May 5 2022

Water Pollution & the State of the Waters on Cape Cod


Do you know that there are nearly one thousand freshwater ponds and lakes on Cape Cod? As a result of the water quality surveys done as part of a 2021 study, 109 of those ponds were deemed as unacceptable due to water quality issues. 

Here are a few other concerning discoveries revealed in this recent report published by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod:

  • Do you know that there are 32 ponds on Cape Cod that have fish consumption advisories due to mercury pollution?
  • Do you know that there are 559 coastal miles of shoreline on Cape Cod with  53 embayments? In the same water quality study 41 of those embayments are viewed as unacceptable for water quality?
  • Do you know that the only source for drinking water on Cape Cod is groundwater which comes from rain and snow melt? 

Whether you enjoy fishing the freshwater ponds and lakes on the Cape, or fishing the salt waters surrounding the Cape, a common link for all people who enjoy fishing is the water in those areas.

If you are intrigued by the questions asked above, then perhaps you are interested in learning more about water quality on Cape Cod. After all, the quality of that water will impact the future of fishing on the Cape.

A 2021 report by the Association to Preserve Cape Cod entitled “State of the Waters: Cape Cod Report” examines the question of the health of the water found on Cape Cod, and factors that impact the quality of that water.

The report itself along with informative charts and tables can be found at

As it appears that many members of MFCC are concerned about the state of recreational fishing on Cape Cod, I suggest that you take the time to read and absorb the information in the report in order for all of us to be better informed to take actions that can help reverse the current negative trends for the quality of the fresh and salt water on Cape.

Best regards,

Richard Banks

About the author 


Richard Banks (aka "onemoretime") and his wife Kathleen are longtime members of My Fishing Cape Cod, as well as the Cape Cod Commercial Fisherman's Alliance and the Nauset Newcomers. The duo enjoys living and fishing on Cape Cod, but they travel and fish around the world too.

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