Early Birds Catch the Trout at Duarte’s Pond
Mark Alan Lovewell

Spring rain and fog did little to dampen the spirits of young anglers and their parents participating in the 35th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club trout tournament early Saturday morning — very early. More than 200 youngsters rose before sunrise to get to Duarte’s Pond in West Tisbury in time for the start at first light.

They came wearing raincoats and rubber boots, bearing cans of worms and artificial bait and laden with fishing gear.

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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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Rod and Gun Club Hosts Annual Trout Tournament

The Island’s big fishing event for youngsters, the Martha’s Vineyard Trout Tournament, is into its 35th year. Each year hundreds of our young Island fisherman vie for the many prizes and gifts that are made available to the winners of the various fishing categories. This year, it’s May 9, and as always it’s at Duarte’s Pond.

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Division of Fisheries Stocks Island Ponds With Trout
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The Vineyard’s four popular freshwater ponds were stocked with more than 1,100 trout on Wednesday. Officials from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife came over with a special truck filled with bubbling water, loaded with rainbow, brown and tiger trout.

Steven Hurley, fisheries manager for the state, said the fish were delivered to Duarte’s Pond, Old Mill Pond and Uncle Seth’s Pond in West Tisbury, and Upper Lagoon Pond which is shared by the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs.

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Vineyard Bay Scallop Season Nets Twelve Thousand Bushels
Mark Alan Lovewell

Martha’s Vineyard leads the Cape and Islands in bay scallop landings, beating Nantucket. The Vineyard’s commercial and recreational shellfishermen landed over 12,000 bushels this past season, and more are being landed. With three weeks still left in the season, Nantucket shellfishermen have landed 8,000 bushels. This makes the Vineyard the largest producer of wild bay scallops in the world.

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Fishermen Get Organized

Fishermen Get Organized

Vineyard commercial and recreational fishermen are invited to attend a meeting to discuss a plan to organize as a group; the meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre in Vineyard Haven.

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Commercial Fishermen Seek to Organize
Mark Alan Lovewell

A small but spirited group of fishermen met this week to discuss forming an advocacy organization.

The meeting was held Wednesday at the county administration building; 16 people attended. The idea of forming a formal fishermen’s association comes at a time when federal regulators are clamping down on fishing permits and a new bill has been filed in the state legislature to ban commercial fishing for striped bass.

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Striped Bass Bill Divides Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

A renewed effort to restrict striped bass to game fish status in Massachusetts is dividing recreational and commercial fishermen.

Legislation was filed on Beacon Hill last month that would ban the commercial sale of wild striped bass in the commonwealth and also place stricter limits on the recreational fishery.

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Untended Gill Nets Are Killers of Fish and the Environment
By WARREN DOTY

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Paul Diodati, director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. The letter was also signed by Chuck Hodgkinson, Emmett Carroll, Jennifer Clark, Jonathan Mayhew, Virginia Jones and Tom Osmers.

Regarding the request for consideration of a tending requirement on bottom tending or sink gill nets in Massachusetts state waters: All nets must come in with the boat and not be left at sea when the boat is at port.

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Petition Seeks to End Black Sea Bass, Scup Spring Fishing Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

A fisheries petition that began on the Vineyard last summer to throttle back the commercial season for black sea bass and scup is gaining favor among state fisheries managers.

The petition from Island recreational and commercial fishermen asks the state to end the spring commercial season for black sea bass and scup and postpone the opening until later in the summer and early fall. The action would not affect recreational fishing for both species.

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