Tag Archives: bait

Herring cuts another headache for lobstermen

Maine lobstermen are catching it coming and going, but the “it” ain’t lobsters. Last month, the lobster industry found itself confronted with a demand from federal fisheries regulators that it reduce the risk it posed to endangered right whales by 60 percent and began the arduous task of figuring out how to remove half the vertical buoy lines attached to lobster traps from the water. Though it came as no surprise, earlier this month the New England Fishery Management Council announced that the already scant amount of herring allowed to be caught off the coast of New England would be further reduced in 2020 and 2021. >click to read<11:34

‘Do I need life insurance?’ A morning as a Peconic fisherman

Rain is the forecast as Tom Gariepy arrives at the Peconic River just before 5 a.m. for one of the last bunker hauls of the season. He backs his trailered sharpie bait boat into the still, 68-degree water, parks his pickup on the road and waits for veteran fishermen Lenny Nilson and Kenny Anderson before the three push off in two boats for the waters around Indian Island, in Riverhead. On the way out, Gariepy sees a giant school of bunker just beyond the launch point, but Nilson has a feeling about the waters to the north and east. >click to read<14:17

Maine DMR chief briefs Legislature on whales, bait

Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher briefed the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee on the latest news from the lobster bait and whale front. The news was not good. Speaking at a May 7 committee workshop, Keliher said the state was under severe pressure from NOAA Fisheries to find ways to reduce the number of vertical lines in the water that connect lobster traps to surface buoys. NOAA seeks a line reduction of more than 60 percent and wants it done soon. >click to read<11:21

Large pogy catch good news for Maine lobstermen who feared bait shortage

All of the landings have yet to be counted, but officials say it is likely that an unusually large pogy fleet will have caught almost 7 million pounds of the fish, which is more than double last year’s landings. This comes as especially good news for Maine lobstermen, who use pogies to bait their traps when the herring supply runs low, as it is expected to this year. “Every pogy used was herring not used,” said Kristan Porter, a Cutler lobsterman and president of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, which has been working with its members to prepare them for the herring shortage. >click to read<07:09

Mashpee Selectmen Push To Move Herring Trawlers Off The Coast

The New England Fishery Management Council, a federal entity, will host several public hearings to solicit comments on possible alternatives under consideration in an amendment to the Atlantic Herring Fishery Management Plan. More specifically, the council is seeking feedback from the public on which alternatives should be selected and why. One of those amendments includes forcing fishing vessels called midwater trawlers 12 miles off the Cape Cod shore.,,, But the operators of these midwater trawlers contest the proposed amendment,,, Mary Beth Tooley, a representative of O’Hara Corporation in Maine, says that about 80 percent of the Maine lobster fishery uses herring as bait. “That’s thousands of lobstermen that will be impacted,” >click to read<20:13

Big changes could be coming to East Coast herring fishery

Federal fishing regulators are considering changing the way they manage one of the largest fisheries on the East Coast to better account for its impact on the environment and other industries. The regulatory New England Fishery Management Council has released a group of alternatives for how it could change management of Atlantic herring. The small, schooling fish are harvested from Maine to Florida and are used for fish oil, food for humans and bait for fishermen and lobstermen. click here to read the story 20:22

This year, a welcome switch on bait supply for Maine lobstermen

Bait freezers along the coast are full of herring and pogies, and even alewives, which means that bait is not only available, it is also much less expensive than last year when herring cost as much as 60 cents a pound, said Pat Keliher, commissioner of the state Department of Marine Resources. This year the lobstermen’s go-to bait costs about half as much. That’s still not a great price, Keliher said. Herring fetched about 18 cents a pound at the start of the 2015 lobstering season. “I won’t say we’re in great shape, but we are in a heck of a lot better shape than we were last year,” Keliher said. He attributed the strong start to basic supply-and-demand economics. click here to read the story 08:18

Bait company’s freezer nearly empty. Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has declared an emergency!

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has declared an emergency so the state’s one menhaden bait boat can begin fishing two weeks early. Louisiana Bait Products LLC officials say the emergency is that they’ve sold most of the 5,550 tons harvested last year, and don’t want to run out. “We had a pretty start to the crawfish season, so we’ve been selling a lot of our offseason inventory this year,” agent Shawn Switzer said Thursday from the office in Abbeville. Co-founder Daniel Edgar estimated Friday that Louisiana’s crawfish, crab and catfish industries use 37,500 to 50,000 tons of bait a year. Most is trucked in from Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. “We are going to run out of bait before April,” Edgar said. Read the story here 08:38

Bait warehouse planned for Route 1 in Thomaston Maine

A Canadian man has plans to build a bait storage facility on Route 1 near the town line with Warren. The facility would be run by Jamie Steeves of J&J Lobster in Rockland, who said he was a longtime business partner of François Benoit of New Brunswick. Benoit owns the lot where the bait warehouse would be built, but Steeves said the warehouse was his project alone. Neither Steeves nor Benoit could be reached for additional comment, but, according to Thomaston Code Enforcement Officer William Wasson, the facility would hold frozen lobster bait that Steeves would sell. The Thomaston Planning Board approved the conditional use of the property Dec. 20 for fish and shellfish loading, processing, depuration and storage and conducted a site walk of the lot Dec. 23. According to the minutes from the site walk Dec. 23, the plan includes a single 40-by-100-square-foot building that will be maintained at subzero temperatures. Read the story here 11:37

Maine: The Situation with bait Herring

atlantic herringOn a local radio station recently a commentator stated that herring stocks are overfished. Overfishing has led to the current shortage of herring for lobstermen’s use as bait, he continued. His statement was incorrect. Among the many fish species that call the Gulf of Maine home, Atlantic herring are one species that is doing quite well, thank you very much. In the opaque language of fisheries regulators, “Atlantic herring stocks are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.”  So why has herring availability become such an issue for lobstermen this summer? The migratory fish is the preferred bait for many Maine lobstermen and when there’s no herring available, lobstermen get a little testy. The problem lies not with the fish, who right now are congregating in spawning schools along the coast. The problem lies with the regulatory need to control what happens at sea, a desire that often conflicts with what is actually happening at sea. Read the story here 14:18

As alewife populations recover, a new economy emerges

Friendship lobsterman Jim Wotton believes the resurgent river herring could feed lobster traps en masse, generating big profits. Wotton, 44, of Friendship, is one of Maine’s authentic lobstermen, but he’s also taken on a second role in recent years that offers a look into the future. As a member of the Alewife Harvesters of Maine, Wotton has staked a claim in an up-and-coming industry that may soon be hugely important to Maine’s 6,000 lobstermen. [email protected] 14:33

PEI Lobstermen saving big bait bucks catching and freezing Mackerel for next season

CBC_News_logoNorth Lake fisherman Peter Bortien is out on the water for the second year fishing mackerel, catching 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) in just three days. He said the mackerel run has changed in recent years. [email protected]