The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The commercial striped bass season began this week with a whimper. The fishermen are out hunting for this highly prized fish, but their landings are off.

Striped bass are local and one of the few species that are plentiful and available at fish markets and restaurants to sell. Bluefish comes a close second as a local fish and are landed daily.

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Blue Mussel Test
Mark Alan Lovewell

The initial success of the Island’s offshore blue mussel aquaculture efforts could lead to real new jobs on the Vineyard, at a time when costs are up for fishermen but seafood prices are not keeping pace.

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Trout Tournament

Trout Tournament

The 34th annual trout tournament sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club will be held rain or shine at Duarte’s Pond off Lambert’s Cove Road from 5 to 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10. More information is available by calling Bob De Lisle at 508-627-3019.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

Island waters are filled with bluefish, especially now. Striped bass fishing is sketchy and the bonito are only now arriving, but for Vineyard and Nantucket commercial and recreational anglers, there is one certainty: the bluefish are here.

Capt. Tom Mleczko of Nantucket reports bluefishing is good this summer for him, as good as it was last year. He fishes in a 29-foot Hawk called Priscilla J.

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Discarded Fishing Line Presents Lethal Tangle for Birds, Wildlife
Mark Alan Lovewell

With the fall fishing season about to begin, there is a renewed warning out to shore fishermen to be careful not to litter the landscape. Spent fish line left on the ground can be a killer to wildlife.

In July an osprey chick was killed when it got entangled in a monofilament fish line.

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Fly-Fishing Class

Fly-Fishing Class

A fly-fishing class is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 17 at the Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club off Third street North in Edgartown.

The class will include instruction about casting, equipment and techniques, knots, flies, building a leader, putting your gear together, reading the water and handling fish. Equipment will be provided.

The fee is $85 for club members and $100 for non-members. Call 508-693-6338 to preregister.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

This is a summer of leatherback sea turtle sightings by local fishermen. Capt. Dick Smith of the charter fishing boat Patriot Too has seen quite a few of these large sea turtles in Vineyard waters.

“During the summer, the jellyfish come through Nantucket and Vineyard sounds,” Mr. Smith said. “Leatherback sea turtles are usually out there on the Gulf Stream, but their diet is jellyfish, so they are here.”

Earlier in July, the captain said, he saw quite a few sea turtles almost daily.

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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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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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Fishing and Climate Change Talk

The effects of climate change and commercial fishing on the marine ecosystem will be the focus of this year’s Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund’s series of programs at the Chilmark Public Library.

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