Report of the
Harbormaster/Natural Resources Department 1978
The Natural Resources Department is responsible for the enforcement of all shellfish and herring regulations, propagation, maintenance and monitoring water safety standards in these areas. As harbormasters and wharfingers we maintain Town piers and floats including the total operation of Saquatucket Municipal Marina. We are pleased to report another successful year, the highlights of which are summarized here.
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
(Red Tide) forced the closure of
Commercial shellfishermen had a
tough season overall, only 300 bushels of quahogs were reported landed during
1978. This no doubt represents the hard fishing effort that the Bay has
received over the last ten years. However, this decline In
production is not limited to our Town but seems to be part of the big picture
Cape-wide. Tighter regulations coupled with strong propagation efforts may help
lengthen the productive season, but without a good young set of quahogs in
The Department maintained a steady record of marine patrols through June, July and August. 48 tows and rescues were logged by this department, the greatest number ever. Our aid to the Coast Guard by picking up tows thus freeing their vessels for more important work further offshore became routine. We also maintained good working relations with the Coast Guard on VHF radio. The Chatham Coast Guard team was instrumental in investigating minor oil spills at our harbors. One oil slick at Saquatucket in August required an actual spill cleanup operation of an estimated 40 gallons of diesel fuel. A huge vacuum truck was used to suck up the isolated spill. Wadding paper further mopped up the slick. An indictment was sought against the violator by the the Water Pollution Control Board.
On June 8, a dead 10 ton humpback
whale drifted ashore at Wyndemere Bluff. The smelly carcass had to be dragged off
the beach and towed to
Saquatucket Municipal Marina had its usual super season. The sailing weather this summer was as nice as any we could remember with way less fog days than usual. Revenue from the harbors again broke the previous season's record. At Saquatucket 22 of the original power centers were replaced With Hubbell fiberglass power units. The remaining original power centers will be replaced over the next few years.
With a blossoming mature sea
scallop bed in local waters came a new industry to the
south side of the
Cognizant of these problems we proposed regulations, for review by the Harwich Waterways Committee, that we felt would insure the protection of the Interests of our local fishermen and recreational boat owners here. The new regulations were drafted and implemented by the Board of Selectmen and have been added to our regular list of harbor regulations. The new regulations are as follows:
Regulation 4 to be deleted and a new section 4 to read as follows:
4. Because of structural limitations and limited offloading space, no commercial boat 50' or over in length or displacing more than 40 gross tons can be accommodated.
23. Transient commercial vessels may rent dock space, if available, between Labor Day and May 30 only. Commercial dockage between June 1 and Labor Day shall be limited to those boats holding applicable leases only.
24. The above
space limitation shall be effective for all Town-owned slips including
Saquatucket Harbor Marina, and offloading sites at
25. Security and Damage Deposit. All boats renting dock space on a daily, weekly or monthly basis between Labor Day and May 30 are required to pay 'the Harbormaster before occupying any slip a Security and Damage Deposit, to be held by the Town in escrow and refunded to the owner or master of the vessel on termination of the rental agreement provided that during the period the vessel is in the harbor (a.) all accumulated dockage fees have been paid when due; (b.) all Rules and Regulations of the Harbor and all lawful orders oi the Harbormaster have been complied with by the vessel and all its crew and (c.) no damage has been caused by the vessel or crew to any of the Harbor Facilities. If any of the above conditions have not been complied with, the security deposit shall be forfeited to the Town and no portion shall be refunded and not withstanding forfeiture of the deposit the Town shall have the right to proceed against the vessel, its owner, master or crew In any proceeding, criminal or civil to (a.) enforce its Rules and Regulations and Orders; (b.) recover for any damage done to harbor facilities or (c.) recover for any dockage fee due.
Because of the great and increasing number of inquiries for berthing space the Town has decided beginning this year to charge for the privilege of placing and keeping one's name and address on the waiting lists. Names on the list shall be advanced from year to year only if the annual fee ($15) is paid and slips will be assigned to the parties whose names have been on the list longest as space becomes available. This fifteen dollar annual fee is non-refundable but is applicable to the first year's dockage.
As a result of Article 79 of the
1978 Annual Town Meeting, some very positive work has been
done in securing good plans and grant money for the rebuilding of
The Board of Selectmen appointed
a three man Commercial Fisheries Activities Study Committee (CO/V1FAC) at the
request of Sherrill Smith, Division of Marine Fisheries field agent and former
DOCKAGE REPORT — TOWN SLIPS
SHELLFISH PERMITS ISSUED
The following statistics were compiled from our 1978 logbook:
Rescues and Tows 48
Boats pumped out 50
Boats loose 12
Boats missing 7
Boats reported stolen 4
Channel markers and regulatory buoys in service 39
Fires on board 2
Lighted aids to navigation maintained 1
Motorboat warnings issued 5
Motorboat violations court cases 1
Herring warnings written 3
Mooring Permits Wychmere Harbor and outer harbor 147
Mooring permits Round Cove 130
Mooring permits Pleasant Bay 19
Oil spills 8
Quahogs transplanted to Wychmere in bushels 202
Quahogs transplanted to
Quahogs transplanted to Round Cove 53
We noticed a huge decline in
thefts occurring at
As an addendum to 1977 report,
Our appreciation goes out to all Town Departments and citizens who helped out the Natural Resources Department throughout the year. Cooperation was excellent. We can be thankful that our Town is staffed by such beautiful people.
THOMAS E. LEACH, Natural Resources Officer Harbormaster
DONALD F. RYDER, Assistant