BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $30,000 in state grant funds to two Massachusetts towns for saltwater fishing projects, seeking to increase recreational fishing access. The Town of Marshfield has been awarded $15,000 to upgrade floats at Damon’s Point and the South River boat ramp, which will provide a safe and effective means of accessing the shoreline and water for fishing. Additionally, the Town of Tisbury has been awarded $15,000 to perform road work to harden the parking area at the terminus of Herring Creek Road, which serves as access to the opening of Lake Tashmoo, a popular fishing location all season long, with special emphasis during the Martha’s Vineyard’s famous fall fishing derby. The funds were awarded through the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF).
“Our Administration remains committed to partnering with local communities and other stakeholders to improve recreational opportunities throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These funds will aid the Towns of Marshfield and Tisbury enable greater access to recreational salt water fishing opportunities for both residents and visitors to enjoy.”
“Our Administration is thrilled to provide these crucial funds to aid the Towns of Marshfield and Tisbury in their saltwater fishing projects,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The communities’ facilities receiving upgrades are popular locations within the fishing community, and these projects will provide great benefits for years to come.”
The projects are funded from revenues in the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund, which was established in 2011 when the Massachusetts Legislature created a state recreational saltwater fishing permit. Prompted by a federal mandate enacted to improve estimates of saltwater fishing effort and catch data, the permit program provides funds for marine recreational fishing programs including fisheries research, management, and public access for anglers.
“The Baker-Polito Administration actively seeks out opportunities to partner with municipalities, conservation organizations, and other stakeholders to advance projects like the ones in Marshfield and Tisbury,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “With more than 160,000 licensed saltwater anglers in Massachusetts and thousands more who visit and fish in the Commonwealth, investments in fishing and boating access are critical in supporting outdoor recreation and our blue economy.”
“Saltwater anglers’ purchase of fishing licenses fund this grant program, construction of recreational fishing piers, and recreational fisheries research,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Ron Amidon. “We greatly appreciate their contributions to the conservation and management efforts conducted by DFG’s Division of Marine Fisheries.”
“We’re excited to see these projects completed, which will improve fishing opportunities for anglers who utilize the facilities these popular facilities in Marshfield and Tisbury,” said Division of Marine Fisheries Director Dan McKiernan. “Importantly, we remain committed to maintaining this state-local partnership for the benefit of recreational anglers.”
DMF administers the fund with the assistance of the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel, a group of private stakeholders that advises DMF on recreational fishing projects and initiatives. Under the state law that established the recreational saltwater fishing permit, one-third of all license fees are dedicated to recreational saltwater fishing infrastructure projects in Massachusetts, ensuring better access to coastal fishing.
“Recreational fishing is very popular on the South Shore and throughout Massachusetts,” said Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “I appreciate the Baker-Polito Administration recognizing this, by awarding Marshfield this important funding. The Damon’s Point and South River boat ramp project will provide a nice recreational opportunity for many residents looking to take advantage of this great outdoor activity.”
“Fishing is a beloved pastime on Martha’s Vineyard — locals and visitors alike should be able to relax and enjoy this classic hobby surrounded by the island’s stunning natural environment,” said Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “I am thrilled that the Town of Tisbury has been awarded a grant to make recreational fishing at Lake Tashmoo more accessible by hardening the parking area off Herring Creek Road. Lake Tashmoo is a popular spot to catch a diverse array of fish year-round, and these monies will help the public access this location.”
“Recreational fishing is embedded in the cultural and economic livelihood of Martha’s Vineyard,” said Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “These funds will help ensure that Tisbury’s fishing industry continues to thrive and adapt to changing conditions.”
“Access to our shoreline waters for recreational fishing is a vital, long-standing tradition in Marshfield,” said Representative Patrick Kearney (D-Scituate). “I am very appreciative to Governor Baker for making this grant available through the Division of Marine Fisheries and look forward to the positive impact improved floats will have on public safety and economic recovery in our maritime community.”
The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) 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.