We may have stopped the flounder from spawning but this week the dredge Samson spawned a smaller dredge “The Codfish” owned by Barnstable County to work on the mooring field. Captain Steve and his crew have started pumping mud from the mooring field up into the dyke built at Pleasant Road Beach where it will de-water and eventually be mixed with the sand from the dyke and hauled off to the town landfill.
The big dredge Samson has completed 42 scow loads and has approximately 25 left to go to complete the project. It is now working in our main dock area and the bulkhead where we launch boats. During the next couple of weeks they expect to move into the area of our middle dock and then on to our gas dock area. Once completed a survey will be done to determine any high spots which would them be removed. Then our dock system can be floated back from up the creek and put back into place with the pilings being driven in by the Robert B. Our Company. The Yacht Club slips and pilings are back in place and that phase of the job is nearly complete.
Next comes a new twist. Do you believe video surveillance of possible Winter Flounder swimming in the harbor? Underwater cameras and Marine Biologist divers will be used for this purpose, to monitor any Flounder that may try to sneak in past the netting. Maybe we can get some video on the Nightly News of the possible encroachment of Winter Flounder. Stay tuned!
Captain Ted of the dredge Samson tells us that most likely we will not see a third scow as negotiations to buy/purchase a scow have collapsed, but progress is continuing with two scows leaving Allen Harbor en route to the dumping ground today. The weather has not cooperated as the temperatures have been in the teens or lower with ice on the harbor and high winds, but the project continues on by a dedicated crew.
Dyke at Pleasant Road Beach
Calm but cold.
Captain Ted of the dredge Samson has been in to report to us that he is ready to continue dredging the Allen Harbor Marine portion of the dredge project. He has started at our main dock area and is working west toward the gas dock area. Craig LeBlanc and Brandon Small have moved our docks en mass up in to the creek with the help of the dredge crew. The Yacht Club docks have been floated back in to place and the pilings are being driven to anchor them. If you notice the bright yellow boom going across the harbor don’t worry, it is not an oil spill, it is merely a netting arrangement to keep the winter flounder which are spawning out of the area being dredged. This netting was mandated as part of the okay for our extension of the permit to continue dredging until February 28th. This netting cost the town upwards of $30,000.00 to buy to satisfy the division of Marine Fisheries. We hope the Flounder appreciate it. The county dredge “Codfish” has completed the dredging of the Herring River and built the dykes to hold the spoil from Allen Harbor on the Pleasant Road Beach. The dredge is expected to begin work on the mooring field late this week. They will pump some 10,000 cubic yards into the dykes at the beach which will then be de-watered and eventually hauled away to the old town dump. The large dredge Samson has estimated about 17 more scows to remove the mud from the Allen Harbor Marine portion and they are in hopes of putting a 3rd scow in operation by next week which will speed up the dredging as they can be filling one scow as on travels to the dump site and one travels back from the dump site.
Finally a bit of good news to report on the dredging. Steve Root of the Harwich Waterways Committee stopped by today to brief us on some good news as far as the dredging operations go. On December 31, 2012 we made application to waive the January 15th stop date on the Allen Harbor dredging. Support from all parties, The Town, Allen Harbor Marine and Allen Harbor Yacht Club proved sufficient to get a waiver to allow us to continue the dredging until at least February 28, 2013 which should allow us plenty of time to complete the project.
Presently the county dredge “Codfish” is working in the Herring River and putting the spoil in the form of a dyke at the Pleasant Road Beach in West Harwich. A similar dyke will be made at Earle Road Beach and the county dredge will move to the mooring field portion of Allen Harbor and dredge up to put the spoil within these dykes. Meanwhile Burnham Associates with the large dredge will continue bucket by bucket to get close to Allen Harbor Marine. Presently they are still using two scows, but may have the option of a third scow late in January, but this is not certain as the project it is on now is not complete.
The water temperature remains quite warm for this time of year so the Fluke have not started to spawn yet. Part of the condition is a method to gauge whether or not any Flounder are entering the harbor. Typically they do not spawn until the temperature of the water reaches 33 degrees. The water temperature is still now in the 40’s.
Allen Harbor Yacht Club passed the survey with the exception of two humps which will be removed this week. Then the dredging towards Allen harbor Marine should be about to begin. Craig and Brandon have moved some of our docks over to near the Yacht Club area to get them out of the way of the county dredge. The dredge “Codfish” however is broken down and parts are expected this week which leaves very little time to build the dikes at Pleasant Road Beach with sand from the Herring River and then get in to the Allen Harbor mooring field. Whether the county dredge project gets under way depends largely on getting an extension of the dredge permit for all of Allen Harbor for a period of time. Our water temperature is still relatively warm and this week promises more warm weather so hopefully the regulating authorities will grant us this extension. There is a new dredge meeting to be held on Wednesday and we will have more to report on the progress and expectations of the continuation of the dredging.