Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Announces Construction of Fishing and Boating Access Projects

For immediate release:
8/11/2016
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Department of Fish and Game
  • Office of Fishing and Boating Access

Media Contact

Katie Gronendyke,

Boston — In an effort to increase public access for fishers and boaters across the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced the completion of 11 fishing and boating access projects valued at more than $1.9 million that include boat ramp and fishing pier renovations, parking lot improvements and a new dock.

“These boating access improvements will greatly enhance boating and fishing opportunities and support our valuable tourist economy,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “It is our priority to ensure all Massachusetts’ residents and visitors can enjoy the beauty and recreational opportunities our public lands and waters provide.”

“Proper maintenance of these facilities is of critical importance to the recreational boating and fishing communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I would like to thank our many municipal partners who work with us to provide quality public access to Massachusetts waterways.”

The Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) manages the construction, repair and operation of state boat ramps, canoe and car-top launch sites, sport fishing piers and shoreline fishing areas. The FBA oversees facility design and construction, which is usually done by private contractors.

“The Department of Fish and Game, through collaboration with local and private partners, works hard to ensure Massachusetts’ residents and visitors have safe, reliable access to our many beautiful bodies of water,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By increasing access to outdoor recreation, we hope to enhance the lives of citizens from every corner of Massachusetts and heighten appreciation for our natural resources.”

“Access to rivers, lakes and coastal waters is a top priority for recreational boaters, fishermen, and hunters,” said DFG Commissioner George Peterson. “The construction and maintenance of these facilities is a great investment in our recreational infrastructure.”

The fiscal year 2016 projects are listed below by region.

Northeastern Massachusetts

  • Dracut - Mascuppic Lake: FBA made $40,000 in repairs to the boat ramp located off Tyngsboro Road. Managed by the Town of Dracut, the facility has parking for five vehicles with trailers and five single parking spaces. The warm water lake offers good fishing for largemouth bass, white perch, pickerel, and tiger muskie.
  • Gloucester - Annisquam River: FBA and the Seaport Council provided $72,000 for new lighting at the Dunfudgen Landing access off Emerson Avenue in Gloucester. The facility, managed by the City of Gloucester, provides 48 parking spaces for vehicles and trailers and access to the Annisquam River and Gloucester Harbor. Recreational boating and fishing for striped bass, bluefish and flounder is popular from this location.
  • Methuen - Merrimack River: FBA managed construction of a new boat access area off Riverside Drive that is managed by the City of Methuen. FBA expended $700,000 in FY2016 on the $1 million project, which was started in FY15. The facility provides parking for 19 vehicles with trailers and 11 car-top parking spots. Construction included the boat ramp, parking lot, and the installation of boarding floats. This section of the river is very popular with all kinds of boaters and provides good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish and shad.

“I greatly appreciate the state Department of Fish and Game funding this project, in conjunction with their Office of Fishing & Boating Access, resulting in a boat ramp, park area, and fishing site,” said State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Newburyport). “This is an important improvement for expanding Methuen's access to the Merrimack River.”

"I commend the Department of Fish and Game for sticking with this project,” said state Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen). “They have been outstanding partners with the City of Methuen resulting in a tremendous facility that provides local residents with great access to this beautiful river.”

South Shore/Cape Cod

  • Harwich - Allen Harbor: FBA provided $370,000 for reconstruction of the parking lot, revetment and bulkhead at the coastal boat access on Lower County Road. Managed by the Town of Harwich, the facility has parking for 12 vehicles with trailers and provides access to Nantucket Sound, which has good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, flounder, scup and other fish.
  • Scituate - Scituate Harbor: FBA made $2,000 worth of repairs to the boat ramp on Jericho Road. Managed by the Town of Scituate, the facility provides parking for 43 vehicles with trailers and 12 single spaces. The area has good fishing for striped bass, bluefish, black sea bass and flounder.
  • Yarmouth - Bass River: The Division of Marine Fisheries recreational fishing permit fund provided $90,000 and FBA provided $30,000 for reconstruction and improvements to an old fishing pier off South Street. Recreational anglers can catch striped bass, bluefish, scup, and fluke from this pier, which is managed by the Town of Yarmouth.

“Investing in access to coastal resources is crucial to the health and future of the Commonwealth,” said Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf (D-Harwich). “On the Cape, we call it building the 'blue' economy. The two projects from my district included in this round of funding are wonderful examples of that. So thanks to everyone at the Department of Fish and Game for shepherding this good work along.”

“I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Beaton, and Commissioner Peterson for their continued support to Cape Cod and the 1st Barnstable District,” said State Representative Timothy R. Whelan (R-Brewster). “This funding will continue to allow to the Town of Yarmouth to preserve our local fisheries and wild life observations.”

Central Massachusetts

  • Brookfield - Quaboag River: FBA managed the construction of a new cartop access site on Route 148 in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The $100,000 project provides access to the Quaboag River and Quaboag Pond. Managed by the Town of Brookfield, the facility has parking for six vehicles and the area offers good fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel and panfish.
  • Rutland - Long Pond: FBA made $14,000 worth of repairs to the boat ramp located in the Rutland State Forest. Managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the site has parking for 40 vehicles with trailers and provides good fishing for trout, largemouth bass, white perch and pickerel.

“Maintaining and improving access to our beautiful waterways continues to be a priority and these funds will be well used to increase access and hopefully encourage people who have not been to the area to put a boat, canoe or kayak in and enjoy all the area has to offer,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer).

Western Massachusetts

  • Easthampton - Nashawannuck Pond: FBA constructed a new boat access off Water Lane that will be managed by the Town of Easthampton. The $160,000 project includes the boat ramp and parking for four vehicles with trailers and four single car-top spaces. The pond is stocked with trout by DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and offers good fishing for trout, largemouth bass, and pickerel.
  • Easthampton - Connecticut River: FBA rebuilt the float system valued at $8,000 at the boat access off Route 5. This facility is managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and provides parking for 32 vehicles with trailers and direct access to the Connecticut River. It is popular with recreational boaters and anglers who seek largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and shad.
  • New Marlborough - Thousand Acre Pond: FBA made $40,000 in repairs, including reconstruction of the boat ramp and expansion of the parking area at the Hotchkiss Road facility. Managed by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the facility provides parking for eight vehicles with trailers and good fishing for largemouth bass, pickerel and panfish.

“The Connecticut River is one of our greatest assets in the Pioneer Valley for many reasons, including its recreational opportunities like fishing and boating,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “As a member of the Legislature’s Boating Caucus and Sportsmen’s Caucus, I thank the Baker Administration for investing in the Easthampton boat ramp and supporting the interests and passions of the many recreational boaters and sportsmen and women in my district.”

The Office of Fishing and Boating Access is charged with providing boating and fishing access to over 1,200 miles of seashore and hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in the Commonwealth. The agency oversees more than 290 boat and canoe launch sites, along with shore fishing areas and fishing piers.

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 Division of Marine Fisheries’ recreational salt water fishing permits, and federal reimbursements by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service under the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act all help fund FBA projects.

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.

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

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Media Contact

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Department of Fish and Game 

The Department of Fish & Game works to preserve the state's natural resources and exercises responsibility over the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants, and natural communities, as well as the habitats that support them.

Office of Fishing and Boating Access  

FBA provides boat and canoe access sites, shore fishing areas, and sport fishing piers at more than 275 locations on coastal waters, great ponds and rivers throughout Massachusetts.

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