Harbor Management Plan (html.under construction)








Wychmere Harbor is shared by many recreational and commercial interests which come into conflict from time to time.
Allen Harbor is a small tidal harbor with a good inlet serving more than 250 boats including six commercial vessels at the town bulkhead.

The purpose of our Harbor Management Plan is to balance the patterns of conflicting uses within the Harwich Harbors. Each of Harwichport's three busy harbors have a unique quality. Wychmere Harbor and Saquatucket Harbor share resources where it comes to commercial fishing vessels. The largest number of groundfishermen, about 25 boats are berthed at Saquatucket Harbor but require landing and fueling privileges along with 15 boats at the Wychmere exceed the reasonable burden of the Town pier. At the same time, a fixed number of charter boats and party vessels and a passenger ferry are given off peak fueling privileges at the Town pier or another specified Town Landing. This means there is competition for offloading and parking space in an extremely limited harbor setting. This plan was developed in 1985 to attempt to first protect the interests of these commercial fishermen. The plan limits the berthing to a fixed number of commercial vessels and attempts, through regulation, to keep this port on a comfortable working level. Otherwise, use of the Town docks which are located in the RH-1 zone would exceed limitation and gridlock.

Today, the role that a commercial fishermen must play is very complicated. To balance a quota program and attempt to recover cod and haddock stocks, each groundfishermen is limited to just 88 days at sea. This means that most are looking for alternative work to fill in the between time. Most want to use their fishing vessels in an alternative fishery. Some gear over to lobstering while others turn to charter fishing and tuna fishing. Sometimes these changes strongly burden the infrastructure when commercial men change their interest and request change for large passenger capacity charters as a passenger ferry as parking which far too limited, It is clear that the Town may have to consider adapting this plan as the role of commercial fishermen change.

To the planner, our Harbor Management Plan seems the boiler plate of policy that must be generated to operate a busy waterfront. It lacks scale and feel for other interests as the business which share the waterfront as restaurants, boat yards, water sheet zoning, etc. dealing only with the operation of Town owned facilities and channels. However, the document provides the Harbormaster with the tools to manage the waterfront and a "chest" in which to add the "tools of regulation".

View the report