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Author Topic: Ma rivers-who regulates what ?  (Read 5142 times)
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robc22
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« on: June 24, 2008, 09:50:53 PM »

I got asked a question the other day. I couldn't really answer it and It got me wondering?

who regulates what on our rivers? where do the DMF regs stop and the inland fisheries regs take over?

I know bridges used to be used for dividing lines. Landward of a first crossing bridge was consided freshwater, seaward of bridge was considered saltwater.Activities allowed on one side of the bridge may not be legal on the other!!!!!!

Is this still true today HuhHuh?
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"Beli . . . Beli . . . Belichnikov! … Belichick! Great man! Great leader!".......George Steinbrenner

"Eat wild fish/shellfish...... not something from china"...... Stillfishing

"Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf."......... Native American Proverb

“Oh, I could spend my life having this conversation - look - please try to understand before one of us dies”...... John Cleese

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masspi
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 12:27:07 PM »

Rob...........I have been looking for this answer since you posted the topic..........I have come up with no definitive answer as of yet.  What you describe is what I always thought was the rule.  Things have changed on jurisdiction over the years though with parts of the S-M Fisheries Act. 

In reality, the enforcement is sporadic in Massachusetts at best.  Most of the Environmental Police enforcement activity is spent with commercial activities.  The occasional spot check on recreational people is just that, random.  Because of their mandate to watch over everything from commercial fishing to snowmobile operators and RV riders, hunting and fishing, they are pretty taxed out.  In the old days, they called them the Game Wardens.  The state was broken down into areas and there was a resident Game Warden.

I see local Harbormasters and Shellfish Wardens taking on a much larger enforcement role over the years.  Coast Guard enforcement is limited in most areas and their new roles in drug law enforcement and Homeland Security issues is much greater than in the past.

In reading posts from all over the East from fellow members of the forum, I get the sense that Maryland has a very active enforcement program and Florida always had a large enforcement presence.  When was the last time you ever saw agents from DMF or the Environmental Police on the water checking activity.  It seems to me that 99% of their enforcement is land based, bridges, piers and marinas.

As far as bridges being the dividing line, it always isn't the true dividing line.  The area near my home is on that land side of the Rt. 6 bridge, but the water is salt (brackish), and by that definition, on the South side it would be salt water and no license to fish would be needed...........The North side would be fresh and a fishing license would be required.  Not so, as I have never seen any enforcement and it would be darn near impossible to work as people cross back and forth as the tide changes. 

I will keep looking for the answer and will report when I find it.

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unclebuttsy
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 04:40:01 PM »

The Mystic River officially changes from salt to fresh water at the Amelia Earhart dam. Three bridges cross the river between Boston Harbor and the dam.
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robc22
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 09:36:28 PM »

Masspi/ unclebuttesy

Thanks for the replies to my post.

Here's some stuff you might find intresting.

I,m 43 and have been continuously commercial shellfishing since I was 12.
Ive never been checked by the state while shellfishing on the water. I have been checked at fish markets. I don't count checking my traps down the canal. I have been checked there several times.
The USCG tried to check me once but ran around trying to get to me. I ended up helping those guys get off the sand bar.
The local shellfish wardens/ harbormasters and I go back years. We have this unsaid mutual agreement. I respect them and the shellfish regs and they leave me alone. It works great.
 
I was curious about the bridges because I can remember years past drift gillnetting pogies north of the rt6 bridge over the wewantic. Was I illegal?

Another intresting item.......
Years ago a bunch of big trout some how escaped the sandwich fish hatchery. They made there way down the little creek that went under 6A, thru the miniature golf course and under the little train bridge to hook up with sandwich creek(saltwater). Folks that fished for these trout at the golf course got written up for all sorts of things. Folks that fished the seaside of the RR crossing got left alone.
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Lobster Troll #1.........

"Beli . . . Beli . . . Belichnikov! … Belichick! Great man! Great leader!".......George Steinbrenner

"Eat wild fish/shellfish...... not something from china"...... Stillfishing

"Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf."......... Native American Proverb

“Oh, I could spend my life having this conversation - look - please try to understand before one of us dies”...... John Cleese

"Never met a bluefish I wouldn't sell"........Maddmatt
unclebuttsy
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 08:12:01 AM »

Well I got curious about this and made some calls. MMF told me to call MFW, who told me to call Coastal Enforcement. The short answer is that it varies from river to river.

But the line will be drawn where the tide no longer affects the river.

The first dam on a river will be considered the line. In other places there may or may not be a marker.

The rule about the landward side of the first bridge applies to hunting waterfowl.
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masspi
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 08:20:53 AM »

That sound more logical.............in the case of the Weweantic, that would be quite a bit up river from the State boat ramp as well as most of the rest of the Rivers, Wareham, Agawam, etc.  The Mattapoisett would be at the dam on Route 6.

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