30 November 2011

Cape Cod Recreational Fishermen to Reduce Catch

”The Cape Cod Salties is a fishing club made up of more than 300 members. As responsible fishermen who love our sport, we are concerned about the sustainability of the striped bass population….

”To that end, the Salties recently voted unanimously to encourage all members to practice catch and release or, at minimum, reduce fish catch from two fish per day, currently allowed by law, to one fish per day.”


29 November 2011

Surfcaster Shop on Sniffens Lane in Stratford

”Growing up in the Lordship section of Stratford, Wells has spent more hours fishing the waters off Russian Beach and the Stratford lighthouse than he cares to remember. It all started in the late 1950s when his father rented a house one lot away from the Stratford lighthouse."

Charles Walsh in CTPost.com

28 November 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 25 NOV

Both Charlie W. and Val S. joined me on Shoo-Fly for the last trip of the season...last in Connecticut, that is. I had to get her prepped for shipping to the FL Keys as the truck will arrive to take her south this coming week.

I forgot the camera on Friday, so have only this one shot that Val grabbed of the last striper of the season. Not a big fish, but pretty...as most striped bass are.

So we're looking forward to the Keys and promise to publish lots of photos from there...God willing an' the crick don't rise.

25 November 2011

Fellow Describes Why We Do Shallow-Water Fishing

”When Babe suggested we go deep sea fishing I should have given it more thought before agreeing. Such as: No. For one thing, I didn’t think about what time I’d have to get up in the morning for such a venture. And for another, we don’t have enough freezer space to store $80 worth of fish—which is what we hoped for after paying the captain that amount to take us out. And there’s the fact that I don’t know how to fish, nor do I particularly like to handle them.

”What the hell was I thinking? Oh, I remember… how nice it will be to drift on the ocean in the sunshine with my thermos of gin and tonic and catch a nice, fat tuna. Ahi…

”Yeah, that’s it. Below is the condensed version of how the whole episode played out in my head:”


24 November 2011

Seafood Mislabeling: What’s On Your Plate May Be What They Told You

"Scrod is a term that used to mean any small white-fleshed fish caught off the coast of New England…. Nowadays there's a sort of a legend that if the word scrod is spelled with an "h"--that is s-c-h-r-o-d--that means it's haddock, if it doesn't have an "h" then it's cod. And who's going to tell the difference?"

Shoo-Fly: I know a fellow who is involved with the Boston fish markets. He says that scrod is left-over white fish, that is, cod, haddock, pollock, etc. that has not been sold by the end of the market day. Nothing wrong with it...it's just that there's no such thing as a "scrod" swimming around out there.

23 November 2011

Connecticut Lobstermen Seek Other Work

”’We're losing a heritage,’ said Crismale, 61, the leader of the Connecticut Commercial Lobstermen's Association. Some argued last year that the species was rebounding, and fishermen fought back a proposal for a five-year ban on lobster fishing....”

22 November 2011

Salt Marsh Losses on the Rise

”According to a new national report, our nation is losing salt marshes three times faster than previously reported in 2006. The vast majority of this loss is due to relative sea level rise and the effects of coastal storms, highlighting the vulnerability of these valuable habitats.

“For the lower 48 states as a whole, the overall trend in wetlands was a loss of about 62,300 acres between 2004 and 2009. Wetland restoration and creation increased by 17 percent since last reported, but at the same time wetland loss increased by 140 percent, resulting in a net loss. The reasons for this are complex and potentially reflect economic conditions, land use trends, changing wetland regulations and enforcement measures and climatic changes.

”With wetland losses outpacing gains by such a wide margin it is clear that wetland restoration alone cannot safeguard our nation's wetland heritage; we also need to reduce losses by increasing protection of our wetlands.”

To learn more, read the news release or the full report — Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous United States 2004-2009


21 November 2011

Avco Plant on Housatonic Could Become A Resort

”The federal government put Stratford's Army engine plant on the auction block Friday for the third time this year.

“Milford-based real estate developer Bob Hartmann said he's the only bidder.

“Hartmann, 63, of Hartmann Development, is touting a $1 billion plan to develop the former Army engine plant into a resort destination.”


Man Overboard Near Moriches

”...a Good Samaritan reported a capsized vessel with one person in the water….

”The man was not wearing a life jacket.”


20 November 2011

Commercial Fishing Trip Ends Early

”The Coast Guard Cutter Jefferson Island boarded the 31-foot fishing vessel No Frills, finding numerous safety violations. Infractions included no fire extinguishers and no distress signals on board.

“The fishing vessel was escorted by cutter Jefferson Island to a safe harbor….”

Note: All gasoline powered boats, except outboards, less than 26 feet and of open construction must carry one B-I, U. S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher. All gasoline powered boats 26 feet to less than 40 feet must carry two B-I or one B-II U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers. Boats 40 feet to less than 65 feet must carry three B-I or one B-II and 1 B-I U.S. Coast Guard approved fire extinguishers.

19 November 2011

Fishing Report: Connecticut DEEP

STRIPED BASS fishing for schoolies has picked up throughout LIS especially on the shoal and rip areas around river mouths. Most fish being caught are about 22 to 28 inches in length. As water temperatures decline further, school stripers will be moving into coastal tidal rivers in big numbers for overwintering. As of now, live lining pencil sized eels or creeker mummichogs on slider fish finder rigs are the way to go. Just remember to use circle hooks to avoid gut hooking.

BLUEFISH fishing is just about over although there are some stragglers still around. Fishing warm water discharge areas from power plants is worth trying for both blues and stripers.

SCUP fishing is also dwindling quickly as water temps fall.

TAUTOG fishing season has slowed down on the major reefs. You may be better off trying less popular obscure fishing spots that have not been picked over.

HICKORY SHAD can be found in the lower Black Hall and Connecticut Rivers. Small silver spoons, shad darts, willow leafs and jigs work well on these acrobatic “Tarpons of the North”. Regulations reminders:

SCUP - The scup fishing season continues through to the end of the year. The daily creel and length limit remains the same (10 fish per angler and 10 ½ inches). Note that the party/charter boat creel limit is now 10 fish per day (the length limit remains unchanged at 11 inches).

BLACK SEA BASS – The black sea bass fishing season also will remain open for the rest of the year.


Fishing Report: NYC Area

"We are nearing the deadline for saltwater anglers to bring home some fish for special Thanksgiving feasting. As a matter of fact it may only be another couple of weeks before water temps slide below the magic 50-degree mark when fish start migrating away in earnest."


Reintroducing Striped Bass...to the Mississippi River!

"A small striped bass has a big job in the Pascagoula River: to go forth and multiply. Scientists with USM's Gulf Coast Research Lab, along with the DMR, have been working to release once plentiful striped bass back into its native Mississippi waters.

"This fish was here. It was an indigenous species up until the early '50s and then it went away. We're trying to get them back. We'd like to have them back...." [WLOX.com]

17 November 2011

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

"With water temperatures in Long Island Sound falling into the temperature range (low-to-mid 50s) when bluefish start thinking about taking Jet Blue for the tropics, anglers start thinking about striped bass, a fish with more taste for chilly waters. Meanwhile, there are still enough porgies and blackfish around to make trips targeting either species worthwhile."


16 November 2011

Connecticut, Long Island Sound, Housatonic River Saltwater Fishing Report: 15 NOV

Not many boats left in the marina to keep Shoo-Fly company.

An overcast day...not much of a day for taking photos...and it was chilly out on the water. I had on an insulated undershirt, a flannel shirt, an insulated vest, and a windbreaker...and was just comfortable.

Charlie W. and I fished hard for four hours, mid-day, figuring the water would be warmer and the cloudy skies would keep the fish in shallow.

We landed 24 schoolie stripers.

Not a bragging-size fish in the lot...but they appeared all to be fat and healthy.

Our boating season is winding down. Soon we have to prepare Shoo-Fly for her trip to the Florida Keys.

Keep yer hooks sharp!

Coast Guard Finds Hidden Compartment on New Bedford Scallop Boat

”’Installing a hidden compartment on any vessel is a violation of U.S. law,’ stated Rear Adm. Daniel Neptun, commander, 1st Coast Guard District. ‘Hidden compartments have a history going back to the days of prohibition; probably before. Fishing, recreational, and other commercial vessels have been used to smuggle booze, drugs, illegal migrants and other prohibited goods….’”

15 November 2011

A Really Interesting Article About Menhaden

”Eventually, after the Civil War, when menhaden were used to make oil for industry in addition to their uses in farming, the drop in the menhaden population became so catastrophic that commercial fisherman rioted in Maine, burning down a "menhaden reduction" factory in 1870.

"The Maine legislature outlawed the menhaden reduction industry in 1879, but it was too late for their state, as menhaden have never returned to Maine waters in the numbers they were found in before.

"(The 'reduction' industry is named for its role in reducing menhaden to commodities -- oil, solids and meal -- not for reducing the population of fish in the sea... although it does both rather effectively.)”


”During its meeting last week, the ASMFC agreed with its scientific advisors and set more conservative fishing standards to help menhaden stocks recover. The fishery, the largest on the East Coast by weight, has exceeded the designated "safe fishing target" every year since 1960. As a result, the population is at less than 10 percent of historic levels.”

Fly: The “Backwoods Baitfish”

”Next time you find yourself in a quandary about what baitfish pattern to use, tie up a couple of these.... Wrap a thread base directly above the hook point. For the foul guard, cut a short piece of 40-pound mono and tie in one end at the base of the hook. Fold the other end of the mono over to form a loop, and wrap until secured....”


14 November 2011

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Column

”There was some good news and some bad news for recreational anglers over the past week. Here is a roundup of some of that news starting with the good -- not great -- news of an up to 37 percent cut in the allowable menhaden catch…. The shortage of bunker, one of the striped bass' most important forage foods, made for a generally poor bass fishery this year.”


13 November 2011

Protecting Striped Bass

Note: This report is from 2011; for the latest information, please go to:

”Striped bass is the Holy Grail of serious saltwater anglers in Connecticut, so it's not surprising that many of those fishermen were incensed this month when conservation police arrested two men in Stonington and charged each with taking four more fish than allowed.

“The daily creel limit, or take, is two fish per angler, and the twosome came ashore with a dozen striped bass, according to Col. Kyle Overturf, of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's conservation police.”

12 November 2011

Fishing Report: Western Long Island Sound

"Pursuit of blackfish seems to be Sound idea in Western Long Island...a hearty 11-pounder caught Tuesday...."


Another Look at the Bunker Situation

”By weight, menhaden are caught more than any other fish on the East Coast. Safe fishing targets for menhaden have been exceeded every year but one since 1955, with no corrective management action. The population is now less than 10 percent of its historic level.

”As the menhaden population suffers, so do the coastal economies in more than a dozen states, where thousands of commercial and recreational fishing businesses rely on the predatory fish that depend on menhaden as a staple.”


”During its meeting last week, the ASMFC agreed with its scientific advisors and set more conservative fishing standards to help menhaden stocks recover. The fishery, the largest on the East Coast by weight, has exceeded the designated "safe fishing target" every year since 1960. As a result, the population is at less than 10 percent of historic levels.”

11 November 2011

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

"Don't stow that gear for the winter quite yet. With saltwater fishing tapering off (except for the shocking arrival of bunker in Bridgeport Harbor followed by some large stripers feeding on them), this may be the week to get out and chase some trout or another freshwater species that is intent on fattening themselves for the coming cold.

"Fall is the best time to fish for trout. The fish are active all through the day but especially in the late afternoon when they move into the deep pools to feed."


New London Area Fishing Report

"Our spring-like weather brought out lots of fishermen this week, including yesterday when many anglers in small boats without radar waited for the fog to lift so they could get out after blackfish and the last of our striped bass."

Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

Thames River Area Fishing Report

"The recent snowstorm and the resulting runoff clouded the waters of area rivers and Long Island Sound, slowing activity levels of fish and fishermen. Local anglers are catching mid-sized to small bluefish averaging 3-6 pounds...."

Bob Sampson in NorwichTimes.com

New York Post Says "Last Call for Saltwater Fishing"

"Those long afternoon shadows tell us that time is short if you want to get in your last licks at saltwater fishing. Reports, especially from local party boats have been good for stripers, blackfish and sea bass."


10 November 2011

Finally, Some Action Taken to Protect the Bunker

”During its meeting today, the ASMFC agreed with its scientific advisors and set more conservative fishing standards to help menhaden stocks recover. The fishery, the largest on the East Coast by weight, has exceeded the designated "safe fishing target" every year since 1960. As a result, the population is at less than 10 percent of historic levels.”

NOAA Award Will Aid Long Island Communities and New York’s Shellfish Industry Threatened By Toxic Algal Blooms

”NOAA has awarded $125,614 for the first year of an anticipated $591,082, three-year project to New York scientists researching new methods of monitoring and predicting Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) caused by the toxic algae Alexandrium and Dinophysis.

”Eating shellfish tainted with toxins from these marine algae species can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans.”

ASMFC Shelves Reduction of Striped Bass Harvest in Chesapeake Bay

”’I think it was appropriate,’ said Ed O'Brien, an official with the Maryland Charter Boat Association and the National Association of Charterboat Operators. ‘It puts pressure on the states to look at their own management to make sure they're doing all they can to protect the fish.’

”But supporters of the measure warned that the vote just delays the inevitable.

"’We will wake up in two years — after the next stock assessment — and find out that things are much worse than they were, and that the needed cuts will be much bigger,’ said Bradford Burns, founder of Stripers Forever, a non-profit conservation group.”

09 November 2011

October Was Warmer than Average, But…

”An early season storm brought heavy snow accumulations to the Northeast on October 29-31. Several locations broke October snowfall records, including New York City’s Central Park, where 2.9 inches of snow accumulated.

"The highest snowfall amounts were further inland, with more than 30 inches accumulating in western Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. The heavy, wet snow falling on the autumn foliage, combined with strong winds, caused havoc across the region.

"The storm received a preliminary rank of Category 1 on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale (NESIS), which takes into account snowfall accumulation in populated areas, making it the only ranking storm to occur during October on record.”

”Decline in Three Key Fish Species….”

”Three species of once ubiquitous little fish that support the rest of the North Atlantic marine ecosystem are being seriously overfished either deliberately or as bycatch, prompting recent calls from a variety of interest groups for fisheries regulators to take action to prevent their collapse….

“Atlantic menhaden, along with alewife and blueback herring….”

08 November 2011

07 November 2011

Are River Herring Endangered Species?

NOAA Seeks Information on River Herring for Review on Whether Listing Under Endangered Species Act is Warranted; Information due Jan. 3

NOAA has determined that a petition to list alewife and blueback herring, collectively referred to as river herring, under the Endangered Species Act presents enough scientific and commercial information to merit further review. As a result, the agency will conduct a formal review of river herring population status and trends.

NOAA will work with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to utilize information in their ongoing stock assessment for river herring. NOAA will also consider information contained in the petition, published literature and other information about the historic and current range of river herring, their physical and biological habitat requirements, population status and trends, and threats.

To ensure that the review is comprehensive, NOAA is soliciting information pertaining to river herring from any interested party. Information must be received by January 3, 2012.
Federal Register

Fairfield County Trout Fishermen May Be Interested...

”Described on the cover as "a comprehensive guide to all the rivers and streams in your own backyard," the 200-page book takes a detailed look at the 20 Fairfield County trout streams and rivers listed in the 2011 Connecticut Angler's Guide.
Charles Walsh in CTPost.com

06 November 2011

Fishing Solo

”Another consideration of fishing alone is the fear factor. If you are nervous about being out on the river, bay or ocean alone it probably has a lot less to do with fear and much more to do with caution. I would much rather fish and hunt with a careful individual than an experienced yet reckless skipper. There is also a world of difference between fear and respect, and I approach all such solo ventures with the utmost caution. I have no desire to test my capabilities or to prove my manhood. The only people I have to answer to are my family, and, although they are not overly enthusiastic about my solo excursions, they understand my need for them.
Charley Soares in TheHeraldNews.com

05 November 2011

NYC Area Fishing Report

”We are in the midst of Big “B” season: blackfish, bluefish, black sea bass and striped bass. For the full saltwater scene, add cod and porgies. And as the water continues to cool, fall fishing will continue to get bigger and better. That goes for boats in Long Island Sound and out of South Shore marinas.”

New London Area Fishing Report...Connecticut State Record Blackfish Caught

”… weighed in the monster, a 23.55 pound giant tautog caught by 83-year-old Ken Owen of Fairfield in 23 feet of water on the south side of Two Tree Channel. They also weighed in a 14.6 pound black, this on top of the recent 18-pounder caught from shore at Jordan Cove.

”School stripers are along the beaches on some days, best early or late in the day from the mouth of the Thames to Hatchett's Point, hitting small swimmers and poppers. After dark there is always a chance at a larger bass this time of year for people that bundle up and keep at the long hours, possibly getting only a hit or so per trip but that might be the biggest surf fish of the season.”
Tim Coleman in TheDay.com

04 November 2011

Charles Walsh’s Fishing Report

”Just how cold the water has to be before the blues pack up and head south is a highly subjective point with anglers, but few would disagree that it happens somewhere between 57 and 52 degrees, so current conditions should keep the choppers….”

Significant Ozone Hole Remains Over Antarctica

”The Antarctic ozone hole, which yawns wide every Southern Hemisphere spring, reached its annual peak on September 12, stretching 10.05 million square miles, the ninth largest on record. Above the South Pole, the ozone hole reached its deepest point of the season on October 9 when total ozone readings dropped to 102 Dobson units, tied for the 10th lowest in the 26-year record.”

03 November 2011

Bluefish Begin their Migration South as Water Cools

”…no fisherman can dispute that bluefish are fighting machines, and pound-for-pound can match the scrap of just about anything that swims. Despite the strong flavor and bad habits, on the right tackle, bluefish of any size are always fun to catch.”

02 November 2011

Salmon Anemia Hits West Coast Fishery

” This past week, the disease Infectious Salmon Anemia (or ISA) was first discovered in wild salmon off the coast of British Columbia.This was something people in the anti-farmed salmon camp have been anticipating, perhaps even greeting the news as validation. In the last decade ISA mutated from its benign wild state in densely-packed populations of farmed salmon until it finally became a virulent epidemic.

"The disease has done serious damage to the European farmed salmon industry; the Chilean salmon industry was leveled and is only now starting to hobble back to life. Until now, though, ISA had not reached the heartland of the world’s last truly robust wild salmon populations. British Columbia and Alaska are home to wild runs of hundreds of millions fish a year and contribute billions of dollars to the region’s economy. Should ISA make the jump from the farm to the wild in those parts we will be facing a serious economic as well as a potential ecological catastrophe.”

01 November 2011

Removing Marine Debris from the Sound

”Restoration of the Long Island Sound marine habitat took a major step forward today with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's announcement of two grant awards to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE) to identify and remove more than 118 metric tons (260,000 lbs.) of marine debris, including abandoned lobster pots, from the Sound.

"Through these awards, provided by the Fishing for Energy Fund and Long Island Sound Futures Fund, CCE will employ up to 45 local lobstermen to identify and remove derelict fishing gear, reclaiming more than 40,000 acres of the sea floor of the Long Island Sound.”