The beach at Wasque Reservation, closed to swimmers and fishermen for about a year and a half because of dangerous conditions, will likely be open for swimming and fishing this summer, the Vineyard superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations said.
The southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick was closed around June 2011 and remained closed for all of 2012 following severe erosion that all but erased Wasque Point, a famed spot for bluefishing that has long been an attraction for saltwater sport fishermen from around the world. As the Norton Point breach approached Chappaquiddick, conditions were dangerous, said Chris Kennedy, superintendent for The Trustees.
In 2011, a Watertown man died after being swept out to sea in the current from the breach.
But the currents have changed as the breach continues to migrate east. “Very different than last year,” Mr. Kennedy said. “The current right now seems to be unlike the last two summers, [when it was] going directly out. It’s still strong but going along the beach.”
Mr. Kennedy said the Trustees will be monitoring the situation for any changes. “It’ll be day by day,” he said. But so far, he said, the area “looks to be far safer,” though he cautioned that there is no such thing as 100 per cent safe.
Norton Point beach is currently open to fishermen on both the Chappaquiddick and the Edgartown sides, he said. The presence of nesting shorebirds at Norton Point may soon change that, Mr. Kennedy said. “At some point before too long we expect to have some closures out at Norton Point because of plovers and terns,” he said.
So far, he said, there have been no shorebirds nesting at Wasque.
Mr. Kennedy said there have yet to be any swimmers with the water still cold, but he emphasized caution.
“Be careful and enjoy the water,” he said.