RI DEM pilots reservation only parking program for Bowdish boat ramp


GLOCESTER – The Department of Environmental Management has announced the launch of pilot program for boaters to reserve parking space at the Bowdish Reservoir Boat Ramp in Glocester starting immediately.

Due to its location within the George Washington State Campground, boaters who wish to launch a vessel from the boat ramp without a camping reservation may make a parking reservation by filling out an application form found here: https://ridem.wufoo.com/forms/bowdish-reservoir-boat-ramp-permit-application/

In a release, RI DEM said it hopes that the pilot program will restore parking access to the ramp for boaters who are not registered campers while limiting unauthorized traffic within the state campground. Because of safety and security concerns at the campground and limited parking available at the boat ramp, access through the campground for non-campers is by reservation only. Boat ramp access parking permits will be available by reservation for non-tournament fishing and boating during the camping season, which runs from the second Friday in April through Oct. 31.

Under the pilot plan, three parking spaces and one handicapped parking space will be designated for non-campground users. Only three vehicles with boat trailers or cartop boats and one handicapped parking space for boat trailers or cartop boats will be allowed access to the boat ramp, per reserved time period. Only these designated spaces may be used for reservations. Campground users may not reserve or use these spaces. Two time periods — 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. — are available for reservation. Only one time per day may be reserved. No more than two days can be reserved per week, and no more than two weeks in advance. Reservations can be made through DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, Monday through Thursday, by filling out the application form. Access is available seven days a week.

“Please be advised that the use of motors more than 10 horsepower on boats launched, hauled, or operated from the Bowdish Reservoir boat ramp is prohibited,” noted RI DEM, adding that all other Bowdish boat ramp regulations apply, with the exception of Management Area Boating Regulation #17, noted on page 13 of the 2023-2024 Freshwater Fishing Abstract.

Those with reservations must present their printed permit at the campground gate to gain access. Vehicles must display the permit in their windshield while in one of the three reserved parking spaces or the reserved handicapped space for boat trailers or cartop boats parking space. Failure to comply may result in being ticketed or towed from the area at the owner’s expense.

No parking permits will be required from Nov. 1 to the second Friday in April. This period will be open for tournament fishing through the DFW tournament permit process. A special use permit from the DEM Division of Parks and Recreation would also be required for any organized event requiring use of this ramp, parking lot, or property. For information or request regarding such permits, contact Assistant Regional Manager CJ Paliotta at 401-568-6700 or [email protected].

For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov.

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