31 May 2009

On-the-Water Horror Stories, a Hero, and Naugy Cleanup

700 Die Annually in Boating Accidents

“Rich Teitell, 31, decided to take advantage of a sunny Wednesday by spending an afternoon aboard his kayak, fishing in the waters a mile off Penfield Beach. When he tried to adjust his fishing pole, he lost his balance, and his boat capsized.

“Teitell was not wearing a floatation device….”

Whole article at Acorn-Online.com
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RI Teen Enters Plea in Boating Incident

“PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- A Rhode Island teenager charged as an adult under a short-lived state law after killing another teen in a boating collision two years ago has accepted responsibility for his friend's death.”

Article at: AP.org
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BUI Results in Prison Term

"A Madison [CT] man has been sentenced to four years in prison for a drunken boating accident in Old Saybrook that killed one person and injured three others."

Source: Courant.com
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Man Trying to Save Child Drowns in Norwalk River

“Jose Higareda and the boy's father were on the banks of Norwalk River at the end of a small dirt road that runs north from Broad Street, police said. The area, known as Deering Pond, is adjacent to the Route 7 connector.

“Relatives said Higareda was driving a friend to see his cousin who was fishing at Deering Pond. At some point, the boy, who was playing nearby in knee-deep water, lost his footing and was dragged offshore, police said.”

News item at StamfordAdvocate.com
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Coast Guard Boat Capsizes During Training

“BOSTON - The Coast Guard pulled five of its own members from the water Wednesday after their 25-foot response boat submereged while training about 15 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. One member suffered an ankle injury and another showed symptoms of hypothermia….”

Whole story at CoastGuardNews.com
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Life Vests and Jackets

“There is a new [?] law all vessels must be aware of, and that is that all kids 13 and under must wear a life jacket at all times…. Ideally, everybody should be wearing a life jacket at all times anyway, but for kids under 13 it is now mandatory. Kayakers and other self-propelled craft operators also need to wear a life jacket until the end of May.”

More about boating safety at TheDay.com
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Harbormaster Hatfield Habitual Housatonic Hero

"Ross Hatfield has a knack for being there when needed.

“The Stratford harbormaster, who recently moved to Milford, made news last November when he pulled a woman from the Housatonic River.

“In the summer of 2004, Hatfield rescued three teenage girls by pulling them out of the river and up into his patrol boat one by one after their boat capsized in the Housatonic River.”

Full story at Acorn-Onlilne.com
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Naugatuck River Clean-Up June 6th

“Missed the Earth Day clean up of the Naugatuck River a few weeks ago? Well, you’ll have another chance on June 6 to help drag out those shopping carts and accumulated trash.

“The annual Naugatuck River Cleanup will kick off from 9 a.m. to noon, beginning at the Sullivan Senior Center, 88 East Albert St. The city Conservation Commission — one of the event’s coordinators along with the Northwest Connecticut Chapter of Trout Unlimited — is looking for volunteers to get out and help….”

Read more at RegisterCitizen.com
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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

30 May 2009

Fishing in the Fog, Selecting the Right Rod, and Choosing Leaders and Tippets

Mal Y. and I tried to fish the mouth of the Housatonic River on Thursday, but conditions were just too miserable. From the boat launch ramp at the end of Sniffen’s Lane we couldn’t see the first downstream daymark on the west side because of the fog.

I’ve been out in the mouth of the River when it fogs over, and didn’t like it. Especially at low tide, where the necessity of keeping off dry land forces you to fish near the channel and other areas through which boats move, it’s downright scary.

It shouldn’t be scary. The “Colregs” [collision regulations] or International Regulations for Avoiding Collisions at Sea, specify how boaters are to conduct themselves in restricted visibility:
“A power-driven vessel making way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes one prolonged blast. (b) A power-driven vessel underway but stopped and making no way through the water shall sound at intervals of not more than 2 minutes two prolonged blasts in succession with an interval of about 2 seconds between them.”

[A “prolonged blast” is a 4-5 second sounding of the boat’s horn or other approved signaling device.] There’s more to the reg than that, but you get the idea.

First, I’d bet that 80-90% of the boaters out there have no clue that this regulation exists. Second, who the heck wants to be out there trying to fish and blasting the boat’s horn every 2 minutes? It’s not going to happen…and if you get clobbered by another boat and you haven’t been sounding your horn…guess who gets blamed for it all!

He Who Sees Fog and Walks Away Lives to Fish Another Day

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Selecting the Right Rod

“Choosing the right fishing rod is just like selecting the proper golf club to make a shot. You do not see Tiger Woods playing golf with just one club. He has a bag containing 14 different clubs. Each of these clubs helps him make a particular type of shot. The same is true with fishing; each type of lure requires a particular type of rod.”

Read the whole article at NewsTimes.com

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Choosing Leaders and Tippets in Fly-Fishing

“Modern knotless leaders are designed for the law of averages: average casters casting ­average-size flies to an average distance. Trouble is, most fly anglers constantly change fly sizes and casting distances, so no leader is perfect all the time. Here are some tricks that will solve many of your problems:”

Article at:; FieldandStream.com

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

29 May 2009

Waste Discharge, Fish Chowder, Local Fish Report, and a Bluefish Story

To the DEP: You Cook Some Up and Eat it Yourself!

“A weekend blaze led to the discharge of two to three million gallons of untreated wastewater into the Connecticut River after a fire knocked out power at an Enfield sewage plant.

“The state Department of Environmental Protection…said there's no danger in eating fish caught in the affected stretch of the river.”

Whole story at ClaimsJournal.com

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Seafood Recipes: [In case, after reading the item above, you still have an appetite for fish.]

“ I manage a pretty good collection of seafood cookbooks, but Gillian Drake's Cape Cod Seafood Cookbook almost always wins out when I'm trying to find a good recipe for any salty fish or clam…. I keep Jasper White's Summer Shack Cookbook very close at hand, too.”

Cape Cod Fish Chowder recipe at the end of this article: CapeCodToday.com

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Local Fishing Report

"We do try to keep these reports from being too pessimistic, however. After all, to paraphrase the bumper sticker, rotten day fishing is better than a good day at work any old time.

"Meanwhile, bunker schools are reported in all the harbors. And the Derby Dam is in the middle of a terrific herring run that has kept the bass there for days. If you head for Derby, be prepared for a shoulder-to-shoulder crowd."

From Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

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Bluefish Story

“It wasn’t much of a cut but it sure as hell was pumping a serious stream of blood. The man with the blood soaked towel wrapped around his finger was a know it all. When the first bluefish was hauled up over the rail I warned him to be careful while removing his plug and he replied in the same manner as he did when he first came aboard. ‘I know, I know, I know’….”

Charlie Soares writing in HeraldNews.com

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

28 May 2009

Marinas, UselessCrafts, and Kayaks

Marinas Face New Wastewater Law

“ The state…has set a Dec. 31, 2010, deadline for all marinas and boatyards to install facilities to capture wastewater or cease pressure-washing boats. The state's concern is the toxic nature of the copper marine anti-fouling paint, which is applied to boat hulls to prevent marine life from attaching to the bottom and causing damage, and its impact on the environment.”

Whole story is at StamfordAdvocate.com

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UselessCrafts Even More So When Gas Is Expensive

“High fuel prices last year meant [keeping] his 35-foot Bertram boat closer to the shore.

“'I used to go across the (Long Island) Sound two or three times per week,' he said. 'Last year, I only went two to three times the entire season.'

“His 14-ton 1977 Bertram…uses 30 to 40 gallons of gasoline an hour at its top speed of 30 knots.”

Read the article at Telegram.com

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Lucky Kayakers Rescued


“Coast Guard rescue crews plucked two kayakers from the water today, after their kayaks overturned near Boston Light.”

Story at CoastGuardNews.com

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

27 May 2009

If I Catch It, Can I Eat It?

The Connecticut DEP publishes A Guide to Eating Fish Safely that can be accessed on the Internet at: Read the Guide

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Trawling for Answers to Dwindling Fish Counts

“On Friday, with a crew of local fishermen, reporters and government representatives joining them, Mr. Ruhle took the Darana R into 60 feet of water just north of Montauk to show off the haul from one of his standardized 20-minute trawls that are used in the survey. The crew generally conducts 11 or 12 surveys a day for a three- week period in both the spring and fall. Using an otter trawl with six sensors which make sure it is properly deployed, he manned the helm and remembered back to the day he’d done a count of the number of skates he caught while fishing right next to NOAA’s Albatross, a survey boat with the same rig and sampling instructions as his own boat. He caught 54 times the number of skate that the government boat caught….”

The story is at 27East.com

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Connecticut’s Lobster-Monitoring Program

“Sea-sampling data are used in combination with commercial landings data and LIS Trawl Survey indices of abundance to estimate the size of the lobster population in relation to the number taken by the fishery. Data collected by CTDEP Marine Fisheries Division staff are also incorporated into the Atlantic coast lobster stock assessments.”

Read about it at CT DEP

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

26 May 2009

Fishing in Nearby States

Maine Hoping for Better Striper Run this Year

“Last season, striped-bass angling in Maine really stunk, and a common complaint blamed commercial fishermen on Chesapeake Bay. Our woes in 2008 proved more benign, though.

“Last spring and summer, a huge sand-eel bloom from Stellwagen Bank off Massachusetts northward into New Hampshire provided stripers with so much forage that they didn't need to migrate further north. That probably won't be a problem two years in a row.”

Story from Kennebec Journal

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Opening of the Vineyard Pond Attracts Herring, Bass and Fishermen

"As shellfish constable Mr. Bagnall oversees the opening of Edgartown Great Pond between three and five times a year. The opening resalinates the pond, purges nutrients and allows shellfish to thrive. It also fills the pond with herring and striped bass, much to the delight of local fishermen."

Interesting article with video at MVGazette.com

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Bass, Blues in Rhode Island

“Fishing from kayaks off the north end of Jamestown on Wednesday, Ed Hughes and Mike Laptew caught bass and bluefish. 'There were massive blitzes,' said Hughes."

Whole article at ProJo.com

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Striper Migration Reaches New Hampshire

“Striped bass, shad, cod, haddock and even flounder are available from Boston to the New Hampshire Seacoast, but we are still early in the season so the action is less than steady.”

Read about it at SalemNews.com

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Blues at the Cape

“Like Bob Marley gone from us 28 years this month sang, we’re ‘talkin’ blues.’

"The bluefish are in. So get your wire leaders and watch your fingers, our sharp-toothed predator fish are back.”

Article can be read at CapeCodOnline.com

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Hudson River Stripers

“Reports from local charter boat Captains Jim "Ace" Samia and Pete Tietgens are that striped bass are running thick and large up and down the Hudson River, from the Troy Dam downstream.

“Once the water temperature gets above 58 degrees, Captain Samia switches over to "bass plugs," and he trolls them up and down likely bass-holding spots.:

Article from TheTranscript.com

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25 May 2009

You Can Catch Bass on the Upper Housatonic Too

"Out of the spray shot a foot-long silver fish that, even from so far away, looked to be more angry than scared. Smallmouth on!"

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

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Techniques for Slug-gos

"It can rigged in a number of other ways and has an action that even if you describe it as erratic, that still doesn’t come close. One of ways to rig a Slug-go is to put the hook through the center of the back and just cast it out. This rigging kills any streamlining of the body shape. As the body works against the water the lure flips in all sorts of directions that can’t be repeated time after time like most lures. That’s a good thing. This crazy action draws strikes like an open bottle at a wino convention. Anything that moves out of the ordinary will draw strikes and this is completely out of the ordinary."

Read more in HeraldNews.com

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Boaters may want to check out this Safe Boating Website

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

24 May 2009

What's Going On in Eastern Connecticut?

Stripers and the Holiday Weekend

"With the first big weekend of the summer just about on us, it's nice to have some better fishing to report. Bass have arrived in our waters, both in the reefs along the Connecticut shoreline and out in The Race."

Tim Coleman writing in TheDay.com

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Eastern CT Not So Hot

"The weather continues to be unpredictable, with near freezing nights earlier in the week plunging water temperatures in shallow waters where bass and worms want to spawn…there are a few small schools of menhaden running up and down the Thames River with some keeper-sized stripers along with a few bluefish in pursuit."

Complete article at Norwich Bulletin.com

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A Different Take on Eastern CT

“The seasonal influx of baitfish has brought schools of blues—first the harbors, now followed by packs of the “big” gals. So far, getting to the stripers has not been hampered in the least, as “linesiders” are happy to inhale curly tail jigs, swimmers, and bait. Clousers are the ticket along the flats….”

Story in TheDay.com

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Connecticut Tourism;
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23 May 2009

5/20 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...3


To finish up our fishing trip from Wednesday with Don G. and Val S., here's a shot of Don with the only keeper bass of the trip [have to be 28" to keep, which this one was, but we released it]; fish doesn't look that big in the photo as Don is about 6'5" and makes a keeper look like a short.

I hooked the first fish of the day, a blue, over by the marsh outlet. The fish put up a good fight at the same time that I was trying to keep the boat from drifting up onto a flat...at the same time that the darned cell phone was ringing in my pocket [everything happens at once]. Don and Val joined in the battle to keep the boat off dry land by raising the jackplate and lifting the trolling motor...using the latter to propel us to deeper water. It was interesting to see how little water that boat need to float. We were in no more than one foot and the hull never touched bottom.

In the end the blue was landed, we got back to deeper water, and I returned the missed cell call. Val invited the bluefish, about 25", home for a smoke.

Out by the mouth of the River the fishing was spotty at best. Don ran off a string of consecutive striper catches. Val persisted in using the fly rod and hooked, and lost what was undoubtedly the biggest fish of the day. Fish took in the fly, and Val thought at first he was snagged on the bottom...but the fish shook his head a few times and that ended that contest.

Sure would have liked to have seen that fish.

So we all caught fish, but had to work hard for them.

No sign of any blues blitzes, but we had a couple of cut-offs, so they're around.

As said yesterday, Shoo-Fly 3 is off the water for a few days...until the holiday weekend furor is over.

Had email from Mal Y. who's back in CT for a while...we'll set up a fishing trip in the near future.

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Eastern Connecticut Fishing Memorial Day Weekend

“We are now seeing Hudson River as well as Chesapeake Bay ‘linesiders’ making their runs. Water temperatures now are pretty even throughout the ‘pond,’ fluctuating around the 52- to 55-degree mark—a low comfort range for active bass.

“Catches of small- to mid-size bluefish are becoming rather common as runs of baitfish persist.”

Article from TheDay.com

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NOAA Says Atlantic Bluefish are in Good Shape

“NOAA’s Fisheries Service reported to Congress today that four stocks — Atlantic bluefish, Gulf of Mexico king mackerel and two stocks of monkfish in the Atlantic — have been rebuilt to allow for continued sustainable fishing. This is the largest number of stocks to be declared rebuilt in a single year since the fisheries service declared the first stock successfully rebuilt in 2001.”

Read it all at NOAA Report

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

22 May 2009

5/20 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report...2

As explained yesterday, Don G. and Val S. joined me on Shoo-Fly 3 on Wednesday. Photo shows Don reeling in a keeper-striper which he promptly released after we took a photo...which will be in tomorrow's blog.

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Memorial Day weekend started on Wednesday:

There were a lot of UselessCrafts out on Lower Housatonic River on Wednesday. Of course, the vast majority of these paid little heed to the no-wake buoys as, clearly, the rules don’t apply to them. Either that, or they’re just plain ignorant.

In addition, there were a couple of yahoos on Bond’s Dock, stripped to the waist, in an unfit condition to be fishing. They yelled to us that they were going to try to hook us, and then sent a cast in our general direction [must have been at least six ounces of sinker on it] that wasn’t even close…and then proceeded to belch a lot of unintelligible words at us.

Don’t know what set these goons off. We were way over to the east side of the channel, not at all in their fishing zone. They weren't exactly beligerant; rather, they seemed to think somehow they were having fun at our expense.

Just getting an early start on Memorial Day weekend, perhaps.

After one look in their direction, we just ignored them.

As to the weekend:

We’ll be off the water this weekend as all the owners of UselessCrafts will be taking their hulks out on Long Island Sound, barreling through the no-wake zones, and generally churning up the waters so that fishing becomes something akin to boating in a clothes washer.

If you fish anywhere near the mouth of the Housatonic you’ll get hit by one wake after another which, combined with the noise and smell of diesel engines, takes significantly away from the fishing experience.

So these boaters take their UselessCrafts out for the first time this year. Then their boats go in the docks for the rest of the summer and become floating cocktail patios. Then, on Labor Day weekend, once again they’ll stick their noses out of the marinas and venture out on the Sound…for their second and final trip of the year.

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Ads on this Blog:

Sorry about the ad that appeared on this blog on Thursday morning. We have no control over the ads that are placed on the blog, except that if one appears that is objectionable, it can then be blocked by adding the URL to a listing….which I’ve now done. All ads placed on this blog by Google are supposed to relate to fishing. This is the first, and hopefully last time that Google will place an ad of that type on our blog.

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

20 May 2009

New Hampshire, Maine, and Martha's Vineyard

Maine Saltwater Fishing to Remain Free for the Time Being

“It looks like people who fish in saltwater in Maine will not have to buy a license.”

Read the article at: WLBZ2.com

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NH Senate Approves SW Fishing License

“Saltwater anglers off New Hampshire's coast would need a fishing license under legislation sent to the governor by the Senate….”

Complete article: WCAX.com

Photo: New Hampshire coast near Portsmouth

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Vineyard Awaits Cinder Worms

"They are waiting for tiny cinder worms to rise from muddy bottoms in saltwater ponds across the Island in an annual spawning that leads to a feeding frenzy of astonishing proportion, drawing striped bass, birds, fishermen, and onlookers."

Story from: MVTimes.com

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Book Describes Life on Martha’s Vinyard, Especially the Fishing Derby

"The derby that Mr. Kinney describes commenced officially at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2007, and its most serious competitors started casting their lines soon after. Until the Oct. 13 finish, they did the same thing, over and over, from boats and piers and beaches, for as many of the 838 hours of the tournament as they could manage with the help of coffee, junk food and catnaps.

"There are, after all, several species to chase -- striped bass, bluefish, false albacore and bonito -- each with different codes to crack, and since fishing involves luck as well as skill, there is no substitute for putting in the hours."

Article at OnlineWSJ.com

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Connecticut Tourism;
Long Island Sound Resource Center;
Housatonic Valley Association;
Stratford, Connecticut;
Milford, Connecticut;
fishing; charters; vacations; travel

19 May 2009

Kayaks...Kayaks...Kayaks

Kayakers vs. Fishermen

"The closer we paddled the more frequently he cast his line directly in our heading. We could have changed our course and steered farther offshore, but it was breezy, the tide surged against us and we had a 12-hour day ahead of us. It would only take us a few moments to get by – if only he stopped that damned casting every 10 seconds."

Whole article is at: TheDay.com

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Naugatuck River Race a Wild and Wet Time

“It was either when the guy giving the pre-race safety talk said he'd broken a tooth on a rock while paddling the night before, adding the river was "higher than normal," or maybe it was when I noted that one area of the race route was called ‘The Dead Zone.’

“Whenever it was, it was then I sort of knew I had gotten in over my head, no pun intended.”

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

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Benefits of Kayaking

"One of the first things that comes to mind is the low cost of the sport when compared to other forms of angling. For start to finish, you can buy new equipment including the kayak for as little as eight hundred dollars. You can usually find used kayaks much cheaper. Even if you choose to get a fully equipped kayak, the cost will be about fifteen hundred dollars. With party boat trips for a few days costing upwards of six hundred dollars, you can see that the savings from a few trips can get you going in the sport.

"Besides an inexpensive method of fishing, the health benefits are worth it even if you don't plan to fish. With no motor and noise, ocean inhabitants are not as afraid of your kayak as a sport fisher with the engines going. If you want to see nature close up, a kayak is a good tool."

Source: AllKayakFishing.com

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Need for Safety Instruction

"...statistics show that 80% of non-motorized vessel (paddle boat) fatalities are the result of capsizing, or sudden cold-water immersion, which can lead to rapid drowning. Ninety percent of those deaths resulted from people not wearing life jackets. More than 70% of recreational boating deaths reported involve operators of paddle craft who received no boating safety instruction."

Source: AcornOnline.com

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18 May 2009

What’s Fishing in Long Island Sound?

Read Charles Walsh’s Update...

Excerpt: “Bluefish -- As predicted in my fishing column May 10, the first confirmed bluefish catch was recorded Monday at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Len Persson[1] and two guests[2] fishing aboard Shoo-Fly 3 were cut off by a couple of smaller blues before finally pulling a larger specimen into the boat for an evidence photograph.”

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post
[1] aka “Skip”
[2] aka “Wayne and Mat”

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Housatonic River Not the Only Waterway to Have Received GE’s PCBs

“Twenty-five years after the federal government declared a long stretch of the Hudson River to be a contaminated Superfund site, the cleanup of its chief remaining source of pollution began here Friday with a single scoop of mud extracted by a computer-guided dredge.

“The Hudson River Dredging Project (GE) Twelve dredges are to work round the clock, six days a week, into October, removing sediment laced with the chemicals known as PCBs. Mile-long freight trains running every several days will carry the dried mud to a hazardous-waste landfill in Texas.

“An estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, flowed into the upper Hudson from two General Electric factories for three decades….”

Complete article is in The New York Times

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Oceans Slowly Filling with Plastic

"Scientists have known that tiny pieces of plastic pose an ominous threat to life in the ocean, and to us, since 1972. New toxicological research is making it increasingly clear that our century-long love affair with plastic is taking its toll 'in here.'

"Chemicals such as phthalates and Bisphenol A leach from plastic containers into the food or liquid inside and, from there, into our bodies. Once inside us they can poison us or cause cancer, neurological damage, endometriosis and birth defects, as well as liver and kidney damage. Other chemicals like PCBs, DDT and PAHs cling to the plastic bits and work their way up the food chain, and eventually back to us.

"Yet plastic production and pollution has only soared."

Whole article at: HuffingtonPost.com

Photo from NOAA

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17 May 2009

The Western Sound, Thames River, and Menhaden

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Note: This report is from 2009; for the latest information, please go to:
http://www.connecticutsaltwaterfishing.com

Fishing Picking Up in Western Sound
“Early in the week I received an email from Capt. Kevin Reynolds, skipper of the Snow Goose II. He reported ‘that on the fishing front it's been solid blues!!! They invaded the Hempstead Harbor area on Tuesday and it's been 'lock and load' ever since.’

“The bluefish have been holding in 30 to 40 feet of water. Mackerel, herring and bunker are all doing well as bait. And there have been a couple of keeper stripers in the mix as well.”

Read the complete article at: StamfordAdvocate.com

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Thames River also Fishing Well

The Thames River is our hot spot of the week, drawing large bass drawn by the bunker moving around in the river from the Gold Star Bridge all the way up to Norwich. Find the bunkers and you might find the school with some big stripers underneath them.

Tim Coleman writing in TheDay.com

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Menhaden Critical to Long Island Sound

Menhaden are the most important fish in the sea for two reasons: They feed everything above them in the food pyramid, and they are literally like a living filter system for our waters because they eat detritus and turn it into their oily, high energy flesh.

While menhaden were functionally missing from the food chain, striped bass (along with bluefish and other predatory species) may have literally eaten once-large populations of river herring, American shad and contributed to the demise of winter flounder, fluke and other species through predation around the edges.

Bob Sampson writing in the NorwichBulletin.com

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16 May 2009

5/12 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

On Tuesday Wayne J. and Mat D. joined us for their second day of fishing. We'd fished upstream the day before, with little luck...didn't catch much of anything until we got down close to the mouth of the Housatonic River. So this day we decided to skip the up-river bit and just concentrate on the area below Washington Bridge.

This was not only because the fishing had been better in that area on Monday, but also because we knew the weather was going to misbehave sometime in the afternoon.



Once again, they weren't exactly jumping in the boat...we had to work hard for every fish. But Wayne is the premier bass and musky guide in Mont Tremblant, Quebec and Mat, now a fireman, has done some guiding as well.

There's a great thing about having good fishermen on your boat. They've all seen good days and bad days. They don't complain, they don't need to be entertained...they just keep throwing that lure out there.

This turned out to be a good day. We got some more bluefish and a bunch of stripers...but no keeper-sized bass.

You can see from the first two photos that it started out as a bright and sunny day. We were watching storm clouds all the time we were out there, but they kept drifting off to the east leaving us in the sunshine.

This wasn't to last, however, as dark, nasty-looking rain clouds kept creeping closer to the River. Eventually, the clouds took over and we made a hasty retreat to the dock. As we got in the car, the rain started to fall.

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Bass and Blues also at Montauk

So far, a few keeper bass (over 28 inches in length) and bluefish have been taken from the beach in Montauk on both the north and south sides. Up until the last few days, the blues were marauding around Gardiner’s Bay.

Complete article is in EastHamptonStar.com

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15 May 2009

5/11 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report


As mentioned in earlier posts to this blog, Wayne J. and Mat D. [photo on right] came down from Quebec and Ontario to fish the Housatonic River on board Shoo-Fly 3. They arrived Sunday evening and we hit the water the following morning.

Air temp was about 60° with 15 kt. winds out of the SW. Amazing how cold a SW wind can be when it's blown in off the 51° Long Island Sound.

They were not exactly jumping in the boat, but it was exciting fishing as Wayne connected with the first bluefish of the year...which promptly cut him off at the side of the boat [who's expecting bluefish when the water temp is 51°?]

But we hooked some more blues and Mat managed to keep one from getting its teeth on the leader so we had photographic evidence of our early bluefish catch.

The second highlight of the day was in the striper department where Wayne and Mat each caught and released keepers. These were beautiful, fat fish with bright silver sides with a lot of purple mixed in.



Overall it was a good day on the water and an excellent introduction to what fishing can be like in the Lower Housatonic River.

We'll tell Tuesday's trip story in our next post.















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Party Boat Rescues Capsized Fishermen

"Two hero boat captains pulled off a spectacular save early Sunday morning after a group of fishermen capsized a mile off shore in the chilly waters of Jamaica Bay."

The whole story is at: DailyNews.com

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14 May 2009

Coast Guard Stresses Cold-Water Safety

“BOSTON – The Coast Guard and state boating agencies continue to warn spring boaters, paddlers, sailors and fishermen on northeastern inland and coastal waters of the dangers of cold water and sudden cold water immersion.

“Plain and simple, if things go wrong on the water and you’re not prepared for the immediate shock of sudden cold water immersion, your chance for survival is greatly reduced….

“’To date this year, we’ve lost six boaters and paddlers on the waters of the northeast and all six cases can be directly attributed to the debilitating effects of cold water.’”

Read the entire article: CoastGuardNews.com--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Photo is from this week's fishing trips. More details to come later in the week.


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Rabbits and Penguins, and Seals, Oh My! Rabbits and Penguins, and Seals!

Dr Gales says long-line fishing is responsible for killing thousands of albatross and other seabirds hooked as they attempt to catch fish bait. While the problem is being addressed through the use of devices such as weighted lines, the expansion of illegal fishing, especially for Patagonian toothfish, is taking a heavy toll on seabirds in the Southern Ocean.

Interesting: TheAustralianNews.com

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One-Way to Get Rid of the Long-Liners

“The 700-ton long-line fishing ship “Win Far 161”was hijacked near an island in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean on Monday, according to the MOFA, and it is currently some 1,500 kilometers away from land.

“Among its 30 crew members, the ship's skipper and first engineer are Taiwanese nationals, while five other are Chinese, 17 are Filipinos and six are Indonesian.

“…based on past experience,[the crew’s] safety should not be a problem if the pirates are simply looking to collect a ransom….”

Article no longer available from Taiwan News

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New York State

“If you’re looking for striped bass your timing couldn’t be better. The mighty Hudson River is a busy place these days with spawn-minded striped bass acting crazy as far north as Albany. The action is reaching the phenomenal stage all the way from Newburgh to the Federal Dam in Troy, and while not every angler who has a line in the water would agree with that, the entire stretch of river is offering excellent fishing right now.”

Read more at GreenCountyNewYork

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13 May 2009

Striper Needs to Be a Gamefish in All States


"Recreational catches of striped bass have fallen by 50% coast wide in the last two years. Striped bass are in trouble and need our help right now. The pressures put upon striped bass at the request of commercial fishing interests are going to destroy recreational striped bass fishing. for all of us. As we speak, they are trying to increase the coastal commercial fishery quotas by another 25%.

Read more at: FlyRodReel.com

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Photo: From our day of fishing, Tuesday, May 12

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Massachusetts

“ Striper fishing broke loose this week throughout inshore waters with lots of fish in the 24-28-inch range and some keepers up to 34 inches in most of the rivers and along the shoreline from Westport to Wareham with the Wareham River and Weweantic Rivers doing exceptionally well. The waters off Marion and Mattapoisett are also hot. Ledhead jigs with shad bodies are working well and the fish are also taking surface plugs with Pencil Poppers being tops.”

Article at: SouthCoastMassachusetts

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Researchers at the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science earlier this month released a report card concerning the Chesapeake Bay's health, giving this huge ecosystem and premier striped bass spawning area a grade of C-minus.

”The Bay's ecological conditions have not significantly changed from 2007 and remain far below what is needed for a healthy Bay,” the report stated.

Details at: WashingtonTimes.com

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12 May 2009

First Bluefish of the Season!

We are pleased to announce that we caught our first bluefish of the season on Monday 11 May...caught several of them in fact...in the mouth of the Housatonic River. More information when we get time to write a trip report on today's fishing.

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Man Saved by Plank when Boat Sinks...Six Others Perish

“When water reached the engine room, knocking out all power, Arias jumped into the roiling sea, floating on his back so water would not seep into the survival suit he had donned seconds before.”

The whole story is at: Associated Press

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Rhode Island

“Lots of bass between 30 and 34 inches were nailing Storm Wild-Eye shad lures at Providence and Bear Points this week, said Ken Ferrara of Ray's Bait & Tackle. Larger fish were biting in the Providence River, he said. The schoolie bite has been very dependable near the Squantum Club in the afternoon, said John Littlefield of Archie's Bait & Tackle. To the south, the beaches in Middletown hold smaller bass.”

Article is in: ProvidenceJournal

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Converting Lost Commercial Fishing Gear to Energy

“It's not unusual for fishermen to try and hook a big one, but it was an inedible catch that garnered attention yesterday at the Cape Cod Canal Visitors Center.

“Officials gathered to cheer 10,000 pounds of abandoned fishing gear hauled out of Cape Cod Bay, an area that's a prime feeding ground for endangered right whales….

“The gear will be hauled from Sandwich to Connecticut by Covanta Energy, where the rope and other items that can be burned will go to the company's waste-to-energy plant….

Read it all: Cape Cod Times

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11 May 2009

“Blues Should Arrive ‘Any Day Now’

"’They just haven't turned the corner yet’ is how a number of veteran anglers explain why Long Island's North Shore, from Montauk to Peconic Bay Oyster Bay Harbor, is loaded with bluefish ranging from tailors to 14-pound choppers and yet there has not been a single confirmed report on the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound.

“Just what or where that "corner" is only the bluefish seem to know, but sooner or later (probably sooner) they will turn it and show up here big time.”

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

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New England's Salmon Struggling to Survive

“It's been a quarter-century since officials began trying to restore the Atlantic salmon and other fish that breed in New England rivers, yet live in the ocean, and things don't look very good.

“Atlantic salmon in the Merrimack River remain almost non-existent – fewer than 150 have returned from the ocean in recent years – and aren't much better off elsewhere: A species in Maine is likely to be listed as endangered soon.”

Article: NashuaTelegraph.com

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Two Get Off with Probation for Buying/Selling Illegal Striped Bass

Robert Moore Sr., and his son, Robert Moore Jr., pleaded guilty in February to buying the fish for their business, Cannon Seafood. They were charged in a sting targeting the sale of fish harvested illegally from the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. Authorities have charged 13 others, most of them fishermen, and more could face prosecution, authorities said.

Story at: WashingtonPost.com

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10 May 2009

What's Going on in Other States?

Note: On Sunday evening, Wayne and Mathieu [of Islamorada fame; see our posts for February 11th through the 19th] arrive from Quebec for three days of fishing. Odds are that we'll fish hard and long, so am not sure how much work is going to get done on this blog during that period. We'll post some information, but may not be able to get to fishing reports right away.

However, will try at least to get some photos posted, presuming we catch some photo-worthy fish.

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California Legislator Tried to Wipe Out Striped Bass

"A combined effort by fisheries groups, scientists, and conservation organizations has stopped a Central Valley legislator from attempting to eradicate striped bass in California.

"Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield) had previously introduced AB 1253 in the California legislature, declaring war on striped bass and proposing to remove all game fish restrictions. AB 1253 would have removed all harvest restrictions, allowing unlimited take of any size, statewide, even by commercial methods such as netting. AB 1253 would have allowed the sale of striped bass, something California has not permitted since the 1930’s. With a lucrative black market already in place – as evidenced by illegal poaching arrests that occur every few months –Fuller’s proposed legislation would have surely meant the untimely demise of this prized, legally-introduced game fish."

Details at: Central Valley

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Florida Shoreline Fishermen Will Have to Buy License

"The Florida Legislature’s $66.5 billion budget approved Tuesday features a significant change for anglers who fish in saltwater from shore. For the first time since 1989, Florida resident saltwater anglers will be required to purchase a $7.50 fishing license. The new license requirement is anticipated to effect between 115,000 and 185,000 anglers...."

Information: TCPalm.com

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Stripers Trickling Back into Cape Ann, MA

“About now, a bit later in May on average over the past few years, the first sea lice carrying wee bass have arrived from their winter grounds and brackish nurseries in the great rivers of the middle Atlantic states — the Hudson, the Delaware and the Chesapeake.

“Fish without the lice caught now or even earlier probably wintered over, as stripers are known to do. The lice tends to get picked up along the ocean interstate.”

More at: GloucesterTimes.com

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NY Still Battling Over SW License

“State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle introduced legislation this week that would repeal a proposal for New York State to require licenses for saltwater fishing.

“Assemblyman Thiele said it was unfair of the state to put an additional financial burden on fishermen in hard economic times.

“’Fishing in our local oceans, bays and creeks is considered a birthright by our residents that goes back to colonial times,’ Mr. Thiele said….”

Article at: Southampton Press

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And on Cape Cod...

“There was a monster tuna bite in November. True giants. Guys who haven't hooked anything but footballs in years were hanging 800-pound bluefin…. Also, while it's estimated that there are as few 300 right whales left on earth, 70 of them are swimming in Cape Cod Bay right now.

Read the details at: CapeCodOnline.com

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09 May 2009

5/6 Lower Housatonic River Fishing Report

Finally got my camera back and can file a report on Wednesday's fishing.

Charlie W. and I headed up the River [based on a report from a certain striper fisherman that there were fish above the Sikorsky plant]. Main thing we saw up there was a Coast Guard buoy tender that was placing the "No-Wake Zone" white buoys in the River...probably adjusting the locations of other buoys as well.

Boaters now have no excuse for flying through the no-wake areas.

We did see fish on the Garmin, but they were scattered for the most part and not at all interested in the plastics we threw at them. So we headed down-river.

I got the first fish of the day, and then Charlie proceeded to catch a string of stripers...leaving me in his wake. Here he battles the fish shown below.

We were approaching the low tide and about ten or so fishermen were out on the bars at Short Beach and Cedar Beach casting both spinning gear and flies. They were doing very well, which proves that when you're in the right spot, you don't need a boat to have good fishing.

When you're in the right spot.

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May 7th

Charlie reported that on Thursday, he "...got out to Short Beach with the fly rod...after the lightning abated, but sadly it was pretty dead. Saw one fish caught on a soft bait. The guys there said that the bass turned on the day we were out [May 6th] about an hour after the tide turned to incoming. The fly rodders did well near the 'no-wake' sign.

"Jason at Bobby J's in Milford says the Derby Dam is loaded with 30" fish. He got 3 keepers Wednesday night on big plugs. The blues are in big time in Hempsted Harbor and all along the LI north shore. Still no reports on this side however."

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More about Bluefish on Long Island

“Striped bass and bluefish have taken over the North and South Shores offering great action…..”

Read the whole story in the New York Post


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Still More on Long Island

“This was the scene at Lazy Point on Saturday afternoon on the beach by the west inlet to Napeague Harbor, one repeated along Long Beach in Noyac, and on the north side of Montauk not far from the Lighthouse last weekend. Bluefish have arrived, not only the long, skinny “runners” that lead the migratory pack this time of year, but smaller, school-size blues as well.”

Complete story at: EastHamptonStar.com

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West Haven, CT

“The Coast Guard concluded the search for a 27-year-old man who was reported missing after not returning from a fishing trip in a canoe near West Haven, Conn., at 12:15 p.m. today.

“A body matching the description of the missing man was recovered by a West Haven Fire Department boat crew near Sandy Point….”

Source: U S Coast Guard

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Eastern Connecticut

“Red at Bob's Rod & Tackle said there are bunkers in the Thames River as far up as Dow Chemical along with plenty of school bass, caught both from small boats and shore, the latter using Zoom Super Flukes or worms on the bottom…. Bunkers are as far up the Mystic River as downtown Mystic.”

Tim Coleman writing in TheDay.com

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08 May 2009

First Bluefish Here Already???

“Harbor blues have been showing up with a few of the bigger boys tightening up the ranks. Shad and menhaden have been the draw along with river herring so it’s time for some chunk bait and look-alike artificials. Stripers have been taking seaworms, eels, soft plastics, and jigs.”

Article at: TheDay.com

[Have to keep in mind that the fellow who wrote this article runs a bait & tackle shop (in Madison, CT)...which is not to say that we doubt his veracity or anything like that; indeed, we hope his powers of observation and reporting are smack on target.]

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State DEP Fishing Report for May 6:

Read it at: WTIC.com

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One Found of Pair that Launched a Small Plastic Boat in West Haven

Coast Guard rescue crews are continuing to search for a 27-year-old man who was reported missing after not returning from a fishing trip in a small row boat near West Haven, Conn…. A friend of the overdue boaters reported that the two men left at about 7 p.m. Wednesday for the trip. He reported that one of the overdue boaters called at about 10 p.m. Wednesday night and said his vessel was taking on water. The two men were not reported overdue to the Coast Guard until 6 a.m. today.

Source: U S Coast Guard

[Subsequent reports indicate 2nd man found, but, regretably, not alive.]

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Economy Affects Boat Sales, Distance of Trips Taken…

“There are about 112,000 registered boaters in the state [Connecticut]…. About 13 million recreational boats are registered nationally, according to statistics released last month by the National Marine Manufacturers Association….

“Even in tough times…boaters find creative ways to enjoy their passion, even last year when high fuel prices made a day on the water an expensive proposition. Maybe they would go out to a fishing site and spend the day on the water without running the engine -- whatever it took for them to enjoy themselves.”

Whole article at ConnPost.com

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We have a fishing report for May 6, but left the camera somewhere and have to get it so can post the photos. In brief, we found stripers in the River, but not biting. Stripers also at the mouth of the River, biting.

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07 May 2009

Ospreys in the News

Shoo-Fly was on the water and we have a fishing report for May 6, but we left the camera somewhere and have to get it so can post the photos. In brief, we found stripers in the River, but not biting. Stripers also at the mouth of the River, biting.

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Ospreys get attention in Fairfield

"Blame the fish parts and bird droppings on a pair of recent visitors — ospreys who built a nest in the 164-foot-tall cell tower looming over the Reef Road building.

“'One day, I was walking out and a fish head dropped down from the sky,' Sgt. James Perez says as he and Police Chief David Peck get a close-up of the hawk-like birds using high-powered binoculars.

“'They started building the nest about two weeks ago,' Peck says, and police officials initially considered ways to relocate the pair, who built their nest about 150 feet above street level. Environmental rules, however, prevented moving the ospreys."

Complete article in Journal Courier

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Osprey Drops Lunch on Power Line...Shorts Out Electricity

"SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Utility workers suspect an osprey made a mess of its breakfast by dropping a fish on a power line, turning out the lights for folks trying to find their own way to start the day. Salem Electric workers called to an outage on the west side of the state capital Wednesday found a burned 14-inch fish beneath the line...."

Complete story: FWDailyNews.com

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Fairfield Ospreys to Be Evicted After All

“The osprey nest built in a cell tower behind police headquarters will be coming down.

“Milan Bull, director of science and conservation for the Connecticut Audubon Society, inspected the nest Monday morning at the request of the state Department of Environmental Protection and found no eggs in it.

"’It's pretty much what we call a starter nest,’ Bull said. ‘A young pair of osprey are learning to set up housekeeping. Generally, the first year they may go through the motions of reproductive activity, but they don't follow through.’"

Read more at: Connecticut Post

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Osprey photos by: Deb Persson

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06 May 2009

More on O'Sullivan's Island Mess

1984 NOAA Hazardous Waste Site Report Gives the History

"This site is in the flood plain of the Housatonic River, and is 14miles from Long Island Sound. A total of 197 drums in various conditions with both solid and liquid contents were removed from the site before it was backfilled, graded, and re-planted. EPA listed thesite as stabilized at the end of the removal action.

"Upon analysis, the drums were found to contain significant concentrations of wastes containing dimethyl cyclopentane, ethylcyclopentane, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, methyl cyclohexane,trichloroethane, and trimethyl pentene. Overall, the drums from the dump were in poor condition, with many leaking or crushed. At least one discharge and fish kill was observed during cleanup. Earlier discharges and possible environmental damage was highly probable, but not observed."

Complete NOAA Hazardous Waste Site Report

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"Good Sam" Makes Rescue in NJ

"’We heard the Coast Guard was coming from Sandy Hook and the boater in distress was near Union Beach; that was about two miles from where I was.’ The swells in the water were treacherous, he said. If it hadn't been for the distress call, he never would have left shore, he said. As they approached Union Beach, he and his dad, Ron, spotted a man bobbing in the water, grabbing onto a kayak….”

Whole story at NJ.com

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05 May 2009

Cleaning Up O’Sullivan’s Island on the Housatonic River Will Cost Millions

“For months heavy equipment has been at O'Sullivan's Island, cleaning up decades of debris and contamination left behind by many who used the site over the years.


“But that cleanup has expanded to remove previously undiscovered 55-gallon drums and other contamination that is increasing the price tag much higher than estimated and leaving behind questions as to who will pay the tab. There's also the nagging question: who dumped the drums there?”

Anyone who fishes the lower Housatonic River should read this: Connecticut Post

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Shad are Coming to the Connecticut River


Joseph Zaientz has lived in Haddam Neck for the last 35 years and is a shad fisherman who landed his first of the season last week. He also is director of the shad museum in Haddam that is on the site of Bill Maynard's former shad shack. For years Maynard sold shad out of there, shipping it to Boston and New York, too.

Full article at: Hartford Courant

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04 May 2009

Persistence Pays in Striper Fishing

“As the time neared 3 p.m., the anglers wonder aloud if the stripers might have deserted the river early this year. By that time they had reached the river's wide mouth.”

Charles Walsh writing in the Connecticut Post

[See if you can figure out who the two fishermen were.]

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Two Huge Stripers Caught

Croton man catches 52-pound striper in Hudson: "The humongous striped bass he hooked last night weighed in at 52 pounds, making it one of the largest stripers ever caught in the Hudson River."

Read the report at: LoHud.com

Odenton man reels in one whale of a fish: "The striper was checked at Bunky's tackle shop in Solomons, which knows a thing or two about big fish. A 60-pound, 54 1/2 -inch striper caught...."

Whole story at: BaltimoreSun.com

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Opportunities to Learn about Fishing

Orvis, Westport Outfitters, and Trout Unlimited are running fishing clinics, seminars, and programs over the next few weeks.

For details: StamfordAdvocate.com

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03 May 2009

Bluefish Have Arrived at New York City

The first source says, “Last week's warm snap gave the spring season an adrenaline rush. Bluefish have arrived, flounder are just about gone and the Island's [Staten Island] shoreline is teeming with schoolie bass.”

Read the full report at: SILive.com

And a second, similar article says, "City Island's Riptide III adds striped bass and bluefish trips to her schedule tonight."

You can read this item at: NYDailyNews.com

Although we don’t know where Riptide III hopes to find the bluefish, City Island, for those unfamiliar, lies in the western end of Long Island Sound. Water temps in the western Sound are reaching 56° which is just about into the bottom of the range of water temperature preferred by blues: 55° to 80°. So perhaps these fiesty rascals will be arriving in the lower Housatonic River area within the next few weeks. Roy P. and I saw 51° at the River mouth on Thursday.

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School Stripers Available in the Thames

"There are a lot of school bass in the Thames, caught by boat anglers on a tube and worm or from shore on worms on the bottom or Zoom Super Flukes cast with light spinning rods."

Read Tim Coleman writing in the New London Day

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