Public access site to Weweantic River proposed
The state is proposing a plan to create public access for anglers and kayakers to the Weweantic River.
Wareham Harbormaster Garry Buckminster was on hand to explain the situation to the Wareham Selectmen Tuesday night. Alongside him were three others; Paul Johnson, the President of the League of Plymouth Sportsmen; Ross Kessler, Public Access Coordinator at Mass Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Doug Cameron, the Assistant Director of the state’s Office of Fishing & Boating Access.
The proposed site of public access is at what is technically 0 Marion Road. The property, which is currently privately owned, is on the right side of the road directly before the Wareham/Marion bridge. According to Kessler, the owners are willing to sell the land at its appraised value, and the state is looking to Wareham for help on setting regulations.
In a past life, it housed a bait and tackle shop. However, according to Buckminster, the site is now an eyesore. “It’s full of trash,” he explained. “The state is willing to help us beautify it and make it better for everyone.” He assured the board that the area would be open to the public, but only for its specified uses - fishing and boating.
“What improvements are you planning to make?” Teitelbaum asked.
“We’re really trying to get the parking away from the street,” Kessler said, adding that there would be a maximum of six or seven parking spots in a gravel parking area. “And of course we’re planning to improve the footpath access to the water, and probably make the footpath gravel. Other than cleaning the property up, that’s really it.”
The proposed public access will not include boat trailers. "I don't really see how we could fit a trailer in there," Kessler said. The access path is instead "carry in, carry out" and suitable for fishing and water sports like kayaking.
Johnson said he had spoken with several groups, including one group active in the area, the Buzzards Bay Anglers, who were very enthusiastic about the proposal. “They’re more than willing to come in, set up a barbecue, and make a big event out of cleaning the area up. We want people to be proud when they come here.”
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Selectman Patrick Tropeano. “There’s such limited access these days. I think anything which opens up more access is good.”
A large crowd of enthusiastic sportsmen, who had attended the meeting from areas as far away as Taunton, agreed with him. So did the Selectmen, who approved the idea.