Waquoit Bay

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Waquoit bay is a public national Estuary that is typically used as a research Reserve located on the southern shore of Cape Cod Massachusetts. It Is a part of the Nantucket Sound. This bay is the boarder of the towns of Falmouth and Mashpee. The name Waquoit came from the Wompanoag language of the word Weeqay8ut (Waquoit) that means Place of Light.

1893 USGS Map of Waquoit Bay

National Estuarine Research Reserve[edit]

Due to the pressures on the coastal resources of the United States, Congress enacted the Coastal Zone Management Act that gave federal aid to operate estuarine areas as natural field laboratories. Waquoit Bay is one of these natural field laboratory zones. The areas that the Costal Management Act Encompass are: Visitor Center/Headquarters Property 28-acre (11 ha) The Visitor's Center is open year-round, Monday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm. This Center has a path to the beach below it and hosts many activities to teach children and anyone who wishes to learn about the creatures in the water in the Bay. South Cape Beach State Park, Sage Lot Pond and Flat Pond 432 acres (175 ha) This eastern section of the reserve serves as a swimming beach, which is a noted fishing site during the annual bluefish and striped bass migrations. It is also a sanctuary for protected species such as piping plover and least tern. Sage Lot and Flat Ponds are salt ponds to the east of Waquoit Bay.

Quashnet River Property is 361 acres (146 ha) The Quashnet river is the largest source of fresh water to the Bay and is mostly surrounded by upland forests. There is a three-mile (5 km) loop trail along the river. Trout Unlimited that has converted their cranberry bog channel back into a river. North Quashnet Woodlands 25 acres (10 ha) These are pine woodlands and an abandoned cranberry bog. Waquoit Bay 825 acres (334 ha) Fresh water enters the Bay from four principal sources: the Quashnet/Moonakis River, Red Brook, Childs River, and ground water flow. The following rivers/bodies of water are salt ponds to the east of Waquoit Bay which can only be navigated by kayak: Hamblin Pond, 141 acres (57 ha) Jehu Pond, 172 acres (70 ha) Abigail's Brook The following freshwater ponds drain to the Waquoit Bay at the northern side and offer kayaking and fishing:Bog Pond, 2.8 acres (1.1 ha) Bourne Pond, is just over 10 acres (4.0 ha) in surface area and consequently is considered a Great Pond under the laws of the Massachusetts. As such it is kept in trust for all citizens and is not privately owned. Caleb Pond, 5.7 acres (2.3 ha). Childs River: Abandoned cranberry bogs and pine woodlands.

Washburn Island Washburn Island is a small Nature Reserve Within Waquoit Bay. During world war 2 Washburn Island was used by the Army Amphibious Command as a landing are. This camp was home to the 594th Engineer boat and shore regiment. 

was a branch of the 4th engineering special brigade. It was also similar to Camp Havedoneit and Camp conduit which were located near to Camp Washburn. Common species of Marine life


Barnacle(Balanus sp.),

Blue crab (Callinectes sap!sas),

Hermit crab

Prominant Fish[edit]

Preliminary list of fish species taken from Waquoit Bay and its 

           connecting waters proposed for inclusion within the Waquoit Bay

           Family Clupeidae

             Alosa aestivalis (Mitchill) - blueback herring

             9-osa pseudoharengus (Wilson) - alewife

             Fr-evoortia tyran     (Latrobe) - Atlantic menhaden

            Family Salmonidae

             Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchill) - brook trout

           Family: Osmeridae

             Osmerus mordax (Mitchill) - rainbow smelt

           Family: Cyprinidae

             Notemigonus crysoleucas (Mitchill) - golden shiner

           Family: Catostomidae

             Catostomus commersoni (Lacepede) - white sucker

           Family: Anguillidae

             Anguilla rostrata (LeSueur)    American eel

Family: Cyprinodontidae

             Cyprinodon variegatus (Lacepede - sheepshead minnow

             Fundulu     aphan6s (LeSueur) - banded killifish

             FunduM'heterocli us (Linnaeus) - mummichog

             Fundlus majalis (WaIETaum) - striped killifish

             E-acania @parva Baird) - rainwater killifish

Family: Cottidae

              Myoxodephalus aenaeus (Mitchill) - grubby

             Myoxocephalus octoge-cemspinosus (Mitchill) - longhorn sculpin

            Family: Cycolpeteridae

              Cycolperus lumpus (Linnaeus) - lumpfish

            Family: Ammodytidae

              Ammodytes americanus (Dekay) - American sand lance

            Family: Pholidae

              Pholis gunnellus (Linnaeus) - rock gunnel

            Family: Mugillidae

              Mugil cephalus (Linnaeus) stripped mullet

            Family: Bothidae

              Paralichthys dentatus (Linnaeus) - summer flounder

            Family: Pleuronectidae

              Pseudopleuronectes americanus (Walbaum) - winter flounder

            Order: Tetraodontiformes

              Family: Tetraodontidae

                 Sphaeroides maculatus (Bloch  Schneider) - northern puffer

            Order: Batrachoidiformes

              Family: Batrachoididae

                 Opsanus tau (Linnaeus) - oyster toadfish

     Family: Gadidae

               Gadul morhua (Linnaeus) - Atlantic cod

              @ro adus tomcod (Walbaum) - Atlantic tomcod

               Pollachius.virens (Linnaeus) - pollock

               Urophycis tYn-u-T-s(Mitchill) - white hake

             Family: Gasterosteidae

               Apeltes quadracus (Mitchill) - fourspine stickleback

               Gastero teus acul atus (Linnaeus)  threespine stickleback

               Gasterost   We-a--M-Ri (Putnam)    blackspotted stickleback

                Pungitius punjiLius (Linnaeus) .- ninespine stickleback

            Family: Syngnathidae

             Syngnathus fuscus (Storer)  northern pipefish

            Family: Serranidae

              Centropristis striata (Linnaeus) - black seabass

            Family: Percichthyidae

               Morone americana (Gmelin)  white perch

              Moroni7i-ax-a-tiff'is (Walbaum) striped bass

            Family:  Percidae

               Etheostoma nigrum (Rafinesque) - Johnny darter

            Family: Pomatomidae

               Pomatomus saltatrix (Linnaeus) - bluefish

            Family: Sciaenidae

               Menticirrhus saxitilis (Block and Schneider) - northern kingfish

            Family:  Sparidae

                Stenotomus chrysops (Linnaeus) - scup

            Family: Labridae

               Tautoga on tus (Linnaeus)  tautog

              Tautogol'a5-rus adspersus (Walbaum) - cunner

            Family: Triglidae

              Prionotus carolinus (Linnaeus) - northern searobin

               PrionFt-us -ev-o-l-an-s7Linnaeus) - striped searobin