Indian Lake and Watchaug Pond improvements completed in June 2018
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces that construction of improvements to the boat ramp at Echo Lake, also known as Pascoag Reservoir, in Glocester will begin on October 22. The freshwater boat ramps at Indian Lake in South Kingstown and Watchaug Pond in Charlestown underwent similar improvements and were completed in June.
The existing boat ramp at Echo Lake will be replaced by a new concrete ramp, measuring 12 feet in width. As an added amenity, DEM will also install a new, six-foot-by-20-foot timber floating dock at the site. The project will provide boaters and anglers with improved access to one of the most popular boating and fishing areas in northwest Rhode Island.
Preparation of the site, which is located on Brandy Brook Road in Glocester, will begin the week of October 8. The ramp will remain open to the public during the weeks of October 8 and October 15. The boat ramp will close for construction on October 22. The project is expected to be completed by mid-December.
The freshwater boat ramp improvements at Echo Lake, Indian Lake, and Watchaug Pond were designed by DEM Planning and Development and The Nature Conservancy staff. The contractor for all three sites is Beausoleil Bros. Inc. of Cranston.
Funding for the boat ramp improvements is being provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration program. The total cost of construction for the Echo Lake boat ramp is $150,000. The Sport Fish Restoration Program is a user-pay, user-benefit program that is derived from taxes on motorboat fuel, fishing equipment, and the purchase of some boats. The three boat ramp improvement projects are excellent examples of how those taxes are used for public benefit to improve and increase boating access to the waters of the state. A portion of the national funding is dedicated to Rhode Island DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife, specifically for boating access.
Recreational boating and fishing are ingrained in the culture of the Ocean State and are important economic drivers: 54,000 boats use Rhode Island waters each year, including more than 40,000 registered in Rhode Island. As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, and attracting tourism. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island, and recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year.
For a list of public boat launching sites in Rhode Island, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for more information on boating in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.