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Methuen — Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner George Peterson joined Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni, recreational anglers and boaters, and other project supporters today for a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the opening of the new Methuen Riverside Boat Ramp on Riverside Drive in Methuen.
“There’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than to open up a new boat ramp on one of the largest rivers in the state and on a part of the Merrimack River that until now had no public boat access,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I am pleased that this partnership with the City of Methuen will open up recreational opportunities for boaters and anglers in the Merrimack Valley and beyond.”
“Improving access to our public lands and waters is a priority of the Baker-Polito Administration, and this new boat ramp will allow more residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty and many recreational opportunities the Merrimack River provides,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “I congratulate the City of Methuen and the Department of Fish and Game for their partnership in completing this project.”
“Outdoor recreation not only improves quality of life and increases tourism, it’s also a great way to instill an appreciation for conservation in the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “As an avid fisherman myself, I am proud we could improve access to the great recreational opportunities available on the Merrimack River.”
The new facility consists of a concrete boat ramp with boarding floats and paved parking for 11 car-top boats and 19 vehicles with trailers. It is located near the intersection of Riverside Drive and Lowell Boulevard (Route 110). This area of the Merrimack River has good fishing for large and small mouth bass, pike, walleye, crappie and other fish.
“We are pleased to partner with the City of Methuen on this project,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner (DFG) George Peterson. “This section of the Merrimack River really lacked quality public access for fishermen and boaters, and it offers great opportunities for public recreation.”
Funding for the project was provided in the 2016 Baker-Polito Capital Budget after being included in the 2014 Open Space Bond Act. Construction was managed by DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access. The project engineer hired by the city was TEC, Inc. of Lawrence. MacKay Construction of Wilmington constructed the project.
“This is a project which has been a long-time coming,” said Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni. “As Mayor I have worked to revitalize this property and deliver a boat ramp for our residents to enjoy. I am proud of the cooperation between state and local officials; and of the hard work of so many that has resulted in a quality ramp that gives residents access to the Merrimack River. This is something that our residents have been hoping for, and I am excited to be delivering it just in time for the summer season.”
“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 stand with my fellow colleagues in the Methuen legislative delegation in celebrating the opening of the Methuen Riverside Boat Ramp,” said State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen). “This is an exciting and long-overdue moment, as fishermen and boaters will at last have quality access in the City to the Merrimack River.”
“Just in time for summer, the Riverside Boat Ramp is an exciting addition for this community and for visitors to Methuen to experience and revel in all the recreation offered by the Merrimack River as it meanders through northern Essex County,” said State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence).
“This state of the art facility provides a great opportunity for local residents to access one of the most beautiful rivers in the Country - a river that belongs to all of us,” said State Representative Linda Dean Campbell (D-Methuen). “Having worked with the Department of Fish and Game for many years on this project, I am most thankful that the Department of Fish and Game and our City stuck with this project, sheltered the funding for it, and provided a top notch facility for all of us to enjoy for many years to come.”
The Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access provides boating and fishing access opportunities along Massachusetts’ 1,200 mile seashore, as well as access to 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 recreational fishing piers.