No Fluke

Dave Monti: Hats off to our congressmen


As an angler, I for one was delighted to hear Rhode Island will be keeping two seats in Congress now that our population grew over four percent according to the 2020 census.

It would have been a painful choice if Rhode Islanders lost a seat and had to choose between Congressmen James Langevin and Congressman David Cicilline. Both Congressmen have been champions of habitat, fish and fishers, both commercial and recreational fishing.

They, along with Senators Reed and Whitehouse, have been at the forefront advocating for the fishing community in Rhode Island on climate change issues, water rise, ocean acidification, warming water, fish movement and allocations, plastics in our oceans, and advocating for Rhode Island seats on the Mid-Atlantic Council.

On behalf of fishers, we sure are happy we get to keep both congressmen and both seats.

By the way, members of Congress in Massachusetts have also been champions of fish and fisheries too. Congressman Keating and Senator Markey in Southeastern Massachusetts as well as congressmen Lynch and Moulton further north (to name a few) have always been active in fisheries issues.

Anglers overwhelmingly want striped bass conservation

Striped bass are overfished and are in trouble. So the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) that mangers striped bass in state waters, developed and asked for comments on a Public Information Documents (PID). The PID will be used to draft Amendment 7 to the Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan that aims to rebuild the stock.

The commission received 3,063 comments and on Tuesday, April 27, the American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA) released their analysis. The ASGA said, “It would be an understatement to say that conservation won in a landslide.” Highlights are listed below, for a complete analysis visit

Issue 1: Management plan goals and objectives. 1672 comments received on this issue. 22 suggested changing the Goals and Objectives. 295 wanted the species managed for abundance. 43 came in for flexibility while 1292 came in for consistent coastwide regulations.

Issue 2: Reference points. 2778 comments regarding changing the Biological Reference Points (BRPs), and 2668—96 percent—of those recommended maintaining 1995 as the base year.

Issues 3 and 4: Management triggers and rebuilding timelines. 209 wanted no change in the five management triggers, while 185 wanted the triggers adjusted to react more quickly and more specifically. Every single comment regarding the rebuilding timeline wanted 10 years or less.

Issue 5: Regional management. Most said this is a migratory stock that needs consistent coastwide management. Only 5 percent supported regional management.

Issue 6: Conservation Equivalency (CE). There were 3758 comments on CE. 1.22 percent said its use should remain status-quo. 1527 said is should not be used while overfishing is occurring. 1463 said that if it is used, the states employing CE must be held accountable. 612 stated it should be eliminated.

The ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board is considering comments and will draft Amendment 7 of the striped bass management plan for consideration.

Where’s the bite?

Striped bass fishing is improving. I caught (very) small school bass in Greenwich Cove last Sunday. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Anglers have been catching school bass but now the fish are getting larger with a keeper striped bass caught Saturday night in the Seekonk River. “School striped bass are in the Pawcatuck River, coves and estuaries but no reports of multiple keepers being caught,” said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said “No reports of keepers, but anglers are caching school bass from shore at Sabin Point and along Veterans Memorial Parkway, East Providence.”

“Tautog fishing has been hit or miss for customers. One fished Conimicut Light this weekend and limited out and another could hook up with any keepers there,” said John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle. “Tautog fishing picked up this weekend with large keepers caught by Capt. BJ Silvia of Flippin-Out Charters and Billy Silvia reached his commercial ten fish limit this week fishing the mouth of Bristol Harbor,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. “Things are slow here with tautog. The Connecticut season started and there were no fish as the water was too cold,” said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters, Westerly.

Squid fishing had been very good this week. The squid are on the move in Hyannis, Jamestown, Newport and the Sakonnet River. “You have to work for them as it is often hit or miss as they are constantly moving,” said Henault of Ocean State Tackle. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters said, “Squid fishing has exploded. We have squid in Galilee, Goat Island (Newport), and down here out in front of Westerly and off Stonington.”

“Freshwater fishing has been slow and steady as the water was cold but now as it is warming both the trout and largemouth bass bite has been very good,” said Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters. Dave Henault of Ocean Sate Tackle said, “The largemouth bass bite has been good for customers at Olney Pond, Lincoln; Stump Pond, Coventry; and Turner Reservoir, East Providence.” “Lincoln Woods is producing trout for customers as well as Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside as they restocked the pond last week. The largemouth bite has been good at the Turner Reservoir, East Providence and at the Grist Mill where one of my young customers caught a three and a five pound largemouth bass,” said Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.