Author: Tanja Ryden


2015 WFA Striped Bass and Bluefish Tournament Wrap up

The WFA’s 4th Annual Striped bass and Bluefish Tournament was a wonderful success once again this year. The two week tournament started on July 9th and finished up 10 days later with a cookout and award ceremony at the Life Savings Station located just north of Gooseberry Island.

This year’s tournament sponsors were: Bay Coast Bank, Westport Bait and Tackle, Westport Police Association, Westport Credit Union,
Graphix Plus, Signs By Tomorrow, Bobs Sea & Ski, Main Bait CMS
Fishing Tackle, West Marine Southshore Dry Dock Marine, Westport
Chiropractic, Ten Cousins Brick Oven Pizza, New England Promotions, Jim
Gelinas and Boston Lobster Company. The WFA would like to thank all of our local sponsors and all who registered to fish for helping to make this years tournament a success. Thier generosity and community support is truly appreciated!               

During the first couple days the names on the leader board seemed to change hands every couple of hours as the fishing and the weather was near perfect. Then, on day four of the tournament a true giant striped bass was caught by the eventual winner, Jay Sousa, who landed a 46 lb 5oz cow!

Three more stripers, tipping the scales at over 40 pounds, were officially weighed in but none of them could knock Jay out of the top spot. Walter Cass is quickly becoming known as the bluefish king by the other WFA tournament entries as he captured the title for the biggest bluefish for the second year in a row.

Not to be out done Sue Igler also defended her title in the bluefish category, for women, by landing a 10lb 4oz monster bluefish.

The weather was perfect for the cookout again this year. Nearly all of the 45 people that entered were in attendance along with other friends and family to enjoy the homemade clam chowder (Westport River quahogs – thanks Don) and the burgers and dogs that were rolling off the grill. With a table filled with side dishes and desserts to round things out I don’t believe anyone left hungry.

This may not be the biggest fishing tournament in New England and we’re not giving away pickup trucks for prizes but the camaraderie and good spirited competition that has developed over the years during this tournament is truly something special!

This years tournament winners


Zach Carter – Bluefish – 9lbs 8oz

Austin Altrich – Bluefish – 3lbs 8 oz

Trent Sousa – Sea Bass


Sue Igler – Bluefish – 10lbs 4oz


Jay Sousa – Striped Bass – 46lbs 5oz


Walter Cass – Bluefish


The WFA hosted the 2nd Annual Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station Day on May 24th,2015.

The doors were open from 12-4. The weather was perfect for the holiday weekend. During a dedication ceremony at noon we honored our friend Christopher”Chip”Gillespie with a tribute in memory of all he contributed to the preservation of a historic peice of Westport’s past.

The WFA recognized Chip and his selfless donation of time and talent with the installation of a custom made plaque. We shared with all who gathered, including many of his family who were here visiting from out of town, our gratitude for all he contributed in the research and restoration of the historic Humane Society Life Saving Station #69.  It seemed fitting to celebrate Chip’s enthusiasm for maritime history,the lifesaving service and the preservation of historic architecture during MA DCR’s Preservation month. We look forward to sharing our mission, the history of the station and the generous spirit of Chip Gillespie with the public for many years to come.

Plan to stop in for a visit this summer. Our doors will be open Wed. Sat. and Sundays from 12-4 from June 6th,  through August 30th 2015.


The Historic Horseneck Point Life Saving Station & Visitor Center doors will be open for the 2014 season!

Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12noon – 4:00pm

Plan to come by when someone can be there to greet you, share the story of this historic site and the mission of the Westport Fishermen’s Association-Advocates for Healthy Marine Resources.

Because we are able to make our museum and visitor center available to you through the generosity of volunteers, hours may be subject to change on any given weekend please check website to make sure the doors will be open.

Local Herring Run 2015 Spring Update

Fish Commissioner David Bates was at the herring ditch by Cockeast Pond recently (about a hour after low tide) and found the ditch was quite full of herring waiting for the incoming tide to get up into the pond. He did not smell any of the putrid odors of the past few weeks, and while water clarity wasn’t perfect, it was much better than it had been. No sign of any algae, but it’s probably too soon for that. The water level at Adamsville Pond is down, and the level in the fish ladder appeared to be below the 17” minimum level. No sign of any fish at all using the ladder.


2015 Oyster Stew Supper and Annual Meeting Wrap Up

We had a great evening. Despite the harsh weather conditions our members and community friends came out for a bowl of warm stew and cornbread to catch up with old friends and share plans for 2015. The WFA would like to thank all who attended for your continued support!

We announced at our Annual Meeting the 2015 board of directors are President: Jack Reynolds Vice President: Donald Dufault Treasurer: Tom Perkins and Secretary: Chris Dunn. We discussed our agenda for advocacy and public outreach in the area of protecting our local marine resources.We also spoke about upcoming events at the Horseneck Point lifesaving station. Please see our HPLSS page on this website for more detailed information on upcoming programs and events for the 2015 season.

The Annual Meeting portion of the evening begain just after the supper around 7:30. Our guest speaker Cornelia Dean journalist, author, advocate and educator
spoke about her book “Against the Tide” The Battle for Americas Beaches which
has been widely accepted as the best book that deals with beach policy. Cornelia delivered an informative and interesting talk and slide presentation of erosion of beaches and waterfront properties that line our coastline. She shared studies on how climate changes have and can effect our natural resources and change the landscape in devastating ways. There were a terrific question and answer sessions during and after her presentation. The WFA would again like to thank Cornelia for joining us for the evening and sharing her lifes work on the environment with us.



2014 Wooden Boat Show wrap up.

We had a great weekend! On Saturday around 12:30 we kicked off the event with 3 pilot gigs on-site from Westport, Dartmouth and Newport, that were modified for sport rowing. These pilot gigs were originally designed to deliver pilots out to incoming vessels off the Atlantic about to run aground. Today, pilot gigs are used primarily for sport with about 100 clubs across the globe. The weather was terrific for enjoying all of the small wooden crafts on exhibit on the landing across from the Life Saving Station. The conditions were great for mid October. The crews launched their boats off of Gooseberry Island for a demonstration for all who were present.

Inside the Visitor Center guests were able to talk with Local Author John Conway about his recent book “Buckrammer’s Tales” … adventure with the century-old Buckrammer, filled with ghost stories, mishaps and excitement, of the oldest catboat still afloat. And of course there were a small collection of hand crafted models, antique boatbuilding and woodworking tools and other marine related items on display.

Local favorites, The Spindle Rock River Rats, entertained visitors just
after the rowers returned to shore worth their acoustic fiddle tunes and wonderful
sea shanties. Their performance was the perfect fit for the occasion. Kevin
Allen stopped by from MA DCR Historic Preservation program. He wanted to
deliver in person a new plaque for our efforts to preserve the Life Saving
Station and successfully make it available to the public, in keeping with the
long term lease agreement the WFA entered in with the DCR back in 2009.

The WFA would like to Thank all who contributed to the classic wooden boat exhibit and the visitors who came by in support of our efforts to share the maritime history and talent of our local community and its boat builders and enthusiasts. We hope to see you again next year!


2014 WFA Clambake and Raffle Wrap Up

We had a perfect day for a great bake! Thanks to all who came and supported us again this year. Many thanks to Our Board of Directors, Bake Master Allen Walters and his crew for assuring a delicious bake was served to all who made their reservations in time.

We served a crowd of 170 smoothly although we had a hiccup
with the melted butter. Details were noted and quantities will be sure to be adjusted
for the future. Many thanks to all who who purchased bar items, raffle tickets and wfa merchandise in support of our efforts of fundraising

The beautifully handcrafted Kaholo Stand Up Paddle board was awarded as the grand finale of the day and it went to Steele Blackall, a Westport summer resident. Steele was thrilled to hear of his prize. He had attended the bake but had to leave prior to announcing the winner. The SUP was delivered that week by boat builders Tom Perkins(left) and Jack Reynolds(right) to the happy winner (middle).

The WFA is truly grateful to all of the sponsors of this years bake. We recognize the continued generosity of our community to help us hold this time honored event. Our 2014 clambake sponsors were, Blount Fine Foods, Buzzards Bay Brewery, New England Promotions, Graphix Plus, Arthur Moniz Gallery, Ten Cousins, Village Pizza, Westport Bait and Tackle, The Back Eddy, Barbara Bates, Laurie Marinone, Lynda Perkins, Howie Gifford, Gelinas Design Studio, Cindy Reynolds, Hay Ray’s Farm and Feed.


The 2014 WFA Fishing Tournament Wrap Up

This year’s tournament ran from July 10th through the 19th and concluded with a bbq reception and award ceremony at our headqauarters on East Beach Road. Most of the registered fishermen came to the party to pick up their tournament t-shirt and celebrate their recorded catches. All in attendance loved the new location for the after party and were thrilled that we had brought the tournament back after taking a year off in 2013. It was great catching up with everyone and hearing how they made out over the 10 day tournament.

After enjoying the cookout put on by the WFA board of directors and member volunteers we moved on to the award ceremony. We began with the kids division celebrating young 7 year old Zachary Carter who reeled in a 15.30lbs striper and 7 year old Austin Altrich who weighed in a 8.30lbs bluefish. Next we awarded Sue Igler for carrying the womens division by weighing in a 5.15lbs bluefish. Then we moved to the cash prizes when we announced that Chris Daniels was the $250.00 prize winner for landing the largest striped bass which weighed in at 48.40lbs and Robert Berhman who was awarded the $100.00 prize for the largest bluefish which weighed in at 13.85lbs.

Austin Altrich pictured here with his dad David Altrich of Altrich Anglers reeled in the largest striped bass for the youth division.

$250 1st Place Prize for the largest by weight Striped Bass went to Chris Daniels on the left above.

Robert Behrman on the right in the photo above took 1st place for the largest bluefish by weight

and then went on to clean up at the raffle table!

Many thanks go out to Keith Igler owner of Westport Bait and Tackle for being the tournament weigh in station! His wife Sue landed a winning bluefish for the women’s division.

The WFA would also like to thank all who participated in our event and all of the sponsors who helped to make our 2014 Fishing Tournament possible and the wonderful event that it was. We look forward to next year!

This years sponsors were:Westport Bait and Tackle Baycoast Bank Boston Lobster Company The Westport Police Association The Westport Credit Union South Shore Dry Dock Main Bait Westport Chiropractic Jim Gelinas Therapy Resource Management K& K Painting Lafrance Hospitality West Marine ( Fairhaven) CMS Tackle Bobs Sea & Ski



The Westport Fishermen’s Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the “Merit scholarship for 2014. Melinda Tripp and Andrew Ronan have each been awarded a $650.00 scholarship for their academic and civil excellence.

Melinda is a graduate of the Westport High School class of 2014. She is the daughter of Scott and Amy Tripp of Westport MA. While Melinda excelled academically throughout her high school years, she also applied her time and talents volunteering in her community. While maintaining her 4.1 GPA and graduating 10th in her class, she was student council president, student liaison to the school committee and senior class presidents this past year. In her community she helped teach tennis summer camps, volunteered at the Schwartz Center For Children and was president of S.T.E.E.L. (Students That Exemplify Extraordinary Citizenship). Melinda will be attending Salve Regina University to pursue an education in Elementary and Special Education. As an advocate for a healthy Westport River, which she enjoyed throughout her youth, she looks forward to sharing the importance of protecting the marine culture of the Westport River with her future students.
Andrew Ronan is a graduate of the Bristol County Agricultural High School. The Son of Elizabeth and David Ronan of Westport. Andrew was an excellent student academically and an outstanding volunteer in his community. Throughout his high school years, Andrew was a 4 year honor roll student, state rosette winner, two time academic award winner and a vocational wrestling state champion. While he was an active member of his high school volunteering as a youth cabinet member of faith congressional district of MA and being a senior advisor, he also volunteer at the boys and girls club. Andrew is planning on attending Paul Smiths College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. He will major in Parks Recreation and Management along with Arboriculture and Business. Andrew is excited to pursue his passion of working to preserve trees which he believes, “like our river and the surrounding watershed areas are interconnected and a critical resource”.
The WFA would like to extend their congratulations to these 2 deserving graduating High School Seniors and wish them much success in their futures.
The Directors and Officers of the WFA would also like to recognize and thank all of our generous members, sponsors and community friends who contribute to our scholarship fund throughout the year .Your donations make possible our efforts to offer scholarships for higher education.

WFA Run For The Water Wrap Up

This year marked the 10th anniversary of our 8k (4.97 miles) Road Race & 5k Family Fun Walk / Run at the DCR Horseneck Beach State Reservation in Westport MA.

On Saturday May 10th, 2014 200 plus runners came out to Run for the Water. As the damp fog lifted across the parking lot, the weather held, and the sign in and same day registration lines were feverously busy as we began to approach race time. The WFA board of directors, volunteers and Coordinator were thrilled that Race Director Jonathan Paull, had recruited the UMASS Dartmouth rugby team, whom he coaches, to help out with pre race duties, especially to help get all of the day of registrants and participants signed in so the race could start as scheduled at 10:00am, there was little to no delay between our last registration and the start.
This year we had an increase in participation in the 5k family fun walk/run categories and it was great to see families and community friends who were not competing in the event come out in support of our efforts to help make it a successful community event. All commented on what a great course and beautiful scenery the state reservation offers to help make it the perfect location for our event. The Race went off without a hitch, runners and walkers all made it across the finish line to enjoy a delicious lunch and to take place in the post race award ceremony and raffle.
This year’s winners of the cash prizes for the Top 3 overall Male and Female runners were Daniel Croteau and Karen Quinn for 1st place, James Hughes and Annie Arnzen for 2nd place and Fred Borges and Amanda Donovan who took 3rd. In addition we awarded 36 prizes for 6 age group categories. For more details about the race results and to see photos of the event visit .
The WFA would like to thank all of the participants for taking part in this event and helping us to get over the 200 mark. The proceeds from your registration fees helps to support our advocacy work for the protection & preservation of the Westport River and the overall improvement of water quality of our surrounding waters, marine education programs and help us to be able to award scholarships for higher education.
As well we would like to thank all of our volunteers and this years race sponsors for their generous contributions that make our Run For The Water a success on race day. The 2014 Run For The Water Sponsors who helped to offset all of the expenses that occur in preparation for such an event were: BayCoast Bank, Bradshaw Insurance, Lapointe Insurance Agency, Even Keel Realty, Westport Chiropractic, Back Eddy, SSTAR, Emond Lobster Sales, Lafrance Hospitality Alonso Medical, Cumberland Farms, Honeydew Donuts, Crystal Springs, Internal Medicine & Cardiology Associates, Stop & Shop, CountryWoolens, Rod Davis Landscaping, Graphix Plus, New England Promotions, Westport Police Association. Many thanks to all of you!