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NYC Parks Surf Fishing Access Clarified & Broadened
Steve Byrne

Posted: 12:00 AM Sat, October 04, 2008

Thanks to FCA Members of the Access & Habitat Committees chaired by John Malizia, at recent meeting with NYC Parks.  See email below from Kevin Jeffrey, Deputy Commissioner of Parks, Public Programs.

I want to thank you and the other Fishermen’s Conservation Association representatives for taking the time to meet with Deputy Commissioner Kavanagh and me in September.

As promised, we (DPR) have enthusiastically considered a number of your requests, and have amended some policies in an effort to increase fishing access from NYC Parks-controlled properties. We still have a ways to go, but I wanted to inform you of changes that will be put into effect immediately. (My sense of urgency is fueled by reports from reliable sources of “football field-sized” pods of quality-size bass moving west from Montauk!)

1)  Beach Access
Although discussion about fishing from jetties is ongoing, we’re very clear about beach access: from the second Monday in September to the Friday before Memorial Day, anglers will be allowed to actively fish -- and fish from wading depth at the shoreline -- at all NYC Parks beach properties, including of course, those in Staten Island.

Although our Agency-standard curfew of 1:00 a.m. will generally apply, we are aggressively looking into the potential for relaxing this rule at certain locations. More on that as it develops.

2)  Sheepshead Bay Piers
We have thoroughly reviewed what your organization had described as a “no fishing policy” on Sheepshead Bay piers. Effective as of this writing, that is, immediately, fishermen will be allowed to fish from the ends of all Sheepshead Bay piers. We will soon mark the piers with a blue line that will clearly demarcate “the end,” but please know that we are allowing for a minimum of approximately 100 linear feet on each pier.

We will also place garbage cans at the ends of the piers, and are working with the Going Coastal organization to get fishing line recycling containers installed on each pier. Your organization’s assistance in encouraging the public to use these receptacles will ensure that we can continue our policy of access to these piers.

3)  Coney Island - All-season Fishing Access on the West End
In response to your request to provide access for fishing in Coney Island’s West end, we have now designated Bay 22 in Coney Island as a year-round fishing access location.

I realize that we have not addressed all of your issues, but I hope these changes in policy we have achieved so far clearly make evident our enthusiasm and willingness to provide recreational fishermen with better access to New York City waters.

FCA urges anglers to respect this agreement and asks fishermen to avoid compromising the locked gates and staircases that give access to boats moored on the land side end of the piers.

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