Nauset Inlet still widening. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Nauset Inlet still widening.

07-20-2007, 08:07 AM
It looks like it's getter tougher to re fill in.

CHATHAM — The new inlet in North Beach is slowly widening, and filling it with dredged sand would now require a far deeper financial commitment from the town—up to $4.1 million, about twice the initial estimate.

That was the news Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon delivered to the waterways advisory committee Monday afternoon. If the proper permits could be obtained, Keon said the dredging project is still physically possible, though he doubts there is the political will in town to appropriate that kind of money.

“If people were not comfortable with $2 million, I’m sure they’re not going to be more comfortable with [an amount] twice as much,” Keon saidKeon said there is evidence of increased erosion near the inlet, and the town has retained well-known consultant Santiago Alfageme of the New York firm of Moffatt and Nichol to analyze the feasibility of filling the inlet with dredged sand. The consultant concluded that, since the dredging project cannot be taken on immediately, the inlet will be too large to be filled using the county dredge. Instead, the job will necessitate the use of a big ocean-going dredge, “and these guys do not come cheaply,” Keon said. It could cost the town approximately $1.5 million just to have the dredge transported here from Virginia, New York City or elsewhere.

Given the widening of the inlet, the consultant predicted that half a million cubic yards of sand would need to be pumped into the gap, instead of earlier estimates of 200,000 yards. But for a large dredge, 500,000 yards of sand is not an impossibly large job, Keon said.

Given the need for a larger dredge, the job would likely cost around $3.3 million, though it could be as low as $2.5 million or as high as $4 million, Keon said. With permitting and contract preparation costs, Keon said he will recommend that the warrant article seek $4.1 million for the job.

Given the lack of political support for the dredge project at various levels, “that train has probably left the station,” Keon said

In related news, a 16-foot skiff capsized and sank in the new inlet Friday morning, leaving two people in the water. They were picked up, uninjured, by a passing boat, and police, firefighters and assistant harbormasters responded to the emergency. The boat is owned by Joseph Boruch. Several weeks ago, the harbormaster’s staff installed floating signs warning of the strong currents and dangerous surf in the inlet.

a 16ft skiff, what were they thinking of. glad they were okay tho':( .


07-20-2007, 10:17 AM
As I said when the break occurred, I am all for filling it in.... under one condition the sand comes from the Southway :smokin:

(or the guzzle)

07-20-2007, 03:52 PM
Forgive my ignorence, I've never been there, but..
Do you guys like the break? Is it better for the flyfishing? Does it give access for shore bound anglers?
I've never been much of a Cape guy but spending so much time here and hearing so much about it, I have been getting tempted to make the long drive. Especially since some of my old reliable spots seem to be in decline.
I've seen a couple things on the news about how the break hurts the fishing industry. How?

Sean Juan
07-23-2007, 01:15 PM
The way I understand it the big problem for the fishing industry will be that since Pleasant bay has two inlets the current at the main one is lessened. This will cause it to be filled with sand eventually, and cause a navigation problem for the fishing fleet.

The other issue is that the houses on "Nauset Island" are pretty much screwed. Also the building behind the cut could experience more erosion. While these problems are real I personally am of the opinion that fighting the ocean is generally a losing proposition. Depending on your perspective of time the same could be said of all Cape Cod.

07-23-2007, 02:06 PM
Th major part of the commercial fleet is moored around Tern Island ( right in front and just upstream of the Chatham Bars Inn). The new cut is almost directly across from thatand is impacting the channel out to the Atlantic in front of the lighthouse ( which ironically did not exist until a nor'easter in January of 1987)

The big issue for a lot of the house on the "mainland" is that Nauset was a very effective break for wind and water from nor'easters ( I used to duck hunt Pleasant Bay a lot and we loved a nor'easter- run out to Nauset and have at them) Without the beach to break the weather those residences are at risk from storm damage and erosion just as the houses on Ryders Lane and Aunt Lydia's Way have been since 1987. Many of the houses facing the '87 breach have put in "hard structure" erosion protection ( rip-rap, bulkheads, etc.) which are only exacerbating the erosion problem elsewhere. It will be interesting.

As for the folks in the 2nd village, it won't be long I guess. :(

07-24-2007, 08:55 AM
"It's not nice to fool mother nature" (lightning)

07-24-2007, 09:16 AM
Parkay? The funny thing is Juro; I was there in Jan of '87 when the breach occurred Goose Hunting- what I didn't mention was I was in 12' boat with a balky 4 hp engine, another guy bigger than I am and several dozen goose decoys, trying to cross Stage Harbor. If you're going to be stupid, you have to be tough.:smokin:

07-24-2007, 09:22 AM
I do feel bad for those impacted but I have to think they entered into the mortgages knowing that they are in a similar situation as those living behind a dike on the mississipi or on a canyon in southern california.

And those sneaky critters with the stripes really know how to find the sweet spots as these constant changes come about, I've always felt like I play a game of constant catch-up even within one season.

07-24-2007, 09:39 AM
Well the new "mega-houses" around Cowyard and Cotchpinnicut and Ryder's Cove will have to pay a little more in insurance and of course, a lot more to shore up their shore front. We've seen this game played along the east coast and Gulf Coast over the years- Barrier Beaches migrate- that's how they work. Tie the beach down so it can't migrate and watch what happens.:Eyecrazy:

Speaking of trying to figure out those striped critters, I have been chasing them mercilessly, and somewhat fruitlessly up here in the Penobscot- getting a few fish, but not a lot- very different from fishing down there all rocks and pine trees- also very fun.

Keep cool.

Rip Ryder
07-25-2007, 09:28 PM
The problem with these small boats and kayaks is they are actually getting sucked out the enterance on the out going tide. From what I have been told the current is there is quite impressive. Talked with a gentlemen the other day that had a bitch of a time getting through in a large Center Console. Said even under power he had a had time keeping the boat on course to get where he needed to be to exit safely.

For now, a good place to stay away from.

07-27-2007, 06:53 PM
As I said when the break occurred, I am all for filling it in.... under one condition the sand comes from the Southway :smokin:

(or the guzzle)

The politicians will be all over that as well as the well heeled people to the west of the Southway. Just think of all that gas money they'll be saving not having to round So. Monomoy to head north.


08-01-2007, 10:05 AM
the town people voted last night to leave it to nature:

CHATHAM — Voters at a special town meeting last night cast the fate of the North Beach barrier system to the winds and tides that are reshaping it on a daily basis.

There will be no $4.1 million spent to pour hundreds of thousand of cubic yards of sand into the inlet that has grown to nearly 1,000 feet wide in the past three months. And there will be no money spent on studies to predict how the breach created during April's northeaster will affect the millions of dollars in real estate and town resources along the mainland shore, including the town's main fish pier.

More than 600 residents, along with curious scientists, book authors and other outsiders, filled the air-conditioned high school gym to consider the issue last night. In just more than an hour, voters rejected the two questions and a nonbinding resolution dealing with the North Beach inlet.

Voters were so adamant about sending a message about their opposition to filling the breach, they turned down an effort by a North Chatham homeowner Richard Miller to postpone the article indefinitely. Miller had previously argued for filling the new inlet, but he acknowledged last night that support for the proposed project had eroded.

After voting against the indefinite postponement, the main question was quickly called and only two lone voices in the gym voted in favor of filling the breach. The rest of the hall answered a resounding "no" when their turn to vote came.

A special election will be held tomorrow as scheduled to exempt the proposed project's $4.1 million price tag from the constraints of Proposition 2½, even though the question is now a moot point.

The defeat of the proposed inlet project was not surprising. The selectmen, finance committee, waterways committee and North Beach Advisory Committee had all recommended against it, and public sentiment was generally against filling the breach.

But the demise of the proposal to spend $150,000 to study the effects of the breach on the mainland shore and Pleasant Bay was unexpected.

The research had the support of several town boards, and the way the vote played out left several town officials fuming and a few residents frustrated. The study's supporters felt "cut off at the pass," resident Hugh Jones said.

Town coastal resources director Ted Keon said the value of the study would be "creating a road map" to give local officials guidance on planning in Chatham Harbor and Pleasant Bay.

Selectman Sean Summers then rose to his feet and disagreed. He argued it would be foolish to spend money on studying a dynamic marine system. "How does one study things when the input data constantly changes?" he said.

Before Keon or anyone else could rebut Summers' argument, a motion was called to cut off debate. The meeting voted in favor of the move and went on to defeat the research article, 388-204.

After the research article was defeated, Keon said he was "floored" that it had been defeated with little chance for debate. Despite the voters' rejection, Keon said local officials and scientists will be watching as the area continues to evolve, and will do their best to protect public and private interests.

If there was any doubt of voters' sentiment about interfering with the natural evolution of the beach, it was put to rest with a nonbinding resolution that asked voters whether they would be in favor of filling the inlet if federal, state or private money was used. The measure was defeated handily.

"If it's not a good idea with our own money, then it's not a good idea with state money," resident Fred Jensen said.

so its up to mother nature now how long it stays.


ps - did anyone else have trouble getting in yesterday ? I tried several times.

08-01-2007, 01:50 PM
May turn Pleasant Bay into the new Mecca....

08-01-2007, 03:57 PM
If the current opening in front of the light fills in, imagine the possibilities. Or, it breaks into the tub.

08-01-2007, 09:46 PM
Doc -

I've been ORV'ing down there since spring and IMHO it already has created the new mecca. I'll post some photos from the pre-plover closure fishing when I get home, phenomenal. I like the look of the shoaling around the south tip of the new 'Nauset Island' but thats a serious crossing by yak and I prefer having the mini gas grill on the tailgate of the tundra out there on the beach.

As I pontificated before I truly believe the best is going to come when the biomass of bunker (which are already blackening the water to the south) starts streaming through the break, forced backwards despite swimming their hardest into the current while the bass cut thru it to take full advantage of the feast.

I will wager that the hardtails who always pop up around the Chatham Inlet will go bonkers over bunker at the new break as well. Occasionally a huge number of tunoids get up inside Pleasant Bay and circulate for days or weeks mowing the bait. If this is a long range year for them I would imagine the tunoid from the beach opportunities will be stellar at the break, all depends on whether they round Monomoy rip this year.

The backside differs from the subtleties of the flats because it brings lots of short-lived surprises - neon tinker macs, exotic halfbeaks, cigar-fat ocean sand eels, foot long squid dogs and all the usual suspects as well. Where the north beach inlet has always held an upper hand to the public Nauset stretch, I feel this is no longer true (pardon the imposition Harry!) since there is the most scuplting of bars in a decade from areas 1-7 and the break a short stroll down from 7.

Jim -

I can't believe it would close down there anytime soon in fact my gut feel is that it only makes the volume of flow greater around the lighthouse. I think I read that there was some new shoaling up inside between the break and the light but the current on the incoming pushes straight north at the break because of the volume coming up from the light is so much more voluminous than even the mighty break.

The Chatham Inlet at full tide looks much more voluminous than pre-break years although I am not sure about the rate of flow on the changes, haven't fished it this year yet although the big girl bar has been suggestive lately at late ebb.

I really don't have a clue and just talking from driveby's and gut feel - but the shoaling at the inlet looks minimal and my gut feel is that the break's added volume is keeping things fresh up and down that structure.

It will be interesting to see it all play out as time goes on.

08-03-2007, 07:52 AM
Nauset reopened yesterday for ORV's .

the chicks fledged. :wink:

08-03-2007, 09:13 AM
Well, there is only one thing left to do when the chicks take off.


08-16-2007, 12:17 PM
this is a great pic of the scale of the break. this is the southern bar on the southside of the break. the boats are tiny in comparison :

a flat seems to be forming inside that hook. :hihi: