Well I’m back home to the Berkshires after a wonderful fly fishing trip to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) in Montana / Wyoming and Idaho. This was followed by a delightful vacation to YNP with my wife Jan.
Fall trout stockings
MassWildlife will stock over 65,000 trout statewide this fall.
Here’s the breakdown: nearly 28,000 rainbow trout will be over 14 inches long, over 33,000 rainbow trout will be over 12 inches and about 4,000 brown trout will be over nine inches long. . The Western District will likely receive about 20 percent. MassWildlife estimates that these fish, added to the 500,000 stocked last spring, should provide excellent fall fishing.
The tentative start date is the last week of September. Many local fly fishermen are wondering if they will be stocking the East Arm of the Westfield River this fall. Andrew Madden, DFW West District Supervisor, noted that fall seeding in the Westfield River is determined by water volume in most years. Water levels look good at this point, so restocking is likely unless weather conditions change dramatically. So we should have good fly fishing conditions in this river as well as in the Deerfield River.
Anglers can get daily stock updates on the MassWildlife website.
Proposed new pheasant regulation
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will hold a public hearing on Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. on changes to quail and pheasant hunting regulations. The public hearing will be held via a Zoom webinar and will take place after the monthly Fisheries and Wildlife Council meeting.
The proposed regulations include the establishment of a quail and pheasant hunting license, the elimination of the seasonal bag limit for these birds, the removal of restrictions on roosters only, and the elimination of the registration process. hunters for pheasant hunting in the Martin Burns Wildlife Management Area. in Newbury, Mass. Madden noted that the regulatory proposal only establishes the permit. The prices for all licenses and permits are set by a different process (the one we just went through with license increases). In the case of the pheasant / quail permit, it will cost $ 4 in 2022, $ 8 in 2023, $ 12 in 2024, $ 16 in 2025 and $ 20 in 2026.
The meeting is available on the DFW website (mass.gov/service-details/fisheries-and-wildlife-board-public-hearings-on-proposed-regulatory-amendments). Due to filing requirements, the Fisheries and Wildlife Council must vote on the proposed changes at the close of the hearing. In turn, there will be no comment period after the hearing. To send comments before the hearing, email the Assistant Director, Susan Sacco, at [email protected] or by writing to 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581.
Excess permits for antlerless deer
According to MassWildlife, there are surplus antlerless deer permits available for sale in the eastern part of our state. For example, in zone 9 there are 1,410 surplus permits, in zone 10 there are 9,092, in zone 11 there are 7,770, in zone 13 some 2,526 are available and in zone 14 there are 2,619. So if you haven’t been licensed in one of our local areas, you might want to think about hunting there. Along with putting delicious venison on your table, you would help reduce this deer population to desired levels. The sale of surplus antlerless deer permits by the wildlife management zone will be phased in over the following days in September: Zone 11: Tuesday, September 28 at 9 am; Zone 10: Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. Zones 9, 13 and 14: Thursday, September 30 at 9 a.m. Excess permits are $ 5 each and are on a first come, first served basis until exhaustion. You can purchase a Zone 11 permit, a Zone 10 permit, and a Zone 9 permit per day; up to four permits per day can be purchased for zones 13 and 14.
Surplus permits can be purchased online using MassFishHunt or in person at authorized license provider locations. To purchase a surplus antlerless deer license online, log into MassFishHunt with your last name and date of birth, then follow the instructions.
Thanks to the Massachusetts firefighters
Many thanks and congratulations to the team of 20 Massachusetts firefighters who helped fight wildfires in the Northern Rockies region. They have now returned home safe and sound.
The group headed west on August 14 and returned to Hopkinton State Forest headquarters on September 4 after spending two weeks in the field in western Montana and northern Idaho (around the time my fishing friends and I were there). The Massachusetts team consisted of 14 firefighters from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), three firefighters from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) and three municipal firefighters.
The firefighters, who were part of a “Type 2 initial attack manpower team”, engaged in direct fire suppression by working on the perimeter of three large unconfined fires. The team coordinated with heavy equipment and helicopter bucket drops to contain the flames and protect the structures.
Massachusetts DCR commissioner Jim Montgomery was in Hopkinton to greet the firefighters and thank them for their efforts.
According to the Associated Press, wildfires in the United States have burned nearly 7,900 square miles (20,460 square kilometers) this year in drought-ravaged forests, chaparrals and grasslands. The vast majority are on public lands in the West which also serve as popular places for summer activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, rafting and biking.
An Onota carp with a demanding palate
Recently, I received an email from Mrs. Alexandra Barone. She and her husband Anthony Barone are new to the Berkshires and here is what she wrote:
âMy husband, to our surprise, caught an 8 pound common carp last Sunday around 4:30 pm. adolescents) in Dalton, (to) breathe and absorb beauty and silence. We’ve been vacationing here in the Berkshires for quite some time, and the hectic lifestyle we knew in the past had to come to an end because we’re not getting any younger, lolâ¦
We love to fish, but had no fishing plans. It was just a whimâ¦ grab some towels, a blanket and of course a fishing rod. We had no bait; however, I had barbecued ribs on the grill the night before, and that was just our bait. So, I guess Carp loves pork, funny as that sounds.
The fish fought such a fierce battle my husband said, “I think I caught the Lake Onota alligator!”
Fish is such a beautiful species to us, but we like to enjoy its meat and its omega-3s. As this is our first big catch of any type of fish, it had a delicious flavorâ¦ a Christmas dinner favorite, dating back to medieval times, and enjoyed in European regions.
My husband first learned to fillet (and) since I love to cook, I learned to cook this special common carp. (It was) “divine,” no fishy flavor, although I made it by soaking the fillets in salted water overnight.
What a spectacular take, Anthony Barone, my darling. It was not only relaxing but also an amazing and exciting day we spent together at Lake Onota! â
Isn’t that a great story?
Thanks for sharing this story with us Alexandra. You couldn’t have chosen a better place to relax than on the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the Berkshires.
Alexandra is right to point out that carp is a major dish in European countries. My grandparents, when they came from France, loved to eat carp, but for some reason this fishmeal never became popular with people here in the United States. They don’t know what they’re missing.