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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
Author: Created: 7/6/2011 7:37 PM RssIcon
Another MVSA Blog by Dave
By dbalon on 8/25/2014 11:53 AM

We recently received an update from state environmental officials regarding the fishing pier. Plans have been underway to address some “enhancements” to the pier and while not coordinated much outside of their agency it is beginning to go through the formal approval process.  Club President Don Scarpone and David Nash have been meeting with Ross Kessler who is the Public Access Coordinator for the fisheries department and the lead on this part of the project.  Ross is very motivated to make some additions to the pier but we will have to see how the various approvals work out.  He has already gone to the town Conservation Commission and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Don and Dave went with Ross on an inspection of the pier and we talked about the design of some of the changes and where on the pier items could be placed.  

They received a “no approval necessary” to go ahead with the installation of some lifesaving rings as well as some fish nets.  We believe the nets donated by Steve Morris will be acceptable so it should just be matter of installing them now.

Not so easy is the addition of the other items on the list Ross brought to the commission.    The permit the state received contained a very specific restriction on lighting.  Reflectors are allowed but not lighting so Ross is working to identify lighting that is very, very low impact.  We suggested to Ross that he look for available lighting that would be solar powered and perhaps have a short battery life so the lights only serve a safety function rather than lighting things up too much.  What fisherman doesn’t carry a flashlight or headlamp anyhow?  We thought maybe the lighting would also have a benefit in attracting bait.   The filet station that many Surfcaster members have suggested is actually a greater problem because filet stations are specifically prohibited by state law.  Bait cutting stations are not prohibited however so that is what they are applying for and they have actually looked to Don for help in designing and installing once approval is obtained.    The bait cutting stations they are suggesting are, of course, smaller than a filet table and will have running water from a hand pump.   

We all met with the LUPC committee of the Commission last week and a meeting is scheduled for the full committee on Sept. 4.  Ross will have more detail on the lighting and bait cutting station parts of the proposal and what is likely to happen at that meeting is that the commission will vote to either require a full hearing or vote that the changes do not require a permit change.  The latter however is very unlikely and Ross is prepared to go through the formal hearing process but that would not likely occur until late fall.

By dbalon on 7/31/2014 8:26 PM

MV Times

July 30, 2014

The 18-acre property on the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard contains the remnants of an old brick factory.

The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) announced Monday it had received the historic brickyard property in Chilmark, a gift from the estate of Flora Epstein. The 18-acre property on the north shore of Martha’s Vineyard is adjacent to TTOR’s Menemsha Hills Reservation property to which it will be joined by a future trail.

The red brick chimney, a familiar landmark for boaters, is all that remains of the former brick factory. The property is inaccessible to the public from North Road.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

By dbalon on 7/14/2014 1:14 PM

The book includes all 25 of Ray Ellis’s Derby paintings as well as stories about the Derby and the Vineyard.  Proceeds to benefit Derby Scholarship Program. Come down to Edgartwon Books and share in the excitement!

Here is the summary posted on the Edgartwon Bookstore website:

Summary below by Edgartown Bookstore

Fact, Fiction or Food @ Five presents The Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Blue Fish Derby' Association's "An Amazing Story of the Vineyard's Derby"

Captain Ed Jerome presents his newly published book, "An Amazing Story of the Vineyard's Derby: Twenty-five Years of Paintings, History, and Fishing." 

Ed was elected president of the non-profit Derby corporation in the year of 1987 and he has been at it since. His life long friend Ray Ellis has been at his side through the years painting countless masterpieces, a career that has taken him to seven continents. Together, along with many other contributing authors,  they have created this historically brilliant book. 

Come out and meet Captain Ed Jerome and other authors and learn about the rich history of the Vineyard's Derby!

By dbalon on 7/8/2014 4:36 PM
There will be a fishing contest/beach cookout this coming Sat,  July 12, on East beach.  Lines in the water at 4:00PM and food will be served at 5:30PM.  Lure prize for the largest bluefish and bass landed.  The club will provide grill food.  Please bring along a salad or desert to share as well.  Don will have the new club t-shirts for sale at the outing.
By dbalon on 6/24/2014 1:35 PM
The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Oak Bluffs fishing pier was held on June 19th, at 11:00 a.m. It has been a long process to get the pier off the ground, built and completed but it is ready for public use now. Special thanks to Dave Nash and everyone else involved in driving this approval process to completion. Everyone will get to enjoy their hard work for the future.

Come check it out and take a few casts. You never know, you might just catch the fish of a lifetime!

Thanks to Phil Horton for this picture of the ribbon cutting ceremony. Click on the link below.

Pier Ribbon Cutting.doc
By dbalon on 6/5/2014 5:15 PM
The Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier is now complete and ready to kick off the 2014 fishing season. There will be an official ribbon cutting ceremony at the fishing pier on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 1t 11:00 a.m. Come join in on the festivities with your fellow fishermen for this historic event.

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Seaview Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard

(Adjacent to the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority Pier)

By dbalon on 5/24/2014 10:11 AM
The May 2014 edition of the MVSA Newsletter has now been released. There is all kinds of great information which include fishing reports, OSV beach reports, bird nesting areas, calendar of MVSA events and so on.

It is attached here. Click on the link below to download and view the newsletter.

2014 May MVSA Newsletter.docx


By dbalon on 5/24/2014 10:02 AM

Kiramati-Christmas Island-Peter Sliwkowski awed those present at the May meeting with a terrific power point presentation about his January fishing trip to Kiramati Island which sits 1300 miles south of Honolulu. Peter described fishing for bonefish on the flats and casting to Giant Trevally, Yellowfin Tuna, and Doarado in 1000 feet of water right from the beach. Peter said it was beautiful place and an awesome experience. It’s also described it as reasonably inexpensive and intends to return again next winter.
Check out the attached presentation about Peter's trip! Click on the PDF below.

Trip to Kiritimati [Autosaved].pdf

For additional information about a trip to Christmas Island, contact Peter at           

By dbalon on 5/24/2014 9:40 AM

ASMFC Spring Meeting Update & Release a Breeder Club
Stripers Forever, Brad Burns, May 19, 2014

At the annual meeting of the ASMFC last fall MA State Director Paul Diodati told his fellow commissioners that one didn't need to be a fishery scientist to see what has happened to striped bass. They simply weren't there in the numbers that they had been, and that when he looked at the current data, it was apparent to him that action should have been taken to reduce harvest years ago.  In fairness to the managers, the data keeps changing and the statistics didn't look as bad years ago as they really were.  Under the new "models" that are supposed to more accurately estimate the population, the true condition of the fishery is now thought to be more accurately reflected, and it is not a pretty picture.  Fishermen's reports, which are referred to as  "anecdotal data", have displayed warning signs for the last 7 or 8 seasons, so it turns out that they were more accurate than the scientific data.  Diodati suggested an immediate 40% cut across the board for the 2014 season - just the kind of sensible thing that our members would agree should have been done, but his recommendation failed.

There was substantial pushback to Diodati's proposal, mostly from commercial fishing states, but even from some recreational commissioners, who in our view hold the outdated view that people value harvest more than conservation. They wanted to go more slowly and look at the matter again in subsequent meetings.  That is the scenario that has played itself out in the last two meetings.  The ASMFC Management Board gave the can a gentle kick down the road by asking the scientists to come up with some options to reduce harvest by about 31% beginning in 2015 - a calculation designed to keep the spawning stock biomass from slipping into the overfished category.  This ignored the scientists having told them that a 31% cut would not be enough.

Since the Winter meeting resistance stiffened behind party lines with Chesapeake Bay commercial fishermen insisting that they caught the smaller, non-migratory Bay fish and not the increasingly scarce coastal cows, and of course they played the old commercial sympathy card, complaining about how much they needed these fish to pay their bills, and how a 31% cutback would ruin them.  A story in a Maryland newspaper that recently aired this viewpoint showed a gillnet full of stripers on a commercial boat; every one of them that could be clearly seen was a large female full of eggs.  Also not mentioned was that the Chesapeake Bay area Young of the Year index over the last few seasons is a shadow of those in the 1990s and early 2000s which produced today's larger fish.

So that is how the battle is shaping up.  Recreational fishing and environmental groups are calling for stronger conservation measures - SF went on record as asking for a 50% cutback - and commercial fishing groups along with a few old-school members of the recreational community want a go-slow approach, with the 31% cut to be phased in over three seasons and not to take effect until 2015.  This delaying tactic is designed to give them time to claim that no cutbacks at all are necessary.  If it all sounds a bit confusing, it should, because there is very little direction to the plan at all.  Here is the ASMFC press release on the meeting.  Stripers Forever will be making comments to the ASMFC commissioners prior to the August summer meeting, and doubtless we will advocate then for complete catch reductions to begin with the 2015 season.

In the meantime, Stripers Forever encourages recreational fishers to do their share to conserve large striped bass.  A month ago we introduced our Release A Breeder Club program This program recognizes and rewards both guides and individual anglers who release striped bass 36 inches and larger.  The RBC page explains our free program and has links to the online forms for individuals and guides to enter. Their names and catches will be listed on our website and they will receive decals and certificates decorated with Alan James Robinson's terrific striper artwork.  

By dbalon on 4/21/2014 8:55 PM
Check out these awesome photos taken by Skip Bettencourt and his drone helicopter. The MVSA would like to thank Skip for these latest photos showing the ever changing landscape and seascape out on Wasque Point. It even looks like the Swan Pond is reforming.

Check out these awesome photos in the attached file.

Wasque 041714 .doc
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