Fishing Fly-Tying Program at the Rod and Gun Club

The Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club fly-tying program will be held every Monday night at The Anchors, Council on Aging, in Edgartown, while the clubhouse on the shore of Sengekontacket Pond is being rebuilt.

The Monday night fly-tying session had been on hold this winter because the clubhouse was unusable. It was suggested that the The Anchors might be a good temporary winter site and director Laurie Schreiber agreed.

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West Tisbury Sees Brief Season for Recovering Oyster Fishery
Mark Alan Lovewell

West Tisbury oysters were on the market during the holiday season, but they are unavailable now. Tom Osmers, town shellfish constable, said there were three commercial oyster fishermen out on the pond. The season opened on Monday, Dec. 15 and was closed on Wednesday, Dec. 31. The fishermen were limited to one bushel a day, a sparse amount compared to years ago when the fishery was healthy and more productive.

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Saltwater Licenses on Hold
Mark Alan Lovewell

A plan to require all saltwater recreational fishermen to obtain either a state or federal license has been postponed a year to January 2010. The notice by federal fisheries authorities came out recently; a plan to establish a Massachusetts recreational fishing license has also been postponed.

Paul Diodati, director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, said he is pleased by the delay, as it gives federal authorities more time to work out details for the license.

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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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Conservation Commission Says Yes to Fishing Pier

A dedicated fishing pier off of the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs has cleared its final local hurdle.

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Black Sea Bass Are Back Here, But Commercial Limits Stay Low
Mark Alan Lovewell

Black sea bass should be another New England fisheries success story. Years ago they were scarce but now they seem to be everywhere in Nantucket and Vineyard Sounds. Nevertheless, regulators farther down the coast still consider the fish in trouble, so local commercial fishermen are feeling shut out of what is an apparently healthy, growing fishery.

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State Seeks Recreational Anglers’ Input: Saltwater Fishing Licence
Mark Alan Lovewell

Most Massachusetts saltwater recreational fishermen will be required to purchase a $10 license if they plan on putting a hook in the water next year.

There are exceptions. Fishermen who are younger than 16 or disabled are exempt, for instance, as are fishermen on a state permitted charter fishing boat.

The new license is going to have the biggest impact on charter fishing captains. While their patrons aren’t going to be required to have the license to go out on a boat and fish, some captains will be required to pay a hefty fee above last year.

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Vineyard Fishermen Challenge Absent Herring Rules in Court
Mark Alan Lovewell

Vineyard fishermen have joined a federal lawsuit against the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission over the lack of management of river herring and shad in federal waters. The lawsuit targets offshore industrial large-scale fishing boats working the Gulf of Maine and waters south of the Vineyard as culprits in the sharp decline of the fish.

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Veterans Enjoy Derby Battle With Fish
Mark Alan Lovewell

Rahul Harpalani caught his first fish ever, a striped bass, on Tuesday. The 24-year-old active duty first lieutenant with the Army had a smile on his face like no one else on Menemsha charter captain Scott McDowell’s boat. Out fishing a mile south of Squibnocket, Mr. Harpalani was having the time of his life. “It is so serene out here,” he said.

“Now you are a fisherman,” said Joe Bennett, a 70-year-old veteran from Maine, who sat beside him.

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Changing Catch Patterns in Stripers
Mark Alan Lovewell

With the start of the 65th annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby just days away, fishermen are concerned about the health of the centerpiece fish, striped bass, in these waters and along the coast.

There is perhaps not a fish more watched by commercial and recreational fishermen, not to mention scientists, than the striped bass. The fish is the swimming equivalent of the American eagle.

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