MONTI: New Association promotes business through conservation – The Sun Chronicle

The American Saltwater Guides Association officially launched this month with a mission to promote sustainable business through marine conservation.

“We represent fishing guides and charter captains, small business owners and like-minded anglers to protect marine resources,” said Capt. John McMurray, president of the ASGA. “Our board of directors is comprised of highly respected small business owners and guides from Maine to North Carolina. In Massachusetts, Capt. Jamie Boyle, of Boylermaker Charters, serves on our board. In Rhode Island Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, Middletown, is our board chairmen and charter Capt. Dave Monti, fishing writer and fisheries advocate, is a board member and chairs our audit committee.”

The ASGA strives to provide a stronger voice and sound representation to the recreational fishing community, and intends to work with lawmakers and various fisheries management bodies by advocating for conservation through science-based management. It will focus on the positive economic impacts that accrue from management that promotes abundant fish populations and the economic harm that will inevitably result from policies that promote excessive harvest.

The organization has identified striped bass, bluefish, menhaden and the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act as initial management issues that it will focus its efforts on in the near-term.

Coast Guard seeks comments on access study

The U.S. Coast Guard will be hold two public meetings for comments on a proposed Port Access Study Tuesday, April 23, at 6 p.m. at Corless Auditorium, URI Bay Campus, South Ferry Road, Narragansett and Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m. at Flanagan Hall, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay, MA.

The Coast Guard is conducting a Massachusetts and Rhode Island Port Access Route Study (MARIPARS) to evaluate the need for establishing vessel routing measures to provide safe access routes for the movement of vessels offshore and those transiting the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

The public can comment online by May 28 via docket number USCG-2019-0131 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the ‘Supplementary Information’ section for further instructions on submitting comments.

Wet start and wild end to opening day in Rhode Island

Opening day of the Rhode Island trout and freshwater season had a wet start and a wild end last Saturday, April 13 for Jose Lopez Jr. of Central Falls. When opening day started at 6:08 a.m., only a few anglers braved the pounding rain and wind at Rhode Island waterways to fish.

Lopez started his day at Carbuncle Pond in Coventry. He and those anglers that fished in the morning were rewarded with some of the 75,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout that had been stocked by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

As the day progressed, Lopez moved to Only Pond, Lincoln during the midafternoon. The sky had cleared and that is when things got wild for Jose Lopez as he hooked a 27.5-inch golden trout.

“This fish kept teasing everyone swimming along the beach but no one could get the fish to bite,” Lopez said. “Then I laid out some PowerBait just with a hook and no weight. I saw the big yellow trout grab the bait and take off. I fought the fish for about 20 minutes and landed landing it at around 5 p.m.”

The trout, which officially weighed in at 11.36 pounds at Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, may be a state of Rhode Island record for a golden trout. At press time, Lopez was still waiting for the official word from RI DEM.

Henry Deandrade also fished opening day at Only Pond, Lincoln (with his uncle and older brother).

“The fishing is great,” Deandrade said. “We caught 10 fish so far, I caught the biggest and my brother Jaymin caught a golden trout.”

Joe Botelhs of East Providence (Henry and Jaymin’s uncle) said, “We caught all our fish using PowerBait because the fish coming out of the hatchery are used to eating artificial food.”

Once hatchery-raised fish acclimate to the natural surroundings (in a week or so) they are likely to enjoy eating natural baits like meal worms or lures that look like natural baits. Hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout were stocked at 16 of Rhode Island’s most popular fishing locations for Opening Day including the largest fish so far caught by Jose Lopez Jr.

If you plan to fish for trout this week, I would suggest taking artificial baits (like PowerBait) as well as natural baits and natural looking lures. Be ready to fish a number of different ways and then switch to the rig and bait arrangement that seems to be working best.

Where’s the bite

Freshwater: Trout fishing at Massachusetts and Rhode Island ponds that have been stocked has been outstanding and is expected to continue to be good this coming week. Only Pond in Lincoln; Willet Avenue Pond, Riverside; Silver Spring, in North Kingstown; and Frenchtown Pond, East Greenwich were all yielding large brown, brook and rainbow trout this week. The largemouth bass bite was good too with angles using shiners as the bait of choice. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “Customers are catching trout with artificial baits (like PowerBait) as the food of choice of these hatchery raised stocked trout is still manufactured food until they acclimate to their natural surroundings.”

Saltwater fishing: Anglers continue to fish for small holdover striped bass in Narrow River, Narragansett, and the Pawcatuck River, Westerly. A few angles have started to fish for tautog. Ken Ferrara of Ray’s Bait & Tackle, Warwick, said, “Customers are buying crabs but no reports of high volumes of keeper tautog being caught.”

Some anglers are catching tautog but they are small fish. Tautog season started April 1, the minimum size is 16 inches and the limit is three fish/person/day.


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