Category: News


Westport’s 2015 Classic Wooden Boat Exhibit a Hit

Despite a chill in the air, the Westport Fishermen’s Association annual boat show was a big hit. Throngs of interested visitors were impressed by the fine workmanship of over 40 classic wooden boats and ship models on display at the shoreline by Horseneck Point Life Saving Station over the weekend of October 17 and 18th. Attendees were able to vote for their favorite boat in the exhibit and the WFA is pleased to announce that Bill Kern’s boat, the Mystic Sharpie, built by Westport’s own Scott Gifford was crowned the winner of “Best in Show” on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, along with pilot gig rowing demonstrations off shore by the Dharma Voyager team out of Westport, another highlight of the weekend was the presentation of an original 1912 Clifford Ashley illustration to be hung at the Lifesaving Station. Phoebe Chardon was on hand to officially donate her father’s black and white painting depicting three workmen at the ramp of Ship’s Bottom lifesaving station to the Westport Fishermen’s Association.  Clifford Warren Ashley, who lived from 1881 to 1947, was an American artist, author, sailor, and knot expert, well known for his maritime art. The WFA is thankful to Mrs. Chardon for her generous donation. The painting is now hanging in the Horseneck Point Lifesaving Station Visitor Center, which is open to the public on Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 4 pm throughout the fall.

The WFA is also grateful to two generous residents, Richard Armstrong and Mary Reis, who donated boats to the WFA, which were also on display at the boat show. Proceeds from their sale will benefit WFA programs.  Noquochoke Orchards, Coastal Roasters Coffee, Common Ground Coffee and Head Town Landing Country Store graciously donated food and refreshments for the event.  In addition, Common Ground Coffee, located at 762 Main Rd (next to Village Pizza) is now hosting a Lees receipts box where shoppers can drop off their Lees shopping slips to benefit the WFA.



Sunday September 13th,2015 at the Sportsmen’s Club  John Dyer Road in Little Compton

Get your tickets now for this time honored event. We will be serving creamy hot clam chowder to start at 12 noon followed by a traditional seaweed and rock Bake at 2pm. The Generous Bake is complete with assorted vegetables, meats, and fish homemade brown bread and stuffing. There will be a cash bar serving Beer, wine soda and water. Plan to participate in our  50/50 raffle and have a chance to win wonderful local gift certificates, hand crafted items, and of course this year’s grand prize a beautiful hand built Kaholo wooden touring stand-up Paddleboard. We hope you can join us!

The Regular Clambake is $40 and The Bake with a whole Lobster is $50. Tickets must be purchased in advance and the orders must be received by September 6th, 2015. Please mail your order and check made payable to The Westport Fishermen’s Association, PO Box 83 Westport Point MA 02791, and your tickets will be mailed back to you. For more information about our event and how to make reservations contact us at [email protected].


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.