Fishers Island School Students meet Point Judith Fishing Fleet




Earlier this spring, a group of Fishers Island School students traveled to Point Judith, Rhode Island. Mrs. Burns’ second and fourth grade class along with Mr. Murray and his Environmental Science and Land Conservation students joined up with former Fishers Island Ferry Operations Manager, RJ Burns to visit the Point Judith, fishing fleet and facilities to learn more about the commercial fishing industry.  

The students started their visit at the Superior Trawl net loft where they learned how large fishing nets are made and designed. Owner Jon Knight had a 1/3 scale model of a squid net to demonstrate and then discussed how all nets are specialized based on particular species of fish being sourced. All the students were shown how to tie a bowline knot, and then practiced throwing dock lines to a simulated dock piling. Thank you, John, Cindy, and Barry for this experience! One of the highlights of visiting the net loft was that students as a group were able to crawl through the length of a full-size trawl net just like fish! 

From the Sea Freeze facility, we then toured the docks with Jennifer and RJ who pointed out the different boats, their equipment, and their uses. While walking the docks the students were invited onboard the fishing vessel Lightning Bay for a very informative tour. They saw where the crew slept, ate dinner, worked on deck and of course the pilot house. The Environmental Science and Land Conservation students also had a tour of the engine room. Captain Kevin was a wonderful host who also took the time to review all the instrumentation within the pilot house.

The final stop of this exciting day was an old-time ice cream shop in Wakefield, RI. Students and chaperones had their choice of treats from the Greenline Apothecary and Soda Fountain menu. This was a very sweet ending to our eventful and informative day.

Several times during our walk about the Point Judith Town Docks the students were complimented by passing fishermen and crew in regard to how respectful and comfortable they were around the docks and boats. After returning to school Mrs. Burns’ class wrote thank notes to all who took time out their day to show and share with them. We can be proud of our Fishers Island student ambassadors!

Many thanks go out to RJ Burns for coordinating this informative field trip, as well as Jon, Cindy, Barry, Jennifer, and Captain Kevin for being such willing hosts. 

Written and contributed by Jen Burns, a Fishers Island School 2nd and 4th grade teacher for