For Immediate Release - July 05, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Completion of 18 Fishing and Boating Access Projects

BOSTON – Thursday, July 5, 2012 – With the summer season underway, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today announced the completion of 18 boat access projects at lakes, rivers and coastal areas across the state.

“Boating and fishing are extremely popular in Massachusetts, and the completion of these projects enhances the existing boating and fishing resources spread throughout Massachusetts ,” said Secretary Sullivan. “I hope anglers and boaters, and their friends and families, will get out and enjoy these new and our existing access points this summer.”

The 18 projects – valued at close to $1 million – included repair and new construction of boat ramps, creation of car-top access areas, new boarding floats, new barrier-free fishing piers, renovations to parking areas, and road repair, all of which were overseen by the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Fishing and Boating Access.

“There are more than 1 million residents and visitors to Massachusetts who are recreational boaters and anglers, and we are thrilled to have completed these projects in time for this boating season,” said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. “I want to thank the towns, partners, construction contractors, and other agencies who continue to work with us to ensure we maintain this valuable infrastructure for the Commonwealth.”

The Office of Fishing and Boating Access is charged with providing boating and fishing access to more than 1,200 miles of seashore as well as hundreds of ponds, rivers, and streams in the Commonwealth. The agency oversees about 275 boat and canoe launch sites, along with shore fishing areas and fishing piers. The facilities give residents and visitors extensive opportunities to enjoy fishing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, waterskiing and recreational boating.

DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) improvement and reconstruction projects were valued at $973,000 for the fiscal year of 2012, ranging from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. They were in the following locations:

Cape Cod

  • Barnstable-Blish Point: FBA oversaw the completion of repairs valued at $7,000 to the float boarding system. The area provides access to the Barnstable Harbor and Cape Cod Bay. It has 34 trailer parking spaces, and is managed by the Town of Barnstable.
  • Dennis-Sesuit Harbor: FBA oversaw the construction of an $8,000 extension to the existing float boarding system. The area provides access to the Cape Cod Bay and Billingsgate Shoals. There are 74 trailer parking spaces at the location, which is managed by the Town of Dennis.
  • Yarmouth-Bass River: The improvements included the reconstruction of an existing boat ramp, as well as new boarding floats and a sport fishing pier costing $600,000, with $150,000 of the project cost paid for with funds from the Division of Marine Fisheries recreational saltwater license fund. This area has shore fishing access, and has 16 trailer parking spots and 10 single spaces. It provides access to the Bass River and Nantucket Sound. It is managed by the Town of Yarmouth.

Southeastern Massachusetts

  • Plymouth-Long Pond: FBA oversaw repairs to the drainage system at the ramp at a value of $5,000. This stocked pond features trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and white perch. There are 29 trailer parking spaces and 10 single spaces. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • Weymouth-Fore River: The $90,000 worth of construction creates a new small boat access and parking area. It has 10 car-top parking spaces, and provides access to the Fore River and Quincy Bay Area. It is managed by the Town of Weymouth.

Northeastern Massachusetts/Metrowest

  • Billerica-Nutting’s Lake: FBA is overseeing the installation of a new fishing pier for anglers to fish for largemouth bass, pickerel, black crappie, and white perch. This will provide barrier-free sport fishing access to the warm water pond. Parking is for single cars; the site is managed by the Town of Billerica.
  • Lancaster-Fort Pond: A reconstruction of the boat ramp as well as an expansion and partial reconstruction of the parking area with a total value of $50,000. This area is stocked with trout, and has five trailer and five car-top parking spaces. It is managed by the DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Newburyport-Joppa Flats: Repairs were made to a fisherman access area, valued at $5,000. This fisherman access point allows for car-top and small trailered boats to access Joppa Flats and the Merrimack River. This area has 10 car-top parking spaces and is managed by the City of Newburyport.

Central Massachusetts

  • Athol-Millers River: FBA oversaw the reconstruction of a canoe and car-top access at the riverbank. The construction is valued at $6,000, and the area provides access to the Millers River, which has trout as well as smallmouth and largemouth bass. It contains 10 car-top parking spaces and is managed by the City of Athol.
  • Brookfield-South Pond: The $144,000 renovations included reconstruction of the boat ramp, a new parking area for car-top boats, and a re-grading of the trailer parking area. This provides access to the pond’s stocked trout and naturally reproducing bass. It contains 12 trailer and five car-top parking spaces. It is managed by the DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Webster-Webster Lake: FBA oversaw re-grading of the parking area and rail post placements, a project valued at $6,000. Webster Lake offers an extremely diverse fishery with largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, stocked trout and an assortment of pan fish. There are 18 trailer parking spaces, and the area is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • Winchendon-Lake Dennison: Fisherman access repairs were made to the trout stocked lake, valued at $3,000. There are six car top parking spaces that can accommodate small trailers. The property is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

Connecticut River Valley and Western Massachusetts

  • Chicopee-Connecticut River: The project featured repairs to the roadway and parking lot at a cost of $10,000. The area provides access to the Connecticut River below the Hadley Dam. There are 10 trailer parking spaces. It is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • Hatfield-Connecticut River: The $2,000 project features ramp repairs and roadway grading. This area contains eight trailer/car-top parking spaces, and is a way point to the Connecticut River. The property is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • Holland-Holland Pond: This project, constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers, was designed by FBA. It involved re-grading the parking area at the pond, which is trout stocked. There are a total of eight trailer parking spaces and the project is valued at $5,000. It is managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Holland-Hamilton Reservoir: This $1,000 project repaired the boat ramp, improving access to the stocked trout waters. It contains 12 trailer and 10 single parking spaces. It is managed by the Town of Holland.
  • Northfield-Connecticut River: The $2,000 project involved the cleaning and repairing of the roadway and parking area. This point provides access for small boats to the Connecticut River. The parking area has 32 trailer/car-top parking spaces, and the property is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
  • Orange-Lake Rohunta: This project is valued at $4,000 and features repairs to the fishing platform along with a re-grading of the parking area and roadway. This area provides access to the warm-water fishery. It is managed by the DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and contains six trailer and four car-top parking spaces.

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.

DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) manages the construction, repair, and operation of state boat ramps, canoe and car-top launch sites, parking areas and approach roads. The FBA oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private contractors or municipal public works departments. FBA funds are also used to construct handicapped accessible sport fishing piers and to purchase and improve shoreline fishing areas.

Appropriations for the acquisition, construction, and maintenance activities of the FBA come from several sources, including state general funds, bond appropriations, and federal reimbursements for some projects by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act.

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

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