Log in links for this page

Saltwater fishing public access

With increased privatization of our shoreline, providing and maintaining public access to coastal marine waters is one of our top priorities.

Table of Contents

Finding a public access site

Boat ramps, piers, and shore-side fishing areas

With more than 1,500 miles of coastline, Massachusetts offers a variety of places to fish. This FBA Public Access Site Viewer lists boat launches, boat ramps, fishing piers, and shore-side fishing areas in both saltwater and freshwater. The list is maintained by the Office of Fishing & Boating Access (FBA) and includes most sites supported by the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF).

All anglers should know their public access rights along the shoreline.

Artificial reefs

DMF has developed a number of artificial reefs in MA coastal waters. You can learn more information and view maps of these artificial reef locations.

Fishing charters and headboats

To fish from a boat, DMF permits hundreds of for-hire charter and party boat vessels. An up-to-date directory of for-hire vessels can be found in our Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater Fishing Guide.

 


Our projects

The Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund boosted efforts to improve public access. The fund is divided into two subcategories, Cooperative Projects and Small Grants. Cooperative projects include construction and maintenance to public access locations. The US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program reimburses all cooperative projects. Small grants allow towns to apply for funds to support their public access projects. All funded projects must allow for access to all saltwater anglers fishing in Massachusetts.

Have questions? Contact Ross Kessler, DMF Public Access Coordinator, at (508) 742-9739 or ross.kessler@mass.gov

 

2024 projects

Location Project Grant type
Edgartown Project to maintain access on roadways that are impacted by erosion and sea level rise. This project will reestablish access to Tom's Neck a popular fishing location. Small grant
Beverly Replace decking on existing fishing pier and routine maintenance to extend the life of existing facilities. Small grant
Salem Replacing a 100+ year old fishing pier (est. in 1858!) in Salem Willows Park. Cooperative project with the City of Salem, Massachusetts.

2023 projects

Location Project Grant type
Cohasset Installed two kayak/canoe/accessible floats in the downtown area to help reduce user conflicts at the town boat ramp Small grant
Barnstable Repairs to the Blish Point ramp Small grant
Newburyport Install solar lights and a washdown system at a popular fishing pier at Cashman Park. The lights will provide safety for night anglers and the washdown will allow for bait scraps to be washed away, improving sanitary conditions on the pier. Small grant

2022 projects

Location Project Grant type
Marshfield Updating floats in two areas that provide access to recreational saltwater fishing. Damon’s Point and The South River boat ramp both need upgraded floats that provide a safe and effective means of accessing the shoreline and water for the purpose of fishing. Small grant
Wareham The Buzzards Bay Coalition rebuilt a boating and cartop accessible pier on Wickets Island in Onset to improve boating and fishing access Small grant

2021 projects

Location Project Grant type
Beverly Bait cutting station and routine maintenance on Water Street Small grant
Danvers The city hired a surveyor to reestablish existing ways to water that have become obscured and overgrown and also added signage Small grant

2020 projects

Location Project Grant type
Wareham Installation of two cartop launches on either side of the former dam on the Weweantic River Small grant
Sandwich Installed overhead solar lighting and a web cam to increase safety Small grant
Fall River An electronic kiosk to accept launch fees improves utility to the facility and improves security at the Bicentennial Park State Boat Ramp Small grant

2019 projects

Location Project Grant type
Boston ADA compliant fishing pier in the City of Boston at the Deer Island Wastewater treatment plant. Construction is ongoing, scheduled for completion Spring 2020. Cooperative with the City of Boston, MWRA, and OFBA
Beverly Replace decking on existing fishing pier to extend the life of existing facilities on Water Street Small grant
Lynn Solar lighting at ground level and lumineers on poles for increased safety and ease of use at night on the Lynnway Small grant
Marshfield Cartop vessel storage to help ease ramp conflicts at the Green Harbor State Boat Ramp Small grant
New Bedford Lighting improvements to provide increased safety and ease of use at the Gifford St. Boat ramp Small grant

2018 projects

Location Project Grant type
Marblehead Informational kiosks and fish cleaning stations at multiple publicly accessible locations Small grant
Sandwich Gravel was added to the existing facility in order to keep egress safe for users vehicles under an emergency action after intense winter storms Small grant
Truro An additional finger pier was added to the existing one to enable more efficient use of the boat launch area. A power washer was purchased to remove fouling of the launch ramp. Small grant

2017 projects

Location Project Grant type
Beverly An overhaul of the the Park's access that promotes angling including ADA access Small grant
Chatham Fillet stations at vessel launch locations that allow equitable access Small grant
Manchester Expanded existing boat ramp project to segregate cartop (kayak, cone, etc.) from motor vessels at boat ramp Small grant
Scituate Updated energy efficient lighting to the water from and boat launch Small grant

2016 projects

Location Project Grant type
Harwich Deployment of artificial recreational fishing reef Cooperative with Town of Harwich
Yarmouth Rebuilt and expanded existing Bass River Fishing Pier, made it ADA compliant Cooperative project with OFBA
Plymouth Installation of fillet station at the Town Boat Ramp Small grant
Rockport Landscape improvements along the Atlantic Path Small grant
Marshfield New LED lighting at the Green Harbor boat ramp Small grant
Gloucester New float at Magnolia Pier; labor for this project was provided by the Gloucester High School wood shop Small grant
Dennis Two new floats and a new gangway at Uncle Freeman's Landing boat ramp on Bass River Small grant

2015 projects

Location Project Grant type
Newburyport Replacement and improvement of existing pier at Cashman Park Cooperative project with OFBA
Weymouth New LED lighting at the Back River boat launch Small grant
Eastham Expansion of pre-existing dredging project to make the State boat launch more useable Small grant
Marshfield Creation of a path gangway, car top vessel launch, and fishing dock at Peter Igo Park on the Green River Small grant

2014 projects

Location  Project Grant type
Oak Bluffs Construction of new fishing pier on Martha's Vineyard Cooperative project with OFBA
Sandwich Improvements to existing Scusset fishing pier on the Cape Cod Canal Cooperative project with OFBA and the Department of Conservation and Recreation
Mashpee Stairway replacement at Popponesset Beach access site Cooperative project with OFBA
Sandwich Parking lot improvements at Craven's Landing access site Division project
Westport Boat ramp float replacement Cooperative project with OFBA
Marshfield Car top vessel launch and parking site improvements at Harbor Park access site Cooperative project with OFBA
Aquinnah Reestablishment of access path and parking lot at Dogfish Bar shore fishing site Cooperative project with OFBA
Swansea Improvements to Pierce's Point public way Small grant
Quincy Boat ramp maintenance and a new gangway on Hough's Neck Small grant
Rockport  Landscape improvements along the Atlantic Path Small grant
Fall River New LED lighting at Bicentennial boat ramp Small grant
Duxbury Fish filleting station with running water, web cam with views of Duxbury Bay, and a weather station Small grant

Other projects

Year Location Project Grant type
2013 Yarmouth Construction of new pier and improved parking on Bass River, Wilbur Park Cooperative project with OFBA
2000 Wareham New construction of two piers on Wareham River at Besse Park  Cooperative project with OFBA
1999 Sandwich Acquisition of property for Craven's Landing shore fishing site  Cooperative project
1996 Aquinnah Acquisition of property for Dogfish Bar shore fishing site Cooperative project
1993 Edgartown Acquisition of property for East Beach shore fishing site Cooperative project

DMF properties

Use the following links to learn more about DMF owned public access sites. 

Contact   for Saltwater fishing public access

Address

Ross Kessler, Public Access Coordinator
836 South Rodney French Blvd, New Bedford, MA 02744

Help Us Improve Mass.gov  with your feedback

Please do not include personal or contact information.
Feedback