The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission), that provides regulations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for fishing in state waters from shore to three miles offshore, are seeking public comment on the Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment. Comments may be submitted at any of five virtual public hearings to be held between Feb. 17 and March 2, or via written comment until March 16.
The Council and Commission are developing this joint amendment to consider adjusting the allocations of catch or landings between the commercial and recreational fisheries for summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass. The commercial and recreational allocations for all three species are currently based on historical proportions of landings (for summer flounder and black sea bass) or catch (for scup) from each sector.
Recent changes in how recreational catch is estimated have resulted in a discrepancy between the current levels of estimated recreational harvest and the allocations of summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass to the recreational sector. Some changes have also been made to commercial catch data since the allocations were established.
The amendment considers whether modifications to the allocations are needed in light of these and other changes in the fisheries. The amendment also considers options that would allow a portion of the allowable landings to be transferred between the commercial and recreational sectors each year, in either direction, based on the needs of each sector.
Anglers are encouraged you to visit the Council’s Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass Commercial/Recreational Allocation Amendment web page, information on the amendment, the public hearing schedule, how to submit written comments or how to register for the online public hear visit the press release at http://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/6001eb69pr01_SFSBSB-Allocation-public-hearings.pdf.
East End Eddie Doherty presenting at Norfolk Library
East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fishing expert and author, will be presenting a fishing seminar titled ‘Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for Striped Bass’ with stunning color photography by world renowned professional photographer John Doble.
Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for Striped Bass will be presented by the Norfolk Public Library via Zoom on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. The free event is open to the public, but attendance is limited, so reserve a spot at https://norfolkpl.org/events/ then click on Surfcasting the Cape Cod Canal for registration. A Zoom link will be sent by Library Director Libby O’Neill the day before the event.
Doherty is a retired Massachusetts District Court Clerk-Magistrate and the author of Seven Miles After Sundown which was announced on Amazon as the #1 New Release in Fishing and selected as an Award Winning Finalist for American Bookfest in the Sports Category at the 2019 International Book Awards in Los Angeles.
Doherty is a former Attleboro resident who now lives in Mattapoisett.
Right whales still in area, slow speed zone extended
NOAA Fisheries announces an extension to the south of Nantucket Island Slow Zone (voluntary vessel speed restriction) to protect right whales.
On Feb. 11, the Northeast Fisheries Science Center aerial survey detected the presence of right whales 15 nautical miles south of Nantucket Island. Originally set to expire on Feb. 15, the Slow Zone is now in effect through Feb. 26.
Mariners, please go around this slow zone or go slow (10 knots or less) inside this area where right whales have been detected.
Slow Zone Coordinates: 41 23 N; 40 40 N; 069 39 W; 070 35 W. For details visit or google Reducing Vessel Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales | NOAA Fisheries.
Where’s the bite?
Freshwater. Ice fishing has been good at Massachusetts and Rhode Island ponds where ice is safe. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle said, “Ice fishing is great. One customer was setting up five pills and by the time he got the third one set he was catching fish. The largemouth bite with shiners is pretty good.” “Customers are catching perch, crappie and pickerel at Stump Pond, Smithfield, RI and Carbuncle Pond Coventry, RI,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence. Ted Oven of Northeast Trading Company, North Attleboro said, “We just starting to get calls for ice fishing as we haven’t had good ice until this past week.” At press time Pam Quinn of the Attleboro Fire Safety Department said, “We can’t proclaim an entire pond safe for fishing or skating as there is no way of telling if it is safe all around so we tend not to declare an entire pond safe.” For fresh water licensing information in Rhode Island visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries; and in Massachusetts visit www.mass.gov/freshwater-fishing-information.
Cod fishing. Party boats fishing for cod this winter (weather permitting include) the Frances Fleet at www.francesfleet.com, the Seven B’s at www.sevenbs.com, and the Island Current at www.islandcurrent.com.
Dave Monti 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, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.