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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
By dbalon on 1/29/2013 11:05 AM

Pier progress continues!

(Special thanks to Dave Nash for this update.)

The state Office of Fishing and Boating Access recently announced in a “Notice to Contractors” that they are accepting bids for a handicap accessible fishing pier in Oak Bluffs MA.   Bids will be accepted until 11:00 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 14 at which time they will be publically opened and read.  They have updated their estimate of the value of the project to $900,000.    Bids are also required to include a deposit equal to 5% of the total value of the bid.  It also states that no bid will be awarded to any contractor who is not able to complete the work by June 30, 2013.   A pre-bid meeting will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Feb. 6 at the proposed site of the pier.   This is all nothing but good news for this project. Doug Cameron at OFBA reported to me previously that the slight shortfall in funding locked in a couple of years ago would be made up by funds taken in thru the saltwater fishing license program so I would expect the state is very excited about this project on several levels.  More to come as we hear updates.

By dbalon on 1/25/2013 6:58 PM

While elaborate plans continue to unfold for moving a large Chappaquiddick house, the Edgartown conservation commission is grappling with a new issue: whether actions taken to stem the erosion threatening the house can continue after the house is moved.

For months, the situation at Wasque Point where a rapidly eroding coastal bluff is swiftly approaching an 8,800-square-foot house has captivated the Island. Plans are underway to move the home and surrounding buildings on the property, owned by Richard and Jennifer Schifter.

The Schifters bought part of a neighboring property, and the plan now calls for moving four buildings, beginning with an existing home on the adjacent property that will be moved elsewhere on the same property. Then the Schifter main home, guest house, garage and pool will be moved farther back from the bluff.

Click here to read the full story.


By dbalon on 1/23/2013 12:43 PM

Sent: 1/22/2013 8:28:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: [Stripers_MA] From Stripers Forever's Lobbyist


Stripers Forever MA residents:

We have an opportunity over the next 8 days to significantly enhance the viability of our legislative package for this year.  If you care about the future of striped bass, now is the time to act!  Representatives and Senators of the Massachusetts Great and General Court have already filed the three bills that we've copied and pasted in below.  Our goal in the next 10 days is to get as many legislators as possible to sign on as co-sponsors of these bills.  The HD and SD designations stand for House Docket and Senate Docket.


HD 714 and SD1123,  An Act Relative to the Conservation of Atlantic Striped Bass The main thrust of this bill is to save fish by removing the recreational fishermen from the commercial striped bass fishery and reducing the quota correspondingly.  All fishermen who have not maintained an average of 1,000 pounds or more of reported landings over the last 5 years will not be issued commercial permits.  This will reduce the number of permit holders from about 4,000 to a little more than 200!  This reduction will have the added effect of cooling off the under-the-table, cash sale commercial fishery since, without a permit, people will not able to transport commercial quantities of striped bass so they can be sold.  It will also reduce the quota by a little over 300,000 pounds or nearly 30%.  The bill also prohibits any new entries into the fishery and ends the fishery completely in 2025.  As each license is retired the quota for that license will be removed from the total remaining quota.  The bill also provides for further conservation measures to be taken if the condition of the fishery continues to deteriorate.  

HD716 and SD1050, An Act Protecting the Legal Harvest of Striped Bass -

Beginning in 2014 the ASMFC is requiring all states including MA to adopt a tagging system in its commercial fishery.  MA is the only state no tagging system, and, against the advice of the ASMFC Law Enforcement Committee, MA officials have created a loophole,  whereby the fish can be tagged when they are sold and not at the point at which they are captured.  This bill requires that the commercially caught striped bass must tagged at the time they are caught.  

HD705 and SD1064, A Resolve studying the loss of revenues of the Commonwealth –

        This bill will command the MA department of revenue to study and analyze the well-documented drop in participation in the recreational striped bass fishery in MA, especially the 40% drop in out of state anglers, and how much that decline has cost the Commonwealth in lost         revenue.  The committee will then forward its findings to the Division of Marine Fisheries together with recommendations for enhancing the revenues derived from the recreational striped bass fishery


Here are my suggestions for approaching your legislators:  

 You should call or email your state representative or senator or indeed any legislator that you may have a relationship with.  You should ask them to sign on to the House and Senate dockets for each bill.  

Calling is better if you have the time. You will speak with an aide who will take your information and discuss it with the legislator. Please ask to receive an answer as to whether the Representative or Senator will co-sponsor.

You should call back or email back and ask what the decision was and if not a positive decision, then ask what is the reason for the decision.

Feedback to Stripers Forever is critical.  Send us an e-mail at, and let us know how your communications turn out.  I will follow up with legislators who our members have contacted and work to secure their support.


Thank you for your help.  Henri Rauschenbach


P.S.  The actual language of each bill is available at this LINK.

By dbalon on 1/22/2013 9:39 PM
The erosion continues to damage Wasque Point and the surrounding waterfront. It is truly astounding what is continuing to happen out there to this famous and productive fishing spot. It is very sad to see the disappearing waterfront and all the damage. The true power of nature is at work here. It is anyone's guess when Mother Nature will be done re-shaping this historic place.

Click here to see the latest photos.
By dbalon on 1/20/2013 12:11 PM

MVSA Lunceheon, Meeting and Raffle

The Banquet is this Saturday, January 26, Old Whaling Church, Bailies Room, Edgartown at 1 PM.  Come earlier to purchase raffle tickets and renew memberships.

It would be great if you could bring a plate to pass, side dishes or desserts. We need volunteers to set up, clean up,shuck, recyclers for shells and beverage cans. This is our Annual Meeting, fishing awards and Fundraiser.

Come rain or shine as there is NO bad weather date. This is a good time for everyone to spend an afternoon together and support the RAFFLE.

 We are looking forward to seeing everyone.

By dbalon on 1/5/2013 11:49 AM

Once again in 2012 the MV Surfcasters played a major role in supporting the American Heroes Saltwater Challenge event on MV.  This was the fourth year that the Nixon family, the MV Derby Committee, and the Vineyard community as a whole joined forces to host the wounded warriors along with their family and friends.  This year the Nixon family and a small army of volunteers hosted ten wounded warriors and approximately twenty family members and friends who accompanied them.  All of the warriors were active service members who were patients at either Bethesda Naval Hospital or Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  MSVA members volunteered their time and efforts throughout the five days of the event this year, and were out in force on September 26'th to facilitate the 2012 East Beach Wounded Warrior outing.  MV Surfcasters provided logistical support moving the visitors and support staff from the Beach Plum Inn out to East Beach.  Surfcasters then worked one on one with the vets and their families casting for albies & blues and dunking bait on East Beach throughout the afternoon and early evening of the 26’th. Rod tips were bent up and down the beach throughout the outing.  Numerous bluefish were landed, including a couple of them that made the trip to the Derby weigh-in that evening.  Multiple albies were hooked and landed by the warriors during the afternoon, providing some great thrills for our guests.  The kitchen staff of the Beach Plum Inn and Homeport Restaurant prepared and served an outstanding beach barbeque.  As much as this was a fishing outing, it's really more about spending time with the visiting soldiers, making them feel welcome, and providing them with an opportunity to relax and enjoy some of the wonderful places we get to fish on MV. 

Surfcasters who helped out during the East Beach outing included Wally White, Bob Lane, Mike Stimola, Janet Messineo, Ron Domurat, Dave Nash, Cooper Gilkes, Peter & Lena Johnson, Tom Smith, Paul Schultz, and Phil Horton.  Surfcaster President Will Geresy and Treasurer Sue Geresy were part of the TTOR team that supported the outing.  The wounded warriors and their families had a great time on the beach.

This year the entire five day event was filmed by a crew from National Geographic.  There were several members of the film crew in attendance at the beach outing capturing the excitement of a fun afternoon of fishing and relaxation.  Bob Nixon is the executive producer of the documentary, which will be aired on Memorial Day 2013.

Click here to see all the great photos.
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