For Immediate Release - August 29, 2012

State Environmental Officials Celebrate Construction of Boat Ramp and Sport Fishing Pier on Bass River in Yarmouth

First Boat Access Project to Receive Money from Recreational Salt Water Permit Fund

YARMOUTH – Wednesday, August 29, 2012 – Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan and Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin joined local officials, boaters and anglers at a ribbon cutting ceremony today to celebrate the completion of a $575,000 boat access ramp and sport fishing pier on the Bass River.

“The boat ramp and pier project is the signature access project for the Department of Fish and Game and its Office of Fishing and Boating Access this year,” said Secretary Sullivan. “I would like to thank the town of Yarmouth for working with us, and for their partnership in managing five boating and fishing access areas constructed by the Commonwealth.”

“This is the first of many access projects that will benefit from the funds that Massachusetts salt water anglers provide when they purchase their recreational salt water permit,” said Commissioner Griffin. “I would like to recognize the staff of the Office of Fishing and Boating Access, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the Marine Fisheries Recreational Development Panel for their work on this project.”

The DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) completed construction of the facility, located in Wilbur Park on High Bank Road, in July. The project was paid for with $427,000 in state environmental bond funds and $148,000 from the Marine Recreation Fisheries Development Fund, funded by permits purchased by Massachusetts’ recreational salt water anglers. By law, one third of revenues to the fund must be earmarked for public access projects to benefit salt water anglers.

"Making our coastal waters accessible to everyone is a great goal," said Senator Dan Wolf. "This is a stellar example of how we can get there when state and town agencies partner with private entities to get the job done."

“Not only are fishing and boating popular in Massachusetts, but both are extremely important to the Cape Cod economy. Because of this, we are happy to see this project completed,” said Representative Cleon H. Turner.

Managed by the town of Yarmouth, in partnership with FBA, the facility provides parking for 16 vehicles with trailers and 12 single car spaces for people with car-top boats or those using the fishing pier or shore fishing area. Work involved reconstruction and paving of the ramp and parking area, placement of new boarding floats, storm water improvements, landscaping, and the addition of the new sport fishing pier that is accessible to people with disabilities. The facility provides access to the Bass River and Nantucket Sound and good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, flounder, and other fish. The site is also well suited for canoe/kayak access. 

In fiscal year 2012, FBA completed 18 boating and fishing access projects valued at $973,000. Projects 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.

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. FBA oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private contractors or municipal public works departments. Office funds are also used to construct handicapped accessible sport fishing piers and to purchase and improve shoreline fishing areas. FBA facilities provide access to more than 1,200 miles of seashore and hundreds of great ponds, rivers and streams in the Commonwealth. The office oversees about 275 boat and canoe launch sites, shore fishing areas and fishing piers in Massachusetts, giving residents and visitors extensive opportunities to enjoy fishing and recreational boating opportunities such as canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and waterskiing.