Department of Natural Resources increases fees for upcoming season

Nov 15, 2017

Fees to boat and fish in town are creeping up, costing boaters a few more dollars next season.

Harbormaster Garry Buckminster gave the fee structure at the Selectmen meeting on Tuesday. Currently, a boating permit is $75 and an additional $2 per linear foot of the boat, which will increase to $3 per linear foot.

Vessels in marinas, yacht clubs and on docks will increase from $75 to $85.

Shellfish permits will increase, from $30 to $35 for residents and from $120 to $125 for non-residents. The senior rate of $15, will remain the same.

The Department of Natural Resources will also be granting short-term shellfishing permits year-round, beginning at $15 for one week and going up to $60 for a month-long permit. They sell around 1,200 permits a year, Buckminster said.

The Department of Natural Resources is offering a new educational outing permit for $5, which can be used for educational outreach programs sponsored by the department. All the money from these permits will be used for shellfish propagation.

These increases were uncontroversial among the Selectmen, who used the example of a 25-foot boat now costing $150 instead of $125 under the proposed changes.

“I don’t see anything outrageous here,” Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum said.

Buckminster agreed, pointing out Wareham falls below the average rate of other towns in the area. In Plymouth, a permit is $50 plus $10 per linear foot of the vessel, he said.

The Department of Natural Resources will also be offering a reduced rate on rentals of shellfishing equipment.

Buckminster discussed changes to annual shellfish regulations, which have been revised from the current 2006 regulations. The new regulations, which will be posted on the department's website, have been broken down into clear sections, making a more organized, succinct document and adopting gender-neutral language.

The department is emphasizing the importance of recycling shells, which can be used for propagation. There is a collection bin outside the department office for empty shells.