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In The News

Sixty Years of Fishing Opportunity for Maine Saltwater Anglers
Fall 2004, Maine Tides
By Dick Anderson

It isn’t every day that CCA Maine has the opportunity to ensure saltwater anglers great fishing access for at least the next sixty years, but we did just that when Rice’s Bridge over the York River was reconstructed in 2004.

It is a long story that began way back in 1998 when the CCA Maine Government Affairs Committee voted to recommend the introduction of a piece of legislation to the CCA Maine Board of Directors. The legislation would require the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) to take into account possible water/fishing access improvements at every new or rebuilt water crossing in the state.

Initially, the legislation was opposed by the MDOT, but with the help of several legislators and the urging of CCA, the law was passed: the MDOT would set up procedures to review every new water crossing and implement improved water/fishing access wherever possible. Hundreds of projects were reviewed, priorities were established, bond financing was approved and the program was underway.

CCA Maine participated in the reviewing process and identified Rice’s Bridge as a very high priority opportunity for improved fishing and watercraft access in the state. Many of our members live and fish nearby, so this project was very important to us.

We recommended sidewalks, carry-in access to the water and additional off-roadway parking so that fishermen and boaters could park safely and fish from the bridge, or by boat in the water. All of these recommendations were accepted by MDOT.

The picture on page one shows the activities now taking place at the improved bridge. Bridges last about sixty years, so saltwater anglers and boaters have a long time to enjoy the fruits of CCA Maine’s labor.

Next time you are in York take a ride over this bridge and remember that CCA Maine’s actions results in the wonderful access opportunities and the same kind of access improvements have, and will, take place on hundreds of other new water crossings throughout Maine.

Thanks goes to the insightful, grass routes [sic] process that characterizes CCA Maine.

A view of the Wheeler Marsh, from the Harris Island Road. The marsh is soon to be rehabilitated by the restoration of tidal flow.

Anglers enjoy the safe, public fishing and boating access off of Rice’s Bridge in York.


Article © Copyright 2004, Coastal Conservation Association


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