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

Historical park established in Blackstone Valley

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Blackstone River Valley is the newest national historical park.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed has been pushing a plan for a Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park for years. The president signed the Rhode Island Democrat’s legislation establishing the park Friday.

The park is along the Blackstone River and includes significant sites in old mill towns and buildings. The Old Slater Mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island is the first successful cotton-spinning factory in the United States. Sites in North Smithfield and Cumberland, Rhode Island, and Whitinsville and Hopedale, Massachusetts, are also included.

Reed says the Blackstone Valley is a national treasure that is getting the recognition it deserves.

The area is already home to a national heritage corridor that links communities along the Blackstone River from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence.

Visit source – 

Historical park established in Blackstone Valley

Select Chicago Marriott Hotels Offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

CHICAGO, Nov. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Take advantage of everything the Windy City has to offer and book a room or two at a discounted rate starting this Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Guests will be able to choose from a variety of Marriott hotels and explore Chicago at their leisure knowing they’ve found a discounted rate at a hotel that best suits their needs.

From Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, select Marriott hotels in downtown Chicago will be offering low rates through the 4-Day Flash Sale in Downtown Chicago promotion. Rates can be applied to stays between Dec. 19 and March 6, 2015. The following Marriott hotels will be participating with these rates:

  • The Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North will have rates beginning at $89
  • The Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile and the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile will both have rates starting at $99
  • Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel will have rates beginning from $104
  • Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel will have rates starting from $109
  • JW Marriott Chicago will have rates beginning at $139

All of Marriott’s hotels offer relaxing and well-appointed accommodations, suitable amenities tailored to every guest’s need and an array of dining options all accompanied by Marriott’s unmatched service.

About Chicago Marriott Hotels

Encounter a landmark hotel at JW Marriott Chicago and experience the renowned architecture of Daniel Burnham and his vision for a Chicago hotel in the heart of one of the world’s most exciting neighborhoods. Appreciate the sophisticated Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel and unwind in style at the Rejuvenation Center boasting a refreshing indoor pool and indulgent spa treatments. Enjoy the convenient location of Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel situated amongst world-class shopping and in walking distance from top attractions, including Navy Pier and Millennium Park. Explore Chicago from one of the finest historic Chicago hotels, the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago, conveniently located next to Grant Park and the downtown Chicago Loop. Experience the comforts of home at the Residence Inn Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile Hotel in a suite that provides a fully equipped kitchen and spacious work area with complimentary high-speed Internet access. Last but not least, discover Courtyard Chicago Downtown/River North and explore the trendy River North area on famed Restaurant Row.

For more information, please call 1-800-228-9290 or visit www.marriott.com.

Media Contact:
Julie Mash
Marketing Manager
P: 773-944-1131

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/select-chicago-marriott-hotels-offer-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-deals-300001180.html

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Select Chicago Marriott Hotels Offer Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals

6 affordable housing developments to share $2M

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Six groups that are developing nearly 150 affordable dwellings across Rhode Island are sharing over $2 million in federal funds for the projects.

Rhode Island Housing announced Tuesday the recipients of the second round of this year’s HOME funds. They include Church Community Housing Corp.; Habitat for Humanity South County; Neighborworks Blackstone River Valley Fernwood; Omni Development Corp.; Sankofa Apartments; and Washington County Community Development Corp.

The board approved the funds last month. It will help develop 145 homes and apartments in Burrillville, Exeter, Providence, North Kingstown and Tiverton.

The federal HOME program is the largest block grant to state and local governments to support housing for low- and moderate-income families. The money can be used to acquire property, rehabilitate existing properties or build new homes.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Original article: 

6 affordable housing developments to share $2M

Diving toward a new record

Diving toward a new record

Eagle River’s Jami Stone hits new marks and Mustangs grab fourth



Emmie Jennings at start of 50 yard freestyle preliminaries Friday at Bartlett. Jennings won the heat, posting the fastest time of the day (23.76 seconds) before placing second in the finals of both the 50 free and 100 free individual events. The Chugiak 200 and 400 freestyle teams placed second, to Kodiak, while finishing second in the ASAA State Championships, held Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High.


Following the line that “records are made to be broken,” local diver Jami Stone got in on the action, breaking the 16-year-old mark of 463.45 points, set in 1998 by then Chugiak senior Alaina Patterson, with an incredible 11-dive tally of 474.70, in action Friday and Saturday at the Bartlett 50-meter pool.

The Eagle River High junior’s individual efforts were supported by an eighth-place finish by the Wolves’ boys team, and the fourth-place finish by Chugiak High girls, bringing about a stellar meet for areawide athletes.

Eagle River dive coach Chad Frichtl, himself a three-time state champion in the event from 2002-2004 at Chugiak, said that Stone separated herself from the competition with each successive dive.

“I told her to take it one dive at a time. Every single dive had to be perfect,” he said.

Stone, second at state last year, did one better this year, recording a total that exceeded the boys’ scores as well.

“The goal the whole time was to get the record,” said Frichtl, who dove at the University of Alabama in 2004-2006.

Working on the five elements of the sport – boardwork, takeoff, power, height and entry, Stone excelled at each, said the dive coach.

“She was strong on every single dive,” he added. “She has endless potential.”

Equally effusive of her team’s athletes was Chugiak coach Anne Williams, in particular with the Mustangs girls squad.

Sammie Burke won two state titles – the 200 free and 100 backstroke, with Emmie Jennings placing second in 50 and 100 free, both behind record-setting times from Ila Hughes of Kodiak.

Burke and Jennings teamed up with Cheyenne Burke and Abby Blackstone to place second in both the 200m and 400m free relays, both behind Kodiak with Hughes as the anchor leg.

“Everyone had lifetime best times all-around. We couldn’t have been more pleased,” said Williams. “Everyone had awesome swims. You can’t control what other athletes do, but we did very well.”

The relay teams set new school marks, as did Jennings’ freestyle times and Burke’s backstroke.

Given that the Chugiak girls had only four girls in the final individual events, among the nine events, along with two of three relays, the fourth-place showing was remarkable, Williams said.

The only Mustang male in the finals was senior diver Shawn Fugere, who placed fifth.

Eagle River’s quintet of men, swimmers Blaise and Bryce Fox-Icarro, Nigel Floyd, Bryce Carpenter and Brandon Fast saw the finals, with senior Blaise Fox-Icarro placing second in the 100 butterfly. The 200 med relay team placed fourth and the 200 free team fifth.

The Wolves’ lone titlist was Stone with the new record, with junior Jordyn Bruce fourth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 breaststroke.

Eagle River coach Grant Gamblin said he was pleased with his team’s showing at state as well.

A list of the 2014 state records posted included nine events – 200 medley relay, Juneau girls; girls 200 IM – Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak; boys 200 IM – Talon Lindquist, Kodiak; girls 50 free – Ila Hughes, Kodiak; girls 1-meter diving – Jami Stone, Eagle River; girls 100 free – Ila Hughes, Kodiak; boys 100 free – Abel Aulback, Petersburg; girls 500 free – Tahna Lindquist, Kodiak and boys 100 back – Talon Lindquist, Kodiak.

Girls – 1) Juneau-Douglas, 100; 2) tie, Kodiak and Dimond, 87; 4) Chugiak, 64; 5) South Anchorage, 43; 6) Soldotna, 36; 7) West Valley, 29; 8) West Anchorage, 25; 9) Colony, 23; 10) Eagle River, 18; 11) Sitka, 9; 12) Ketchikan, 8; 13) Valdez, 7; 14) Hutchison, 5; 15) Bartlett, 4; 16) tie, Kenai and North Pole, 3; 18) tie, Thunder Mountain and Palmer, 2.

Boys – 1) Dimond, 110; 2) Kodiak, 96; 3) Service, 57; 4) Petersburg, 50; 5) Thunder Mountain, 46; 6) Colony, 39; 7) Soldotna, 35; 8) Eagle River, 29; 9) Sitka, 22; 10) tie, South Anchorage and West Valley, 20; 12) Lathrop, 10; 13) Wasilla, 9; 14) Chugiak, 4; 15) tie, Palmer and Ketchikan, 3; 17) North Pole, 2.


Diving toward a new record