When Night Falls

Night fishing is one of the hidden pleasures of the Vineyard. Travel along the beach during a bright sunny day and there are a few anglers out there trying to catch the big one. Visit the same place, hours later at night, and there is a community of quiet fishermen. The beach may seem eerie at night, but there is a lot of good fishing going on. And sometimes it yields some surprises.

Marine Medicine

When Vineyard physician Michael E. Jacobs teamed up with his friend, Dr. Eric A. Weiss, to write a book on marine medicine over five years ago, boating got safer for a lot of sailors. Boaters bought it and stowed it away with their box of bandages and antiseptic. It was a great addition to the required first aid kit.

The book enables all who sail or motor in boats to feel as though they have some expertise onboard to deal with medical situations.

Cod Woes

It is indeed bad news to see that cod, once the most abundant fish in our waters, continues to have a hard time. Despite huge efforts on the part of fishermen and scientists to come up with a mix of fishing and conservation, the stocks continue to have problems recovering from historically-low numbers.

Scup Fishery Proposal Stirs Sharp Criticism; Unfair to Youngsters

There is a proposal before federal and state fisheries managers that will make it a crime to possess scup next summer. If the regulation is adopted, youngsters all along the Atlantic seaboard won't be allowed to keep their catch.

New Initiatives in Vineyard Waterways Give Needed Boost to Herring Fishery

For generations, the arrival of the herring at coastal ponds has been the Island's harbinger of spring. Now, major initiatives are under way across the Island to enhance waterways for the returning alewife.

This week, work began and is almost complete on the construction of a fish ladder at the head of Lake Tashmoo.

The Story of the Codfish Is Written Across 400 Years of Island History

The old wooden sailboat up on blocks inside the shed at the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society in Edgartown doesn't look like much.

The white lapstrake boat, less than 20 feet in length, has not been in the water since it was brought to the society in December 1936 from Menemsha Creek. The paint has come off in many places. There is little chance she will ever float again.

Herring Runs Closed in Commonwealth to Protect Fishery

Concerned about a precipitous decline in herring, the state has banned their harvest in Massachusetts for the next three years.

Also known as alewives, herring is the most valued bait fish in Vineyard waters.

The closure, which affects at least 100 herring runs along the Massachusetts coast, ironically comes at a time when Vineyard towns are taking steps to revive and improve their runs.

Gone Fishing: Anglers Gear Up as Tournament Hits Milestone

If you need to talk to Steve Morris this weekend, you probably won't find him working behind the counter at his store, Dick's Bait and Tackle, in Oak Bluffs.

If you are looking to chew the fat with Patrick Jenkinson at Up-Island Automotive in West Tisbury, you are also probably going to be out of luck.

And if your water heater breaks and you need Steve Amaral to fix it, you better call another plumber.

Scientists Study Groundfish Net by Net, Sifting the Sea in Pursuit of Knowledge

On an open sea deck, with the rolling waves of Georges Bank a mere eight feet away, Jon Brodziak cuts, and with tweezers takes a bone from each of the two inner ears of a haddock.

He places them in a small envelope for future study.

Then he does it again with another haddock. And again.

The bone is the otolith, which is used to tell the age of the fish; it is a far better measure than length.

Mr. Brodziak, along with several other scientists, is in the middle of a six-hour shift on the Albatross IV, in the pitch black night on the open ocean.

A Bank Shaped by Geology and Politics

Georges Bank is a huge underwater island - 20,000 square miles and as large as the state of Massachusetts - that lies just below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

The bank is part of the continental shelf. More than 10,000 years ago, geologists believe, the bank was a high and dry island.

As the ocean rose, the island was submerged. Fish love the bank because it is a great source for food. Water depths are not much more than 100 feet and sometimes as shallow as 20 feet. Light from the sun penetrates to the bottom and supports a world of microscopic plankton that fish eat.

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