MONTI: Fisheries law must be more climate-sensitive, legislation is moving forward | Local sports

It’s no secret that the impacts of warming water, coastal erosion, habitat degradation, lack of oxygen and acidification on climate change are changing the way we live. fish and manage fish.

You have to ask yourself: what happens when the water heats up to the point that even the warm water fish that have settled in our region such as black bass, bluefin tuna and red flounder leave more north to cooler waters? Our federal fisheries law is not equipped to deal with these impacts.

On Wednesday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife, chaired by Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02), reviewed the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, drafted by Reps. Huffman and Ed Case (HI-01). The legislation aims to update and re-authorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA), the primary law governing the management and conservation of federal fisheries that has made the United States a world leader in sustainable fisheries.

“America is truly a leader in sustainable fisheries management, but MSA has not been reauthorized for over a decade. And while this is an important law that has stood the test of time, it needs a few updates, especially when it comes to the impacts of climate change, ”said Representative Huffman. “Through our unique transparent and inclusive process, Rep. Case and I were able to create an MSA reauthorization bill that addresses the challenges of the climate crisis and puts the focus back on the needs of fishing communities. From listening sessions to taking feedback, we have genuinely heard from stakeholders from all walks of life; I am delighted that we were able to move the bill forward today with this hearing.

In an effort to include as many opinions and perspectives as possible, Representatives Huffman and Case hosted eight listening sessions and covered seven management regions during their National Fisheries Listening Tour. They heard from 80 different experts and stakeholders, in addition to public commentary from dozens of members of the public in person and online.

“The Fisheries Act for the Future continues this progress by offering comprehensive updates to address current challenges, strengthen sustainable management approaches and prepare our fisheries for the impacts of climate change,” Ms. Meredith Moore, Program Director Conservation Center, Ocean Conservancy. stated in his written testimony at the hearing. “The proposed changes to the MSA contained in the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act would provide a way to address the impacts of climate change on our fisheries and prepare for the changes to come in the short and long term. These changes in the law are necessary because every part of fisheries conservation and management – the process of research and investigation, stock assessments, management decisions and fishing practices – will be affected by climate change. .

With the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act, President Jared Huffman and Representative Ed Case have given Congress a good starting point to ensure that our fisheries management system continues to support America’s livelihoods and coastal economies. , and is ready to meet the challenges of the future – including for the first time addressing the effects of climate change on U.S. ocean fisheries by incorporating climate science and adaptation strategies into management decisions. Robert Vandermark, executive director of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, said in a comment after the hearing.

Record-breaking 21.57-pound tautog caught off Newport

Paul Newman of New Milford, NJ, caught a 33-inch, 21.57-pound tautog while fishing on a charter with Captain Connor MacLeod of Newport. If the catch is certified, it will be a new Rhode Island record. The Rhode Island record now posted on the state’s website is a 21-pound, 4-ounce tautog captured in 1954 by CW Sunquist.

In an On-the-Water Magazine article online (by Corey Pollnow), Captain MacLeod said, “Newman dropped the Snafu Rig to the bottom and said it was stuck in the rocks. But then there was a movement, signaling that a large tog swallowed the white crab and buried itself in the rocks. Newman slowly hit the reel, bringing the big tautog up 20 feet from the bottom, until it came back towards the rocks like a striped bass. The back-and-forth battle continued four more times until the gigantic fish reached the surface.

Kudos to Paul Newman for a great catch and to Captain Connor MacLeod of Tall Tailz Charters.

Where’s the bite?

Striped Bass. Mike Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters in Westerly said: “Last week we had a wave of big fish, and this week it’s a wave of school sized bass. This will be so until the fall race stops. But fishermen catch fish in the breaches, the Watch Hill Light and the beaches. Canal Bait & Tackle in Sagamore reports a good striped bass bite on the Cape Cod Canal, with fish from 28 inches to less than 35 inches caught on jigs at the east end of the canal. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box in Warwick said: “The striped bass bite in the upper bay has gone down, but we still have fish passing by. This weekend, a customer caught a 21-inch striped bass.

Tautog. “The Tautog fishing is on fire,” said Wade of Watch Hill Outfitters. “What’s interesting is that the foot fishermen on the piers and the rock piles near the shore are also doing very well. They catch guard fish every time they go out. Giddings of the Tackle Box said: “The tautog bite in the middle and top of Narragansett Bay was exceptional. Ohio Ledge, Rocky Point and Conimicut Light are all doing very well. In fact, a customer caught a 21-inch tautog at Conimicut Light last week. Although a record 21.57 pound tautog was caught by Paul Newman of New Jersey last week, tautog fishing in rough, murky waters for much of the past week was not good. However, the bite in the bay with calmer waters produced for anglers. This week when things calmed down, the fishing off Newport was good. Angler Greg Spier said Wednesday: “I fished on the ebb tide past Newport with the fleet on Wednesday. Used both traditional mounts and TJ jigs. Jigs surpassed 2 to 1. The tide is dead and so is the fishing. I have a limit with my record of 7.95 pounds, on a traditional rig, currently in first place at the Seakonnet Sportsman’s Club of the annual Portsmouth Fishing Tournament. Just brag for one night.

Freshwater fishing is more geared towards largemouth bass. Customers use spinner bait and live bait (minnow) to catch fish. In the Warwick area, fishing ponds include Gorton’s Pond, Sand Pond and Warwick Lake, ”said Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and a charter fishing license. He sits on various boards and commissions and owns a consulting business focused on ocean cleanliness, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries issues and clients. Send fishing news and photos to or visit

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