West Tisbury Sees Brief Season for Recovering Oyster Fishery

West Tisbury oysters were on the market during the holiday season, but they are unavailable now. Tom Osmers, town shellfish constable, said there were three commercial oyster fishermen out on the pond. The season opened on Monday, Dec. 15 and was closed on Wednesday, Dec. 31. The fishermen were limited to one bushel a day, a sparse amount compared to years ago when the fishery was healthy and more productive.

Striped Bass Bill Divides Fishermen

A renewed effort to restrict striped bass to game fish status in Massachusetts is dividing recreational and commercial fishermen.

Legislation was filed on Beacon Hill last month that would ban the commercial sale of wild striped bass in the commonwealth and also place stricter limits on the recreational fishery.

Commercial Fishermen Seek to Organize

A small but spirited group of fishermen met this week to discuss forming an advocacy organization.

The meeting was held Wednesday at the county administration building; 16 people attended. The idea of forming a formal fishermen’s association comes at a time when federal regulators are clamping down on fishing permits and a new bill has been filed in the state legislature to ban commercial fishing for striped bass.

Vineyard Bay Scallop Season Nets Twelve Thousand Bushels

Martha’s Vineyard leads the Cape and Islands in bay scallop landings, beating Nantucket. The Vineyard’s commercial and recreational shellfishermen landed over 12,000 bushels this past season, and more are being landed. With three weeks still left in the season, Nantucket shellfishermen have landed 8,000 bushels. This makes the Vineyard the largest producer of wild bay scallops in the world.

Division of Fisheries Stocks Island Ponds With Trout

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

The Vineyard’s four popular freshwater ponds were stocked with more than 1,100 trout on Wednesday. Officials from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife came over with a special truck filled with bubbling water, loaded with rainbow, brown and tiger trout.

Steven Hurley, fisheries manager for the state, said the fish were delivered to Duarte’s Pond, Old Mill Pond and Uncle Seth’s Pond in West Tisbury, and Upper Lagoon Pond which is shared by the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs.

Early Birds Catch the Trout at Duarte’s Pond

Spring rain and fog did little to dampen the spirits of young anglers and their parents participating in the 35th annual Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun Club trout tournament early Saturday morning — very early. More than 200 youngsters rose before sunrise to get to Duarte’s Pond in West Tisbury in time for the start at first light.

They came wearing raincoats and rubber boots, bearing cans of worms and artificial bait and laden with fishing gear.

The Fishermen

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Fishing boats are back out in Vineyard Sound, after what has been a long stretch of really bad weather, not just on the land, on the water.

The Menemsha fleet returned to fishing for fluke on Wednesday, after being kept shoreside since last weekend because of the wind.

“I haven’t fished for three days,” said Capt. Craig Coutinho of the Menemsha dragger Viking on Tuesday night. “The fluke fishing was going pretty good, before we got this.”

The Fishermen

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Tomorrow morning at 12:01 begins the 10th annual Fluke Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Veterans of Foreign War Post 9261. The two-day fishing contest is expected to attract more than 100 anglers.

There were 170 fishermen in last year’s contest, and with fluke in abundance, there is plenty of reason for anglers to put down the $20 entrance fee and join this year. Teenagers and seniors are charged $10. Youngsters 12 and younger are admitted for free but they must register.

The Fishermen

By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL

Locally caught striped bass arrived in local fish markets and restaurants Sunday. It is now the “catch of the day.”

“On Sunday morning we sold maybe 20 pounds,” said Sandra Healy of John’s Fish Market in Vineyard Haven. “I like it, because the customers like it. They’ve been waiting a year for striped bass and now they can get it.”

Commercial rod and reel fisherman Scott Terry provides her with the fish.

Monster Shark Tournament Is Hampered by High Seas, Wind

A 361-pound porbeagle shark was the winning fish in the weekend’s 23rd annual Monster Shark Tournament in Oak Bluffs. The fish was caught by the crew of a Marshfield fishing boat called Karen Jean II. The captain of the vessel was David Dion of Galveston, Tex.; the boat owner was John Anderson of Marshfield and crewman was William Murphy of New Bedford.

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