30th year for National Seminar Series

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The Saltwater Sportsman National Seminar Series will be held Saturday, March 4, in Taunton, Massachusetts. The seminar series is celebrating its 30th year and will be held in the Governor’s Ballroom at the Taunton Holiday Inn, 700 Miles Standish Blvd. The host of the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. presentation will be George Poveromo of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing on NBC Sports.

The National Seminar Series is the nation’s longest-running and most popular educational course on recreational marine fishing tactics and techniques. Each stop on the eight-city tour is geared to catch and display where to catch saltwater fish within that region, inshore, near shore and offshore. Teams of top local pros and nationally-recognized saltwater angling authorities serve as the faculty.

This year, Capt. Jack Sprengel of East Coast Charters, Warwick, and Capt. Chris Willi of Block Island Fishworks charters will serve as two of the local captains speaking at the seminar.

“The fact that the Seminar Series is celebrating its 30-year anniversary serves as the best endorsement to the caliber of the program, as well as the vast amount of pertinent how-to fishing information that’s passed along to our audiences,” said Poveromo.

The Seminar Series kicks off at 9 a.m. and will conclude by 3 p.m. The Seminar Series is $55 and covers five hours of instruction, a Brand New 30th Anniversary course textbook, a one-year subscription or extension to Saltwater Sportsman magazine, one Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecast Analysis, as well as a number of sponsor gifts and coupons, and chances to win thousands of dollars worth of door prizes. The grand prize at the conclusion of the Taunton/Foxboro-area seminar is a Florida Keys fishing trip, with a super grand prize to be awarded two weeks after the conclusion of the 2017 series – a new Mako Pro Skiff 17 cc.

As an added bonus, attendees of the seminar are entitled to attend the after-seminar party at the Bass Pro Shops in Foxboro. Register online at www.nationalseminarseries.com.

Fly Fishing New England presentation

Local fly fishing guide and expert Ed Lombardo will present on Fly Fishing throughout New England at the Rhody Fly Rodders meeting Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m.

Peter Nilsen, president of the Rhody Fly Rodders said, “Ed’s presentation features some of the best places right here in Rhode Island to fly fish. Ed does a great job showing where to fish, what to fish for, how to fish and what to use in the way of tackle and flies.”

The meeting will be held at the Riverside Sportsman’s Association, 19 Mohawk Drive, East Providence. For information, contact Peter Nilsen at pdfish@fullchannel.net.

Striped bass Addendum considers liberalization

The Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board of the ASMFC initiated the development of Draft Addendum to the Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP) to consider liberalizing coastwide commercial and recreational regulations. This means more than one striped bass/person/day may be considered in the Addendum draft.

The Board’s action responds to concerns raised by Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions regarding continued economic hardship endured by its stakeholders since the implementation of Addendum IV and information from the 2016 assessment update indicating fishing mortality is below the desired target. 

A draft of the addendum will be presented for board review in May. For more information, please contact Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mappelman@asmfc.org or 703-842-0740.

Fluke take back seat to interest groups

Last week, in an effort to support fishing interests in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council (ASMFC) voted to fall short of suggested Recreational Harvest Limit reductions. The ASMFC approved a summer flounder management option calculated to achieve only a 28- to 32-percent coastwide reduction, rather than the 41-percent reduction required to meet NOAA summer flounder stock rebuilding targets.

In a press release last week, Mike Luisi, ASMFC summer flounder board chair said, “By our action, we struck a balance between the need to reduce harvest, while taking into account the socioeconomic impacts to our stakeholders." So the fish (in this case summer flounder) took a back seat to fishing interests.

In fact, one state, New Jersey, is refusing to make any reductions. Bob Martin, New Jersey DEP Commissioner, said, “Enough is enough.” And he went on to relate that New Jersey is steadfastly going to maintain status quo and not compromise with requested harvest limit reductions at all.

Without a strong national fishing law (MSA) and its “fish first” policy to rebuild fish stocks, we as a nation would not be able to rebuild fish stocks to maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels. Maximum sustainable yield allows fish to be safely taken at the greatest possible level without depleting the resource one wants to take from, and without otherwise negatively impacting the environment. If we grow fish stocks to abundance, more fish will be available for all to catch.

Although the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) is working and has been successful, it is under attack in this country. The MSA is under attack by political leaders that represent large fishing industry interests looking at short term gains rather than the sustainable future of our fish stocks.

Trump administration’s ‘One in, two out’ order will have bad effect on fish and fishermen

The House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Water, Power, and Oceans Subcommittee Ranking Member Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) sent a letter to President Trump last week urging him to rescind the “one in, two out” executive order on regulations issued earlier this week and an earlier memorandum instituting a regulatory freeze.

These two actions have the combined effect of preventing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) from opening or closing commercial and recreational fishing seasons in federal waters; making in-season adjustments to conservation and management measures; or implementing new or revised fishery management plans without first seeking a waiver from the Trump administration.

The full letter is available at http://bit.ly/2kWEtvg. 

“This is just the latest evidence that President Trump is thoroughly unprepared to govern our country,” Grijalva said. “Hardworking fishermen and their jobs should not become collateral damage – or worse, targets – of the Trump Republicans’ crusade to tear down the rules that support sustainable economic development, public health and safety.”

Grijalva and Huffman were joined in opposition to these mandates by the leaders of several fishing organizations, who offered the following statements:

“Regulations serve the full spectrum of purposes. In federal fisheries, some protect fishermen, some protect fish and some protect coastal economies. All have been developed through a comprehensive public process informed by scientific analysis that seeks to balance present and future needs. The executive order requiring two regulations to be repealed for everyone one implemented ignores this balance and poses a threat to the future of America’s federal policy in general and federal fisheries management in particular. The ecological and economic costs could be significant.” - Behnken, Executive Director, Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association.

“The process of managing recreational fishing involves the setting of annual regulations such as size limits, bag limits and seasons for literally hundreds of species in every nook and cranny of our nation. Even a moderate interpretation of the executive order will interrupt recreational fishing from coast-to-coast. The result will be a chaotic interruption in the quality of life for millions of citizens, many millions of dollars in lost revenue and who knows how many lost jobs.” - Patrick Paquette, Government Affairs Officer and Past President, Massachusetts Striped Bass Association.

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at dmontifish@verizon.net or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.

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