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Discussion Starter #1
I know this isn't a "report" but it is "bank-fishing" related....

Looks like Austin Parks and Recreation department is spreading fear about fishing safety on the new boardwalk. The dept. is proposing a ban on fishing from the pier. A public input meeting is scheduled for Dec. 11th. I have zero time for fishing or anything remotely described as fun, but I will make time to attend that meeting.

Details are light because I'm not a subscriber to the statesman website. Can anyone else fill us in on what's behind the pay-wall?

mtf
 

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Stated reason is a fear that fishermen might hook passing people, even though this has not happened and is easily avoided. Of much greater danger on the walkway is the nuts on bikes running into walkers!
 

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If the the City of Austin endeavors to be a "World Class" City, then it ought to consider what "World Class" cities do:
New York City: fishing is encouraged & children's fishing classes taught along the Hudson River Park walkway.
Washington D.C.: fishing is allowed along the tidal basin path.
Philadelphia: fishing is on the new downtown Schuylkill Banks boardwalk (exact same kind of project as the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk) is encouraged.
Paris:fishing is allowed and having a revival along the Seine riverside promenades.
London: fishing is allowed and encouraged
along the Thames riverside promenades.
There are many more examples.
 

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If the the City of Austin endeavors to be a "World Class" City, then it ought to consider what "World Class" cities do:
New York City: fishing is encouraged & children's fishing classes taught along the Hudson River Park walkway.
Washington D.C.: fishing is allowed along the tidal basin path.
Philadelphia: fishing is on the new downtown Schuylkill Banks boardwalk (exact same kind of project as the Lady Bird Lake Boardwalk) is encouraged.
Paris:fishing is allowed and having a revival along the Seine riverside promenades.
London: fishing is allowed and encouragedAustin News, Sports, Weather, Longhorns | www.statesman.com
along the Thames riverside promenades.
There are many more examples.
I like your thoughts and you should send these observations to the Statesmen.
 

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I can see it now, guys with spinning reels, spin cast reels, buckets, live bait and trash everywhere! You all know what's going to happen if people start camping out on the boardwalk to fish. If there were a fishing pier, then that would be different and understandable. There is a great majority of the north side bank that is fish able from land, so why go to the trouble of setting your gear up when folks are walking or riding bikes on what isn't much of space of a boardwalk? Ask for a fishing pier!!!
 

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I can see it now, guys with spinning reels, spin cast reels, buckets, live bait and trash everywhere! You all know what's going to happen if people start camping out on the boardwalk to fish. If there were a fishing pier, then that would be different and understandable. There is a great majority of the north side bank that is fish able from land, so why go to the trouble of setting your gear up when folks are walking or riding bikes on what isn't much of space of a boardwalk? Ask for a fishing pier!!!
That's right you greedy fishermen. You just pay those taxes for that $23,000,000.00 present to the city.
Let them decide who can use it and what for.

Now in a true free enterprise it would have a place to pay when and if you to used it. You would be encouraged to use it to make it profitable.
And if that business model didn't work it wouldn't get built. But in the Austin mentality it gets approved during the same year they lay off teachers.
 

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I can see it now, guys with spinning reels, spin cast reels, buckets, live bait and trash everywhere! You all know what's going to happen if people start camping out on the boardwalk to fish. If there were a fishing pier, then that would be different and understandable. There is a great majority of the north side bank that is fish able from land, so why go to the trouble of setting your gear up when folks are walking or riding bikes on what isn't much of space of a boardwalk? Ask for a fishing pier!!!
x2. I shudder to think about the amount of fishing garbage that would pile up. Almost every bank spot that I fish his littered with worm cups and lids, beer cans, fishing line, etc. I'm sure most of us on ABF are considerate anglers, but overall, I don't think we (us, humans) deserve a "World Class" fishing environment. :(
 

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The Statesman article stated " the fear of hooking someone walking by in the eye" Thats kinda like saying to your kid with his first BB gun " don't shoot your eye out kid" The City Council should worry about providing basic services to its citizen's and quit worrying about people fishing off the boardwalk!!! I'm sure the next big thing will be people fishing too close to the boardwalk from their boats!!
 

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I've actually fished that spot off Lakeshore next to the hostel by the food trucks. Water was murky and lots of debris. Seems like fishermen are getting the short end of the lake, so to speak.
But hey, glad we keep the good, clean water upstream for dogs to jump and crap in.
 

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They should worry more about bicycles hitting people, than a hook. The biggest danger on lady bird is not fisherman, it is rowers travelling backwards not looking where they are going, and at the fastest speeds traveled on the lake out of any paddling activities. I guaranty more have been injured by rowers than fisherman!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm planning to attend today's city council meeting and speak out against the proposed ban. My concerns are the following:

1. As a voter, I supported this bond election with the understanding that fishing was an intended use for the boardwalk.
2. If fishing was never an intended goal for the boardwalk, that should have been noted in the bond election. Canceling fishing after the election is a "bait-and-switch" on the voters.
3. A dedicated 'fishing pier' is misguided. Segregating the anglers in this area will mean intense pressure on any possible fish stock, so no one will ever catch anything there.
4. Impoverished families do not have boats or kayaks, so this boardwalk represents an excellent opportunity for family bonding through fishing.
5. There is no data to support fishhooks as a significant driver of hospital ER visits relative to the other approved uses of the boardwalk. This is proposed legislation founded on hysteria.
 

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I disagree with the assertion that this has anything to do with controlling the people, and to some extent not even public safety for that matter. Unfortunately the litigious society which we live in is constantly in cover your ass mode. This is true for corporations, government agencies (like cities), as well private practices like doctors, so many people have been ruined through law suits that the first thing people ask is how to eliminate any liability to personal injury.

I know there is sovereign immunity and the city is pretty well protected in a lot of areas. And in the long run they might even win a lawsuit from a biker who caught a crankbait in the eye and lost vision. Regardless they would still have substantial legal fees.

At the very least if this was a concern the city could post signs stating they are not liable for any accidents incurred on this bridge. This could also serve as reminder to both bikers/pedestrians and anglers to be aware of one another. Not a perfect example but in a similar way that dirt bike park on 9th street between West and Lamar is a city of austin park. Many years ago after some kid got hurt and sued the city, they didn't level the park. Instead the city put up signs that say bike at your own risk, city is not responsible. Anyways, good luck with yalls meeting.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
They postponed the vote on this item until February, leaving it to the new city council.
Thanks for the heads-up. I'm still going down to speak at the public input meeting at 4:00 PM today so that I can hopefully create some kind of momentum against this ban. Here's the verbage of the proposed ordinance:

fishing_ban_boardwalk.png

Looks like Austin PARD is also asking to ban bank fishing from the mouth of Shoal Creek all the way to the railroad bridge on both shores.

-- mtf
 

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...At the very least if this was a concern the city could post signs stating they are not liable for any accidents incurred on this bridge. This could also serve as reminder to both bikers/pedestrians and anglers to be aware of one another. Not a perfect example but in a similar way that dirt bike park on 9th street between West and Lamar is a city of austin park. Many years ago after some kid got hurt and sued the city, they didn't level the park. Instead the city put up signs that say bike at your own risk, city is not responsible. Anyways, good luck with yalls meeting.
Signage- it's really that easy.

I'd like to call this page to everyone's attention:
Parks, trails, and open space in Austin and Travis County | Austin Parks Foundation

Below the map, you'll see the line item "Fishing Piers - 1". You'll also notice in the pics section that there are at least two pics of people fishing. Has anyone ever seen a sign that says "Fishing Pier" on Red Bud Isle? I'm convinced if they had some signs around that place that said "Catch and Release" or "Fishing Allowed", you'd have less angry dog owners or at least quieter ones. Signs work great at Mueller.
 
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