The 30th Annual Clambake Wrap UpWhat a wonderful event we had in September. The bake master Allen
Walters and his crew did a fantastic job preparing a delicious feast of clams,
lobsters, meats and vegetables complete with dressing and brown bread.We were able to award this years Grand Raffle Prize the
Abanaki Canoe to one of our members who was present at the bake Debra Therion
originally from Westport, and a regular guest and contributing member to all of
our events. Congratulations Deb.The WFA would like to thank all of our members and community
friends who came out to enjoy the bake and support our efforts to protect and
preserve the Westport River and its Tributaries offer scholarships for higher
education and sponsor marine education programs.
We are also grateful to all of board of directors their
families and our member volunteers who came out on bake day and lent a hand helping
to ensure a successful turnout.
And of course we are truly appreciative of our
local sponsors generosity through their contributions of time talent, raffle
contributions and in kind donations. Our 2013 Clambake sponsors were: Lees
Supermarket, Narragansett Beer, New England Promotions, The Back Eddy
Restaurant, Ten Cousins, Lafrance Hospitality, Arthur Moniz, Kim Fernandes,
Howard Gifford, Lynda Perkins, Cindy Reynolds, Laurie Marinone and Barbara
2013 Horseneck Point Life Saving Station Hours of Operation
This summer our doors will be open July and August on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12noon- 4pm. We hope you will stop in to see what is new this season in our visitor center and take a step back into the past while visiting our historic lifesaving station and museum. We are located on East Beach Road Westport
Ma overlooking East Beach and Gooseberry Island.
If you are interested in renting out the space for a
meeting or event or even if you would like to visit with a small group
off season, please contact us via the link at the bottom of the page.
Our 9th Run For The Water Wrap Up
This year's race on Saturday May 11th, 2013 was a terrific community event. Race results can be found by visiting racemenu.com. We will be uploading the full story and photos for your enjoyment soon stay tuned.
Many thanks to all of our generous sponsors
Resources Management Bradshaw Insurance IMCA
Westport Family Medicine
SSTAR Alonso Medical FL Tripp & Sons
Back Eddy Lees
Market Crystal Springs Cumberland Farms Honeydew Donuts
Country Woolens Westport
Rivers Vineyard & Winery New
England Promotion Graphix Plus
WFA donates 10,000.00 toward Phase 2 of the Westport Estuary Project, Bread and Cheese Study.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association announced at a recent
Community Preservation Committee meeting
that we would help to fund the time sensitive phase 2 of the Westport
Estuary Project, Bread and Cheese Study in an effort to find the most
effective and cost efficient solutions that will also be acceptable to and
supported by the community. The Westport Fishermen’s Association board of
directors voted unanimously to donate $10,000.00 of the 30,000.00 total cost
for the projects 2nd phase.
Community Preservation Committee, CPC, voted unanimously to continue to support
the completion of the final phase of the Estuaries Report on nitrogen loading
in Westport waters, reasoning that work done in Phase 1 had a limited shelve
life and that if Phase 2 wasn’t completed this year, the report would lose its
The Estuaries Project through phase 1 has already succeeded
in clearly defining the nitrogen problem in the river and will now through the
results of phase 2 focus on working with the communities of the watershed to
identify and implement optimal solutions for nitrogen management that will be
essential for restoring the river to sustainable good health.
MA State Department of Conservation and Recreation Recognized the WFA for our efforts in the completion and signing of the 25 year lease for the HPLSS as a part of their Historic Curatorship Program on February 25, 2013.
On Monday February 25th, 2013 The WFA our
members and community friends and supporters of the Historic Horseneck Point
Life Saving Station were congratulated by the Energy and Environmental Affairs
Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., The Department of Conservation and
Recreation Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr., State Senator Michael J
Rodrigues, State Representative Paul A. Schmid and Selectman Richard Spirlett
for our efforts to Protect and preserve this piece of Westport's Maritime
The WFA was given a 25 year lease by DCR through
their Historic Curatorship Program to continue to manage the property and
provide programs and exhibits to our community at this unique location. Under the Historic
Curatorship Program, DCR enters into a long term lease with a Curator who pays
rent in the form of services, specifically the rehabilitation and maintenance
of the property. The reuse of these significant properties must be compatible
with the surrounding community while enhancing the visitor’s experience of the
It was a wonderful celebration! We had a great turnout for a cold Monday
morning in February. The WFA would like to thank all who came and continue to
support our efforts to keep the HPLSS open and available to the public. We are
looking forward to developing future programs and sharing the space with other
local non-profits that may want to use it for meetings or events.
Visit our HPLSS page on this website for up to date information on happenings at the Horseneck Point Life Saving Station and hours of operation.
2013 Oyster Stew Supper and
Despite the weather we held our annual meeting on Monday February 11, 2013 at St. John The Baptist Church
located at 945 Main Road Westport MA 02790 as scheduled.
It was a great night the stew was delicious. Many thanks to John Borden for supplying the delicious oysters and to the board of directors who made and served up the traditional meal complete with cornbread and applepie.
This year’s speaker was Douglas
Watts, a Writer, Photographer, Author, Advocate for native sea run fish and
the rivers of the northeastern US and Consultant for numerous New England
conservation groups doing ecological and legal research on the history and
health of New England’s coastal river ecosystems. This historic research forms
the bulk and inspiration of “Alewife” his latest book.
"Alewife" is a personal, biological and
historical account of the alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), one of the
(formerly) most abundant sea-run fish of the US Seaboard. Doug signed copies of his book and is working to have it available at Partners village store.
Thank you to all who came out that wintery night and supported our efforts.
The Marine Art Exhibit and Holiday Sale Wrap Up
Our Art Exhibit was a wonderful example of artwork that exemplified a variety of the
marine resources of our local communities, by example of industry, landscape, environment, and the wildlife that inhabit our local Westport River, its tributaries and surrounding
bodies of water.
On the day of the Exhibit we were blessed with a wonderful December afternoon. We welcomed many visitors at the Horseneck Point Life Saving Station. Guests & Artists came and went throughout the day. We sold a few peices and had a terrific bid on the collection of framed nautical prints donated by Dr. Marin Kelly for auction.
The WFA would like to thank Dr. Kelly all of our members, community friends, & SouthCoast Artists who contibuted to our exhibit to ensure it was the success that it was.
A special thanks must go out to artist and WFA member Dora Millikin for all of the help she volunteered to make this exhibit possible. Dora's generous donation of time, talent and resources is truly appreciated.
The Horseneck Point LifeSaving Station and Visitor Center survived the wrath of Sandy However the trash that the storm surge left behind on the shore is telling of the pollution in our local waters.
THe board of directors and one concerned tourist helped to pick up the debris left by the storm. If it had been left unattended it would have certainly killed off the natural grasses and rose bushes that create the landscape around the property.
It was concerning to see how much household trash was tangled up in
the seaweed. A reminder of the importance of our mission of advocacy
for this very issue.
This year Classic Wooden Boat Show was a great success.
We had a great turnout of community friends and interested
enthusiasts who came down to the waters edge at the Horseneck Point
Life Saving Station and Visitor Center during the two day show.
Along with beautifully crafted wooden skiffs, sail boats, cuddy cabins, canoes and kayaks, there were great models from boat builder Bob Baker's personal collection and some of Bruce Giffords commissioned work in progress.
Visitors enjoyed the music of local group The Spindle Rock River Rats on Sunday afternoon. Their music was the perfect fit for the venue. Sea Shanties performed in the historic boat house it couldn't have been a more perfect location for their unique sound. Their sea tunes carried out over the landing and into the visitor center for everyone to enjoy.
The WFA would like to thank our dedicated board of directors, volunteers, boat exhibitors, The Spindle Rock River Rats and Coastal Roasters for helping us bring this event to the public and making it the success it was.
The WFA would like to thank all who contributed toward the efforts to repair the culvert at the herring ditch located under River Road that connects cockeast
pond to the Westport River to achieve a solution that we are hopeful will make it
possible for the herring to continue to spawn and thrive in our local
The Project has been completed we are looking forward to seeing how the herring are running out come spring!
Several years ago the culvert at the "Herring Ditch" where
it crosses River Rd.
was replaced because the old corrugated steel pipe was crumbling. The replacement pipe made of reinforced
concrete was installed at a higher elevation and with a steeper incline than
the original making it almost impossible for herring to enter the culvert and
get into Cockeast pond to spawn. There
has been many hours spent by many people tending makeshift alterations during
the spawning run to facilitate the herring into the pond.
The pipe was repositioned recently to reflect the original
culvert position hopefully solving this situation for many years. This project was the result of a few
individuals and local groups and the
funding was supplied by members of the WFA, WRWA, and a few concerned neighbors
near the ditch. The Westport Fish
Commission and Brad Chase from the Division of Marine Fisheries lent their
expertise in the planning and design.
The Westport Highway
Dept. supplied labor along with the Westport Excavating Company. All involved deserve a great big THANKS!
Fisheries Enhancement Possibilities
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has prohibited the
taking and possession of alewives and blueback herring for the last few
years because of the diminished stocks of these fish. There are many
possible causes of this situation and it most probably is a combination
of several of them. There are many traditional "herring runs" in
Some of the more notable are the herring ditch that empties into the
harbor from Cockeast pond, Kirby brook, and the main portion of the
Westport River that empties out of Forge Pond at Forge Rd. I had one of
the last haul seine permits in Westport. We used to set a 450' seine
from a rowing skiff off of a sheet of plywood in a horse shoe shaped
pattern from shore out and then back to shore which we proceeded to
haul in slow and gradually come together as the "bunt" got closer to
shore. We used to do this at various predetermined traditional points
we called "seine sets" mostly to the north of Hix Bridge. We did this
to catch White perch and herring (alewives) mostly. We also caught a
few American Shad, occasional striped bass, very rare sea-run trout and
even muskrats and snapping turtles. The white perch we caught if big
enough were sold and the herring we sold to be used for lobster bait or
penned up for bass bait. There was a lot of herring around then.
Sometimes we caught enough in one set to fill both the seine skiff and
the one we towed it with.
The herring that go up the main river to the foot of the dam at
Forge pond cannot go any further and must spawn between the tidal water
down near the Head of Westport and the dam which is not very far
upstream. Before the dam was built in the 1800's the fish could get up
to "Westport Factory" dam and before that dam was built they could go
many miles further up to Flag Swamp.
The WFA with the help of Dept. of Ecological Restoration, which is a
section of the Dept.of Fish and Game, are exploring the possiblity of
restoring these fish runs. This could involve the elimination of the
Forge Pond Dam and construction of a state of the art fish way at Lake
Noquochoke at Rt.6. The Forge Rd. dam, because of the relative position
of Forge road and it's height has been deemed unsuitable for a fish
ladder. This project potentially would give these fish Lake Noquochoke
and many miles of river to the north additional spawning habitat. We
are in the very initial stages of exploring this project and nothing
has been decided but we feel it would be great to bring this fishery
back to the way it used to be.
Please visit the following link to learn more about river restoration and fish enhancement.
The Horseneck Point Life Saving Station and Visitor Center will be open to the public for the 2011 Summer Season.
The doors will be open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays June 4th through Labor Day 2011 12-4pm.
If you are interested in renting out the space for a meeting or event or even if you would like to visit with a small group off season, please contact us via the link at the bottom of the page.
We do hope you will plan to come by and see this Historic Maritime treasure and Visitor Center. We are located on East Beach Road Westport Ma overlooking East Beach and Gooseberry Island.
photo by Chip Gillespie
Currently the WFA has begun the paperwork to embark on a 25 year lease with
the state entering the Horseneck Point Life Saving Station into their
Historic Curatorship Program. We are thrilled to be working with DCR to
provide oppurtunities for the public to be able to visit this maritime
treasure. We will be working together to bring programs and events to
the location. Below is more about DCR and their Historic Curatorship Program.
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and
Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and
Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches,
bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. The agency’s mission is to
protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and
recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our
programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr.
Within the Commonwealth’s
450,000 acres of State and Urban Parks are a number of unused, historically
significant buildings. Over time, these properties have fallen prey to
the elements and vandalism. The Historic
Curatorship Program was established to preserve these properties
through a unique public-private partnership. Through the program, DCR partners
with a Curator who agrees to rehabilitate, manage and maintain a historic
property in return for a long-term lease. As a result, DCR secures the
long-term preservation of threatened historic sites and Curators exchange their
hard work and unique skills for the opportunity to live or work in a