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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
Author: Created: 7/6/2011 8:01 PM RssIcon
all the blogs that belong on the home page too
By dbalon on 3/20/2023 6:42 PM
Although the MVSA may have not been as visible as MVBAG (Martha's Vineyard Beach Access Group), MVSA and their members have been invaluable. We want to thank all of you who have participated in this process and provided input.

If the portion of Cape Pogue Refuge (North of Jetty to the Gut) was not pulled from the current NOI (Notice of Intent), the possibility of 0% public access for the 2023 season was very real. Instead of losing 35% of public access, we were advocating for having 65% as early as possible (Norton Point to The Jetty)

A separate and distinct NOI will be filed to allow a public discussion on the part of the property (Cape Pogue Refuge, North of Jetty to the Gut) that has the most concerns, issues and complexity. Everybody (except for a couple of vocal opponents) are pretty much on the same page that a separate filing will be issued later in the season - including The Trustees. This was already in a separate press release.
By dbalon on 7/31/2022 11:57 AM
MV TImes
Abigail Rosen
July 28, 2022

After heavy criticism, The Trustees of Reservations announced Thursday afternoon it was withdrawing a draft beach management plan that placed significant restrictions on over sand vehicles (OSV) and dogs. The announcement was made through a press release and comes after the Edgartown conservation commission rebuked the plan. The release itself in its entirety quotes Trusteees President John Judge:

See the entire MV Times article and Trustees President John Judges's statement at the following PDF link:

By dbalon on 7/19/2022 7:49 PM
The Executive Committee of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Association has voted to circulate this petition regarding management of Norton Point and Chappy TTOR beaches to its membership. The TAKE ACTION link petition was created by the MV Beachgoers Access Group.

Please consider clicking on the link below and signing if you agree.

The time to act is now so please do not delay your response!

Thanks in advance for your support of this urgent issue.
By dbalon on 7/16/2022 8:23 PM
The Trustees of Reservations has published a proposed Beach Management Plan that will significantly impact access of people and dogs to the beaches of Norton Point and Chappy. This plan is felt by many to be significantly more restrictive than prior policies. Some have commented that it is not consistent with the trustees' statement of "preserve for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic and ecological value in Massachusetts".

TIME TO ACT: If you are at all concerned with the plan and the restricted access the time to voice your opinion is NOW! There is only a limited time to make your opinion heard before it is too late. Enclosed below is a "sample"  Word format that can be used to voice your opinion to the President of TTOR (John Judge). You can use this form as a guide or create your own personal letter but either way please make your opinion known in writing. Please send to both email and snail mail at the following addresses:

John Judge email:

John Judge U.S. mail: CEO Trustees of Reservations, 200 High St., Floor #4, Boston MA 02110

By dbalon on 7/8/2022 8:55 PM
Please read this important article at the link below detailing the MVSA involvement with TTOR back in  April 2006. This original article was published in the MV Times on April 6, 2006 and written by Nelson Sigelman. This is great history of the MVSA working with TTOR and other authorities when TTOR was originally working toward taking over and managing Norton Point. There has been a long standing, good history of the MVSA supporting and working with TTOR.

There is now a new TTOR Beach Management Plan out for review with a target date of implementation of October 1, 2022. Please see the related article with all details under the BLOG section or NEWSWORTHY EVENTS section of the MVSA homepage website. This details the plan and has a direct link to the TTOR Beach Management Plan.

This new plan is very time sensitive and if you want to be involved NOW IS THE TIME to express your views and opinions. There is also a survey in the TTOR Beach Management Plan which is a great way to make your voice heard.

By dbalon on 7/8/2022 8:18 PM
The Trustees of Reservations has just published a BEACH MANAGEMENT program that will significantly impact access of people and dogs to the beaches of Norton Point and Chappy. It is felt by many to be significantly more restrictive than prior policies. Some have commented that it is not consistent with the trustees' state wise mission statement "preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic and ecological value in Massachusetts". Some are supportive of the new restrictions.

If you are concerned about your access, your friend's access, your renter's access, or your dog's access, you are encouraged to access the link below, AND follow the links of interest, particularly the links "click here to review and comment"" and "we want to hear from you". You can also do the following:
1. Contact the trustees with your concerns.
2. Be aware of restrictions if and when you purchase an OSV permit.
3.Join Facebook group "MV Beachgoers Access Group"
4. Be heard with other beachgoers, numbers count, attend one of the 3 meetings listed in the link below.

By dbalon on 11/4/2019 5:59 PM

New Castle, NH – The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum reduces all state commercial quotas by 18%, and implements a 1 fish bag limit and a 28"-35" recreational slot limit for ocean fisheries and a 1 fish bag limit and an 18" minimum size limit for Chesapeake Bay recreational fisheries. States may submit alternative regulations through conservation equivalency to achieve an 18% reduction in total removals relative to 2017 levels.

Addendum VI was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment, which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Addendum’s measures are designed to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.

Since catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality, the Addendum requires the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. Outreach and education will be a necessary element to garner support and compliance with this important conservation measure.

States are required to submit implementation plans by November 30, 2019 for review by the Technical Committee and approval by the Board in February 2020. States must implement mandatory circle hook requirements by January 1, 2021. All other provisions of Addendum VI must be implemented by April 1, 2020. In May 2020, the Board will consider a postponed motion to initiate an Amendment to rebuild spawning stock biomass to the target level and address other issues with the management program.

Addendum VI will be available on the Commission’s website ( on the Atlantic Striped Bass webpage in early November. For more information, please contact Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

By dbalon on 9/11/2019 1:05 PM

Thanks to the recent dedicated work of Sam Hart and Chris Kennedy of TTOR and Don Scarpone and Ron Domurat of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcaster's Association, good news from the Prez and the Trustees can be provided as in the notes below. Please follow all rules and guidelines, and report those who don't. 

"September 9, 2019


Dear Martha’s Vineyard Surfcaster’s Association Member and Derby Entrant, 


Below please find the notice from The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) regarding permitted OSV travel along the bayside trail to and from Chappaquiddick during the upcoming Derby.


As many of you are aware, the trail along the ocean side on Norton Point is badly eroded beginning at a point approximately two miles beyond the guard shack. Travel along the front beach is not possible. This agreement was the result of a recent meeting between MVSA members and the Trustees’ Island office and reflects our continuing efforts to balance safe access with beach integrity and regulatory compliance under the MA Endangered Species Act which we must follow.


All OSV operators should be aware that the trail along Katama Bay is subject to flooding during periods of high tide. Travel along the trail should not be attempted in the four hour period starting two hours before until two hours after high tide in Edgartown. OSV operators who attempt to travel during that window run the risk of driving through water and should a problem arise help will not be available from the Trustees.     


As Derby anglers please respect the Trustees wishes regarding fencing and roped off areas as any abuse of that trust could result in the loss of whatever limited travel privileges are available to us. Ropes are not to be cut and stakes are not to be moved.  


Thank you, 

Don Scarpone, President"



"September 9, 2019


Access for Over Sand Vehicles (OSV) to Chappaquiddick to and from Norton Point will be allowed on Friday, September 13th - Sunday, October 19thfor the duration of the MV Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby. Access will be limited to the Katama Bay side of Norton Point at or near low tide only. Please note that use of the bayside trail on Norton Point will be limited during high tides due to portions of the trail being flooded so do pay close attention to the tides. 


The Trustees greatly value their relationship and partnership with our local fishing and hunting communities and we look to you for help in ensuring that derby participants adhere to all beach regulations and, in particular, confine OSV travel to the fenced-off travel corridors provided. Failure to stay within the approved corridors may impact the health and resilience of the beach system itself and is likely to cause destruction of state-listed endangered species and plants, which would constitute a prosecutable offense under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. The MV Surfcasters Association and The Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby Committee have agreed to encourage responsible beach use among their membership. The Trustees reserve the right to close any or all sections of the beach if regulations are not observed.


Our Mission is to “preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts." The coastal properties we own or manage on Martha’s Vineyard are stunning examples of places where public enjoyment, natural beauty, and ecological values coincide.


We wish tight lines to Derby participants – but please, fish responsibly. Observe all rules, posted and un-posted, for beach use. Confine your travel to designated corridors and encourage others to do likewise.The Vineyard’s beaches are a resource for everyone – and that means all are responsible for keeping them healthy."


Please direct any comments or suggestions to Don Scarpone:

By dbalon on 8/28/2019 9:39 AM

We recently received this e-mail from the owner of the Windmill house on Chappy. (08/27/19)

“Yesterday, I was delivering supplies to the house, Dave one of my guys was an hour ahead. He ran into one of the Sport Casters (Surfcaster) members who saw a white jeep cut the fence down in a few spots, he told Dave he confronted them...they were not too friendly..and said "we don't care"

I want to thank who ever it was, I appreciate your guys making an effort to keep things friendly between the fishing community and my efforts to keep the area accessible to fishing. There is always one bad apple.

 I think it may be time to adjust the fence line, everyday the access changes due to tides. I will work on it this week. I also will be adding small pieces of reflective tape on the fence posts, I think it will help the fisherman navigate at night.

This kind of behavior by a member of the fishing community on Martha’s Vineyard is unacceptable.

As Matt said, “there is always one bad apple”.  Although one bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch it  does give all of us a bad name and is a black eye for the angling community in general.

Matt is an angler himself and a good guy. He takes a lot of pride in his property and is dedicated to preserving it’s natural beauty. He has worked with us to keep high tide access to the Gut available and he has also agreed to open an area just south of his house for parking during the Derby. He does not have to do this. Please be appreciative by showing respect for him and his property and please, if you see something, say something before we lose total access to the entire area.                 

By dbalon on 6/16/2019 5:34 PM

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Windmill House Update:

Over the past several months, some MV Surfcasters have been talking to the new owner of the Windmill House about fishing access, passage, etc to that area of Cape Poge.

On Saturday afternoon, working in agreement with the new owner,  a group of MV Surfcasters moved the approximate 1 mile stretch of fence line an additional 10' to 15' inward.   There is now extra room for car travel to/from The Gut, with the usual caveat that at high tide water floods the access as it has always done.

The WMH owner likes to fish and understands there is often good fishing in this area.  In short, he is friendly to us fisherman.  For our part, we need to respect his property, the dunes and wildlife, the same as we do for the rest of Cape Poge.

Most importantly: 

Please respect the fence lines (yes, even at high tide when your car will get wet).  Do not drive "behind the lines", there is plenty room between the shore and the rope fence for passage. Note that the first breach (east, before reaching the house) has created a basin and will be flooded at high tide, hopefully with time this fills in with more sand.

Please don't make it a beach day along his stretch of property (it's not a typical "beach" spot anyway).  Depending on the tide there is room for 2-3 car widths room for passage, same as it has been historically.  If there are breaking fish, stop and catch them, then move on. Be respectful of access/passage to and thru this area for all.

I've been very encouraged by the discussions to date - he's done an amazing job cleaning up the area (there was tons of junk in and around the house that he has removed). 

Thanks to Ron, Jack L, Brad, Jonathan, Joe, Jack, Ralph, Jason and everyone else that helped move the fencing, it went smoothly and quickly.

Click this link to see photos.