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2016 Commercial Tautog Fishery Closed
October 18, 2016 MarineFisheries Advisory

2016 Commercial Tautog Fishery Closed Effective October 19, 2016

The Commonwealth’s 2016 commercial tautog quota of 57,985 pounds is projected to be taken by the end of the day on Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Accordingly, Massachusetts’ commercial tautog fishery is closed effective 001 hours on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.
Posted on 18 Oct 2016 by harbormaster
All Buzzards Bay Shellfish Beds are CLOSED by State Division of Marine Fisheries
Detection of Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning algae in Buzzards Bay Waters has caused the State to CLOSE all Buzzards Bay waters (Including all areas of Dartmouth) to shellfish harvesting until further notice:

The state Division of Marine Fisheries has banned shellfishing in all of Buzzards Bay, including all Dartmouth waters, due to potentially toxic phytoplankton.

Phytoplankton samples collected Thursday show extremely high concentrations of pseudo-nitzschia in Buzzards Bay. This bloom can produce domoic acid, which in high concentrations can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. Amnesic shellfish poisoning produces gastrointestinal and neurological effects. Mild cases arise within 24 hours of consumption of contaminated shellfish. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In more severe cases, neurological symptoms occur, including headaches, hallucinations, confusion, short-term memory loss, respiratory difficulty, seizures, coma and, in extreme cases, death.

As a result of the closure, digging, harvesting, collecting and/or attempting to dig, harvest or collect shellfish, and the possession of shellfish, is prohibited in Bourne, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Gosnold, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, Swansea and Westport.

Amnesic shellfish poisoning was recorded for the first time off the Atlantic coast of Canada in 1987 when three deaths and more than 100 confirmed cases of acute intoxications followed the consumption of cultured mussels.

The DMF will continue to test for the presence of the phytoplankton and will reopen areas once the blooms have dissipated and the shellfish are known to be free of toxic levels of domoic acid.

Shellfish are monitored by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries for this contamination. The State mandated closure prohibits all shellfish activities EXCEPT for Bay Scallop and Conch (Welk) harvesting, where the digestive tract of those are not ingested by humans.
Posted on 07 Oct 2016 by harbormaster
Automatic Weekly Pump-out Service Ends
Boaters who have signed up for weekly automatic vessel waste pump-out service this season will need to call for pump-out service after Friday October 7, 2016. The pump-out crew will continue to respond to individual waste pump-out requests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 am to noon each of those days.

We will continue to respond to individual waste removal requests as they are made until such time as mother nature brings us frost conditions. When frost conditions require winterization of the waste-removal equipment, further notice will be posted announcing the seasonal end of that service.

Posted on 29 Sep 2016 by harbormaster
Commercial Black Sea Bass
August 31, 2016 ~ MarineFisheries Advisory

2016 Commercial Black Sea Bass Fishery Closed
Effective September 5, 2016
Posted on 31 Aug 2016 by harbormaster
Updated Mooring Waitlist
You can view our most current Mooring Waitlist which was updated on August 27, 2016 here.
Posted on 27 Aug 2016 by harbormaster
Commercial Striped Bass Fishery Closed
August 19, 2016
MarineFisheries Advisory

2016 Commercial Striped Bass Fishery Closed
Effective August 19, 2016
Posted on 20 Aug 2016 by harbormaster
"Rusty Tide" detected in Dartmouth
The presence of large areas of reddish, brown water have been detected throughout Buzzards Bay, including Dartmouth. The abundance of cochlodinium algae in our warm, shallow waters has created the condition known as "rusty tide." This is not the same harmful condition that is commonly called "red tide." Water samples were collected by our staff and analyzed on August 9, 2016 by the Division of Marine Fisheries. These samples confirmed the presence of cochlodinium algae in the 80 degree Fahrenheit waters of south Padanaram Harbor. Exceedingly warm water temperatures and increased nitrogen contribute to this type of algae bloom.

According to biologists from the Division of Marine Fisheries, the current concentration of cochlodinium algae is not harmful to swimmers or shellfish, however it may accumulate in the gills of fish, deplete the amount of oxygen available in the water column, and possibly lead to fish kills. Marine Fisheries and the Harbormaster Staff will continue to monitor the water quality and advise the public.
Posted on 09 Aug 2016 by harbormaster
Shellfish Relay
The north side of Apponagansett Bay (Upper Padanaram Harbor) is seasonally closed from June 1st to November 1st each year by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. Within the north side is a one acre site (outlined on the map above) which will remain closed until the fall of 2018. This area, from the Pier at the Arthur F. Dias landing to the band-shell at Apponagansett Point, has been seeded with contaminated quahog stock relayed from the Taunton River.

This one-acre contaminated relay area must not be entered or harvested from when the remaining other north side areas open this fall. The contaminated relay area must remain closed to harvesting until the fall of 2017 by which time these quahogs will have purified themselves of any contaminants and had the opportunity to reproduce in our waters.

State Law prohibits harvesting in a contaminated closed area, making it an arrestable felony for anyone caught in the prohibited area. Enforcement by local authorities and State Environmental Police will be heightened during this specific closure.

See map here.
Posted on 02 Aug 2016 by harbormaster
Padanaram Causeway Update
Posted on 26 Jul 2016 by harbormaster
2016 Padanaram Bridge Schedule Announced
The 2016 seasonal openings of the Padanaram Bridge will begin on May 1, the Department of Public Works announced.
From 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., the bridge will open on the hour and half hour. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the bridge will open on the hour. And from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., the bridge will open on the hour and half hour.
Anyone with questions is asked to contact the Assistant Supervisor of Services and Infrastructure Roy Pinheiro at 508-999-0744.
Posted on 11 Apr 2016 by harbormaster
2 Federal Navigation Buoys To be Removed from Dartmouth Waters

Commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England

in Southeastern Massachusetts Waterways

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England proposes to make some modest changes in the aids-to-navigation (ATON) system in the waterways of southeastern Massachusetts. We carefully evaluated these reasonably limited measures that will maintain or improve navigation safety while increasing the efficiency and cost effectiveness of our overall ATON program.

Of the nearly 500 aids to navigation in southeastern Massachusetts, this plan will affect 26 that our analysis suggests provides only limited benefit, if any at all, to the average mariner that normally uses the waterway which the aids mark. These aids typically consume Coast Guard (and taxpayer) resources that far exceed any navigation safety benefit delivered to the boating public.

Of the 26 affected aids, 14 that provide very limited or no additional navigation safety have been identified for removal. The remaining 12 aids are in waters seldom used by boaters during the winter and have been identified for designation as “seasonal” aids that will be removed during the winter months and replaced in the summer months with fully functional but less expensive foam buoys, a practice that has been implemented in this region and elsewhere throughout the country with great success.

Our proposed changes to the aids-to-navigation system in some waterways within southeastern Massachusetts are listed in the attached spreadsheet. Your feedback is welcome and should be provided to Mr. Edward G. LeBlanc at 401-435-2351, or Edward.G.LeBlanc@uscg.mil by October 1, 2015. We will carefully consider all comments submitted and adjust our proposal if warranted. Only then will we begin to make on-the-water changes to aids to navigation, and in no case would any of these changes take place before November 1, 2015.

**Harbormaster Note: The 2 federal aids to navigation to be discontinued and removed from Dartmouth waters are the Keel Rock Buoy #3 (USCG Light List #16750) and Padanaram Harbor Buoy #10 (USCG Light List #16771). If you have any comments, direct them as indicated above, to Mr. LeBlanc.
Posted on 08 Aug 2015 by harbormaster
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Next Waterways Management Commission Meeting
The next Waterways Commission meeting will be held on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 5:30 in Room 314 at Town Hall.


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