Baker-Polito Administration Announces Construction of Fishing and Boating Access Projects


BOSTON – August 11, 2016 – In an effort to increase public access for fishers and
boaters across the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the
completion of 11 fishing and boating access projects valued at more than $1.9
million that include boat ramp and fishing pier renovations, parking lot
improvements and a new dock.

«These boating access improvements will greatly enhance boating and fishing
opportunities and support our valuable tourist economy,» said Governor Charlie
Baker. «It is our priority to ensure all Massachusetts’ residents and visitors can
enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities our public lands and waters

«Proper maintenance of these facilities is of critical importance to the
recreational boating and fishing communities,» said Lieutenant Governor Karyn
Polito. «I would like to thank our many municipal partners who work with us to
provide quality public access to Massachusetts waterways.»

The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA)
manages the construction, repair and operation of state boat ramps, canoe and
car-top launch sites, sport fishing piers and shoreline fishing areas. The FBA
oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private

«The Department of Fish and Game, through collaboration with local and private
partners, works hard to ensure Massachusetts’ residents and visitors have safe,
reliable access to our many beautiful bodies of water,» said Energy and
Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. «By increasing access to outdoor
recreation, we hope to enhance the lives of citizens from every corner of
Massachusetts and heighten appreciation for our natural resources.»

«Access to rivers, lakes and coastal waters is a top priority for recreational
boaters, fishermen, and hunters,» said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. «The
construction and maintenance of these facilities is a great investment in our
recreational infrastructure.»

The fiscal year 2016 projects are listed below by region.

Northeastern Massachusetts

* Dracut – Mascuppic Lake: FBA made $40,000 in repairs to the boat ramp
located off Tyngsboro Road. Managed by the Town of Dracut, the facility has parking
for five vehicles with trailers and five single parking spaces. The warm water lake
offers good fishing for largemouth bass, white perch, pickerel, and tiger muskie.

* Gloucester – Annisquam River: FBA and the Seaport Council provided $72,000
for new lighting at the Dunfudgen Landing access off Emerson Avenue in Gloucester.
The facility, managed by the City of Gloucester, provides 48 parking spaces for
vehicles and trailers and access to the Annisquam River and Gloucester Harbor.
Recreational boating and fishing for striped bass, bluefish and flounder is popular
from this location.

* Methuen – Merrimack River: FBA managed construction of a new boat access
area off Riverside Drive that is managed by the City of Methuen. FBA expended
$700,000 in FY2016 on the $1 million project, which was started in FY15. The
facility provides parking for 19 vehicles with trailers and 11 car-top parking
spots. Construction included the boat ramp, parking lot, and the installation of
boarding floats. This section of the river is very popular with all kinds of boaters
and provides good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and shad.

«I greatly appreciate the state Department of Fish and Game funding this project, in
conjunction with their Office of Fishing & Boating Access, resulting in a boat ramp,
park area, and fishing site,» said State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives
(D-Newburyport). «This is an important improvement for expanding Methuen’s access to
the Merrimack River.»

«I commend the Department of Fish and Game for sticking with this project,» said
state Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen). «They have been outstanding
partners with the City of Methuen resulting in a tremendous facility that provides
local residents with great access to this beautiful river.»

South Shore/Cape Cod

* Harwich – Allen Harbor: FBA provided $370,000 for reconstruction of the
parking lot, revetment and bulkhead at the coastal boat access on Lower County Road.
Managed by the Town of Harwich, the facility has parking for 12 vehicles with
trailers and provides access to Nantucket Sound, which has good fishing for striped
bass, bluefish, flounder, scup and other fish.

* Scituate – Scituate Harbor: FBA made $2,000 worth of repairs to the boat
ramp on Jericho Road. Managed by the Town of Scituate, the facility provides parking
for 43 vehicles with trailers and 12 single spaces. The area has good fishing for
striped bass, bluefish, black sea bass and flounder.

* Yarmouth – Bass River: The Division of Marine Fisheries recreational
fishing permit fund provided $90,000 and FBA provided $30,000 for reconstruction and
improvements to an old fishing pier off South Street. Recreational anglers can catch
striped bass, bluefish, scup, and fluke from this pier, which is managed by the Town
of Yarmouth.

«Investing in access to coastal resources is crucial to the health and future of the
Commonwealth,» said Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich). «On the Cape, we
call it building the ‘blue’ economy. The two projects from my district included in
this round of funding are wonderful examples of that. So thanks to everyone at the
Department of Fish and Game for shepherding this good work along.»

«I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Beaton, and
Commissioner Peterson for their continued support to Cape Cod and the 1st Barnstable
District,» said State Representative Timothy R. Whelan (R-Brewster). «This funding
will continue to allow to the Town of Yarmouth to preserve our local fisheries and
wild life observations.»

Central Massachusetts

* Brookfield – Quaboag River: FBA managed the construction of a new cartop
access site on Route 148 in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of
Transportation. The $100,000 project provides access to the Quaboag River and
Quaboag Pond. Managed by the Town of Brookfield, the facility has parking for six
vehicles and the area offers good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass,
pickerel and panfish.

* Rutland – Long Pond: FBA made $14,000 worth of repairs to the boat ramp
located in the Rutland State Forest. Managed by the Department of Conservation and
Recreation, the site has parking for 40 vehicles with trailers and provides good
fishing for trout, largemouth bass, white perch and pickerel.

«Maintaining and improving access to our beautiful waterways continues to be a
priority and these funds will be well used to increase access and hopefully
encourage people who have not been to the area to put a boat, canoe or kayak in and
enjoy all the area has to offer,» said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).

Western Massachusetts

* Easthampton – Nashawannuck Pond: FBA constructed a new boat access off
Water Lane that will be managed by the Town of Easthampton. The $160,000 project
includes the boat ramp and parking for four vehicles with trailers and four single
car-top spaces. The pond is stocked with trout by DFG’s Division of Fisheries and
Wildlife and offers good fishing for trout, largemouth bass, and pickerel.

* Easthampton – Connecticut River: FBA rebuilt the float system valued at
$8,000 at the boat access off Route 5. This facility is managed by the Department of
Conservation and Recreation, and provides parking for 32 vehicles with trailers and
direct access to the Connecticut River. It is popular with recreational boaters and
anglers who seek largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and shad.

* New Marlborough – Thousand Acre Pond: FBA made $40,000 in repairs,
including reconstruction of the boat ramp and expansion of the parking area at the
Hotchkiss Road facility. Managed by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the
facility provides parking for eight vehicles with trailers and good fishing for
largemouth bass, pickerel and panfish.

«The Connecticut River is one of our greatest assets in the Pioneer Valley for many
reasons, including its recreational opportunities like fishing and boating,» said
State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). «As a member of the Legislature’s Boating
Caucus and Sportsmen’s Caucus, I thank the Baker Administration for investing in the
Easthampton boat ramp and supporting the interests and passions of the many
recreational boaters and sportsmen and women in my district.»

The Office of Fishing and Boating Access is charged with providing boating and
fishing access to over 1,200 miles of seashore and hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers,
and streams in the Commonwealth. The agency oversees more than 290 boat and canoe
launch sites, along with shore fishing areas and fishing piers.

Appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and maintenance activities of the
FBA come from several sources. State general funds, bond appropriations, revenue
from the sale of the Division of Marine Fisheries’ recreational salt water fishing
permits, and federal reimbursements by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the
federal Sport Fish Restoration Act all help fund FBA projects.

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation
and enjoyment of the Commonwealth’s natural resources. DFG carries out this mission
through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and
marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt
water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts
environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other
educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth’s rivers, lakes,
and coastal waters.

Click here for a table
of information about the individual access locations, maps, and fisheries