Deer Island Recreational Fishing Pier Officially Opens

Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides joined state and local officials, fishing advocates, and youth anglers in Winthrop for a ribbon cutting of the Commonwealth’s new Deer Island Recreational Fishing Pier last week. The pier will provide anglers from Winthrop, East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Everett, and many other surrounding communities an easily accessible opportunity to fish from Massachusetts’ shoreline.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to making outdoor recreational opportunities like fishing easily accessible to all Massachusetts residents, especially those in urban and environmental justice communities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “This new recreational fishing pier will provide anglers of all means and abilities in the Greater Boston area access to high-quality coastal fishing for generations to come.”

 The facility was constructed by the Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), in cooperation with DFG’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, and the City of Boston. The $2.4 million project was paid for mostly with funds from the sale of Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing permit, with assistance from the MWRA.

“This is a signature project for the Department of Fish and Game and our Division of Marine Fisheries,” said Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner Ron Amidon. “I wish to thank DMF and the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel, the citizens advisory group that long ago had the foresight to propose building recreational fishing piers in urban communities, to serve people who may not otherwise have opportunities to go fishing.”

 “The fishing pier is a great addition to the recreational opportunities available at Deer Island and MWRA is proud of the partnership that made this possible,” said Massachusetts Water Resources (MWRA) Executive Director Fred Laskey. “With five miles of public trails for walking, jogging, sightseeing, picnicking, bicycling and fishing, the Deer Island Public Access Area offers something for everyone.”

“The Deer Island pier project gives back to the fishing public in the ‘user pays, user benefits’ model,”said Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) Director Dan McKiernan. “This pier project and other similar structures around the state have strong angler support because it’s tangible, permanent, and meets critical need for angler access.”

 Construction of the Deer Island Recreational Fishing Pier was supported by the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund, which is financed through the sale of recreational saltwater fishing permits, donations, and grants. One third of the fund is dedicated to providing anglers with public access to saltwater fishing opportunities. The Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel is a five member citizens advisory group that helps DMF in crafting annual spending plans from the Fund.

Some of the activities supported by the Fund are:

• Providing anglers with public access to saltwater fishing opportunities

• Monitoring, stocking, and improving the passage of diadromous fish

• Developing the Saltwater Angler Education Program, offering fishing clinics, seminars, and distribution of informational materials

• Recreational catch and effort data through the Marine Recreational Information Program

• Planning, siting, and monitoring of artificial reefs

The Deer Island Recreational Fishing Pier was designed by Foth Engineering and constructed by ACK Marine & General Contracting, overseen by the Division of Marine Fisheries, the Office of Fishing and Boating Access, and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.

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