Tisbury setting anchorage area in Lagoon Pond

The orange area is where the anchorage area is set for the Tisbury side of Lagoon Pond. —Courtesy Town of Tisbury

The Tisbury Select Board unanimously approved establishing a designated but temporary area to anchor boats in Lagoon Pond this week. 

The anchorage area is required by the state to protect eelgrass and shellfish in the Lagoon, and is expected to be in effect until October 31. 

Both the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs received a letter from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, dated August 4, stating that some areas have been conditionally closed to shellfishing because several boats are moored in the area. The anchoring area is needed to keep shellfishing open in accordance with state laws.

Tisbury Harbormaster John Crocker said the anchorage area wasn’t based on the choice of either of their departments, but the state. 

“This is something that is being imposed upon us by the Division of Marine Fisheries” he said. “It isn’t really like we have a choice. This is something that we need to do to keep shellfishing open to the Tisbury side of Lagoon Pond.”

According to Tisbury shellfish constable Danielle Ewart, patrols have already been taking place in Lagoon Pond to enforce state and federal regulations. 

Oak Bluffs, meanwhile, is taking different approaches, in addition to the patrols, like working to get a pump-out boat, Ewart said. 

Tisbury resident Lynne Fraker said while she understands why this was being pursued, she said feedback from the Tisbury Waterways Committee should be acquired before proceeding. She added that the map shown did not seem adequate to tell people how large this area was. “There’s a lot of questions,” she said.

Tisbury town administrator John Grande suggested going forward with the anchorage area since Crocker already reviewed it and Ewart was on a “tight deadline.” 

After further discussion, the board unanimously approved establishing the anchorage area and to have the waterways committee review it in the near future.


  1. Why can’t Tisbury get a pumpout/patrol boat for the Lagoon and follow the lead of Oak Bluffs? In Tisbury its always whatever is easy which is just saying no. The fact that there is more attention being given to the Lagoon is needed and part of the job of the Natural Resource Dept and if doing your job is a burden, then the Select Board have some thinking to do.

  2. The Towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs need to work together to develop a thoughtful and effective mapping of all of Lagoon Pond. There is so much going on in this Pond in terms of shellfish growing and the like and we need to look at it in a comprehensive and forward thinking way. The Lagoon Pond Association urges the Towns to come together to look at this problem and develop a planned solution.

Comments are closed.