- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Department of Fish and Game
- Office of Fishing and Boating Access
Media Contact for Healey-Driscoll Administration Celebrates Opening of Methuen Fishing Platform on Merrimack River
Danielle Burney, Deputy Communications Director
methuen — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today joined with state and local officials and anglers to celebrate the grand opening of the new Merrimack River recreational fishing platform in Methuen’s Raymond Martin Riverfront Park. The $230,000 project, funded by the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Office of Fishing and Boating Access, includes a new fishing platform, sidewalk repairs, parking lot improvements, and signage.
“The new fishing platform is a great example of the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s commitment to increasing recreational opportunities along our rivers,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper. “We’re working to improve the outdoors for all, and it starts with community engagement and assessing accessibility for every resident. Our goal is to enhance recreational destinations like this project across Massachusetts for people to enjoy for years to come.”
“As the new Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game, one of my top priorities is to connect with environmental justice communities and provide equitable access to fishing and wildlife recreation and conservation opportunities,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Tom O’Shea. “We greatly appreciate the partnership with the City of Methuen that has helped make this project successful.”
The new fishing platform will serve approximately a half dozen anglers and is fully handicapped accessible. The Merrimack River is a 128-mile-long river that flows from New Hampshire and southward 50 miles through Massachusetts, from Lowell to Newburyport. The freshwater section offers fishing for various species, including large and smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, common carp, black crappie, yellow perch, and sunfish. DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access managed the project, designed by Comprehensive Environmental, Inc. of Bolton; R. Bates and Sons, Inc. of Sterling constructed the platform.
“This brand new and fully accessible fishing ramp is the latest shining example of the collective efforts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Methuen to fully capitalize on the great natural resource of the magnificent Merrimack River, which has made an amazing comeback in recent decades,” said Methuen Mayor Neil Perry. “Where once it was thought, and not all that long ago, that the Merrimack could never recover from the environmental devastation caused by the textile industry and years long neglect, we now see not only fishing, but also boating, swimming, and riverside dining everywhere from New Hampshire to the mouth of the river in Newburyport. The City of Methuen is very fortunate to have such great support from the Department of Fish and Game and I thank them for this continued commitment to Methuen.”
“The new fishing pier at Riverfront Park is a wonderful addition to the ever-growing recreational landscape in the City of Methuen,” said State Representative Estela Reyes (D-Lawrence). “I am thankful to everyone who had a hand in bringing this project to life, including Mayor Perry, the Department of Fish and Game, and my partners in the state delegation.”
“Today is a proud day not only for me as a state representative, but also as a resident of Methuen. The creation of this fishing platform signifies more than just improved access to the Merrimack River; it's a testament to our community's respect for the environment and our dedication to fostering inclusive outdoor recreation,” said State Representative Francisco Paulino (D-Methuen). “This project beautifully unifies our love for Methuen, our commitment to its residents, and our responsibility towards our natural resources. I am profoundly grateful to the Healey-Driscoll Administration for their support and for seeing the potential that the Merrimack River holds for our city. Let this be a beacon of what we can achieve in Methuen and across the Commonwealth when we come together to protect and enhance our natural treasures for the benefit of all."
Throughout the Commonwealth, DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access provides boating and fishing opportunities along Massachusetts’ 1,200-mile seashore and access to hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. The agency oversees approximately 300 boat and canoe launch sites, shore fishing areas, and recreational fishing piers. For a full list of sites and more information about them, please visit the Office of Fishing and Boating Access’ webpage.
The Department of Fish and Game 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.