Topics: Commercial fishing and shellfishing

Deck Replacement Closes Fish Pier To Public

By: Cape Cod Chronicle

CHATHAM – Most of the municipal fish pier will be closed to the public for the next few months as construction crews replace the facility's popular observation deck. Sciaba Construction Corporation was scheduled to begin staging equipment at the pier first thing Monday, but heavy snow at the company's headquarters in Walpole delayed its arrival. The company was expected to be on scene early in the week, but ex...

Commission Approves South Street Lobster Pot Storage

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The conservation commission has approved the storage of 800 lobster pots adjacent to wetlands in the yard of lobster fisherman Ken Weeks on South Street, but putting the puzzle together to ensure the traps are not stored inside the 50-foot no-disturb zone may not be an easy task. Weeks went before the commission in December after receiving a citation for storing the traps in the wetlands resource are...

CHATHAM – A short “listening session” last week kicked off the town's effort to square its waterways bylaws and regulations with state and federal rules. In a meeting that lasted less than half an hour, a handful of speakers raised several questions and made comments about the town's regulations, mostly focused on the contentious issue of moorings. Waterways officials and the town's waterways advisory commi...

Fish Pier Deck Upgrade Gets Final Approval

By: Tim Wood

$1.6 Million Project To Be Completed By Summer CHATHAM – Town officials were scheduled to meet earlier this week with engineers and the contractor hired to build a new observation deck at the fish pier, following final approval of the project by the zoning board of appeals last week. The board unanimously approved the $1.6 million project, which will result in a more larger, more stable deck that meets acce...

There was a time not long ago when fishermen tried to get rid of big-jawed, sharp-toothed prehistoric-looking monkfish by kicking them out the scuppers. Now they steam 100 miles in often ugly weather to find them, bringing up thousands of pounds in weighted gillnets. “It makes up a fair part of my year, about a third of my income,” said Nick Muto, captain of the Dawn T. The fat-headed brown angler fish c...

CHATHAM – The home of the most famous surfboat crew in the history of the Coast Guard is no longer a surf station. As of Dec. 10, Coast Guard Station Chatham's designation was changed from a surf station to a heavy weather station. That means crews can only respond if surf on the bar is under eight feet, said Senior Chief Petty Officer Carlos Hessler, the officer in charge of the station. “That's the only c...

CHATHAM – The home of the most famous surfboat crew in the history of the Coast Guard is no longer a surf station. As of Dec. 10, Coast Guard Station Chatham's designation was changed from a surf station to a heavy weather station. That means crews can only respond if surf on the bar is under eight feet, said Senior Chief Petty Officer Carlos Hessler, the officer in charge of the station. “That's the only c...

Fish Pier Observation Deck To Cost $1.6M

By: Alan Pollock

CHATHAM — Bids have been opened from contractors hoping to build the new observation deck at the fish pier, and for town officials, it was like an early holiday gift. The low bid for the job, which includes the replacement of aging fuel tanks, is $1.48 million, about $400,000 less than expected. With a conservative contingency fund, the total project cost is expected to be $1,628,540. The winning bidder is W...

Seasonal Lobster Pot Storage A Concern In Harwich

By: William F. Galvin

HARWICH — The storage of lobster pots in the off-season on Cape Cod has become more of a challenge as land becomes developed and locations for such storage are more difficult to find. Ken Weeks has been a lifelong lobster fisherman and he is facing that problem. Weeks was before the conservation commission last week having filed a notice of intent seeking a variance to store up to 800 lobster pots on his prope...

CHATHAM –Fishing is a key element in the fabric of Cape Cod. Sports fishing is a vital part of its summer tourist industry, the mainstay of the Cape’s economy. Commercial fishing, whether by nets or rod and reel off boats, lobstering, aquaculture or shellfishing is not only a source of employment and financial resources for those involved, but it is also a part of the tradition, history, culture and society of th...

CHATHAM – After several years of planning and at least two closures due to structural problems, the popular observation deck at the town-owned fish pier has gone out to bid for reconstruction. The project is expected to be finished by June 15, just as the busy summer season is ramping up. The fish pier is the town's most popular tourist attraction, drawing upwards of 200,000 people during summer, as many as...

Fishing Gear Storage At Airport May End

By: Tim Wood

Safety Concerns Raised Over Potential For Bird Strikes CHATHAM – For more than three decades, fishermen have stored gear on vacant Chatham Municipal Airport land off Wilfred Road. The practice may soon end, however, after a wildlife consultant raised alarms about birds attracted by the gear become a hazard to airplanes taking off and landing. The airport commission was all set to end the storage and had dra...

CHATHAM – There's no disagreement about the need for a new upweller to grow out quahog and other shellfish seed vital to the town's commercial shellfishing industry, which is the most valuable wild shellfishery in the state, according to Shellfish Constable Renee Gagne. And the small town-owned parcel on Bridge Street adjacent to the Mitchell River appears to be the best spot for a new building to replacing the a...

Pilgrim Lake Gets A Helping Hand With Fishway Project

By: William F. Galvin

ORLEANS — The fishway reconstruction project at Pilgrim Lake is being called a great partnership between the town and the state Division of Marine Fisheries. Together the agencies are replacing an aging structure that is failing to serving migrating herring and American eel. “It's a project our committee and volunteers have been advocating for several years,” Judy Scanlon, a member of the shellfish and waterwa...

Longtime fisherman John Our knows some people who love calamari, but won’t eat squid. Doesn’t matter that they are same thing; calamari just sounds better. “Dogfish” seems to provoke a similar visceral reaction; people turn their noses up at the name. “I’ve always thought that if you changed the name you would make it more attractive,” Our said. “It would only help.” Our’s feeling is backed by research. ...

ALC Chair: Town Should Purchase Yacht Club Pier

By: Tim Wood

CHATHAM – Given the evolving conditions in Chatham Harbor, having an alternate location for commercial fishing boats to offload their catch, once a long-term strategy, is looking more like a necessity. Officials had that use in mind when the town purchased of the Eldredge Trap Dock on Stage Harbor in 2016, and plans are in process to modernize the pier to accommodate at least some commercial fishing boats. In ...