Hurricane Bill
Mark Alan Lovewell

An uninvited guest named Bill was the talk of the waterfront on Wednesday afternoon.

No, this was not former President Bill Clinton, for he is welcome.

The concern was Hurricane Bill, spinning in the Atlantic as a category four hurricane, more than a thousand miles away. While forecasters appear confident the storm will stay safely at sea through the coming weekend, the storm’s significant size and power still are of concern to local mariners with big or little boats.

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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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Fishermen Cry Foul At Loss of Herring
Sam Bungey

Ravaging of the river herring population by midwater trawlers and an absence of round-the-clock environmental police protection were the hot topics at a meeting between Cape and Islands Rep. Tim Madden and members of the newly formed Martha’s Vineyard Dukes County Fishermen’s Association Friday.

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More Than A Fluke
Mark Alan Lovewell

Local fishermen landed more than 100,000 pounds of fluke this summer at Menemsha. The landings by 10 small draggers and about five handline fishermen represents one-seventh of all the landings made in the state. The state quota for fluke was 702,614 pounds.

The report on local landings came out of a state fisheries public hearing held in Tisbury on Monday afternoon.

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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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Fluke Season
Mark Alan Lovewell

Island recreational anglers can now land fluke without breaking the law. The recreational season for fluke opened on Wednesday and the word along the shore is encouraging. Commercial fishermen have been dragging for fluke for weeks with positive results.

This is the first summer recreational fishermen were restricted from catching fluke at the start of the fishing season. They are pretty salty about it, but commercial fishermen have been dealing with openings and closings for decades.

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Hearing Asks: How Big Do Bay Scallops Have to Be?

The question of what is a harvestable sized bay scallop will be the subject of a public hearing next week on the Cape. The state Division of Marine Fisheries is hosting the hearing at 3 p.m. on Jan. 6 to gather input, following emergency action they took last fall to quiet a dispute between fishermen and regulators.

The hearing will take place at the Barnstable Senior Center, 825 Falmouth Road, Route 28 in Hyannis.

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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Barry Clifford plans to be back in Vineyard waters. The celebrated underwater explorer, who has spent decades uncovering shipwrecks almost forgotten and who got started here on the Vineyard, has his eyes on a wreck four miles east of Cape Pogue.

His firm Vast Explorer Inc. filed papers in U.S. District Court in Boston seeking exclusive rights to salvage the Semiramis, a 120-foot, three-masted ship, one of the first of the China traders. Mr. Clifford said he wants to start diving on the wreck later this fall.

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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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The Fishermen
Mark Alan Lovewell

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Tomorrow morning at 12:01 begins the 10th annual Fluke Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Veterans of Foreign War Post 9261. The two-day fishing contest is expected to attract more than 100 anglers.

There were 170 fishermen in last year’s contest, and with fluke in abundance, there is plenty of reason for anglers to put down the $20 entrance fee and join this year. Teenagers and seniors are charged $10. Youngsters 12 and younger are admitted for free but they must register.

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