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Saltwater Fishing

Deer Island Pier

New Deer Island Pier Open This Season!

Recreational saltwater anglers value access to high quality fishing locations along our coastline. Access can mean a boat ramp, sandy beach, rocky jetty, fishing pier, and even artificial reefs. In keeping with the mission of continuing to provide and protect that access, DMF, along with the Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access (FBA) have constructed a brand-new fishing pier in Boston Harbor. The Deer Island Pier is open and ready for anglers of all skill levels to enjoy the phenomenal sights and target a variety of species, including striped bass, mackerel, and winter flounder!

A fishing pier providing access to Boston Harbor was first conceived by the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel back in 2012. This appointed panel provides advice to the DMF director on recreational permit revenue fund spending. At the time, with several successful pier projects on Cape Cod and the Islands either completed or in the pipeline, panel members stressed to DMF that seeking out an urban opportunity for a future large-scale fishing access project would benefit a wide range of anglers.

At first sight, the Deer Island location was promising on many levels. Further evaluation by staff biologists and local fishing experts supported the site as a suitable location to provide much-needed public access to Boston Harbor. In 2015, the panel endorsed the development of a recreational fishing pier at Deer Island.

Over the next few years, DMF worked with other state and local agencies, stakeholders, and engineers to take the Deer Island Fishing Pier from a concept to construction. In late July, 2019, construction began with the dissembling of a portion of the rocky shoreline, the first sign of the stunning pier to come.

Getting to this point required DMF’s close cooperation with two other entities: the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the FBA. The MWRA owns and operates the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant, a massive facility that was part of a $3.8 billion program that had successfully cleaned up Boston Harbor. The plant handles and treats wastewater from 43 greater Boston communities. The MWRA also manages the public access areas of Deer Island, which includes sixty acres of open space and 2.6 miles of accessible walking paths. The land provides unmatched views of the skyline, Boston Harbor and the Harbor Islands, Broad Sound, and Logan Airport. The FBA works closely with DMF and provides support, including site selection and engineering, throughout this and other public access projects. The collaboration is essential to the continued improvement and construction of new and old access sites.

Construction continued in 2019 with the pouring of the seawall and driving of steel pilings, with continued assembling of the structure into the winter. As 2020 began, the decking and railings were cut and began being added. After the last plank and railing were attached there was little left to do but install the lights that would lead the way out onto the newly finished pier. The final step of the project was having a new parking lot built adjacent to the pier. The additional parking and existing bus service make this an exceptional site for the fishing public who want to travel to this newest access point on the Massachusetts coastline!

During construction, schools of striped bass were seen blitzing within casting distance from the end of the pier. Local anglers have told tales of winter flounder being caught in the footprint of this location. Bluefish and tautog are no stranger to these waters either. There is little doubt that many fish will be caught form this steel and timber structure and the memories of time spent fishing with family and friends will last for many years to come.

This projected is funded by the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund which is financed through the sale of recreational saltwater fishing permits. One third of the fund is dedicated to providing anglers with public access to saltwater fishing opportunities.