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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

N.H. to create first public boat ramp on Lake Winnipesaukee

CONCORD – The first public boat ramp with parking spaces on Lake Winnipesaukee will open soon, after the state Fish and Game Department’s announcement that it has purchased a private marina known as Downing’s Landing at the southern tip of Alton Bay.

Fish and Game officials said in a statement that they hope to have the site open in time for the ice fishing season. ...

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CONCORD – The first public boat ramp with parking spaces on Lake Winnipesaukee will open soon, after the state Fish and Game Department’s announcement that it has purchased a private marina known as Downing’s Landing at the southern tip of Alton Bay.

Fish and Game officials said in a statement that they hope to have the site open in time for the ice fishing season.

The 0.8-acre parcel was bought for $1 million, according to Jeffrey King of Fish and Game.

“This is exciting news for New Hampshire’s outdoor enthusiasts because it creates the first state-owned and controlled public boat ramp with parking on Lake Winnipesaukee,” said Glenn Normandeau, Fish and Game executive director. “For years, we’ve wanted to provide the public with a boat access site on the big lake, and I am thrilled that we’ve been able to do it.”

The Downing’s Landing facility includes an existing boat launch with paved parking for vehicles with trailers, as well as a handful of parking spaces. The site includes two buildings and several docks that will allow for shoreline fishing, particularly during spring salmon season.

The facility will be open to the public for launching boats and fishing from the shore with no fee.

The site may be temporarily closed while Fish and Game transitions ownership and determines what maintenance and repairs are necessary. Since the general use of the property will not change, it seems to be, for the most part, a “turnkey” facility that can be opened to the public with minimal work.

In the near term, parking configurations will be evaluated for the upcoming boating season. Future renovations will be planned as Fish and Game moves forward. Improvements may include dock repairs and installation of a newer concrete boat ramp.

New Hampshire’s Public Boat Access Program is funded through boat registration fees and federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds. Fish and Game’s Facilities and Lands Division acquires land for public water access sites, refurbishes existing sites and builds new public boat access areas.

Fish and Game maintains more than 140 public boat access sites throughout New Hampshire.

– Telegraph Staff