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Launches ready for summer
ROXBURY/PERU- Recreation enthusiasts looking to enjoy boating on Ellis Pond in Roxbury and Worthley Pond in Peru will be pleasantly surprised this next spring when they arrive at the newly built launches. Between the two launches they were paid for with 75-percent Federal funds and 25-percent IF&W funds. IF& W will be responsible for the maintenance of the parking lot, concrete planking ramp, safety markers and signage of the property.
Each year the state stocks ponds and lakes with fish and if that body of water doesn't have a state owned launch, as was the case with Worthley Pond, the state reserves the right not to stock. The small two-mile long body of water has always been stocked, but will now have a new launch to access the waters.
For years residents used the launch across from the former store, not realizing that the area was privately owned and now with that property up for sale, the area is closed to public use.
Leon Bucher of Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Department worked with the towns of Roxbury and Peru to get the specifics down in order to begin construction and to insure proper care and maintenance of the site.
As the IF&W has no employees to maintain the launch areas during the summer, it will be up to local resident volunteers to mow, weed-whack, trim brush or pick up trash as needed. With the close proximity of homes to both sites, a port-a-potty will be located at the launches, but the contractor will be in charge of weekly cleaning and care of that service. Recreationists will be urged to use the carry-in, carry-out policy.
During the winter months, Tim Holland, a local resident of Peru and caretaker of several properties around the pond stated that he would be willing to plow the area for ice fishermen and snowmobilers to access.
As for the Roxbury launch, Tim Derouche, a local and member of the Silver Lake Camp Owners Association stated that the launch area is normally not plowed during the winter, except for the weekend of the annual fishing derby and that the Lion's Club takes care of that. He noted that sometimes locals will plow it until the snow gets too deep, but otherwise, parking is available on the sides of the road.
Cost of the building of the launches was paid for through the Dingle Johnson Act (purchase of fishing poles) and a portion of the state marine gas tax. Maine receives $3-4 million annually from this fund and has received funding for 50-plus years. If the state doesn’t continue with the upkeep of the sites, it will be required to reimburse the federal fund. Neither town has any taxpayer obligation to uphold.