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DEM, RI Party and Charter Boat Association, and Narragansett Parks and Recreation Department Join Forces in Second Collaborative Scientific/Public Outreach Effort

Several Narragansett Families Will Take Part in This Recreational Fishing Opportunity/Scientific Survey on Veterans Day

PROVIDENCE For the second year in a row, the Department of Environmental Management, in conjunction with the RI Party and Charter Boat Association and the Narragansett Department of Parks and Recreation, will help turn a scientific fish monitoring survey into a recreational fishing experience for Narragansett families. This year's program will take place on Monday, November 11, with vessels leaving the Port of Galilee at 8 a.m. and returning to the port at approximately 12 p.m.

The popular event began last year as a pilot program, when Dan Costa, port manager in DEM's Division of Coastal Resources suggested that DEM's annual tautog collection would provide the perfect venue for a collaborative charitable event with the RI Party and Charter Boat Association. Every year, DEM's Division of Fish & Wildlife is required to collect 200 samples of tautog in a diverse range of sizes for analysis in its scientific monitoring program. Data collected during the fish survey are used in the age structured stock assessment for that species.

Several partners worked together last year to bring the idea to fruition, including marine biologist Jason McNamee of DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife, John Rainone of the RI Party and Charter Boat Association, and Steven Wright and Tom Tessitore of the Narragansett Department of Parks and Recreation. One lucky family from the Narragansett Parks and Recreation assistance program was chosen to participate in a free tautog fishing trip aboard Captain John Rainone's L'il Toot charter boat on the day after Thanksgiving. The family had an opportunity to enjoy a fun day of recreational fishing for tautog, and also helped collect fish samples for DEM's monitoring program. Nicole Lengyel, a principal biologist in DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife, was onboard the vessel to coordinate the scientific collection.

"In addition to the scientific benefits, this special project is providing several Narragansett families with an opportunity to take part in a fun-filled day of fishing on a charter vessel and to bring home some freshly-caught fish," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "All in all, this collaborative project is providing a boost to our science and a deepened appreciation for the variety of marine life in our seas for the participating families."

Steve Wright, director of the Narragansett Parks and Recreation Department said, "This annual program provides a unique opportunity for deserving families from Narragansett to go fishing on a local charter boat and at the same time help DEM collect important scientific data. The Narragansett Parks and Recreation Department is pleased to partner with DEM and the RI Party and Charter Boat Association to offer this opportunity to local families."

This program would not be possible without the generous contributions of the RI Party and Charter Boat Association and its members who are donating their time and talents to help local families and participate in this public outreach effort.

Due to the success of last year's event, the program has been expanded this year. Five vessels from the RI Party and Charter Boat Association, all of which are docked in the Port of Galilee, will participate in the November 11th event and accommodate several Narragansett families. They include charter boats "Priority Too," operated by Captain Rick Bellavance; "Sea Devil," operated by Captain Kelly Smith; "L'il Toot," operated by Captain John Rainone; "Bare Bones," operated by Captain Steven Anderson; and "Carol J," operated by Captain Paul Johnson.

Several DEM staff members will also volunteer their time for the event, including Dan Costa, Jason McNamee, Nicole Lengyel, Kevin Smith and Chris Deacutis.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management

Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/

Release date: 10-31-2013

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