We have about 35 volunteer recreational fishermen, women and captains working on the camp project.”
The fishing camp is in part funded by U.S Fish & Wildlife in partnership with the RI DEM and RISAA. The aim this year is to post another success and if possible roll the camp concept out to a different or an additional location in 2019.
The same children attend all three days of the camp split into groups by age and fishing experience. There is no cost for children to participate and lunch is provided, however, parents must complete and sign all participation forms, provide their child with proper attire for an outdoor fishing camp and weather conditions and must provide transportation for children each day to and from Rocky Point State Park.
Topics to be covered over the three-day camp include fish identification, fishing laws, use of spinning and conventional tackle, basic marine biology, how and why to use different baits and lures, casting and fishing from shore as well as boating safety and fishing on a boat.
The fishing camp is sponsored by the RISAA, DEM, U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the City of Warwick. Brewers Marina in Warwick Cove is donating dock space for 20 vessels that will be used for fishing at camp.
There is limited camp space available, sign up this week by calling the RI Saltwater Anglers Association office at 401/826-2121.
Public hearing on herring as forage fish
If you ever wondered about the value of Atlantic herring as a forage fish and the vessels trawling for them in the lower Bay and along our southern coastal shore you should attend the public hearing taking place at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 22 at the URI Bay Campus, Coastal Institute Building in the Hazard Room, Narragansett.
The New England Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public hearings on Amendment 8 to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. The purpose of the hearings is to solicit comments on the amendment’s two major components, which include: (Part 1) 10 alternatives to establish a long-term acceptable biological catch (ABC) control rule that “may explicitly account for herring’s role in the ecosystem” plus “address the biological and ecological requirements of the stock;”
And, (Part 2) nine primary alternatives to address potential localized depletion and user conflicts, with several spatial and seasonal sub-options designed to help minimizing biological and socioeconomic impacts.
Public Hearing Schedule includes the Narragansett, hearing noted above and two Massachusetts hearings, one in Gloucester on Wednesday, May 30, Beauport Hotel, 55 Commercial Street, 6 p.m.; and a second hearing in Chatham on Tuesday, June 19, Chatham Community Center, 702 Main Street, 6 p.m.
Where’s the bite
Freshwater trout fishing continues to remain strong in waterways stocked by DEM. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside said, “Willet Avenue continues to yield trout as they restocked for a tournament last week. The bass bite has been good too…. I keep selling out of shiners.” Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “We have a customer that caught a six pound golden trout at Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods. Melville Pond is good too, but things are a little slow at Brickyard Pond in Barrington.”
Squid fishing was good again this week in the Newport and Jamestown area. Littlefield said, “We have customers catching two five gallon buckets of squid, so fishing is pretty good.”
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing is starting with reports of keeper fish caught off Narraganset Beach and on the south side of Block Island.
Tautog fishing is just starting to heat up. Shore anglers are catching their three fish limit and some anglers like Albert Bettencourt of Riverside boated three keepers using grass shrimp as bait. Littlefield said, “One customer caught three keepers a 16”, 18” and a 22” fish from the Wharf Tavern in Warren.”
Striped bass fishermen continue to land large amounts of school bass in the bay. School bass are just about everywhere now including Wickford Cove and off Quonset Point, Greenwich Cove and Bay, the East Passage, the upper Providence River and some keepers in the 28” to 31” range are being caught in the Providence River.
Scup continues to be a big story at Colt State Park. Macedo said, “Customers fishing Colt State Park have landed fish in the 16 to 18 inch range from shore.”
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.