SOUTHWICK – Local and state officials gathered in the auditorium of the Southwick Town Hall on Tuesday afternoon to officially announce the reconstruction of the South boat ramp on Congamond Lake.
Ron Amidon, Commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Fish & Game, represented the Baker-Polito Administration at the event, who provided $319,000 for the project.
“Together with the Congamond Lakes North boat ramp and recreational fishing pier, the Congamond Lakes South Ramp provides public access to one of the most popular fresh water fishing and boating destinations in the Commonwealth, said Amidon in a press release. “We are grateful to the Town of Southwick for the partnership that makes this possible.”
Sen. Don Humason spoke during the event and knows how important boating and fishing is in the Southwick community.
“We know the direct impact we see right here in our towns,” said Humason.
Rep. Nick Boldyga, who resides in Southwick, talked about the attraction Congamond Lake and its recreational opportunities had on him and his family.
“The reason I moved to Southwick was because of the Congamond Lakes,” said Boldyga. “We need to up keep the lakes, it actually encourages people to buy homes.”
Russ Fox, Vice-Chairman of the Select Board, was pleased to see yet another positive relationship between Southwick and the commonwealth.
“This has been a great working relationship with the Baker-Polito Administration,” said Fox.
The addition of the South boat ramp could be a tremendous benefit for the community as the Congamond Lakes features nearly 80 bass fishing tournaments per year from April through November. Congamond Lake is well stocked with largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, and trout.
A number of fisherman throughout the local area were also in attendance for the event, including members of the Northeast Bass Anglers, a local bass fishing club out of Agawam. Mark Consolini of the Northeast Bass Anglers is excited to now have access to both a North and South boat ramp for fishing and boating access on Congamond Lake.
“Two ramps is just huge,” said Consolini. “It makes life a lot easier for everybody.”
Fish and Game’s Office of Fishing and Boating Access provides opportunities to lakes and bodies of water across Massachusetts, including 1,200 miles of seashore. The department also handles about 300 boat and canoe launch sites.