Dredge crew begins clearing Lake Tashmoo channel

The dredging vessel "Codfish," owned by the town of Barnstable, began work in Lake Tashmoo last week. — Photo by Steve Myrick

The dredging vessel Codfish began work Thursday, December 19, on a project to dredge the Lake Tashmoo entrance channel. About 10,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged, to remove shoals that are a hazard to vessels entering and leaving the busy harbor.

The project is expected to take less than a week.

The dredge removes sand from the bottom of the harbor and pumps it through a flexible one-foot diameter pipe to the public beach southeast of the entrance channel. On Friday, hungry seagulls fluttered around the outlet pipe hoping for a free meal, as tons of sand and water gushed onto the beach.

Tisbury contracted with the town of Barnstable, which owns the dredge, through an intermunicipal agreement to do the work. The Edgartown dredge was unavailable due to ongoing project commitments, according to Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall.

At their annual town meeting in April, Tisbury voters authorized the town to borrow up to $500,000 for various harbor projects and expenses, including dredging the Tashmoo channel. The town will repay the loan using embarkation fees, a surcharge on Steamship Authority ferry passenger tickets. Town officials said the borrowing would not affect the property tax rate.