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Worthley Pond getting public boat access
PERU- Residents along the East Shore Road on Worthley Pond will begin to see construction around July 5 to build a public boat launch on state-owned land next to Hamman Road.
Each year the state stocks ponds and lakes with fish and if that body of water doesn't have a state owned launch, 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 the Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Department has been working with the Town of Peru to get the specifics down in order to begin construction and to insure proper care and maintenance of the site.
Like the proposed launch for Ellis Pond in Roxbury, the Worthley Pond launch will be 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.
As the IF&W has no employees to maintain the launch area 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 the site, a port-a-potty will be located at the launch, but the contractor will be in charge of weekly cleaning and care of that service. There will be no trash can on-site, therefore the hope is that recreationists will use the carry-in, carry-out policy.
No swimming signs will be posted, as the site is to small for swimming safely with boats launching.
During the winter months, Tim Holland, a local resident 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.
Bucher stated, “Those who do participate can keep a record of the time spent and this can be used as in-kind services for IF&W purposes. The bottom line is that IF&W is responsible for maintenance.”
Since 75-percent of the cost of the launch is paid for through the Dingle Johnson Act (purchase of fishing poles) and a portion of the state gas tax; “it is highly unlikely that there won't be funds to maintain the launch,” stated Bucher. “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 site, it will be required to reimburse the federal fund. The Town has signed an agreement, but has no obligation to appropriate funds for maintenance, that’s the bottom line.”
Anyone looking for more information on the town-supported project, can visit the town office for the official plan, permit applications, facts and findings report for a view only.