February 24, 2020

Outdoors: New bass regulations are welcome

Everyone who loves striped bass hoped it would happen. With their stocks plummeting up and down the East Coast, regulations for commercial and recreational fishermen had to change. This year will see a harvest reduction of 25 percent (21.5 percent in Chesapeake Bay), but no one knows for certain if that reduction is enough.

Most likely, we’ll be allowed one fish instead of two per day. Some anglers will naturally gripe considering the modest reward for all the time and gas money spent to get into the bass. But most ethical fishermen and charter boat captains that I have talked to are deeply concerned about the future of our fishery and fully supportive of the reduction. Stripers Forever survey respondents want to ban the harvest of large, prime breeding size stripers until the resource biomass stock is healthier. They also are willing to finance a striped bass conservation stamp to pay for buying out the commercial fishery.

It’s possible that individual states may get an option to initiate a “conservation equivalent” to a one-fish, 28-inch minimum size limit. Some states could possibly, for example, maintain a two-fish limit with a different minimum size. The point is to get as many stripers as possible to breed at least once before they’re legal to harvest. Of course, the larger the female, the more eggs she can produce. We also should be protecting as many of the cows as possible because they are the basis of our sport.

Female stripers can start breeding at about age 4, when they’re around 24 inches long. Males can breed a year earlier, when they’re only about 20 inches long. While a larger, two-fish equivalent policy theoretically could help us get to the needed 25 percent reduction in striper mortality, it seems against the spirit of the effort and not our best alternative. We could definitely do better with a one-fish limit. Many here hope there will be no scheming, and that all states will uniformly implement a one-fish-per-day limit.

At this moment, there are some holdover stripers in New England waters, including big rivers like the Thames and little creeks and harbors at the Cape. But the vast majority of them are now in their offshore, warmer-than-New England wintering grounds off Virginia and North Carolina. They’re going to be vulnerable to increased commercial and recreational pressure as soon as they begin their coastal migration to spawn in Chesapeake Bay, the Delaware, and Hudson River. We won’t see them in numbers here until the first schoolies arrive in early May. The big ones should begin coming through the Canal in mid-May. Much will depend upon how cold our winter is.

Last winter was brutally long. Ocean temperatures remained very cold for a longer-than-normal period. Our stripers, which are very temperature-dependent in their movements, were consequently about two weeks late. Bet on them coming back only when we see ocean temperatures flirt with 50-55 degrees and bait fish especially squid and mackerel move in ahead of them.

Saving bluefins

New regulations are also expected for bluefin tuna stocks, which experience serious mortality as part of by-catch during commercial long-line fishing for yellowfin tuna and swordfish. The bluefins spawn in the Gulf of Mexico where they feed very little, if at all. They winter off North Carolina, where food is abundant and they can begin packing on some weight. In both areas, they’re being taken in big numbers.

While less lethal equipment changes will be implemented, what may help the stocks even more will be a closure to the swordfish and yellowfin tuna fishing once the maximum number for incidental kills of bluefins is reached. While cheating has previously been common, that may finally change significantly with the mandating of video cameras on board commercial vessels to chronicle everything that’s being caught and thrown back.

Big-time knowledge

Serious big boat saltwater fishermen willing to spend $150 to improve their knowledge and skills might want to attend Goose Hummock’s Offshore Bluewater Bash today and Saturday. At the Quincy Boston Marriott on 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy, two days of in-depth seminars will cover techniques for bluefin tuna, sharks, swordfish, marlin and other pelagic species. Some of the leading professionals in the Northeast will be conducting the seminars, which will concentrate on waters from Stellwagen Bank, east of Chatham, south of the islands, and the offshore canyons. For tickets and information, contact Goose Hummock Shop at (508) 255-0455 or visit www.goose.com/offshore.html.

Must-see viewing

On the Water TV, available on Comcast Sportsnet at 10 a.m. Sundays and 1 p.m. Fridays, will be featuring many of our region’s hottest fishing destinations in its Season 12 this year. Monster Carp on the Blackstone River will resonate with many locals. They’ll also feature Cape Cod Stripers in the Rips, Inshore Methods for Bonito & Albies, Maine Wilderness Kayak Fishing and Top-Water Bluefin Tuna.


◼Today-Sunday Northeast Fishing & Hunting Show. Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. $12. Info: www.fishinghuntingexpo.com.

◼Today-Saturday Goose Hummock Offshore Bluewater Bash saltwater fishing seminar concentrating on tuna and swordfish. Quincy Boston Marriott, 1000 Marriott Drive, Quincy. $150 includes seminars both days, free beer Friday night, breakfast, and lunch Saturday. Info: www.goose.com/bluewaterbash.html.

◼Saturday-Feb. 22 New England Boat Show. Boston Convention Center, 415 Summer St., Boston. 800 boats. 100 boat seminars. $15. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Info: www.NewEnglandBoatShow.com.

◼Sunday Cutting, Mowing, and Burning for Wildlife (ruffed grouse, woodcock, New England cottontails, whip-poorwills etc.) Sterling Land Trust. Free. Speaker Rebecca DiGirolomo, MassWildlife biologist. 2:30 p.m. in the First Church Parish Hall, 6 Meetinghouse Hill Road, Sterling. Light refreshments. Info: Marion Larson, (978) 422-5165.

◼Sunday Leicester Rod & Gun meat raffles every Sunday at 2 p.m.

◼Thursday-Sunday Springfield Sportsmen’s Show. Eastern States Exposition. Info: www.osegsportsmens.com.

◼Feb. 21-22 Rutland Sportsman’s Club Annual Ice Fishing Derby. Saturday 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Weigh-in 1-5 p.m. Sunday 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Weigh-in noon-4 p.m. Open to all Massachusetts fishing license holders. All Massachusetts freshwater lakes and ponds eligible. Four prizes each for bass, yellow perch, pickerel, and pike. Headquarters at Rutland Sportsman’s Club, 75 Pleasantdale Road, Rutland, (508) 886-4721. Tickets available every day at the club after 3 p.m. and at B&A Bait and Tackle.

Contact Mark Blazis at markblazis@charter.net.

Originally posted here: 

Outdoors: New bass regulations are welcome

Pendragon returns to Bristol’s Stone Church Coffeehouse


New England has long had a rich tradition of Celtic-inspired music. For more than 30 years, Pendragon has embraced that tradition and created a timeless sound of its own, performing roots music with an unmistakable contemporary edge. Pendragon’s music celebrates the lives and lore of generations of  New Englanders who brought traditions from Ireland, Scotland, French Canada and other distant shores to the banks of the Blackstone River.
WHERE: Stone Church Coffeehouse at The First Congregational Church, 300 High St., Bristol
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 24, 7:30 p.m.
COST: $15 per adult; students are half price; children 5 and under are free MORE INFO: 401/253-4813; 401/253-7288


Pendragon returns to Bristol’s Stone Church Coffeehouse

Cycling; Mountain bikers gaining support

State officials want to keep mountain bikers off the singletrack trails in the Ware River Watershed.

New England Mountain Bike Association members have been talking with state officials in an effort to gain access for mountain bikers on the restricted trails in the watershed, which stretches through Rutland, Oakham, Barre and Hubbardston.

Officials are also concerned about unauthorized trails that have been created in the 23,000-acre watershed, and they plan to dismantle the trails and enforce the ban on mountain bikes, NEMBA said.

“For the last 30 years, residents have been mountain biking on this trail network without realizing this activity has always been banned. Bicycling is only allowed on roads and rail trails. Hikers, on the other hand, are permitted to walk anywhere they choose throughout the Ware River Watershed regardless of the presence of a trail,” NEMBA said in a news release.

Members of the Wachusett Chapter of NEMBA have been leading the effort.

The state Department of Conservation and Recreation website on the Ware River Watershed says the following: “The primary purpose of DCR water and surrounding lands is drinking water supply. Public access, therefore, is carefully regulated and controlled to protect over 2 million people’s source of drinking water.”

According to NEMBA, there are at least 20 miles of singletrack trails in the watershed. Only three of the trails are recognized by the Division of Water Supply Protection in the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, NEMBA said, and the three trails are the Midstate Trail and two trails dedicated to horseback riding.

State officials have expressed concerns over the presence of mountain bikers on these trails as well as the creation of additional unauthorized trails, NEMBA said.

The mountain bike group offered to provide solutions to curb unauthorized trail building and riding by working with the state agency to create a legitimate and sustainable trail system for mountain biking, hiking, trail running and cross-country skiing. However, the offer was declined.

NEMBA said that state officials plan to wipe out the trails and enforce the ban on mountain bikes.

“NEMBA feels that the best course of action here would be to recognize bicycles as a valid trail user and work with, rather than against, those aligned with the agency’s mission of maintaining the highest possible water quality,” NEMBA said.

The bicycling group contends that mountain biking and hiking have similar environmental impacts and should be managed together. According to NEMBA, there are many studies that say hiking and biking have similar impacts yet there are no studies indicating hiking has no impact or that hiking and mountain biking impacts are dramatically different.

“The recreational analysis done by DCR in the Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the Middlesex Fells Reservation states that ‘with respect to these two recreational impacts, these two recreational uses have similar impacts and should be evaluated similarly,’ ” NEMBA said.

According to NEMBA, providing access for mountain bikers on singletrack trails would be beneficial to area residents looking for recreational opportunities.

“The current policy unjustly excludes mountain biking on trails as a legitimate activity in the watershed, and the lack of authorized trails for hiking and mountain biking have created a recreational vacuum that is currently being fulfilled by creating unauthorized trails. We feel strongly that by working with NEMBA and our dedicated volunteer base, DWSP can actually improve Ware Watershed water quality further by fixing or closing current unsustainable trails and providing new trails that are properly designed and built away from sensitive areas,” NEMBA said.

According to NEMBA, the group met with state Rep. Anne Gobi, D-Spencer, on Thursday, and she offered her full support for NEMBA’s effort to gain access for mountain bikers in the watershed.

Cross the line

The best cyclo-cross racers in the country will line up at Roger Williams Park in Providence on Sunday afternoon.

The KMC Cyclo-cross Festival wraps up the New England Holy Week of Cyclo-cross, which includes six races over 12 days.

Cyclo-cross stars scheduled to compete today include national champion Jeremy Powers, six-time national champion Tim Johnson, four-time national champ Jonathan Page, national champ Katie Compton, Ted King, Shawn Milne and many more. In addition to the United States, there will be top riders from Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia.

“I think it’s a foundation piece in North American ‘cross. I’ve seen it grow into such a great event, and for more than just the racers,” said Johnson, a member of Cannondale CyclocrossWorld.com team.

With more than 10,000 spectators and racers expected, the event is considered the biggest cyclo-cross event on the East Coast. The event — formerly known as the Providence Cyclo-Cross Festival — was first held in 2009, is internationally sanctioned by UCI and is on target to be the first American venue to host the World Cup in 2015.

Cyclo-cross is a 30- to 60-minute race on a bicycle similar to a road bike, but the tires are a little wider and have more tread for traction on the often-muddy terrain. The course usually has grass, gravel and asphalt sections, and includes barriers such as hurdles and steps that sometimes force a rider to dismount and carry the bike over the obstacles.

The racecourse at Roger Williams Park has quick elevation changes, with many sharp turns and switchbacks on short, steep hills — as well as a flyover, some hurdles and a fast finish on pavement.

“It’s a beautiful course,” Johnson said Friday. “It’s fast, it’s challenging. Riders feel like they’re getting something they can’t get anywhere else.”

The bowl-like landscape at Roger Williams Park, which hosted the Cyclo-Cross National Championships in 2005 and 2006, not only offers a great course layout, but also spectacular sight lines for watching the races.

The amateur racing begins at 8 a.m., the elite women race for 40 minutes beginning at 3:45 p.m., and the elite men race for 60 minutes starting at 5.

To get to Roger Williams Park in Providence, take Interstate 95 south to Rhode Island exit 17. At the bottom of the exit ramp, turn left onto Route 1/Elmwood Avenue. Proceed on Elmwood for ⅓ mile, then turn left into the park’s second entrance. Follow Cross Fest and “Temple to Music” signs in the park.

Today — Major Taylor Century, with ride options of 25, 62 and 100 miles, presented by Seven Hills Wheelmen and 10th Gear/Venture Crew 1010. Starts at River Bend Farm (Visitors Center for Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park), 287 Oak St., Uxbridge. Information: (508) 831-0301, www.sevenhillswheelmen.org

Today — Kona Bicycles Mountain Bike Adventure Series, Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown, New Hampshire. Presented by New England Mountain Bike Association. Information: www.nemba.org

9:30 a.m. Saturday — Seven Hills Wheelmen 45- or 65-mile road ride. Meet on School Street, Montague. The long route has a lunch stop in Shelburne Falls. Information: (508) 831-0301, www.sevenhillswheelmen.org

Saturday — Mansfield Hollow Cyclo-cross race, Mansfield Hollow State Park, Mansfield, Connecticut. Presented by Thread City Cyclers. Information: www.bikereg.com

Oct. 12 — Minuteman Road Club Cyclocross race, the Fairgrounds at Lancaster. Amateur races start at 8:30 a.m.; elite women at 11:30 and elite men at 1:15 p.m. Information: www.minutemanroadclub.com

10 a.m. Oct. 12 — Seven Hills Wheelmen road ride. Meet at at Robert E. Melican Middle School, 145 Lincoln St., Northboro. Ride options of 43, 63 or 84 miles with the Seven Hills Wheelmen, Charles River Wheelmen and Nashoba Valley Pedalers. Information: (508) 831-0301, www.sevenhillswheelmen.org

Oct. 12 — Great River Ride Century/Berkshire Brevet RUSA 170K Populaire, Sons of Erin, 22 Williams St., Westfield. Presented by New Horizons Bikes. Information: http://newhorizonsbikes.com

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 19 — Quiet Corner NEMBA Fun Ride, Old Furnace State Park, Killingly, Conn. Presented by Quiet Corner chapter of New England Mountain Bike Association. Information: www.nemba.org

Oct. 25 — 13th annual Canton Cup Cyclo-Cross race, Massachusetts Hospital School, 3 Randolph St., Canton. Presented by North American Velo. Information: www.northatlanticvelo.org

Oct. 26 — Wicked Ride of the East, Kona Bicycles Mountain Bike Adventure Series, Harold Parker State Fores, North Andover. Presented by New England Mountain Bike Association. Information: www.nemba.org.

7 p.m. every Wednesday — NBX “Under the Lights” Cyclo-cross Training Series. Old Mountain Field, 831 Kingstown Road, South Kingstown, R.I. Registration at 6:30 p.m. Presented by NBX/Narragansett Beer Cycling Team and Apex Tech Group. Information: http://nbxbikes.com

6 p.m. every Friday — Seven Hills Wheelmen 30-mile road ride. Meet at Southbridge Bicycles, 100 Central St., Southbridge. Information: call (508) 831-0301 or visit www.sevenhillswheelmen.org

Selected Saturdays and Sundays — Seven Hills Wheelmen Easy C Rider road rides. Moderately paced bicycle rides, typically 15 to 35 miles, on relatively gentle terrain, on selected Saturdays and Sundays in the Worcester area. Starting times and locations are posted each week at www.easycrider.com.For more information, call (508) 831-0301 or visit www.sevenhillswheelmen.org.

9 a.m. every Saturday — Southbridge Bicycles road ride. Meet at Southbridge Bicycles, 100 Central St., Southbridge. Information: call (508) 764-3657 or visit www.southbridgebicycles.net

Submit bike listings to mark.conti@telegram.com; Mark Conti, Telegram & Gazette, P.O. Box 15012, Worcester, MA 01615-0012; or fax attention to Mark Conti at (508) 793-9363.


Cycling; Mountain bikers gaining support


Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:


  • Author: Barry Perrins

While out walking in the Blackstone rock area of Wembury Bay, a male believed in his late 40’s fell badly and injured himself.

At 1.30 p.m. on 24 August the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Millennium Forester was launched. After arriving at the scene of the incident, due to his position, it was found that the man was unable to be evacuated by road to hospital.

With  a H.a.r.t. (Hazardous area response team) and coastguard members in attendance, the decision was made to move the casualty to safety by sea using the 7.5 metre Plymouth lifeboat.

At this time on-scene medics had suspected that the casualty may have serious lower limb injuries, and so he was stabilized in a stretcher before being evacuated to Millbay marina and a waiting ambulance.

Notes to editors:
Local information, Barry Perrins Plymouth lifeboat Press officer. 07790033796 barryperrins@yahoo.com


Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 236 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI – public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland

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