Breathe a sigh of relief – it’s finally summertime. For most of us, the summer means hot days and some vacation time. These hot days free from work and school are perfect times to take a trip to the water.
Whether you choose a lake, pond, river, or the ocean for your visit, the water provides refreshing summer fun. Swimming, sport and shore fishing, canoeing, kayaking and sailing are all great ways to spend a relaxing day outside. Alternatively, tubing, waterskiing and other water sports provide for an exciting outing.
Across Massachusetts, the Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access has established over 275 boat launch sites, allowing easy access to enjoy many forms of recreational boating. Many of these sites include trailer parking and concrete launching lanes that deliver access for larger boats. Most of these public access sites are managed by municipalities.
Recently, I spent a day touring six of these boat access sites with Doug Cameron, the assistant director/deputy chief engineer of the Office of Fishing and Boating Access (OFBA). Doug builds and maintains launching sites across the state.
As part of his work for the OFBA, Doug regularly visits public access locations to assess wear and damage done to the access areas. Doug and I visited sites in Danvers, Gloucester, Ipswich, Merrimac, Newburyport, Reading, and Wilmington. The OFBA is responsible for overseeing these facilities; we generally found them to be well maintained and in excellent condition.
Although our day out was a foggy weekday, the cool weather and drizzling rain didn’t stop the public from utilizing the waterfront. I was surprised to find devoted boaters, fishermen and fisherwomen out and enjoying the facilities at five of the six sites we visited.
I highly recommend a visit to your local public waterfront. To find the location nearest you, the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has established a search tool capable of sorting their sites by location, ramp type and fish type.
So if you find yourself at home on a hot day this summer, you may want to locate a public boat launching site near you and hit the water. With so many locations to choose from, there’s sure to be a publicly accessible lake, pond, river, or ocean waters nearby that’s perfect for your recreational activity of choice.
The Turtles are Coming posted on Aug 29
With a migration pattern that stretches thousands of miles, it is no surprise that Massachusetts is home to four types of turtles during the summer, all of them protected by local and international law. And while you probably know that sea turtles often frequent the Massachusetts beaches, can you identify them?
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: August posted on Aug 25
Augusts’ Massachusetts Agriculture Calendar Photo Contest winner was Cara Peterson, who photographed a high tunnel greenhouse at Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster.
Not From Around Here: Green Crabs posted on Aug 22
As part of its work to assess salt marsh health, staff from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have frequently observed abundant green crabs, often burrowing in the banks of marsh creeks. This summer, CZM is examining the potential impacts of green crabs in salt marsh habitats, including the impact of burrowing activity.