BOSTON (WWLP) – The State’s Department of Fish and Game announced on Monday that six of the seven state-run boat ramps on the Connecticut River are now re-opened to the public.

Those boat ramps closed down back on July 12th when the intense storms led to record flooding. This caused water levels to rise and fill with debris, which made it dangerous for boaters.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police (MEP) said that things have calmed down enough to get back on the water and that boaters should use extreme caution and safe speeds while relearning the navigable waters of the river.

Boaters should be aware of vessel and debris salvage operations that might affect navigation and use caution when navigating around the Norwottuck Rail Trail Bridge in Northampton due to strong currents and large amounts of debris that were collected at the base of the bridge.

MEP, members Connecticut River Task Force, state police, local police, and the Coast Guard will be on the river to make sure that everyone is following the boating safety rules and to help ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience.

One ramp is still closed, the Northfield site, which is still being cleaned up.

“The Connecticut River is a fantastic natural and recreational resource, and we are happy that recreational boaters, anglers, and others can get back on the water during the height of the fishing and boating season,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Tom O’Shea. “Providing safe and equitable public access is a priority for us. We remind boaters to be especially careful on the Connecticut River as the recent flooding has considerably changed the conditions of the river.” 

“Flooding in the Connecticut River in July has significantly increased hazards in the river, including trash and other debris, trees, docks, submerged vessels, rocks, and sand bars,” said Massachusetts Environmental Police Colonel Shaun Santos. “While the boating access facilities are now safe to reopen, we still advise mariners to be extremely cautious on the water, as there are also significant changes to channels, landmarks, river currents, and bank erosion.” 

“The flooding of the river brought significant sediment buildup, downed trees, and other debris to the boat ramps and parking lots,” said DFG Office of Fishing and Boating Access Director Doug Cameron. “The series of rainstorms in the weeks following the initial flooding contributed to continued high water at the boat ramps that made it impossible to fully assess facility conditions and substantially complete cleanup until last week.”