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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539

Update on the Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier. (Thanks to Dave Nash for this write up)

Aug 25

Written by:
8/25/2014 11:53 AM  RssIcon

We recently received an update from state environmental officials regarding the fishing pier. Plans have been underway to address some “enhancements” to the pier and while not coordinated much outside of their agency it is beginning to go through the formal approval process.  Club President Don Scarpone and David Nash have been meeting with Ross Kessler who is the Public Access Coordinator for the fisheries department and the lead on this part of the project.  Ross is very motivated to make some additions to the pier but we will have to see how the various approvals work out.  He has already gone to the town Conservation Commission and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Don and Dave went with Ross on an inspection of the pier and we talked about the design of some of the changes and where on the pier items could be placed.  

They received a “no approval necessary” to go ahead with the installation of some lifesaving rings as well as some fish nets.  We believe the nets donated by Steve Morris will be acceptable so it should just be matter of installing them now.

Not so easy is the addition of the other items on the list Ross brought to the commission.    The permit the state received contained a very specific restriction on lighting.  Reflectors are allowed but not lighting so Ross is working to identify lighting that is very, very low impact.  We suggested to Ross that he look for available lighting that would be solar powered and perhaps have a short battery life so the lights only serve a safety function rather than lighting things up too much.  What fisherman doesn’t carry a flashlight or headlamp anyhow?  We thought maybe the lighting would also have a benefit in attracting bait.   The filet station that many Surfcaster members have suggested is actually a greater problem because filet stations are specifically prohibited by state law.  Bait cutting stations are not prohibited however so that is what they are applying for and they have actually looked to Don for help in designing and installing once approval is obtained.    The bait cutting stations they are suggesting are, of course, smaller than a filet table and will have running water from a hand pump.   

We all met with the LUPC committee of the Commission last week and a meeting is scheduled for the full committee on Sept. 4.  Ross will have more detail on the lighting and bait cutting station parts of the proposal and what is likely to happen at that meeting is that the commission will vote to either require a full hearing or vote that the changes do not require a permit change.  The latter however is very unlikely and Ross is prepared to go through the formal hearing process but that would not likely occur until late fall.

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