The Official Website of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game
The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access(FBA) is pleased to announce the availability of a revised and updated edition of Public Access to the Waters of Massachusetts.
Public Access to the Waters of Massachusetts is a full-color publication that includes 90 individual site maps and descriptions of more than 200 access points to state waterways. The 150-page guide also includes information about sportfishing piers, fishing in fresh and marine waters, boating law, rights of access, and information about boating and fishing programs in the Department of Fish and Game.
Copies of Public Access to the Waters of Massachusetts may be purchased in person for $5.00 each from the FBA office (1440 Soldiers Field Rd., near the intersection of Market St. and Western Avenue in Brighton) during business hours or may be ordered by mail by sending a check or money order for $8.00 per book payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with the address to which the book(s) are to be shipped, to the Office of Fishing and Boating Access, 1440 Soldiers Field Road, Brighton, MA 02135. Call the FBA office at (617) 727-1843 if you need additional information
Since the original publication of Public Access to the Waters of Massachusetts back in 1986, the number of access points in the state FBA system has nearly doubled. The FBA office attempted to keep up with the ever-expanding list by providing a supplement containing the new sites (descriptions only; no maps) with each book distributed. Once the FBA’s supply of the original books became depleted two years ago, however, work on a revised and updated edition that could include all the 200+ sites currently in the FBA system began in earnest.
This book project presented an exciting opportunity to upgrade the hand-drawn and lettered black-and-white site location maps contained in the 1986 book with modern, full-color GIS (computerized) maps. This proved to be more difficult than anticipated. After one or two false starts, a successful mapping protocol was developed by DFG GIS specialists Steve McRae and Dorothy Grasskamp and then implemented by GIS cartographer Elspeth Keller with the assistance of Riverways’ Russ Cohen. These maps form the "core" of the book, supplemented with color photographs supplied by Russ and others of a number of FBA access facilities, along with the waterways they provide access to and people using them.
As in the original edition of the book, the updated version presents site maps to and descriptions of the FBA access points grouped by the five regional Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) districts in which they can be found. The updated book also provides information about the game fish species each site provides access to as well as appendices that list FBA sites alphabetically both by facility name and by the city or town in which they’re located. In order to keep the new book at a manageable size, however, a decision was made to provide location maps for only the 90 or so most heavily-used and/or popular FBA access points. This means that location maps are not provided for many of the smaller FBA facilities (e.g., the so-called "cartop" access points used most frequently by canoeists and kayakers). The general location of these smaller sites are shown on the index map for each DFW district, and brief narrative descriptions of these sites are provided at the end of each section after the site maps to the bigger FBA facilities. Nevertheless, Elspeth and Russ are currently at work preparing location maps for these smaller FBA access points. These maps will eventually be posted to the FBA’s Web page, joining the 90 site location maps in the book already posted there.