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Author: Deputy Harbormaster

Upper Apponagansett Bay Re-Opens for Shellfish Harvesting

In accordance with Chapter 130, Section 74A of the Massachusetts General Laws, the
Division of Marine Fisheries has re-examined the below defined “CONDITIONALLY
APPROVED” shellfish growing area in the Apponagansett Harbor (BB12.3), in the Town of
Dartmouth, and in the “Closed to Shellfishing” status based on seasonal water quality changes and
mooring area criteria. As a result of this examination, the Division has determined that the below
defined area now meets the established criteria for the harvest of shellfish and has changed the
status to “Open to Shellfishing” as of sunrise on November 1, 2023.
The below defined area may be opened to the harvest of shellfish for direct human
consumption subject to local rules and regulation under authority of Massachusetts General Laws
Chapter 130, Section 52.

Status: Open to Shellfishing
November 1-April 30
All Dates Inclusive

Apponagansett Bay
“The waters and flats and all tributaries of Apponagansett Bay, in the Town of Dartmouth,
east of a line drawn from the town pier to the “NO SHELLFISHING” on the bridge
causeway, south of a line drawn easterly from the easternmost point of land at Star of the
Sea Villa to Mullen’s Pier at the foot of Captain’s Lane, west of a line drawn from Mullen’s
Pier to the northern tip of Little Island thence from the southern tip of Little Island to the
westerly abutment of the Bridge Street Bridge, thence from the bridge southerly to the end
of Ross’ Pier, north of a line from Bush Point to the eastern end of Knowles Pier and then
easterly of a line drawn approximately 300’ from the western end of the Bridge Street
Bridge to the eastern end of Mullins Pier.”

The status of BB12.3 shall automatically revert to “Closed to Shellfishing” on May 1, 2024,
unless the Division changes the status prior to said date.

Pumpout Services End for Season

With the predicted freezing temperatures tonight, staff have winterized the pumpout equipment. Pumpouts will resume in the spring of 2024.

Thank you for using the pumpout service this year and helping keep our waterways clean!

HM Office

Shellfish Reopened

The Department of Marine Fisheries has changed the status of shellfishing effective 9/17:

Subject to conditional area management plan criteria where applicable

Dartmouth Shellfish

Hurricane Lee



A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the coast of
Massachusetts from Woods Hole to Hull, including Cape Cod,
Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

A few points to assist with your decisions in the coming days:

  • The Harbormaster Office has no additional information on the storm’s path. We rely on the National Hurricane Center as the best reliable source of possible paths and intensity predictions
  • We do not have moorings, ‘Hurricane moorings’ or ‘storm moorings’ available on either side of the bridge.
  • It is always the safest course of action to haul your boat well in advance of any predicted storm. It is unlikely to be safe or possible to haul if you wait until the last minute.
  • Operation of the Padanaram Bridge is on the same schedule until 10/31 by the Department of Public Works.
  • Please check mooring lines, add chafe protection near wear points, remove all sails, canvas and items stored on deck. Anything that cannot be easily removed, should be lashed down and secured.
  • Your boat is likely made of plastic, metal and wood. It can be repaired or replaced more easily than your life or limbs. Please use extraordinary care and safety in preparing well in advance of the storm. We don’t need you to put your life, or ours, in jeopardy in the face of any weather. At some practical point, rescue equipment, vessels and personnel will be removed from the hazardous waterfront environment and will not be available to rescue you or your property during any storm.

Summer Weekly Pumpout List Ending

This is the final week for the Summer weekly pump out list. We will continue to pump out weekly, as available, until we receive freeze warnings. Please provide as much advanced notice as possible as we will be receiving many requests as haul outs occur.
Thank you

Pumpout Boat Out for Service

The pump out boat was taken out for service today at Noon. The shore side station remains available for use. The boat should be back in service before Saturday after maintenance has been completed. Thanks

2023 Boat Shrink Wrap Recycling

Dartmouth, MA – It protected your boat all winter, now it’s time to protect the environment.

Clean white boat wrap is accepted through this drop-off program at the Dartmouth Transfer Station.  Zippers and straps must be removed and discarded.  Spray painted wrap cannot be accepted.

“This boat wrap drop-off program enables this material to be collected in a designated container so that it can be recycled. Boat wrap cannot be placed in a curbside recycling cart. It would take up valuable space at the Crapo Hill landfill if discarded as garbage. We are working with the Waterways Commission and the Harbormaster to alert individual boaters of this win-win solution to the annual shrink wrap disposal problem and doing our best to keep it out of the waste stream,” said Tim Barber, Director of Public Works in the Town of Dartmouth.

Dartmouth residents may take boat wrap to the Dartmouth Transfer Station. A transfer station permit is required.  There is a container for boat wrap only. The Dartmouth Transfer Station is open Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Dartmouth residents who would like to obtain a transfer station permit, or a day pass, may call the Dartmouth DPW at (508) 999-0740.

Remember, boat wrap is only recyclable through drop-off programs. Plastic bags and plastic wraps do not belong in recycling carts. That type of material wraps around equipment at sorting facilities causing sorting to grind to a halt while people work through the challenging task of removing plastic bags and wrap.

Boat wrap can also be reused several times if it is installed and removed with reuse in mind. Look for reuse information online or ask your boat shrink wrap installer about it. For more information, contact the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District by phone at (508) 979-1493 or by email at For additional tips, visit Dartmouth Recycling on Facebook.

2023 Mooring Renewal

Mooring, vessel, waitlist and reserved dinghy/kayak rack registration ends on March 31, 2023.  This is the same renewal deadline specified in local regulations/by-laws since 2003.  

Reminder invoices were mailed out on February 24, 2023 to each permit holder at the last known address in our database.

Renewal of each mooring, boat permit, waiting list position or reserved dinghy/kayak rack assignment remains the responsibility of each individual permit holder.

Inquiries and requests for electronic invoice reminders may be made prior to the 3/31 deadline by emailing