This week we deal with the recent past, the near future and the oddly confusing.
TU volunteers giving up a Saturday to clean a road to preserve a river
Members of Trout Unlimited’s Narragansett 225 chapter donated a recent Saturday to the State’s Adopt-A-Roadway program. TU members don’t just meet up to go fishing, they donate time and skills to teach others about conservation, cold water fishes and possibly the joys of a perfect four-weight. Volunteering is a major part of their mission; spending a few hours walking around some very wet roadside picking up garbage, wondering just how many Fireballs people can drink then fire out a car window is a seriously generous way to spend your time.
If you have a few minutes and could use some relief from the bitter politics of the day with a reminder of how much good we can do as decent humans, go to www.tu.org and read Chris Wood’s piece on Terry Edwards.
Terry is a veteran who needed something in his life to help him settle in from several overseas deployments protecting our collective asses and much of it started with a couple of guys wading across a stream to chat.
That’s Trout Unlimited.
And just for the sake of it, they’d love to have you as a member.
So a big thank you to the volunteers who, paraphrasing the great Arlo Guthrie, had to pick up all the garbage.
In no particular order, they are Dick Diamond, Jeff Perry, David Butler, John Danehy, Nanette Gallagher, Pierre Duval, Tyler Poole, Nora White, Greg Houde, Ron Marafioti and Gene Bates.
Since Surf Day with the Narragansett Surfcasters is already on your 2019 calendar for February 9, let’s back up a step and reserve January 10 as well. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is looking for input from recreational fishermen for help, “developing both short and long term management measures for the recreational fishing community.” This is an offering from their Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office and a meeting you should not miss.
One of their goals is to, “Think creatively about how to meaningfully use new Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) data in the management of groundfish stocks with a recreational catch component in the long-term.” MRIP is the program where someone with a clipboard and laminated badge tries to ask you questions about what you caught or planned to catch. This is a worthwhile discussion; it’s not okay to put your head down and stare at your boots so as to avoid them but then later haul back a pint and complain about restrictions because you say there’s a million of insert-species-here in the ocean. This will be an opportunity to see how the data they collect is used and applied.
Recreational fishermen will afford regulators a real life assessment of how we see the state of our fisheries. The day starts at 8 a.m., in Hazard A and B rooms at URI’s Coastal Institute Building on the Bay Campus. The workshop begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m., of course coffee and lunch will be served. There’s only so many seats so your best bet is to sign up early to preserve yours.
Trout Unlimited members donated their sore backs picking up Marlboro butts and beer cans from along a muddy road so here’s your chance to give a day back to the fisheries and maybe feel good about how the system works.
And if you think it doesn’t, it’s your chance to look up.
As for the oddly confusing, some of my coworkers are bragging about epic battles with hundred-pound sturgeon and rods shattered fighting angry fifty-pound muskies. They’re showing me pictures of saddlebags loaded with bluegills, they’re peeking over cubicles chatting about how they had to evict a field dressed bull elk laid flat with a crossbow from their poor horse’s backside to make room for all those bluegills. Some say they landed five-pound pickerel through two feet of ice and ten-point bucks shot from a snowy ridge in a thirty-knot gust.
I applaud anyone who can field dress anything but these guys are talking about Red Dead Redemption 2, a video game that seems to be drawing kids away from actually being outside an actual house. Oddly, it encourages you to perfect skills like shooting strangers because they witnessed you kill a different stranger then burn their house down, just for good measure. And I’m the bad guy for going pheasant hunting?
By now, the video game thing is pretty well established; gamers can slouch up the whole couch, meet on-line from inside parent’s basements, have conventions and pull the blinds back to block out any outside so they can better “hunt” or “fish” in the inside of a make believe game while they’re drowning in Dr Pepper.
There’s just something so uncool about expecting bragging rights to a hundred-pound sturgeon that only appears on something called a console or when they use a smartphone to take a picture of it on a tv the size of my pickup
I’m old, it’s confusing and I hope that in five years, NOAA isn’t hosting a meeting in the Hazard Room to discuss whitetail stock status, bluegill bycatch data and house burning statistics for outdoorsmen existing in a virtual world.
Lord help me, please join Trout Unlimited, don’t fire Fireballs out the window and send me a picture of your real catch, no matter what the species.
Look! It’s a child off the couch catching fish!!!! In the outside!!!!