By CAPT. DAVE MONTI

Climate change is impacting our coastal shoreline, our habitat and the fish we like to catch, eat and/or release. If you’re interested in what’s changing and how to use strategies and actions to deal with climate change, you’ll want to attend this free online Climate Fishinar on Wednesday, March 23 and April 13, from 6:30-8 p.m.

Last week, Climate Fishinar partners led by the Coastal Resources Center and the Rhode Island Sea Grant at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography announced a free online Climate Fishinar series titled, “Effects of climate change on recreational fishing and boating: opportunities and actions”.

This is a two-part webinar series that will engage recreational anglers, boaters, and climate experts across the northeast. They will discuss how climate change is affecting traditional uses – both good and bad. Strategies and actions taken by individuals, governments and industry to respond to these changes will also be discussed.

As part of the Climate Fishinar series, the organizers are holding a photo contest. Submit your photos that illustrate the positive or negative impacts of climate on fish, habitat or resource users and you’ll be eligible to win one of two $250 cash card prizes. Photos could include habitat change, fish that have left the area, fish here or here in greater abundance due to climate impacts, etc.

The organizers plan to project photos during each session. Session I deadline is Friday March 18, Session II and final deadline is Wednesday April 6. To participate, please send photos to me, Dave Monti at [email protected], as I have been asked to coordinate entries. Each photo should be accompanied by the name of the photographer, the location where the photo was taken, and a brief one to two sentence description of the photograph.

To view a list of participating charter captains, savvy fishermen, and climatologists, or to register for Session I on March 23, visit https://seagrant.gso.uri.edu/webinar-series-climate-change- effects-on-recreational-fishing-and-boating/.

Participants in the event include University of Rhode Island (URI) Graduate School of Oceanography, Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association, NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Ørsted, the American Saltwater Guides Association, Ocean Conservancy, Rhode Island Marine Trades Association and Safe Harbor Marinas.

Great success of the saltwater fishing show

The excitement started to build around 11 a.m. Friday. The line to get to the New England Saltwater Fishing Show stretched the length of the Rhode Island Convention Center around the corner from the Omni Hotel, then zigzagged around to accommodate anyone who wanted to enter the Show at noon. The show is sponsored by the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA).

As the crowd at the entrance lined up, they watched the fishing show launch event. Attendees at the show’s opening included Janet Coit, Deputy Administrator of NOAA (and former Director of RI DEM); Terrance Gray, Acting Director of the Department of Environmental Management; RI State Representatives Deborah Ruggiero and Terri Cortvriend (both are Land Access Champions); Greg Vespe, Managing Director and Dawn Filliatreault Wood, Chair of the Board or RISAA; and Lynn Medeiros, longtime RISAA volunteer and wife of the late Stephen Medeiros, RISSA founding president and director of the Fishing Show.

The launch event included the sound of the ship’s horns, one long blast and three short blasts, symbolic of a ship leaving its dock as it backed down an alley.

Once opened, excitement filled the exhibit hall as thousands of people attended the three-day fishing show.

What I liked at the Salon?

There was a lot to like at the show, as it is the largest saltwater fishing show of its kind in the Northeast. The show featured tackle, rods, reels, lures, electronics, charter guides, boats, motors, accessories, apparel and more. Around 275 stands and hundreds of manufacturers were represented at the show.

The RI Kayak Center, North Kingstown, RI

Kayaks are still one of the fastest growing segments in recreational boating. I particularly liked the Hobie Mirage Lynx presented on the Kayak Center stand. Chuck Jay, Hobie Northeast Sales Rep, slapped the side of the Hobie Mirage Lynx and said, “What makes this boat different is it has a strong core, it’s 36 inches wide for great stability , 11 feet long and weighs only 47 pounds. “Fully rigged, the boat weighs only 63 pounds. Christopher Catucci, fishing expert and professional guide for the Center and Hobie, said: “Once I discovered kayak fishing I was hooked and have been fishing both fresh and salt water on kayaks ever since. ” The Hobie Mirage Lynx has a suggested retail pride of $2,995. However, the Kayak Center offers a range of boats and prices. Visit them at www.kayakcentre.com or at 70 Brown Street, North Kingstown (Wickford), RI.

Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown, RI

Elisa Cahill and her brother Matt Conti had one of their best days on Saturday at the show. Their big bit stand had hundreds of customers coming in and out. “I would like a reel to match this rod.” said Joel Salafia of Durham, CT. “We have a wide range of reels to match,” said Snug Harbor’s Matt Conti. Joel opted for a $210 Penn Squall bait reel and left the pit satisfied with his match. Elisha Cahill said: “It’s been very busy, it’s been an outstanding show.”

Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown, RI

“We had a terrific show.” said Neil Hayes of Quaker Lane Bait & Tackle. “Every day, customers were ready to buy. Our sales volume was up. You could tell there was a lot of pent up demand there. When asked what’s new at the show, Neil said, “We introduced the new St. Croix Seage Surf Spinning Rods at the show. They are available in lengths from 7 to 12 feet and are made with a newly designed carbon fiber that is both more resistant to bending and lighter than previous rods. Their price ranges from $210 to $380. And backed by a 15-year St. Croix warranty.

Saltwater Edge, Middletown, RI

Louis Schlaker, a Saltwater Edge associate, said, “Top water lures are my favorite for early spring striped bass fishing. Four to Five Inch Lures Yo Zuri’s Hydro Pencil “Walk the Dog” style lure is excellent. They are available in four colors… black/silver, sardine, bone and mullet. They were listed at $14.49 on the Saltwater Edge website. Schlaker said, “I also like to use soft plastic, like a 7½-inch slug-go and the Shimano Coltsniper Splash Walker is a great spring-loaded lure too.” It was listed at around $18.99 on the Saltwater Edge website. Visit www.saltwaterede.com.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and a charter fishing licence. He sits on various boards and commissions and has an advisory practice focused on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries-related issues and clients. Send fishing news and photos to [email protected] or visit www.noflukefishing.com.