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Marine Fisheries Access Properties

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Approximately one-half of all saltwater recreational fishing trips take place from shore.

Unfortunately, this highly popular method of fishing is being threatened by the rapidly accelerating loss of public access to coastal waters. Much of this loss is the direct result of acquisition and development of coastal properties by private parties who then post their holdings against public access. In Massachusetts, colonial law granted private ownership to the intertidal zone (the wet sand), but reserved the public rights of fishing, fowling, and navigation. Although the public rights were reserved for certain uses of the intertidal zone, it is often not possible to enjoy those rights because access across private property to the intertidal zone was never reserved.

To guarantee that the public has access to shore based fishing opportunities, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Department’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) with help from federal aid in Sport Fish Restoration funds, have made it a priority to find, acquire, and provide access by way of land acquisition of easements and/or tidal property.

Currently there are ten MarineFisheries properties and/or FBA properties or facilities providing anglers with access to shore fishing locations:

  • Wareham River Fish Pier, Wareham
  • Craven’s Landing at Scortons Creek, Sandwich
  • Popponesset Beach Shorefishing Area, Mashpee
  • Parker River Fishing Pier, Yarmouth
  • Bass River Fishing Pier, Yarmouth
  • Dogfish Bar, Aquinnah
  • Great Rock Bight Shorefishing Area, Chilmark
  • Leland Beach, Edgartown
  • Fore River Shorefishing Area, Quincy
  • Broad Cove Shorefishing Area, Somerset
  • Cashman Park Fishing Pier, Newburyport
  • Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier, Martha’s Vineyard

For more information on MarineFisheries access properties, please visit www.mass.gov/marinefisheries.

For a full listing see: access sites.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Division of Marine Fisheries allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Division of Marine Fisheries Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Division of Marine Fisheries neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
J.F. Griffin reaches 20 million sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 47 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 22 state agencies.
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