- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Austin officials have proposed banning fishing from the city’s $28.1 million boardwalk along Lady Bird Lake and fining violators up to $500.

The parks department is pushing for a fishing ban on the wooden boardwalk, because officials fear anglers might hook passers-by while casting.

Assistant director Kim McNeeley told the Austin American-Statesman (https://bit.ly/1z8i0In ) that the department doesn’t have figures on how many people might be fishing from the boardwalk. No complaints or reports of injuries have been filed since the boardwalk opened in June. But officials believe the measure is a necessary precaution, she said.

President Robert Whitehead of the Capital Bass Club said he doesn’t tend to fish on the lake but knows many who do. Earlier this year, a New Braunfels man caught a 13-pound bass on the lake, according to the state Parks and Wildlife Department.

“Lady Bird Lake’s got a reputation for producing a good fish,” Whitehead said. “I don’t really see why the City Council should be considering making that just for the runners or walkers. Why not the fisherman? We pay for it just like everyone else.”

McNeeley points out the parks department is planning to build a fishing pier just beyond the boardwalk’s east end in International Shores Park, which won’t begin until next year.

The fishing ban proposal will be the subject of a public hearing before the City Council later this month.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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