American Fish and Wildlife Scientist Ken sprankle shared that since early July, the southern half of the Connecticut River basin has been pounded by rain. The result has been record dumping levels in many rivers. These persistent and extreme flows are likely to impact the juvenile production of many species, including our beloved shad and blueback herring. The cost of climate change for athletes is increasing.
With the commercial season now open for the bar, many boats restrict themselves around Vineyard Sound and bring in big paychecks. The tuna fishery continues to attract a lot of our fishermen who have the big boats to go far enough. There is a bit of confusion about recreational and commercial catches.
For those who rely on rental boats, Capt. Bruce peters, a master of the tuna ground east of Chatham, explains some of the intricacies of catching these valuable fish today.
“We’ve had a nice early comeback from bluefin tuna so far this season,” he said. “Mackerel are thick in our area east of Chatham, and they attract the biggest bluefin tuna. Our Capeshores charters have been successful on all of our tuna charters so far this season.
“We had a good mix of recreational sized bluefin tuna with the bigger ones,” he added. “These recreationally sized tunas were 65 to 73 inches long, and when dressed in the loins, they will bring in over 100 pounds of fresh tuna meat to take home and cut into steaks. Tuna fishermen have to. be prepared and bring a cooler large enough to take care of such a trophy and such delicacy.
Recreational fishermen who pay for a charter, however, cannot keep the giants they catch. It seems unfair and can lead to misunderstanding.
“Any bluefin tuna over 73 inches must either be released or retained by the vessel and sold in the commercial market, in accordance with NMFS HMS rules,” said Peters. Some ethical captains like Peters, however, try to help their paying customers benefit. of the socket.
If you are lucky enough to catch a salable fish while renting with Peters, he will credit you with one-third of the sale proceeds, after expenses, towards your next rental with him. If you are going to charter a tuna boat, make sure you have such an agreement with your captain.
Fish limits increase early next month
Many anglers look forward to August 1, when the daily limit for tautog or blackfish will drop to three fish. Few fish taste better than this lobster and crab eater. We should soon see fishing stores start to carry green crabs, by far the best bait for them. Until we can get some green crabs, Capt. Jason colby suggests alternately baiting with spider crabs.
Oakham fly fisherman Pierre Rawinski reported good fishing in the catch and release section of the Swift River below the dam at Belchertown.
“I’m sure we could have caught a lot more fish if we had caught nymphs or eggs, but we are committed to dry fly fishing,” he said. “It was hot, but there was a nice blanket of fog along the river. For most of the afternoon. There were no actual hatches until it was almost dark when ‘a good number of sulfur came out of the water.
I was able to land a beautiful rainbow and a brookie on a Blue Winged Olive, then later two more brookies on a Sulfur Dun. My buddy Alex laid two rainbows, one on an emerging caddis and the other on a Sulfur Dun during the hatching. The larger rainbow grew 18 inches and took its emergence just as it sank under the surface film. The grip was incredibly subtle and didn’t even make the water ripple.
Rawinski also reported fly fishing for anadromous brook trout in Red Creek, which drains into Buttermilk Bay.
“This little stream is full of beautiful wild speckled trout,” he said. “The key to landing 10 trout was to make very small streamers attached to nymph hooks tremble, under ice jams and undermined banks. A white woolly bugger seemed to be the most effective fly. However, I’m not sure if color mattered as much as size and profile Red Brook and its wild anadromous trout are both very fragile and must necessarily be managed as catch and release water allowing only artificial lures.
Plant milkweed, the monarchs will come
Walk through any milkweed field now and you can finally see monarch butterflies breeding. It took several generations of them advancing north this year from Mexico to finally reach us. If you have a very sunny, open space to plant milkweed on your yard, consider doing so.
Can’t hit underdog predators
We should obviously never harbor negative feelings towards life-killing predators. Too often, they are truly the undercats or the undercats in the struggle for survival.
They naturally play their vital roles without malice in the amoral world of nature. Predators necessarily have no sympathy for their prey as such a feeling would only interfere with their own survival and that of their young. We humans have developed both sympathy and empathy which is reflected in a positive way in all kinds of wildlife conservation regulations and personal decisions about lifestyle.
We can afford this empathy now in some places a lot more than others. It would be foolish, for example, to venture into the Arctic and expect the Inuit, who naturally live on the flesh of whales, seals, walruses, waterfowl, fish and caribou, to be vegetarians. But is it any wonder that in England now, there is a movement to criminalize the boiling of lobsters, other crustaceans and molluscs? I thought of those well-meaning advocates last night as I put two lobsters in a pot to boil for 12 minutes.
Lest you think the thought of England is utter nonsense, there are already laws in place that prohibit boiling lobsters to death in Austria, New Zealand, and Switzerland. When 150 years ago Charles Darwin asserting with complete conviction that the lower forms of animal life “feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery”, he was only beginning what would become a movement for societies that can afford a consciousness of good -be animal.
The recent and overwhelming plea by thousands of British vets to stun lobsters before cooking gives credit to the sensitive nature of lower life forms. That crab, octopus, squid, and other invertebrate diners can alter our long-standing thoughts and habits in light of scientific revelations seems so far removed from our current stage of evolution, especially here in America.
—Contact Mark Blazis at [email protected]