For Immediate Release - July 09, 2014

Patrick Administration Announces Completion of FY14 Fishing and Boating Access Projects

BOSTON – Wednesday, July 9, 2014– At the height of the summer fishing and boating season, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett today announced the completion of 15 fishing and boating access projects valued at more than $2.2 million.

“Recreational fishing and boating are extremely popular with Massachusetts residents and visitors to the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Bartlett. “These projects provide tremendous recreational opportunities for our citizens, and their construction and use generate millions in economic activity.”

“We maintain more than 275 fishing and boating access areas that are important to more than one million recreational anglers and boaters in Massachusetts,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Mary Griffin. “Construction of fishing and boating access facilities is a great investment in the Commonwealth’s recreational infrastructure.”

DFG's Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) manage 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 ADA-compliant sport fishing piers and to purchase and improve shoreline fishing areas. Below is the complete list of FY14 projects:

  •  Chicopee - Connecticut River (Syrek Street): FBA spent $10,000 reconstructing the access road at this boat access facility, which is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and includes parking for 10 vehicles with trailers. There is good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Northern pike, pickerel, white perch and walleye.
  • Dartmouth - Apponagansett Bay: FBA oversaw the $385,000reconstruction of the boat ramp and installation of new floating docks. The facility offers 52 parking spaces for vehicles with trailers and 14 single car spaces. Managed by the Town of Dartmouth, the area offers good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, tautog and fluke.
  • Dennis - Bass River (Freeman’s Landing): FBA made boat ramp improvements at this facility valued at $5,000. The boat access area has parking for eight vehicles with trailers and three single car spaces. The facility is managed by the Town of Dennis and offers good fishing for striped bass, bluefish and flounder.
  • Easthampton - Connecticut River: FBA managed a $118,000 project improving the parking lot and storm water drainage. This facility is managed by DCR,  includes parking for 32 vehicles with trailers and has good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Northern pike, pickerel, white perch and walleye.
  • Fairhaven - Hoppy’s Landing: FBA managed floating dock and boarding pier repairs valued at $12,000. The coastal boat access area is managed by the Town of Fairhaven and includes a gravel parking area suitable for 40 vehicles with trailers. The coastal waters offer good fishing opportunity for striped bass, bluefish, fluke and other marine fish.
  •  Fall River - Taunton River Basin: FBA managed a $224,000 reconstruction of the parking lot and storm water improvements. The boat access area provides 47 parking spaces for vehicles with trailers and offers good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, tautog, fluke and other marine fish. The facility is managed by the City of Fall River.
  • Harwich - Allen Harbor:  FBA managed the $140,000 reconstruction of the bulkhead or retaining wall at this facility, which provides boat access and parking for about 20 vehicles with trailers. The access area is managed by the Town of Harwich and fishing for striped bass, bluefish, fluke and cod is popular from the ocean water.
  • Lee - Laurel Lake: FBA made shoreline protection improvements that cost $11,000. This facility is managed by DCR, includes parking for 20 vehicles with trailers, and offers good fishing for trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white perch and pickerel.
  • Mashpee - Popponesset Bay: Using $7,000 in funds from the sale of the Division of Marine Fisheries’ (DMF) saltwater recreational fishing permits, FBA repaired the access stairway at the shore fishing area. Managed by DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW), the area has five parking spaces and offers good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, weakfish and other marine species.
  • Medway - Charles River: FBA oversaw the construction of a new car-top access facility and shore fishing platforms costing $48,000. The boat access provides parking for six vehicles and access for canoes, kayaks, and other car-top boats. The fishing platforms access water that is home to largemouth bass, chain pickerel, and other warm water species. The facility will be managed by the Town of Medway.
  • Orleans - Baker Pond: FBA made general site repairs and improvements valued at $1,000. The car-top access area is managed by DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and has parking for eight vehicles. The pond offers good fishing for three species of trout stocked by DFW, as well as smallmouth bass.
  • Otis - Shaw Pond: This $40,000 project involved parking lot and storm water improvements. This facility is managed by DCR and includes parking for 10 vehicles with trailers. The pond is a good fishing spot for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel and black crappie.
  • Oak Bluffs - Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier: FBA recently celebrated the grand opening at the sport fishing pier near downtown Oak Bluffs. The $1 million project was paid for with about $580,000 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Sport Fish Restoration Program, $272,000 in capital funds from FBA and about $188,000 from the sale of recreational salt water fishing permits collected by DFG’s Division of Marine Fisheries. The 317 foot-long ADA-compliant pier is the largest recreational fishing pier in the state.
  • Southwick - Congamond Lake (North Ramp off Point Grove Road): The $170,000 project included the reconstruction of the boat ramp, addition of floating docks, and parking lot repairs. This facility includes a boat ramp, sport fishing pier and parking for 30 vehicles with trailers and 10 single vehicle spaces. Congamond Lake has good fishing for trout, largemouth bass, pickerel and black crappie. The access area is managed by the Town of Southwick.
  • Westport - Westport River: Using $55,000 in funds from the sale of DMF saltwater recreational fishing permits, FBA replaced the floating dock at the boat access facility. Managed by the Town of Westport, the boat access includes parking for 60 vehicles with trailers. Fishing for striped bass, bluefish, bonito, tautog and fluke is popular in the area.

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

FBA is charged with providing boating and fishing access to over 1,200 miles of seashore as well as hundreds of ponds, rivers and streams across the Commonwealth. The office oversees more than 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 motorized boating.

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 DMF’s recreational salt water fishing permits, and federal reimbursements by the USFWS under the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act all help fund the FBA projects.

A report prepared for DFG regarding the economic impacts of construction activity managed by FBA notes that the facility construction creates secondary impacts throughout the economy in terms of indirect and induced spending and jobs. Using the report’s methodology, the $2.2 million spent in fiscal year 2013 generated more than $3.75 million in construction and engineering services, construction supply and building material industry activity.

The Patrick Administration has invested nearly $6 million on construction and repair of these structures. According to a report by The Trust for Public Land, outdoor recreation generates $10 billion in consumer spending, $739 million in state and local tax revenue and $3.5 billion in wages and salaries each year in Massachusetts.

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.