It has been cold and snowy this winter, very good for the outdoor winter pursuits that I enjoy such as snow shoeing and cross country skiing. But a discussion I had the other day with DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) Director Jack Sheppard has got me thinking about spring and summer activities such as boating and fishing for trout and stripers. His office is charged with the construction and repair of boat ramps, parking areas, sport fishing piers, and other facilities that improve public access to the Commonwealth’s coastal and inland waterways.
Jack told me in 2010 the FBA completed construction and maintenance projects at 17 of its facilities, and added 15 new kiosks at facilities in western Massachusetts. The kiosks include information about facility rules and regulations, boating safety, and how to avoid spreading invasive aquatic species.
Here are some project highlights:
- In Fall River, FBA reconstructed the Taunton River basin boat ramp and added a new float system at a cost of $315,000. The access area provides parking for 47 vehicles with trailers and access to Mount Hope Bay.
- In New Bedford, FBA reconstructed two coastal boat ramps (New Bedford Outer Harbor and Clarkes Cove) at a total cost of $485,000. Each site provides parking for approximately 30 vehicles.
- In Halifax, FBA reconstructed the boat ramp and parking area at Monponsett Pond at a cost of $200,000. The facility provides access to a 700 acre pond with parking for 20 vehicle/trailer combinations.
- In Salem, the division reconstructed the Kernwood Marina boat ramp and added a new float loading system at the coastal access on the Danvers River. The $480,000 project provides parking for 42 vehicles with trailers.
- In Cheshire, FBA constructed four new barrier free shore fishing platforms connected by paved pathways at Cheshire Reservoir, also known as Hoosac Lake, at a cost of $55,000.
- In Southwick, a $32,000 project that involved volunteer labor resulted in a nice shore fishing area on Great Brook with parking for six vehicles.
- In Reading, the division used $7,000 to construct a new car-top access and shore fishing area on the Ipswich River with six parking spaces.
The FBA provides access facilities at more than 275 locations throughout Massachusetts. These facilities provide access for anglers and all kinds of boaters (motor boats, canoes, kayaks, sailboats, etc.) to the lakes, rivers, and coastal waters of the Commonwealth.
So if you are like me and are looking forward to the fishing and boating season, begin making your plans for the season’s first fishing trip, kayak expedition, harbor cruise, or other fishing and boating adventures.
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