Possible discharge of nuclear wastewater into Cape Cod Bay

Posted 1/10/23

At press time the Cape Cod Salties Sports Fishing Club plans to hold a community forum on the possible discharge of nuclear wastewater from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant into Cape Cod Bay. The …

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Possible discharge of nuclear wastewater into Cape Cod Bay


At press time the Cape Cod Salties Sports Fishing Club plans to hold a community forum on the possible discharge of nuclear wastewater from the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant into Cape Cod Bay. The forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 11, 6 p.m. at the Yarmouth Senior Center, West Yarmouth, MA. The form will be followed by an effort to engage anglers and fishing associations to sign on to a position letter opposing the possible discharge.

In a letter to Governor Maura Healy, P. Jonathan Ungerland II, president of the Cape Cod Salties, said, “As you’re likely aware, Holtec International, the current operator of the Plymouth Nuclear Plant (and overseer of its decommissioning) has openly and publicly discussed the potential release of radioactively contaminated wastewater into Cape Cod Bay. This is totally unacceptable to our club of concerned and informed members, on many levels.”

Ungerland said, “Our guest speaker at the forum, Diane Turco of Cape Downwinders, will provide important updates and pertinent educational content on the issue. For information and a primer on the Holtec issue, visit”

Representatives from regional fishing associations that would be affected by such a discharge, including leaders from the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Associaton as well as residents and political representatives were expected to attend the form.

Putting the brakes on Holtec

A Dec. 14, 2022 article in by David Smith said in a December letter, James Chow, deputy director of the EPA Region 1’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, said any moves to release water before a new permit is issued would subject the company (Holtec) to fines and possible criminal charges. 

He also told the company it needed to provide 90 days written notice to the agency if it planned any such discharges.

“Advance notification would allow EPA to take all appropriate action to ensure that federal law is being duly observed,” the letter said. “To be clear, this notification/reporting obligation should not be interpreted by Holtec as authorizing such discharges.”

For additional information and follow up actions anglers and fishing organizations can take,  contact Jonathan Ungerland, president of the Cape Cod Salties Sports Fishing Club at .

Surf scenarios seminar series

Surfcaster’s Journal is teaming up with The Saltwater Edge, Middletown for a ten-week Zoom seminar series on surfcasting with Surfcaster’s Journal mangling editor Jerry Audet.

The series includes six live Zoom instructional seminars and four live Zoom interview sessions plus pre-recorded multi part foundational seminars, each session is two to four hours long. Seminars are Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. starting Jan. 11 and running until April 5. The cost is $99 for the entire series, or $16 each.

Seminar schedule:

Jan. 11: Soft-Plastic, Darters, and Gliders

Jan. 18   Sand Beaches

Jan. 25 Toby Lapinski & Jay Hanecak

Feb. 8  Boulder Fields

Feb. 15 Steve McKenna

Mar. 1 Calm Nights, Back-Bays, and Estuaries

Mar. 8   Shell E. Caris

Mar. 22 Storms & The Fall Run

Mar. 29 Bill Wetzel

Apr. 5 Targeting Trophy Fish

Sessions can be rescreened until April 19. For details on the series and to register visit

Commercial license renewal period extended

The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is announcing today that it will extend the renewal period of commercial fishing licenses previously set to expire Jan. 13, until Jan. 31, 2023. DEM is experiencing a license renewal backlog as it continues to transition from combining several outdated licensing systems into one modern computing platform called Rhode Island Outdoors (RIO). The platform is designed to handle nearly all the agency’s outdoors licensing and permitting services.

While DEM continues to integrate data from the old IT systems to the new, it is asking users to renew by mail or in person at the DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing located at 235 Promenade Street, Room 360, Providence, RI, 02908 or call 401-222-6647. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m

Where’s the bite

Saltwater and freshwater licenses. Anglers are reminded to renew their licenses for salt and fresh water for 2023. Saltwater licenses renew annually on January 1 in coastal states, most coastal states have license reciprocity. For example, if you have a RI license you can fish in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine. For fresh water licensing information and a list of trout stocked ponds in Rhode Island visit; and in Massachusetts visit .

Cod, tautog and black sea bass. Tautog and black sea bass seasons have ended. However, cod fishing south of Cape Cod is still open. Party boats fishing for cod this winter include the Frances Fleet at  and the Island Current at . Rates vary but are about $135 per adult for a full day of fishing, call to check schedules and make a reservation.

Dave Monti holds a captain’s master license and charter fishing license. He serves on a variety of boards and commissions and has a consulting business focusing on clean oceans, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries related issues and clients. Forward fishing news and photos to or visit


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