View Full Version : West Bay Cotiut........
01-24-2002, 03:40 PM
I have been quite busy scouting areas to fish in and around my new home. I can see that the parking scene will be brutal.
SO my first(of many) to the board here is what's the shoreline access situation to the west bay of cotuit, mainly the light/jetty and the channel running from dead neck ??? I was thinking you might be able to wade the shore a little and get close to the entrance/exit of the bay. Can anyone give me a little info on this area...??? Thanks.
01-24-2002, 04:22 PM
Would suggest that you buy ON THE WATER's book
called "Fishing New England" A Cape Cop Shore
An excellent guide to the wader and also is a guide
where to park.
01-24-2002, 06:08 PM
Since your now a resident- get the $15 beach sticker. There are many small water access spots in Barnstable with limited parking and it helps to have the sticker. Loop Beach is by the channal at the opposite end of the island. There is also the channel between Cotuit bay and North Bay which is a good early season spot when the herring are running.
01-24-2002, 07:02 PM
Good luck finding shore access in West Bay. The problem is parking. I can think of a couple of spots, one of which is a town landing, but like Bob says you'll need a permit to avoid a ticket.
Cotuit Bay, Poppy, North Bay, and East Bay have more park- and-wade options for the shorebound, especially before Mem. Day and after Labor Day or at night and odd hours throughout the season. Since I'm a vampire after May, night works for me ;-).
01-25-2002, 02:04 PM
What are the reg's for shoreline use/access in Mass.?? I know in Maine you have to be below the mean high tide level or mark. Is this the same down here?? I hope so, cause thats easier down here with the small tides and sandy shores, unlike Maine with the 10ft tides and rocky shorelines.
01-25-2002, 06:42 PM
Couple bits to get you started.
<a href="http://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/Pab/PABBook.htm" target="_blank">Public Access Handbook</a>
<a href="http://www.state.ma.us/dfwele/Pab/pabSEmap.htm" target="_blank">Public Access Map</a>
<a href="http://www.state.ma.us/czm/spa2.htm" target="_blank">Shoreline Access Page - Coastal Zone Management</a>
<a href="http://www.state.ma.us/dem/programs/coastal/seapath.htm" target="_blank">Seapath program</a>
I couldn't find an easy link to the regulation, and I suspect that is with good reason. As I recall (and my memory is poor) we've got a "beautiful people" rule which gives homeowners on Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket rights to mean low water, while other areas have high water rights. I think rights are by county, but my memory fails.
Obviously, I haven't paid as much attention to the rules as I probably should. I too, am somewhat of a vampire during the summer...
Can anyone else clarify?
01-25-2002, 08:16 PM
fishing/fowling rights Allows you to use the area. ch 131
I believe it's the low water mark
BUT you have to be able to access the area legally.
You can not walk through someone's yard and then claim you have a right to be there.
I know there was a thread on this long long time ago. Some landowners would try calling the police even if you were wading near their land. Buttermilk bay area I think.
Do a search "fowling" or "What's the law" and you will find the thread
01-26-2002, 01:23 PM
The law is the same in Mass as in Maine, since Maine was part of Massachusetts when the law was written in the 1640s. It does not vary from County to County as Mark suggested; it's valid throughout the Commonwealth. As Bob said,landowners in MA and ME own to the mean low water mark. In most states landownership ends at the mean high tide mark. You can legally be on the "wet sand area" for the purposes of fishing, fowling and navigating, provided you accessed the wet sand area legally in the first place.
And BTW, the average tide variance is around 8-9 feet on the Cape, not much different than most of southern and Mid-Maine.
01-27-2002, 10:19 AM
I believe the Public Access Board lists most town rights-of-way to the shore and certainly the individual towns do. If they don't, you can find many of them on any detailed map of the Cape. Some of them have been deliberately obscured by neighbors, but they are perfectly legal access points. The biggest challenge, other than the obvious beach lots, is finding legal parking within a reasonable distance of the access point, especially in high season during the day. Obviously, this is where town beach stickers may be required.
Also, not all landowners run around with pitchforks and treat fishermen as "terrorists in waders." In fact, I've found that most who walk out to ask what you are doing will let you cross their beach or seawall if you can politely convince them that they aren't going to have to pick up your trash. I'm afraid the biggest threat to shore access is not the landowners but the lack of common sense or just poor etiquette on the part of some fishermen, hopefully not most.
01-28-2002, 09:20 AM
Here's an article from the Cape Cod Times that may clarify matters.
<a href="http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/archives/1999/may/5_3/ed18.htm" target="_blank">Article</a>
I think it might have bee this case that I had remembered in regards to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. At any rate, there was an attempt to exclude everyone from privately owned beaches.
01-28-2002, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all the info. Especially from Mark and the links. I need to get my beach sticker for sure. I too am a vamp in the summer. I love tossing a snake fly under the stars.
8-9 ft tides in Nantucket Sound?? ...Ya Sure bout that.
01-28-2002, 12:16 PM
You can take Slamdance's word to the bank on that - Capt. Steve Moore (that's him) knows that area intimately...
01-29-2002, 10:22 AM
Well, I said "the Cape" and wasn't specific to the Sounds. The tides in Nantucket sound vary considerably from place to place. I'd say the average fluctuation in the Sound is 4-6 feet, but there are a few places with bigger flows. On the bay side they average about 10+ feet.
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