A 5 mph speed limit is enforced on the river.
About 0.8 mile above the mouth, a channel leads eastward to a lagoon; a dredged depth of 10 feet was reported in the channel and lagoon. West Dennis Yacht Club is at the head of the lagoon.
A marina and boatyard, about 0.4 mile below the first highway bridge, has a lift that can haul out craft up to 45 feet for hull and engine repairs or dry open and covered storage. Electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, marine supplies, a pump-out station and a launching ramp are available. In 2008, 6 feet was reported alongside the dock. The marina monitors VHF-FM channel 16. Town landings and launching ramps are on both sides of the river at and below the bridge.
Rental boats, gasoline, bait, and tackle can be obtained at a fishing pier just north of the east end of the bridge. A marina, above the pier, has berths, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, a pump-out station, a 35-ton lift, and storage facilities; hull and engine repairs can be made.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Bass River is entered between two jetties. A light is on the west jetty. A seasonal lighted bell buoy, 1.1 miles southward of the jetty light, marks the approach. A channel marked by private seasonal buoys leads over the bar from about 0.4 mile southward of the jetty light through the jetties to an anchorage basin in the lower part of the river, and thence to the highway bridge at South Dennis, 3.1 miles above the mouth. The bridge has a 25-foot fixed span with a clearance of 10 feet. The entrance to the anchorage basin and the channel over the bar are subject to shoaling. In 2001, the dredged entrance channel had a reported controlling depth of 4.6 feet to the river mouth, just inside the jetties; thence in 1981, the river channel had a reported depth of 5 feet to South Yarmouth, thence 2 feet to the bridge at South Dennis. In 1992, severe shoaling was reported across the mouth of the river. Private seasonal buoys mark the channel to Follins Pond, about 6.1 miles above the mouth.
State Route 28 highway bridge crossing the river between West Dennis and South Yarmouth, about 1.5 miles above the mouth, has a 30-foot fixed span with a clearance of 15 feet.
Dogfish Bar, an extensive shoal area off Bass River entrance, is covered 1 to 6 feet. A small breakwater, formerly used as a shelter for small craft, is on the easterly end of the bar, about 1 mile southeastward of Bass River West Jetty Light 11. The area around the breakwater and northeasterly of it has shoaled. Rocks awash at low water are about 0.4 mile northwestward of the breakwater. These rocks are marked by a private seasonal buoy. A fish haven, marked by a private buoy, is about 2 miles south of the breakwater, and a fishtrap marked by a private seasonal light is 1.8 miles southwest of the breakwater.
Two fixed bridges, railroad and highway, cross the river about 0.7 mile above the highway bridge at South Dennis. Least clearances are: 25 feet horizontal, and 8 feet vertical.