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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 7:37 PM RssIcon
Another MVSA Blog by Dave
By dbalon on 3/10/2013 9:37 AM
Here are the latest photos of Wasque Point as of early March 2013. These photos were taken by Janet Messineo so members could see what has been going on out there. Janet reported the following:

"Here is a shot at the parking lot that used to go to the rip.......unbelievable . It used to be a short walk to the stairs. Also at the breach, the sandbar from the Katama side is almost right in front of the parking lot."

Janet also snuck in a picture of a nice fish she caught in the Fall of 2012.

Click here to see all the Wasque photos and find out what fish picture she snuck in!

By dbalon on 3/7/2013 4:43 PM

The Martha's Vineyard Times
"Massive move planned to save Chappaquiddick home"
By Steve Myrick
March 6, 2013

It is not often that the words "dramatic" and "planning board" belong in the same sentence, but with another ocean storm barrelling up the coast, and the sand cliff on Wasque Point eroding by the day, Tuesday evening's Edgartown planning board meeting took on an unusual air of urgency. The board held a public hearing to review of an application to move a 5,500 square foot Chappaquiddick luxury home away from the eroding coastal bank.

The planning board members, engineers, house movers, and property owner Rick Schifter all chafed at the slow grinding of government gears.

"We're trying, Mr. Schifter," said planning board member Robert Sparks. "We're not moving as fast as the ocean, but we're trying."

Click here for the full story.
By dbalon on 3/5/2013 8:33 AM
New England Saltwater Fishing Show

This coming weekend, March 8th - March 10th, is the New England Saltwater Fishing Show at the R.I. Convention Center in Providence. It is the largest fishing show in the Northeast! This is their 10th year.

Some of the highlights are Tackle, Rods, Reels, Lures, Electronics, Charter Guides, Boats, Motors, Accessories, Clothing and 60 Seminars.

There is also a dollar off admission coupon on their website.

Click here to be brought directly to the New England Saltwater Fishing Show website.
By dbalon on 2/21/2013 4:55 PM

Bid Opening for OB pier postponed

    The State Office of Fishing and Boating Access had to postpone the bid opening scheduled for last Thursday. The reason was apparently due to the discovery that steel mills are only rolling type A252 steel at the present time.  The state’s specification was for type A690 steel (highly resistant to corrosion) so with the lack of steel pipe suppliers  able to provide contractors with a quote for A690 steel pipe they needed to postpone.  Doug Cameron reported that he is working with their consultant to determine an alternate pile type so that the bidding can be reopened with revised specs for that particular requirement.  Once that is determined he will be able to set a new bid opening date.  Hopefully, the completion date of June 30 won’t be impacted.

By dbalon on 2/8/2013 1:59 PM

Effort Underway to Save Chappaquiddick Home on Eroded Bluff

Wasque Point is a remote place; this is the far southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, an island off an island. The name comes from the Algonquin word Wannasque, which means “the ending.” Where the land ends, there is nothing but Atlantic Ocean, dotted with flocks of scoters bobbing where the waves break, and then it’s ocean as far as the eye can see.

Click here to read the full story.

By dbalon on 2/8/2013 1:13 PM

“Pier project proceeding on track"

On Wednesday the 6th, an on-site bidders meeting was held at the future site of the Oak Bluffs fishing pier by the Office of Fishing and Boating Access. Doug Cameron, Asst. Director, began the meeting with a brief overview of the project and a review of the bidding procedures.  The bid package is about 2” of diagrams, specifications, instructions, copies of various permits and various governmental rules on everything from insurance and Workman’s Comp to bid parameters.   Whether a sign of the economy or just general interest in the project, 8 or 9 companies were represented at the meeting.  According to Doug, that was a very good sign that they will receive good competitive bids.

There was very little discussion about the project specifications and it looked like everyone was enthusiastic about the project.  There were general comments about the state’s choice in selection of materials, the cross bracing design for the pier, damage sustained by the SSA dock during our two recent storms, and rest of the work proposed for that waterfront area. Bids will be opened in another two weeks and they are still projecting a completion date of June 30 of this year.

    A variety of competitive bids will be a good thing from a cost perspective but Doug commented that the shortfall from the original bonded amount will be made up primarily by saltwater fishing license funds and this will be only the second project to use that money.  The first project was a handicap accessible pier installed on the Bass River last season.  Everything remains on track for this project.”

By dbalon on 1/29/2013 11:05 AM

Pier progress continues!

(Special thanks to Dave Nash for this update.)

The state Office of Fishing and Boating Access recently announced in a “Notice to Contractors” that they are accepting bids for a handicap accessible fishing pier in Oak Bluffs MA.   Bids will be accepted until 11:00 a.m. on Thursday Feb. 14 at which time they will be publically opened and read.  They have updated their estimate of the value of the project to $900,000.    Bids are also required to include a deposit equal to 5% of the total value of the bid.  It also states that no bid will be awarded to any contractor who is not able to complete the work by June 30, 2013.   A pre-bid meeting will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Feb. 6 at the proposed site of the pier.   This is all nothing but good news for this project. Doug Cameron at OFBA reported to me previously that the slight shortfall in funding locked in a couple of years ago would be made up by funds taken in thru the saltwater fishing license program so I would expect the state is very excited about this project on several levels.  More to come as we hear updates.

By dbalon on 1/25/2013 6:58 PM

While elaborate plans continue to unfold for moving a large Chappaquiddick house, the Edgartown conservation commission is grappling with a new issue: whether actions taken to stem the erosion threatening the house can continue after the house is moved.

For months, the situation at Wasque Point where a rapidly eroding coastal bluff is swiftly approaching an 8,800-square-foot house has captivated the Island. Plans are underway to move the home and surrounding buildings on the property, owned by Richard and Jennifer Schifter.

The Schifters bought part of a neighboring property, and the plan now calls for moving four buildings, beginning with an existing home on the adjacent property that will be moved elsewhere on the same property. Then the Schifter main home, guest house, garage and pool will be moved farther back from the bluff.

Click here to read the full story.


By dbalon on 1/23/2013 12:43 PM

Sent: 1/22/2013 8:28:11 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: [Stripers_MA] From Stripers Forever's Lobbyist


Stripers Forever MA residents:

We have an opportunity over the next 8 days to significantly enhance the viability of our legislative package for this year.  If you care about the future of striped bass, now is the time to act!  Representatives and Senators of the Massachusetts Great and General Court have already filed the three bills that we've copied and pasted in below.  Our goal in the next 10 days is to get as many legislators as possible to sign on as co-sponsors of these bills.  The HD and SD designations stand for House Docket and Senate Docket.


HD 714 and SD1123,  An Act Relative to the Conservation of Atlantic Striped Bass The main thrust of this bill is to save fish by removing the recreational fishermen from the commercial striped bass fishery and reducing the quota correspondingly.  All fishermen who have not maintained an average of 1,000 pounds or more of reported landings over the last 5 years will not be issued commercial permits.  This will reduce the number of permit holders from about 4,000 to a little more than 200!  This reduction will have the added effect of cooling off the under-the-table, cash sale commercial fishery since, without a permit, people will not able to transport commercial quantities of striped bass so they can be sold.  It will also reduce the quota by a little over 300,000 pounds or nearly 30%.  The bill also prohibits any new entries into the fishery and ends the fishery completely in 2025.  As each license is retired the quota for that license will be removed from the total remaining quota.  The bill also provides for further conservation measures to be taken if the condition of the fishery continues to deteriorate.  

HD716 and SD1050, An Act Protecting the Legal Harvest of Striped Bass -

Beginning in 2014 the ASMFC is requiring all states including MA to adopt a tagging system in its commercial fishery.  MA is the only state no tagging system, and, against the advice of the ASMFC Law Enforcement Committee, MA officials have created a loophole,  whereby the fish can be tagged when they are sold and not at the point at which they are captured.  This bill requires that the commercially caught striped bass must tagged at the time they are caught.  

HD705 and SD1064, A Resolve studying the loss of revenues of the Commonwealth –

        This bill will command the MA department of revenue to study and analyze the well-documented drop in participation in the recreational striped bass fishery in MA, especially the 40% drop in out of state anglers, and how much that decline has cost the Commonwealth in lost         revenue.  The committee will then forward its findings to the Division of Marine Fisheries together with recommendations for enhancing the revenues derived from the recreational striped bass fishery


Here are my suggestions for approaching your legislators:  

 You should call or email your state representative or senator or indeed any legislator that you may have a relationship with.  You should ask them to sign on to the House and Senate dockets for each bill.  

Calling is better if you have the time. You will speak with an aide who will take your information and discuss it with the legislator. Please ask to receive an answer as to whether the Representative or Senator will co-sponsor.

You should call back or email back and ask what the decision was and if not a positive decision, then ask what is the reason for the decision.

Feedback to Stripers Forever is critical.  Send us an e-mail at, and let us know how your communications turn out.  I will follow up with legislators who our members have contacted and work to secure their support.


Thank you for your help.  Henri Rauschenbach


P.S.  The actual language of each bill is available at this LINK.

By dbalon on 1/22/2013 9:39 PM
The erosion continues to damage Wasque Point and the surrounding waterfront. It is truly astounding what is continuing to happen out there to this famous and productive fishing spot. It is very sad to see the disappearing waterfront and all the damage. The true power of nature is at work here. It is anyone's guess when Mother Nature will be done re-shaping this historic place.

Click here to see the latest photos.
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