Granite Shoals redefines ‘active fishing’ in city parks

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

GRANITE SHOALS — Tying a fishing line to the end of a pole and leaving it unattended is no longer considered “active fishing” in Granite Shoals city parks.

City Council approved changing the ordinance Nov. 14 after the Granite Shoals Police Department asked for a stronger definition.

Under the previous definition, people would throw fishing lines into the water and go back to their vehicles, Nickel said, which was allowed because residents could fish 24 hours seven days a week as long as they had a valid fishing license.

“The police department wanted clarity,” City Manager Ken Nickel said. “Boat ramps are left open, and people were parking cars and trailers overnight for a weekend. That’s not what we’re trying to do.”

“We’d like to be assured they are actively fishing,” Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith said. “Overnight parking for several days isn’t allowed.”

City Secretary Elaine Simpson said the updated language better defines what an angler is, which is someone with a valid license for fishing who is actively engaged in the activity.

“They must have their fishing license on them,” she said. “They can’t be asleep in the car or whatever. They’re going to need to be fishing if they’re going to take advantage of the opportunity to be fishing in the park earlier or later than the public is allowed in the park.”

The city’s parks are still open from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily for usage.

In other business, Wildlife Advisory Committee chairman Jason Brady submitted a report to the council on the wildlife management program’s first month, which was October. The city is using qualified hunters to harvest deer within the city limits as part of a management plan.

“I think Jason is doing a great job managing it,” Nickel said. “He’s doing all the managing of it. I think we have a great leader in Jason Brady.”

The harvesters removed 24 deer, while four more were unrecovered because they ran away. The average age of the deer harvested is 3.4 years. Volunteers have contributed 225 hours to the program.

Compared to last October, the number of removed deer is down.

Smith said there’s a good reason.

“We have new harvesters,” she said. “They haven’t gotten into a rhythm. We’re getting started with new people.”

Anyone wanting venison should call City Hall at (830) 598-2424 for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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