DCR renting boats on Quabbin Reservoir starting Aug. 1, but with pandemic-specific guidelines

  • The three Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Boat Launch Areas are now open for the 2020 fishing season, and as of Saturday, Aug. 1, visitors can rent boats, motors, canoes and kayaks on a first-come, first-served basis. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Rental boats at Gate 31 of the Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem will be in the water starting Aug. 1. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Workers unload engines at Gate 31 of the Quabbin Reservoir in New Salem in preparation for renting boats again starting Aug. 1. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Report
Published: 7/30/2020 12:45:15 PM
Modified: 7/30/2020 12:45:14 PM

The three Quabbin Reservoir Fishing Boat Launch Areas are now open for the 2020 fishing season, and as of Saturday, Aug. 1, visitors can rent boats, motors, canoes and kayaks on a first come, first served basis.

According to a notice from the state Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Office of Watershed Management on the mass.gov website, there are pandemic-specific health safety guidelines that visitors must follow in addition to more standard licensing and boating rules.

To practice social distancing, only two people are allowed per boat if individuals are not from the same household. If the individuals are from the same household, the allowed maximum is three adults per motorboat (or two adults and two children).

Additionally, in accordance with Gov. Charlie Baker’s order of May 6, all visitors must wear face coverings when launching and retrieving boats and when interacting with Department of Conservation and Recreation staff members, the notice states. Check-in and launching procedures have been changed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Visitors are asked to follow all staff instructions.

Only private boats with intact Quabbin Boat Seals are allowed to launch. Vehicles can be from Massachusetts or out-of-state.

Massachusetts fishing licenses are also required, though one-day licenses are available at the boat launch areas for $5, the notice states. For rentals and licensing, electronic payments are preferred, but cash is accepted.

To rent a boat, members of the public must bring their own life jackets. Individuals cannot rent a boat without life jackets for all members of their group.


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