Since 1991 the Martha’s Vineyard Oar and Paddle Association has sponsored an annual rowing regatta to benefit the Friends of Sengekontacket, Inc. This is held the last Saturday or Sunday in August. T-shirts are provided as part of a modest entry fee. Regatta organizers tailor race courses to weather conditions and type of craft, typically ranging from rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards. The children’s course is within the Pond, while the long course for kayaks is typically off shore.
KAYAKS CANOES ROWBOATS SUP’s Join us for a 2-mile competition!
Registration 8:30–9:30am, the last Sunday in August. Little Bridge, Sengekontacket Pond, Oak Bluffs. Races start at 10am. Post-race picnic, entertainment, awards and T-shirt provided as part of $25 entry fee.
THERE’S A CATEGORY FOR PADDLING WITH YOUR DOG TOO!
Friends of Sengekontacket sponsors a free day with a Felix Neck naturalist for kids ages 4 and up for 7 Saturdays in July and August. Sessions last an hour and meet at 9:30am at the Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs. Come by and spread the word! Free shave ice too!
A town shellfish permit is required for the catch or removal of any shellfish in both Edgartown and Oak Bluffs . Permits can be obtained at the town halls. Consult your permit for seasonal, size and quantity limitations.
Sengekontacket Pond has moderately good recreational and commercial shell fishing. Although a variety of shellfish can be found in the Pond, the most popular varieties are:
•Quahogs (Hard Shell Clams) Quahogs are found buried in the sand or mud 1 - 2 inches below the surface. They are usually harvested by rakes. Some of the common terms to describe sizes are:
◦“Littlenecks” up to 2 inches in length.
◦“Cherrystones” 2 to 3 inches in length
◦“Chowders” larger than 3 inches
•Steamers (Soft Shell Clams) Steamers live about 6 inches below the surface, usually in the intertidal zone. They are most commonly harvested by hand, rake or shovel. Commercial shell fishermen sometimes use an air pump.
•Oysters There are some oysters in the pond as a result of seeding. They rest on the bottom surface and are harvested by net or rake. Martha’s Vineyard has become a nationally recognized source of farm oysters.
•Bay Scallops may only be harvested between October 1 and March 31. A Bay Scallop must live through two summers to reach maturity before being harvested. Most scallops live in eelgrass beds. The Pond has been suffering from a lack of eelgrass and the scallop harvest has been poor in recent years.
•Blue Claw Crabs are found in creeks and ponds although they can be scarce at times due to natural cycles.
•Mussels Blue Mussels attach themselves to rocks or bridge pilings, while Ribbed Mussels are found along marshes and creeks. For eating, most people prefer the Blue Mussel which has a smooth, dark blue or black shell.
Sengekontacket is a place on Martha's Vineyard favored for kayaking, canoeing and windsurfing. Almost the entire Pond is navigable for shallow draft craft. Two well used access points are by the Little Bridge on Beach Road and by the Edgartown Town Landing on the Boulevard. Even though the Pond is relatively shallow, we advise everyone to wear an approved flotation device. There a number of interesting marshes to explore, and there is some seasonal fishing.
Carry In/Carry Out
Held every year since 1995, the Carry In/Carry Out poster contest in the Edgartown and Oak Bluffs Schools is one of the most familiar to the community. Students in Grades 5 through 8 are invited to submit posters illustrating the Carry In/Carry Out theme. This is widely used in wilderness areas -- “Take only pictures and leave only footprints”. As part of the science curriculum students learn that a plastic six-pack ring can interfere with sea birds feeding if it encircle their necks, and small pieces of Styrofoam can be mistaken for fish eggs. Marine mammals can ingest plastic bags floating in the water mistaking them for jellyfish, normally part of their diet. Students learn not only about the environmental impact of litter but also that they can be leaders in environmental education. The 44 winning posters are chosen from several hundred entries. In June an awards ceremony is held at the schools at which winners receive their original poster laminated, a certificate from the Friends of Sengekontacket and $10. The winning posters are color copied, laminated and displayed on stanchions on pathways to State Beach until Labor Day and in framed display cases on Steamship Authority vessels throughout the year.