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MWRA vs. MA anglers for access

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I was thinking the other day that the logic of the MWRA makes no sense. We know that MWRA freaked out last summer and banned private boats on Quabbin and created the boat sealing and washing program. I believe one of the quotes at that time from a member of the MWRA was something like "I am not concerned about someone's fishing hole."

 

Why are we allowed to fish and boat on some active reservoirs like Quabbin but then Wachusett is only shore fishing? Why are back up places like Sudbury also closed to boats? How about the back up reservoirs near Framingham where they are closed to all fishing? This just does not make any sense.

 

How do anglers organize to ensure fair access and stand up to the MWRA?

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View PostI was thinking the other day that the logic of the MWRA makes no sense. We know that MWRA freaked out last summer and banned private boats on Quabbin and created the boat sealing and washing program. I believe one of the quotes at that time from a member of the MWRA was something like "I am not concerned about someone's fishing hole."

 

Why are we allowed to fish and boat on some active reservoirs like Quabbin but then Wachusett is only shore fishing? Why are back up places like Sudbury also closed to boats? How about the back up reservoirs near Framingham where they are closed to all fishing? This just does not make any sense.

 

How do anglers organize to ensure fair access and stand up to the MWRA?

 

The reason that fishing from boats (with some restrictions) is allowed on the Quabbin is because back in the 1950's, a local angling group, The North Quabbin Anglers lobbied hard and got a law written and passed allowing boats for fishing on the reservoir. You can be on the reservoir if your fishing, you are not allowed to be in a boat to joyride, or sight see, picknic or birdwatch, you are supposed to be fishing. Support from local state Representatives over the years have kept the law in place.

 

The MDC, now called the DCR controls the reservoir and would love to do away with the boats. They'd also love to do away with people hiking and biking in the watershed lands, and any other uses. They'd love for it to be a private park for themselves and state biologists.

 

Other groups like horse riders, snowmobiler's, sailboats, etc. have tried over the years to get a foot into the Quabbin, but getting changes to the laws governing the reservoir just can't happen now like they did during the 1950's.

 

The access for boat fishermen is always under pressure, just like the new power washing and tag system required for private boats. It was supposedly put in place to prevent the spread of zebra mussels, but the state biologists at the time said that the water make up was not conducive to allowing the spread zebra mussels. Most anglers see the law as another layer of harassment but are dealing with it, because being on the Quabbin in a boat is truly one of Massachusetts' great experiences.

 

Even if you don't catch anything, the scenery is breathtaking and unforgettable. If your one of the first boats out on the water early in the morning your liable to see deer in the water, eagles snatching fish off the surface, and the occasional moose, you'd swear your in northern Canada. It's hard to believe that those rugged wooded shores and islands were once towns where people lived and died.

 

As to the other reservoirs in the water chain to Boston, I'm not confident that any changes can be made. A fishing lobby would have to organize and get very vocal. It's always possible, but it would be an uphill battle fighting the state on more boating access.

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