Last week a partnership was foraged that will leverage university expertise and research for estuaries, habitat, fish and fishers while fostering environmental and blue economy careers.
Roger Williams University (RWU) has been named the new home of the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program (NBEP) by its steering committee, of which I am proud to be a member.
NBEP’s Steering Committee selected Roger Williams to serve as the host institution for the program, which is one of 28 in the country that are part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuaries Program. NBEP is dedicated to the protection and improvement of Narragansett Bay, Little Narragansett Bay and the Rhode Island Coastal Ponds, and their vast watersheds, rich in coastal wildlife habitat, economic opportunities and recreational assets in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Major Narragansett Bay tributaries are the Taunton, Blackstone and Pawtuxet rivers. Smaller watersheds that flow to Narragansett Bay from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island are the Ten Mile, Palmer, and Kickemuit rivers. The Saugatucket, Narrow and Wood-Pawcatuck River watershed are also in the NBEP river network.
RWU has long been a member of NBEP’s Science Advisory Committee and a close partner. However, the estuary program will now reside at the university, effective Oct. 1, significantly expanding collaboration and leveraging the expertise of NBEP scientists and scholarship of faculty and students to develop solutions for complex problems facing the people and coastal ecosystems of our region.
“Being home to the Narraganset Bay Estuary Program is one more way that Roger Williams University is creating a more resilient coastal environment and helping the Ocean State and southeastern Massachusetts lead the way in the blue economy,” said RWU President Ioannis Miaoulis.
“Both RWU and the estuary program are forward-looking. We are focused on creating a better future for the region’s environment and its people – from the region’s small headwater streams in Massachusetts to Rhode Island’s coast,” said Mike Gerel, director of NBEP.
Trout stocking makes fall fishing fun for all ages
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) stocked trout in Rhode Island freshwaters this week.
Ponds stocked with rainbow and brook trout make for great a fishery for children, families and anglers of all ages.
Trout will be stocked at: Barbers Pond, South Kingstown; Barberville Dam, Wood River, Exeter; Bradford Landing, Pawcatuck River, Hopkinton; Breakheart Pond, Exeter; Browning Mill Pond, Exeter; Carbuncle Pond, Coventry; Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond; Check Station, Route 165, Wood River, Exeter; Cronan Landing, Wood River, Hopkinton; Dow Athletic Field & Dam, Wood River, Hope Valley; Eight Rod Farm Pond, Tiverton; Grantville, Route 95 underpass, Wood River, Richmond; Kings Factory Bridge, Pawcatuck River, Charlestown; Meadow Brook Pond, Richmond; Olney Pond, Lincoln State Park, Lincoln; Round Top Ponds, Burrillville; Shippee Sawmill Pond, Foster; Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown; Spring Grove Pond, Glocester; Stafford Pond, Tiverton; Upper Pawtuxet, Coventry; Willet Pond, East Providence; and Woodville, Wood River, Richmond.
For information on freshwater licenses, the required trout stamp and regulations visit www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/freshwater-fisheries/index.php.
Visit www.mass.gov/service-details/trout-stocking-report for an interactive map of stocked Massachusetts ponds. Just enter the town or body of water in the search bar and you can find out if your local pond has been stocked, plans to be stocked, or there are no plans to stock it this fall.
Where's the bite?
Striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito. Brendan Roden of Breachway Bait & Tackle, Charlestown, said, “We have some good size striped bass being caught from the breachways and the beaches all along the southern coastal shore. Striped bass to 43” have been caught at night. And then there is a mix of bass, bluefish, false abalone and small bonito being caught from boats. There is a lot of mullet, peanut bunker and snapper blues in the water as bait which is bring these bigger fish in.” John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, Riverside, said, “Some keeper bass are being caught off Barrington and Bristol with anglers trolling tube & worm with success. We also have a lot of bait in the water including silver sides and pogies of all sizes. The bass and bluefish have a lot to choose from. Bluefish are surfacing with birds signaling their location; anglers rush over to hook up and then they get spooked and are gone, down deeper or they have moved. One of the rarest catches this week was a small cobia caught by a customer.” Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence, said, “The rivers are holding bass and bluefish and all along the southern coastal shore we have a great fall mix of bluefish, striped, bass bonito and false albacore. Angers are hooking up with epoxy and resin jigs with traditional bucktail working too.”
Tautog fishing remains very strong and is getting better every day as the weather starts to cool things down as the water has been very warm. I fished with Blake, Tracie and Jeremy Webster of Pawtucket off Newport this weekend and they hooked up with a nice mix of black sea bass, scup and tautog to 20” off Newport. Brendan Roden of Breachway Bait & Tackle said, “Anglers are catching tautog keepers (fish 16” or larger with a three fish/person/day limit) on just about every one of their favorite rock piles.” John Littlefield said, “Customers are catching tautog at the Kettle Point dock, East Providence. In general tautog fishing is much better. Anglers are catching five sorts to every one keeper rather than the twenty to one ratio they were experiencing a couple of weeks ago.” Dave Henault of Ocean State said, “A lot of small tautog fish are being caught in the upper bay, however, the bite in the lower bay is very good.”
Scup fishing in the bay and along the coast is good with with large fish in the 13” to 15” range being caught by anglers when tautog fishing. Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, said, “Scup fishing is still very good all over the bay.” The bite is generally good for scup around any piece of structure where there is water flow including docks, bridge abutments, ledges, etc.
Freshwater fishing exploded this week in ponds and waterways stocked with trout by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. “Olney Pond at Lincoln Woods was producing for customers along with any of the ponds stocked with trout. The largemouth bass and pickerel bite has been good too with Turner Reservoir producing for customers,” said Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle. John Littlefield of Archie’s Bait & Tackle, said, “One of my customers caught a 2 ½ pound trout at Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside, which was one of the ponds stocked with trout this week.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.noflukefishing.com.