Weekly Fishing Report, Turkey

Spring Gobbler Poult Count is now needed by all New England DEM'S . Summer Fluke season opens check your States regulations. Thank You to our limit of 5,000 Face Book Friends and a additional 449,711 views on this Web-Site.
Wachusett Reservoir, Mass. did open April 1, 2015, first Sat. in April . Quabbin Reservoir did open April 18 till Oct. 17, 2015 Conn. Spring Trout Stocking is now complete. Plan a trip for Walleye in Conn. 12 bodies of water stocked, just before dark along the shoreline with live bait or a crankbait. Great tasting freshwater fish. Beach Pond in Rhode Island has a few now also, new walleye Nutmeg State record iced out in Feb. Some great e-mails and photos of the great Catfish catches in the Nutmeg State.Thank You Conn. Deep. Fresh water opportunities, on Cape Cod, Mass. such as Peters Pond, Achumet, Hamblin's, Spectacle, Long Pond and Big Cliff will reward you with a nice trout or bronzeback. Add a Cape Cod Canal Striper on the way home. Whitetail Deer reports in Vermont resulted in a few changes.
Candlewood Lakes, Conn. is in top 50 in the Country. 50/50 chance of a 5lb Smallie or Largemouth ! Take a Veteran Fishing !
Coyotes have finished mating now and the early skunks are appearing as road kill. Be kind to the Possum now .Gestation is only 12 days and mom may have up to 15 1oz. babies in her pouch. I have received 14 different Black Bear sightings,(some with photos) from Rhode Island Conn. and Mass. E-mail them to me with date and place and if with cubs. How many do you think are in the Ocean State year round ? Try Carp fishing with Mulberries you could be surprised with a 30lb. fresh water fish ! Freshen up with new fishing line and please use circle hooks to eliminate a injury. If you are going to fill a void and try for one of the big carp remember, ( NO) lip lock tool or lifting from their delicate gill plates which may be fatal. Use the Carp nets that will save the fish for another fisher.
Tautog in R.I. re-opens 4-15-15
Head boats out of Point Judith, Gallilee switch to Bluefish or Fluke May.1st Squid Trips are starting now










Thursday, July 2, 2015

Connecticut Fishing Reports, Fresh and Salt Water 7-2-15

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

  LARGEMOUTTH BASS fishing is reported as good. Places to try include Lake Saltonstall, Bantam Lake, Bishop Pond, Candlewood Lake, East Twin Lake, West Hill Pond, Highland Lake, Lake Lillinonah, Congamond Lakes, Winchester Lake, Bunnels Pond, Lake McDonough, Gardner Lake, Moodus Reservoir, Quassapaug Lake, Black Pond (Meriden), Pickerel Lake, Park Pond, Mashapaug Lake, Hatch Pond, Mudge Pond, Pachaug Pond, Black Pond (Meriden), Beseck Lake, Bashan Lake, Silver Lake (Kensington), Hopeville Pond, Ball Pond, Lake Wononskopomuc, Eagleville Lake, Batterson Park Pond, Scoville Reservoir, Billings Lake & Halls Pond.  Tournament angler reports are from Candlewood (good fishing, 2.46 lb lunker) Powers Lake (fair fishing, 4.68 lblunker), Highland Lake (good action, 4.25 lb lunker).

  SMALLMOUTH BASS are reported atHighland Lake, Candlewood Lake, Mashapaug Lake, Lake Zoar,Lake McDonough, Housatonic River (Upper, starting), Colebrook Reservoir (lower end). Tournament angler reports are from Highland Lake(few fish but good size, 3 lb average).

NORTHERN PIKE fishing is reported to be good inBantam Lake, Winchester Lake, Beseck Lake andQuaddick Reservoir.WALLEYE are being caught from Squantz Pond andLake Saltonstall.

 CATFISH are being caught in Lake Wintergreen, Silver Lake, Lake Kenosia, Keeney Park Pond, Mirror Lake,Burr Pond and Scoville Reservoir.

 PANFISH are being caught throughout the state.These very common fish are in just about everywaterbody in the state.  Select an area near you andhave some fun.  Use grubs, worms, grasshoppers orsmall lures and rubber worms.  You can expect easycatching for your day of enjoyment.  Smaller ponds inthe state offer excellent access and typically are notvery crowded.  Areas to try include: Zeiner Pond, LittlePond (Little Bantam), Mill Pond, Millers Pond, Mono Pond, Morey Pond, Norwich Pond, Paine Pond, Park Pond, Mitchell Pond, Ross Pond and Salters Pond

 TROUT-LAKES & PONDS - Many of our lakes are still producing good fishing.  Some lakes to try include:  Lake McDonough (7-8 colors), East Twin Lake (7-8 colors), Highland Lake, Crystal Lake (8 colors, DB Smelts/red with white dots), Mashapaug Lake (riggers set at 20-25’), West Hill Pond (7-8 colors; orange/copper Mooselook Wobblers), Coventry Lake (20-25’), Wononskopomuc Lake, Cedar Lake and Beach Pond (riggers at 23’).

  TROUT- RIVERS & STREAMS – The cooler temperature and recent rains have been providing for good to excellent fishing in most of our Trout Management Areas.  Although some thunderstorms are forecastedfor Wednesday, conditions should improve for the long holiday weekend (see stream flow graphic onpage 4).  After the rain, anglers are advised to take advantage ofthe river edges and pocket waters that are holding trout. Rainbowtrout can be found in the fast water and the browns will be in thelarger, deeper pools.  Bait fisherman are using a corn/mealwormcombination with some success in the slower waters. Some good reports last week from Hockanum River, Salmon RiverTMA, Naugatuck River, Jeremy River, Sandy Brook, East AspetuckRiver, Hammonasset River, Naugatuck River, Saugatuck River,Eightmile River (East Haddham, Lyme) and Yantic River

 Farmington River - Fishing continues to be excellent, withtemperatures in the low 60’sF in the morning.  After the mid-week rains subside, flows should moderate and conditions shouldbe good for the weekend with air temperatures in the mid to low80’s and a mix of sun and clouds. West Branch flows are clear andmoderately high (flows as of early Wednesday afternoon are 455cfs at Riverton, with the Still River adding another 570 cfs).Hatches/patterns include Ephemerella needhami (#16-18, earlymorning; 9:00am), Isonychia bicolor (#12-14, evening), Blue WingOlives (#18 (Epeorus vitreus #14-16, afternoon & early evenings)are the current working patterns.   (Drunella lata) & #22-24 (D. cornuta & cornutella), cloudy days, mid-late afternoon), Sulphurs(Epeorus vitreus) duns (#16-18, morning; afternoon to early evening for spinners), Caddis (tan #14-16, all day; green #14-16, evening), Light Cahill (Stenacron interpunctatum, #12-14), Midges (#22-28, morning), terrestrials have been very good during the middle of the day and Golden Drake (Potomanthus sps., #6-16, late evening) are successful patterns.  For those angling near the dam, wets, streamers and bottom bouncing nymphs are producing fish.

  Housatonic River - is in the upper 60’sF with moderately turbid flows that have only 10” of visibility.  A leader length leader of (9’) is recommended for this level of clarity and a 6X tippet will be a good match for these conditions.  Target trout in the morning and around dusk. Flows have increased due to Wednesday’s rain with Falls Village reporting 1,710 cfs and 2,680 cfs at Gaylordsville.Hatches/patterns:  include Alder/Zebra Caddis (Macrostemumzebratum, #8-102, early & afternoon-evening near overhangs),Sulphurs (#14-18, evening), Blue Wing Olive (#18-20, earlymorning; spinner fall in evening), Isonychia sps. (#10-12evening), Light Cahill (#12-14, evening), and Tan and greencaddis (#16-18, early morning and evening).  Midges andstoneflies are located at the mouths of streams.  Goldenstonefly nymphs hatch at first light and adults egg-lay after dark.

  STRIPED BASS fishing...its game on…with the full “buck” moon this weekend.  A huge 65 pound (55 inch)striper was caught this week in Stratford on a live menhaden.   These large “cow” stripers are now foundthroughout the sound.  Hit your favorite spot (reef) and hang on… Live eels, bucktails and diamond jigs on thelarger reefs at the beginning and end of the tides (The Race) is producing.  The usual striper spots include theWatch Hill reefs, lower Thames River, the Race, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, outer Bartlett Reef, Black Point, HatchettReef, lower Connecticut River (Great Island), Long Sand Shoal, Cornfield Point, Southwest Reef (outer), SixmileReef, Falkner Island area, the reefs off Branford, New Haven Harbor (including Sandy Point), Charles Island area,Housatonic River, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratford Shoal/Middle Ground, Penfield Reef, around theNorwalk Islands, Cable and Anchor Reef, and the Cows off Stamford.  Please use circle hooks when fishing withbait (prevent gut hooking) and practice catch and release.

 BLUEFISH fishing continues to be slow.  Harbor Blues (15 - 24 inches) are the only game in town.  Bluefish spots include the Peconics, The Race, Sluicway, Plum Gut, Pigeon Rip, Long Sand Shoal, Sixmile Reef, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor, buoys 18 and 20 off Stratford Point, Stratfordd Shoal/Middleground, Penfield Reef, and Cable and Anchor Reef. SNAPPERS are arriving in the tidal creeks and rivers.

  SUMMER FLOUNDER (fluke) fishing remains fair to good. Anglers targeting fluke report that skates, searobins (striped and northern), and dogfish continue to be very common.  Try fishing the mouth of lower rivers…along the channel and across the channel mouths (25 - 40 feet). Fluke spots include the typical locations: south shore of Fishers Island (Isabella Beach, Wilderness Point), Napatree Point and along the beach, off the Stonington breakwater, mouth of the Mystic River to Groton Long Point, Thames River channel, Two Tree Island Channel, Black Point/Niantic River and bay, Long Sand Shoal, Westbrook-Clinton area, Falkner Island area, New Haven Harbor including by the breakwaters, off the mouth of the Housatonic River, Bridgeport harbor, round the Norwalk Islands, Westport (off Sherwood Island) and Can 26 (Greenwich).  Pink, white and green teasers seemto be producing best.  The traditional “fluke sandwich” (long squid strip and spearing) is working as well as mackerel strips.
  Minimum size is 18 inches and the daily creel limit is 5 fish per person. Note: New York has the same summer flounder regulations as Connecticut.  However, Rhode Island is already open with an 18 inch minimum length and an 8 fish daily creel limit. Since Rhode Island has a higher daily creel limit than Connecticut and New Yorkplease make sure you abide by the state with the most restrictive regulation when crossing (by boat) state boundaries.

 SCUP (porgy) fishing is improving…with “Reef Slammers” measuring 11-17.5 inches (“hubcap size”) in length still being reported at every fishing pier, reef or rock pile.  Try Gardners Island, Milford (Charles Island), Montauk and Niantic (Bartletts Reef).  Porgy fishing has also been reported at these very accessible shore fishing locations: Calf Pasture beach, Jennings and Penfield beach, Seaside Park, Harkness State Park, Rocky Neck State Park, Meigs Point Hammonassett State Park and Fort Trumbull State Park.  Locate your favorite Enhanced Shore Fishing Opportunities for these excellent eating “Reef Slammers”. These “Panfish of the Sea” are easily caught on sandworms/cut squid/conch or any other small piece of bait.  Contact your local bait and tackleshop for updated fishing information (see page 14 of the 2015 CT Angler’s Guide).

  BLACK SEA BASS fishing remains good. The hot spot continues to be Falkner Island/Guilford/Branford and area islands.  Fishing over deep water structure/cobble/gravel in 80 to 120 ft around slack tide will produce some trophy-sized “humpbacks”. Angler’s reporting abundant sub-legal sized fish on sand flats/shoals. It’s important to continue to move from structure to structure and fish around slack tide to find these beautiful and awesomeeating fish.  Remember, CT black sea bass regulations are as follows…14 inch min. length, 3 fish daily limit from June 1st to August 31 and a five fish daily limit from September 1 to December 31st.  Berkely Gulp (swimming mullet) on a spro jig and also squid with a spinner works great for these “Bucketmouths”.

  STRIPED SEA ROBIN fishing continues to be good.  “Poor-Man’s Lobster” are found wherever one is fishing for scup, summer flounder (fluke) and sea bass (bottom fishing).  With fish measuring over 20 inches and “barking up a storm” (grunting noise they make).  West Haven sand bar and your favorite local beach have been producing for shore anglers.  They love sandworms, squid and any live or dead bait. 

  HICKORY SHAD fishing is fair in the Black Hall River, Niantic River, lower Connecticut River by the DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier, Clinton Harbor and the lower Housatonic River

  WHITE PERCH fishing remains good.  Perch are found in estuaries, tidal rivers and coves along the Connecticut shoreline.  Productive spots include the Pawcatuck River (Stanton Weir Pit/Point), Mystic River, upper Thames River and Niantic River, lower Connecticut River (DEEP Marine Headquarters fishing pier), Black Hall River, Lieutenant River, North/South Cove and Hamburg Cove.  Grass Shrimp and or a small piece of sandworm fishedon the bottom are the keys to success.  A trophy 14.5 inch, 2 pound 4 ounce white perch was caught at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme on a piece of sandworm.  You can collect grass shrimp with a minnow net along the shoreline where marsh or eel grass is growing. They love to cling to the grass or dock pilings.

  BLUE CRAB fishing is slowly improving in the tidal creeks.  There have been some very large “jimmies” (male crab with its T-Shaped apron) reported (seven and one half inch carapace width) in lower tidal creeks.  The “Sooks” (mature female crab) and sallys’ (immature female crab) will soon be following.  Remember…all egg bearing females must be released with unavoidable harm.  Min. carapace length is 5 inches for a hard shell crab.  Please contact your local bait and tackle shop for updated information, legal crab traps and bait to use for your fun-filled crabbing.  Legal gear types include: scoop (dip) net, hand line, star crab trap, circular (topless)trap not exceeding 26 inches in diameter.  Maryland Style Crab traps are prohibited.  Chicken with the skin on is an awesome bait to capture these tasty crabs.
   NOTABLE CATCHES: STRIPED BASS, 65 LBS, 55”, STRATFORD – WILL NUZZO SUMMER FLOUNDER, 7 LBS 12 OZS, 27.5”, EAST HAVEN –  JULIANA GERENA SCUP, 3 LBS 1 OZ, 17.5”, NIANTIC –




Pennsylvania Reports Record Number Of Bald-Eagle Nests

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Mid-year survey documents 277 nests statewide.
It was a scene that warmed many hearts.
 A bald eagle incubating two eggs in a falling snow, unwilling to budge as the nest turned white. As the flakes piled high, the bird was blanketed. Only its head could been seen, periscoping above the snow.
 The images captured in early March on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Eagle Cam spotlighted the sacrifices parents make, and showed a lot about the resilience of bald eagles, and why they have been so successful in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
 And as the Game Commission releases its annual mid-year report on bald-eagle nests statewide, the preliminary numbers represent an all-time high.
  So far this year, 277 bald-eagle nests have been documented in Pennsylvania, with nesting eagles present in at least 58 of the state's 67 counties.
  That shatters the 2014 preliminary number of 254 nests, which also was an all-time high. And more nests remain to be counted as the year goes on.
 Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew Hough spoke with excitement about the record numbers.
 "It's an accomplishment of which all Pennsylvanians can be proud," Hough said.

"Like many Pennsylvanians, I remember a time when bald eagles were absent just about everywhere in the state, and it truly is astonishing how things have turned around," Hough said. "Through our reintroduction program, our protection of eagles and effective management, we've gone from three nests statewide to what soon could be 300, all within the span of my career with the Game Commission.Of the nests reported so far this year, 20 are new, which could mean they were built and used for the first time this year or, if they existed previously, they were reported for the first time this year.

The Game Commission urges all eagle nests be reported.
 Even if nests were reported in a previous year, it's important to report them again if they were used again this year, said Patti Barber, a biologist with the Game Commission's Endangered and Nongame Birds section.
  People who have reported a nest as active in a previous year might not realize they should report back each year to help the Game Commission track the population over time, Barber said. It's one of the challenges of documenting bald-eagle nests as the population of eagles continues to grow. Also, folks might assume bald eagles they're seeing are associated with long-established nests, as opposed to new pairs setting up territories near established nests, Barber said.
 Reports of bald-eagle nests always are appreciated. Perhaps the easiest way to report a nest is to contact the Game Commission through its public comments email address: pgccomments@pa.gov, and use the words "Eagle Nest Information" in the subject field. Reports also can be phoned in to a Game Commission Region Office or the Harrisburg headquarters.
 "Even if nests are well known locally, please don't hesitate to report them," Barber said. "You might be adding a new nest to the list, or making certain that one reported in a previous year is accurately counted this year."
  Each year, bald-eagle nests continue to be reported as the year goes on. In 2014, for instance, the preliminary number of 254 nests ballooned to 273 nests by year's end. Other years have produced similar results.
  But the mid-year numbers are an accomplishment in their own right, Barber said.
  In 1983, when the Game Commission launched a seven-year reintroduction program, only three bald-eagle pairs were nesting statewide. Today, there are 277 with more remaining to be counted.
 "We so often refer to the story of the bald eagle as one of the greatest wildlife success stories out there, but it just keeps getting better all the time," Barber said. "People are fascinated with eagles, and their chances to see them and watch them are better now than they've ever been."Hough said the nearly 1.4 million people who viewed the Game Commission's Eagle Cam online this year illustrate the connection people have with bald eagles. And that connection is an important part of the bald eagle's success, he said.

"Without people who care, we wouldn't have nearly the number of bald eagles we have in Pennsylvania today, and we probably wouldn't have them at all," Hough said. "When bald-eagles were in decline, it was people who led the way for their recovery. We joined to clean up the environment, entrusted wildlife agencies like the Game Commission to jumpstart restoration of eagle populations, and placed priority on protecting eagles to give them a chance to take hold.
 "The rest we left up to the eagles, and they continue to prove they'll continue to be here for more and more Pennsylvanians to enjoy," Hough said.
 Eagle cam to go offline
  For the second straight year, the Pennsylvania Game Commission livestreamed video from a bald-eagle nest, giving visitors to the agency's website an opportunity to see eagles up close through their nesting cycle.
 The nest was successful, with the adults hatching two eggs, and both chicks growing large enough to fledge in June.
 The Eagle Cam is slated to go offline sometime on Thursday.
  The Game Commission would like to thank the more than 1.4 million people worldwide who watched the livestream from the nest near Hanover.
  Eagle reintroduction
 While Pennsylvania's bald-eagle population is soaring, just a few decades ago, the bald eagle's future looked bleak.
  Its population decimated by the effects of water pollution, persecution and compromised nest success caused by organochlorine pesticides such as DDT, only three pairs of nesting eagles remained in the state – all of them located in Crawford County, in northwestern Pennsylvania along the Ohio border.In 1983, the Game Commission launched a seven-year bald eagle restoration program. The agency, as part of a federal restoration initiative, sent employees to Saskatchewan to obtain eaglets from wild nests.
 Initially, 12 seven-week-old eaglets were taken from nests in Canada's Churchill River valley and brought to specially constructed towers at two sites. At these towers – at Haldeman Island on the Susquehanna River near Harrisburg, and at Shohola Lake in Pike County – the birds were "hacked," a process by which the eaglets essentially are raised by humans, but without knowing it, then released gradually into the wild.
  In all, 88 bald eaglets from Canada were released from the sites as part of the program, which was funded in part by the Richard King Mellon Foundation of Pittsburgh and the federal Endangered Species Fund.
 This reintroduction jumpstarted the recovery.
  By 1998, Pennsylvania was home to 25 pairs of nesting bald eagles. Within the next three years, the number of nesting pairs doubled and by 2006, more than 100 nests were confirmed statewide.
 The bald eagle population has continued to grow and expand in Pennsylvania and in 2014 the Game Commission removed the bald eagle from the state's list of threatened species.
 Eagle-viewing tips
  While the bald eagle is no longer threatened in Pennsylvania or nationally, care still should be taken when viewing eagles, to prevent frightening them.
 Those encountering nests are asked to keep a safe distance. Disturbing eagles is illegal under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Some pairs are tolerant of human activity, while others are sensitive. Their reaction often depends on the activity and approach of the individual, the nesting cycle stage, and if the eagles are used to seeing people.
 Adults that are scared from a nest could abandon it, or might not return in time to keep unhatched eggs or young nestlings at the proper temperature. Frightened eaglets also could jump from the safety of the nest, then have no way to return.
 Those viewing eagle nests are urged to keep their distance and use binoculars or spotting scopes to aid their viewing.
For more information on bald eagles and eagle-viewing etiquette, visit the Game Commission's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Source: The Outdoor Wire

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Block Island Fishing Report Welcome to the Squid 7-1-15

Posted by Wayne G. Barber    Let's give a warm welcome to the Squid !

Jack, Philip, and George from North Carolina with their bass and caught on the G.Willie Makit. Photo by Bill Gould
                                             
  This past week was Race Week on Block Island, but tons of boats weren’t the only thing that showed up. Squid have finally arrived in numbers around the island. For fishermen, this is very good news. Squid and sand eels are the primary baits that we find around Block Island for the most part.      Other species do show up, but you can always count on those two to bring in the big fish.
  Fishing from the boat this week has been decent. Not many large fish caught, but there were some 20-pound striped bass caught on the south side of the island using caught on the G.Willie Makit. \ about 40-80 feet of water. There are also plenty of bluefish around but they seem to be deeper down, so your eels are safe. Plenty of boaters are also trolling using tubes and umbrella rigs and seeing similar results. As for fluke, it has been spotty most days. Mostly on the west side still, the fluke numbers will be great for a couple hours, and then all of a sudden the dog fish show up and the fishing stops. Squid for the most part works best when jigging for fluke, but the Gulp Alive baits seem to work really well also. You can use either fluke rigs or bucktails.
 
Beach fishing is where the action seems to be lately. The arrival of squid always boosts surf casting on the island. The Block Island Fishing Academy had a successful outing at the Coast Guard channel. Using mostly fluke rigs, Ian Pollock reported that the fluke arrived all of a sudden and his group pulled up several fish around keeper size (18 inches). Scup aren’t fully here yet. A few were caught at the channel, but not yet in the amounts we see later in the summer. For stripers and blues at the channel, you have to go closer toward dusk and into the night. They have been blitzing in the area of the channel and Charlestown Beach around sunset all week, and either sluggos or surface poppers work well. At night, Grace’s Cove has been good for bass using needlefish and other thin swimmers.
Source Sol Schwartz / Block Island Times

Massachusetts New Black Bear Hunting Regulations: Effective for 2015

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

Changes have been made to the Massachusetts Black Bear hunting regulations which will apply to the upcoming 2015 bear hunting seasons. Bears may now be hunted statewide and may be hunted during the Shotgun Deer Season. If hunting bears during the Shotgun Deer Season, only the following implements may be used:
  1. shotgun not larger than ten gauge, including shotguns with a rifled bore, slugs only;
  2. muzzle-loading firearm, fired from the shoulder, .44 to .775 caliber; or
  3. bow and arrow.
During the Shotgun Season, all Shotgun Deer Season regulations apply. Hunters must be wearing 500 square inches of blaze orange on their chest, back, and head. No rifles or handguns are allowed.
Remember, bear harvest can be reported online during all bear seasons. Don’t forget your $5 bear permit! Click here to learn more about Black Bear hunting.
If you purchased your bear permit before June 22, 2015, the expiration date on your permit does not reflect the new bear season end date. Be advised that your permit is valid for all 2015 bear seasons, including the new Shotgun Bear Season (Nov. 30- Dec. 12). Your bag limit is still 1 bear per year. You do not need to take any further action regarding your bear permit.
Good luck this fall!
Source Mass.Fish & Wildlife Media Press Release

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

State Wildlife Action Plan Draft -- Comments accepted through July 31, 2015

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) is soliciting public comment on the draft Massachusetts State Wildlife Action Plan.
Congress requires each state to complete a State Wildlife Action Plan, or SWAP, and to update it at least every ten years.  The SWAP focuses on the animal and plant species of greatest conservation need for the state and on the actions proposed to conserve those species. DFW completed the last SWAP in 2005.
We welcome any comment on the draft of 2015 SWAP.  We are particularly interested in comments on the following:
  • The list of species of greatest conservation need (found in chapter 3).  Are there species that should be added to or dropped from this list?
  • The habitats of the SWAP species and the threats to those habitats (found in chapter 4).
  • Proposed conservation actions, both for each habitat (in chapter 4) and statewide (in chapter 5).  Are there other actions that should be added?  Are there proposed actions that should be dropped?
  • Is your conservation organization completing or planning conservation actions or monitoring efforts (chapter 6)? If we didn’t mention your efforts, please tell us; conserving the biodiversity of the Commonwealth cannot be accomplished by DFW alone – it will take all of us together.
Submit your comments to John O’Leary, Asst. Director of Wildlife at:
John.Oleary@state.ma.us
OR
SWAP
DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd.
Westborough, MA 01581
Please include your name, address, and phone number or email address, so we can contact you if we have any questions.  If your comments represent the views of an organization, agency, or municipality, please include that information as well.
Three informational meetings are planned to present the draft SWAP:
  • July 8, 2015, 6:00- 8:30 P.M., in the University of Massachusetts Cranberry Station, 1 State Bog Rd., East Wareham, MA 02538
  • July 14, 2015, 10:00 A.M.- noon, at the DFW Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Rd., Dalton, MA 01226
  • July 18, 2015, from 10:00 A.M. - noon, at the DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Rd., Westborough, MA 01581
Thank you for your interest and your comments!
Source: Mass. DEM. Media Press Release

Maine: Note to anglers: New striped bass regulations in effect !

 Posted by Wayne G. Barber

             Use circle hooks for live bait, be aware of the new 28-inch minimum.
Adam Martins at Fishermans Park
    Our readers — both conservationists with the health of fish stocks in mind — also took the time to urge anglers to reduce their impact on stripers.
Jeremy Antworth passed along a link to new striper regulations that went into effect in May, and which outlaw some of the techniques that were previously used.
“Mainers targeting stripers must now remove one of the treble hooks from all their lures, if using a plug with three trebles, for example,” Antworth wrote. “I recommend removing the middle hook, as they typically hit the head of the lure.”
    Both Antworth and Fred Kircheis — a fisheries biologist who served as executive director of the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission — stressed that a returning run of fish in the Penobscot doesn’t mean the species is thriving.
   Instead, they say stripers still need our help. To that end, another new state regulation has protected more fish.
  
Adam Martins at Fishermans Park
  “It is nice to see stripers back in the Penobscot and that anglers are beginning to be attracted to them,” Kircheis wrote in an email. “You should perhaps have mentioned that the new [Maine Department of Marine Resources] regulations on stripers required a 28-inch minimum length, which is a departure from the slot limit that we used to operate under.”
   Under the new rule, an angler can keep one fish per day, provided that the fish is longer than 28 inches.
  Another major rule change: Anglers using live bait, like blood worms, are no longer allowed to use treble hooks at all. Instead, they are required to use a non-offset circle hook when using live bait.
That circle-hook regulation — which is designed to reduce the number of fish that are deeply hooked and injured or killed — is particularly important to Antworth.
   “I am praying they enforce this and [that] you help to get word out to protect these great fish,” Antworth wrote. “I consider them a true heritage fish and obviously I love them so much more than a fish meal.”
 
    Kircheis also said anglers could do more to avoid injuring fish by adjusting their fishing methods.“You might also mention that angling for sub-legal fish (which the vast majority of stripers in the Penobscot are) with live bait, including worms, has the potential of injuring, and perhaps killing, a significant number of fish being handled,
  ” Kircheis wrote. “Fishing with lures carries a much lower mortality rate among released fish.”
                      Source: BDN Maine, John Holyoke and photos by Dominique Hessert.

Ten Mile River Project Welcomes More Herring

Posted by Wayne G. Barber
  



A  ribbon-cutting ceremony recently celebrated the completion of the Ten Mile River Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project, designed to restore river herring to the watershed and provide river connectivity for other fish species.
The June 19 event took place at the Hunt’s Mill Dam historic site, one of the three dams where fish ladders were built along the river. The 56-square-mile Ten Mile River watershed originates in Massachusetts, crosses into Rhode Island, flows through East Providence and then enters the Seekonk River — one of the headwaters of Narragansett Bay — at Omega Pond Dam.
  The project was built in two phases. Construction of fish passages at Turner Reservoir and Hunt’s Mill Dams began in unison and finished in September 2012. The Omega Pond Dam started later and was completed in April 2015.
   The 4-foot-wide fish ladders are concrete waterways with wooden baffles that allow fish to swim to their natural spawning habitat. Migrant slots also were cut into the existing spillways at Omega Pond and Turner Reservoir to facilitate downstream migration of juvenile fish. A fish trap was installed at Hunt’s Mill Dam to relocate excess fish to other watersheds.
  The restoration project provides access to more than 340 acres of spawning and nursery habitat, and about 3 miles of riverine spawning habitat for river herring.  Based on Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) projections, these habitat areas have the potential to support a fish run of more than 200,000 river herring.
   Historically, the Ten Mile River, along with the Blackstone and Pawtuxet rivers, all hosted large runs of anadromous fish — fish that live as adults in salt water, but spawn in the fresh waters where they were born. After dams were constructed, these fish runs dwindled greatly. Each dam created a new obstacle for the returning fish and as a result, by World War II, many of Narragansett Bay’s largest fish runs were barely a memory.
  Ten Mile River in East Providence was dammed at its mouth early in the 20th century to create Omega Pond, an industrial water supply. Thanks to the efforts of local fishermen, however, remnants of the original fish runs have remained intact. Every spring, adult river herring have returned to the base of the dam, and local fishermen and volunteers from the Ten Mile River Watershed Council and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association have caught them and hauled them over the dam to spawn in the waters of Omega Pond.
   The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Middleboro-Lakeville Herring Fishery Commission also have led critical stocking efforts in the upper regions of the watershed, which helped sustain fish populations throughout the years in both states.
  DEM currently manages 21 fish runs, and the state agency is working with various partners on other proposed anadromous habitat restoration projects on the Pawtuxet, Woonasquatucket and Pawcatuck rivers. River herring are an essential part of Rhode Island’s ecosystem and their protection is important to the natural resource landscape of the state, according to state officials.
  The Ten Mile River project brought together a diverse community that included the Army Corps of Engineers, DEM, the R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council, the city of East Providence, EPA, NOAA, Ten Mile River Watershed Council and Save The Bay.
  The total project cost is nearly $9 million, including real-estate credits and work in kind. Federal funding paid for about 65 percent of the cost.Source: ECO/RI News