As part of the Baker-Polito Administration\u2019s efforts to increase public access for fishers and boaters across the Commonwealth, Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Ron Amidon today joined local officials, recreational anglers, boaters and other project supporters for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new boat ramp and fishing platform at Cook Pond in Fall River. The $397,800 project is scheduled to be completed later this fall. \n\n\u201cConstruction of the Cook Pond boat ramp and fishing platform will provide convenient access, ample parking, and great fishing to visitors of this beautiful Fall River pond,\u201d said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. \u201cThe Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to ensuring all of Massachusetts\u2019 residents and visitors can enjoy the many incredible freshwater lakes, reservoirs, ponds, streams, and rivers throughout the state.\u201d\n\nThe Department of Fish and Game\u2019s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) recently contracted with Biszko Building Systems, Inc. for the complete reconstruction of the ramp, addition of a new fishing platform for shore anglers, drainage improvements, and pavement of the parking area, which will include parking for 24 vehicles with trailers and 12 single spaces. \n\n\u201dThis facility will provide boating and shore fishing access to Cook Pond, serving residents of the City of Fall River and people throughout the South Coast region,\u201d said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Ron Amidon. \u201cThe pond offers good fishing for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, perch, and sunfish, as well as a beautiful setting for all kinds of boating.\u201d \n\nCook Pond is a 154-acre warm water pond with 2.6 miles of shoreline, and is known as an exceptionally fertile pond with healthy numbers of largemouth bass, chain pickerel, yellow perch, bluegill, white perch and pumpkinseed. The access area is located on property owned by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, a division of the Department of Fish and Game. Management of the site will be conducted by the City of Fall River under a land management agreement between Fall River and the DFG Office of Fishing and Boating Access. \n\n\u201cReconstructing the Matt Kuss Boat Ramp will increase residents\u2019 access to Cook Pond,\u201d said State Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport). \u201cOur community, especially in the South End, will once again be able to enjoy one of the City\u2019s most important natural resources.\u201d\n\nThe original facility was more than 40 years old and in very poor condition. The City of Fall River recently reconstructed the access road to the site and FBA is funding the reconstruction of the access facility with capital funds provided by the Baker-Polito Administration. Under the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, 75 percent of the cost of the boat ramp and trailer parking is eligible for reimbursement.\n\n\u201cI am excited to see the revival of the Matt Kuss Boat Ramp on Cook Pond as the residents of the City of Fall River will once again have the opportunity to enjoy recreational activities on the pond,\u201d said State Representative Carole Fiola (D-Fall River). \u201cI am proud to be a part of the local delegation that advocates for this funding and it is great to see that this funding is being utilized in the community we serve and named after a great Fall River Representative.\u201d\n\n\u201cThis will be a great recreational resource for our entire community,\u201d said State Representative Alan Silvia (D-Fall River). \n\nThe Office of Fishing and Boating Access provides boating and fishing access opportunities along Massachusetts\u2019 1,200-mile seashore, as well as access to hundreds of lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in the Commonwealth. The agency oversees approximately 300 boat and canoe launch sites, shore fishing areas and recreational fishing piers.\n\nThe Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth\u0027s 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\u0027s rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.