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As of 10:00 a.m. on Friday October 2, 2015, the Division of Marine Fisheries has declared an immediate and complete closure of all Dartmouth waterways to shellfish harvesting. Excessive rain and pollution runoff have caused unsafe water quality requiring the posting of "prohibited" harvesting status for all areas until further notice.

Criminal penalties for shellfishing in polluted waters shall apply to anyone found in these closed areas.
Posted on 02 Oct 2015 by harbormaster
Hurricane-Storm Preparations
The National Weather Service is forecasting a prolonged period of severe weather for local area beginning tonight and continuing through Monday October 5, 2015. This prolonged Nor'easter is expected to be followed closely by a Tropical cyclone or Hurricane Joaquin early next week.
Sustained NE winds of 20 m.p.h. with gusts of 40 m.p.h. are forecast throughout the next several days. Seas in Buzzards Bay are predicted to be a sustained 6' in height. Mariners should not minimize the danger of this sea state based upon observations in the lee of the shore or harbor. The further a vessel moves from a south-facing shore will bring increasing seas.
Preparations for a likely tropical storm or hurricane next week will be hampered by the prolonged NE wind and heavy rain anticipated in advance of that next storm system. Dartmouth boaters are asked to check their vessels as soon as possible. Any vessel that can safely be removed from the waterway should be hauled out as soon as possible. Boats that remain in the water should minimize wind exposure by removing canvas (bimini top, dodgers, sails and sail covers) and removing any dinghies, kayaks, paddleboards, towable toys and chairs from the decks.
Be sure to check and add chafing gear to all mooring and dock lines, minimizing any sharp corners or hard bends against securing lines.
The Harbormaster Office does not have "storm moorings" or other accommodations available for your vessel. It is not recommended that you change mooring locations for storm events. Anchoring in open areas of Dartmouth is not allowed, and the poor holding characteristics in the soft muddy bottom of these open areas will create dangers for your vessel and others.
The prospect of back-to-back serious weather conditions, likely from opposing directions, coupled with prolonged conditions of misery will make for life-threatening conditions around our waterways. Please prepare early and avoid placing yourself or others in harmful situations.

Posted on 01 Oct 2015 by harbormaster
Commercial Black Sea Bass Closure

MarineFisheries Advisory 2015 Commercial Black Sea Bass Fishery Closed Effective September 3, 2015
The Commonwealth’s 2015 commercial black sea bass quota of 287,680 pounds is projected to be taken by the end of the fishing day on Wednesday, September 2, 2015. Accordingly, Massachusetts’ commercial black sea bass fishery is closed effective 0001 hours on Thursday, September 3, 2015 (Closure Notice). During the quota closure and until the 2016 commercial black sea bass fishery opens, it is unlawful for any commercial fisherman to harvest or land black sea bass and for any seafood dealer to purchase or receive black sea bass from any fisherman. All black sea bass pots must be removed from the waters of the Commonwealth prior to Sunday, September 6, 2015, and cannot be set until Saturday, July 30, 2016.
Posted on 31 Aug 2015 by harbormaster
MarineFisheries Advisory: 2015 Commercial Striped Bass Fishery Closed Effective August 21, 2015

The Commonwealth’s 2015 commercial striped bass quota of 869,813 pounds is projected to have been taken on Thursday, August 20, 2015. Accordingly, Massachusetts 2015 commercial striped bass fishery is closed effective 0001 hours on Friday, August 21, 2015. Until the 2016 commercial striped bass fishery opens, fishermen are prohibited from possessing more than one striped bass that measures at least 28 inches in total length per person or selling or attempting to sell any striped bass in the Commonwealth.

Commercial fishermen are reminded that even if their permit was not fished, their August 2015 trip-level report is due no later than September 15, 2015. Failure to submit these reports for all months of year may result in the non-renewal of a commercial permit and its regulated fishery permit endorsements in 2016. All trip-level reports should be sent to DMF Statistics Project, 30 Emerson Avenue, Gloucester, MA 01930. Blank forms and instructions were mailed out prior to the beginning of the 2015 commercial fishing season; additional copies can be obtained on the Division of Marine Fisheries
Posted on 21 Aug 2015 by harbormaster
Updated Mooring Waitlist
You can view our most current Mooring Waitlist which was updated on August 10, 2015 here.
Posted on 10 Aug 2015 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
2015 Padanaram Bridge Schedule

2015 Padanaram Bridge Summer Season Openings:

Please be advised that the 2015 seasonal bridge openings begin on May 1, 2015 (Through October 31, 2015). The Bridge Tenders are on duty during the season, and the schedule is as follows:
6:00 a. m. - 8:00 a. m: Openings on the hour and half hour
8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p. m: Openings on the hour
8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m: Openings on the hour & half hour

You must signal or call the bridge tender at least 5 minutes before the allowable opening times to specifically request an opening. If no direct contact is made, no opening will occur.

The Padanaram Bridgetender MONITORS VHF Channel 13

Should you have any questions or concerns please call Mr. Roy Pinheiro, Assistant Supervisor of Services and Infrastructure at (508) 999-0744.
We wish you a safe boating season.
Posted on 11 Apr 2014 by harbormaster
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