Three Years Into Moratorium, Island Herring Runs Still Slow
Mark Alan Lovewell

Herring are harbingers of spring. The first of them usually appear in Island waters now. But there is serious concern about the health of the fishery across the region.

Although Massachusetts is in the third year of a moratorium on the harvesting of these small fish, the fishery has failed to rebound. Fishing prohibitions are also in place in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Also known as alewives and river herring, these anadromous fish make a pilgrimage every spring into coastal estuaries, to spawn in the freshwater pond where they themselves were created.

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Early Anglers Will Get the Fish at Annual Trout Tournament
Mark Goodman

The best time to catch fish during tomorrow morning’s trout tournament is early, at its beginning.

The 34th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club’s trout tournament is free for youngsters 14 years of age and younger. As many as 200 youngsters are expected to show up to the shores of Duarte’s Pond, off Lambert’s Cove in West Tisbury.

The tournament starts early, before sunrise, and concludes at 10 a.m.

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Class on Fly-Fishing

Class on Fly-Fishing

A fly-fishing class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, August 9, at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club off Third street North in Edgartown.

Sandra Demel and John Kollett will provide individualized instruction. Equipment will be provided or feel free to use your own. The class size is limited. The fee is $85 for club members and $100 for non-members. For information and to preregister, call 508-693-6338.

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Striped Bass and Bluefish Are Here
Mark Alan Lovewell

The Island fishing season arrives in June. There are enthusiasts who will go out in April or May and catch some nice fish, but they are only preparing for what happens in June.

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Skin Deep: An Island Taxidermist

By ALEXANDER TROWBRIDGE

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Ocean Suffers When Menhaden Go Missing
Mark Alan Lovewell

Overfishing may be the buzz word on the waterfront to explain the decline of many stocks of fish around Vineyard waters, but it isn’t heard often enough when it comes to explaining the loss of bait fish.

On Wednesday night at the Chilmark Public Library, a lone man stood before an audience of anglers and commercial fishermen to report the worst environmental tale needing to be told is the loss of one of the most valued forage fish in the ocean, which used to swim in abundance in these waters but is almost gone — menhaden.

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Jaws Clenched on Both Sides as Protests Meet Shark Fishers
Alexander Trowbridge

The 22nd annual two-day monster shark tournament in Oak Bluffs ended Saturday with a total of 27 sharks caught and submitted, the largest of which was a 399-pound thresher. The team on the Waterbury caught the shark Friday, beating the other 200 boats in the tournament. Their prize was an $80,000 boat.

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Striped Bass Hearing is Postponed

Pending legislation to make striped bass a game fish in Massachusetts was further delayed this week when a public hearing was postponed at the request of backers of the bill.

The hearing by the joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture was due to be held on Tuesday on Beacon Hill, but has now been rescheduled for January.

Cape and Islands Sen. Robert O’Leary and Rep. Timothy Madden both sit on the committee.

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Old Salts Lend Skills to Youngsters
Mark Alan Lovewell

Tomorrow is the first ever Kids Fishing Jamboree. Youngsters from all over the Island are invited to attend a learn-how-to-fish program and it involves a lot of experienced anglers. Registration is at 8:15 a.m. at the Edgartown School and it is open to all children aged six through 14 years of age. The program is especially open to parents.

The event is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association, a nonprofit fishing club dedicated to promoting the sport. They do a number of fishing friendly events and this one is an experiment.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Locally caught striped bass arrived in local fish markets and restaurants Sunday. It is now the “catch of the day.”

“On Sunday morning we sold maybe 20 pounds,” said Sandra Healy of John’s Fish Market in Vineyard Haven. “I like it, because the customers like it. They’ve been waiting a year for striped bass and now they can get it.”

Commercial rod and reel fisherman Scott Terry provides her with the fish.

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