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Scott M

Downtown Northfield Cannon River Shorefishing

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Scott M

Sounds like there was a big deal last week with some shorefishing spots getting closed by the city due to litter.

Here's an update from the Northfield News:

UPDATE: City reels in some no fishing signs on Northfield's Riverwalk

by Jaci Smith

June 13, 2013

In the last three weeks, City Streets and Parks Supervisor T.J. Heinricy said he has picked up 40 bags of garbage, human waste, fish guts and fish hooks and fishing line on the west bank of the Riverwalk.

That’s why signs prohibiting fishing went up Wednesday all along the walkway.

But by Thursday afternoon it appeared the city was rethinking that strategy.

City Administrator Tim Madigan said that the “advisory signs” to discourage people from casting their lines would be consolidated to the areas near the Fourth Street bridge and Froggy Bottoms River Pub. Postings to limit littering would be placed elsewhere, he said, part of taking a “soft approach” to address the safety and trash issues.

“We want to make it enjoyable for everyone,” Madigan said. “We’ll just have to work with people. Hopefully, people will get the hint.”

He said that those who don’t get the hint may receive “a stern talking to,” but did not mention any other consequences. If the signs don’t control the problem, he said that the city may have to try something else.

At noon Thursday, six of the 6-by-8-inch signs, which pictured a fish and a hook with a red circle and a slash on top of them, were still mounted along the east fence from Bridge Square to Second Street. Three were spread out on the west side and two were posted on the Fourth Street Bridge.

A couple of hours later, most of the signs were taken down.

On any given day, dozens of people can be seen wetting lines in the Cannon River and pulling in fish — mostly carp.

“It’s a couple bad apples, spoiling it for the rest,” said Heinricy. The parks supervisor said he was directed to put up the signs by Madigan and City Engineer and Public Works Director Joe Stapf in response to complaints.

Heinricy said Thursday that he was directed to take down many of the signs, leaving some postings at the Fourth Street bridge and on the west walkway from the pub to the pedestrian bridge. He said he plans to order signs that advise against littering, which should be put up in the next week or so.

Stapf said in a voice mail that the city had received numerous complaints and had to act on it.

“That’s the way these things tend to go,” Stapf said in his message. “Some abuse it and they ruin it for everybody else.”

As is typical on a summer afternoon, a host of boys were trying their luck near Bridge Square on Wednesday, and were there when the signs went up.

“I’ve been coming down here quite a lot, probably twice a week to fish,” said Theo Ash, 12, of Northfield. “The city guy said the reason we can’t fish here anymore is because people were making a mess and leaving their stuff here. I’ve seen hooks and corn, but nothing that awful. My first thought is where will I fish? It’s one of my favorite spots because I love catching the carp because they are so big and put up a good fight.”

It was Solomon Noble’s first time fishing the Cannon downtown.

“All my friends talk about it,” the 13-year-old Northfielder said. “I was pretty bummed when I heard this would be the last day we could fish here. It’s been a lot of fun so far. Now I have to find another spot to fish with my friends.”

On Thursday near the Second Street bridge, 20-year-old Ethan Hamblin and his girlfriend, Sadey Branham, 19, of Northfield, baited their hooks with pieces of canned corn.

The Northfield man said he has been lugging his tackle box to the spot for about 10 years, about three or four times per week during the warmer months. He said that the strip of walkway this year has had more people wielding fishing poles — and leaving trash behind — than in past years.

“Before, it would just be this end part,” he said. “Now, it’s all the way down to Froggy Bottoms.”

Hamblin worked for the street department last summer, he said. He picked up anything from fishing gear to food wrappers in the Riverwalk area, so he can understand why the city needed to do something.

“I don’t blame them at all,” he said.

Heinricy said Waste Management has refused to pick up the trash receptacles in the area because they’re often full of dead fish. Meanwhile, Froggy Bottom’s River Pub Owner Laurie Hoheisel said she has put her trash receptacles out in an effort to encourage anglers to use it.

Hoheisel said she wasn’t aware the signs were going up, but she was glad of it. She has been hit with a lure — it hangs in her pub as proof —and she has pulled both hooks and lines from the umbrellas on the pub’s patio just north of a popular casting spot on the walk.

“They have to cast up my way because of the current,” Hoheisel said. “I have concerns about customers who are dining out there.”

She said she brought it to the attention of the city because she wondered whose responsibility it was to clean up the messes left behind, which often include fish innards.

“It was just getting out of hand,” she said.

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ThunderLund78

"human waste?" Man what's wrong with people?

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pikerliker

Yea that is sad. Especially for kids like the 13 year old who may have no other place to go, or doesn't have the resources that adults would have to drive somewhere else. Being fair though it's hard to pin the human waste on a fisherman. That honestly could have been a drunk walking home from the bar as far as they know.

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harvey lee

If people cannot clean up after themselves, this is the result. Too bad a few have to ruin it for all like usual.

Tougher deal for kids or parents that want to take thier kids fishing that do not have a boat. ?

Too bad there is not a better way to deal with this rather than closing it for all.

I would have thought that maybe the city council could have gotten a little creative and come up with a better solution rather than shutting it down.

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bigsam

I live in Northfield and drive over the bridge every day. Since the early part of April, the riverwalk has been inhabited by scores of people that are fishing there. Never have I seen it patrolled by a CO, sheriff, or local cop(maybe I just missed them).

I'm not gonna stir the hornet's nest AGAIN by pointing any fingers, lots of people of all ages, races, and morals angle there.

I feel that it's disappointing that a few people wreck opportunities to fish publicly. There just isn't enough face time with COs to educate all the people in the state.

Who knows? Maybe a written ethics test will soon accompany the fee to buy a license?

Then again, some people think I am a jerk, too.

You know what....they may be right. smirk

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bobbymalone

human waste sounds like diapers if ya ask me. see those things at popular shore spots of pretty much every river.

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Doufish2

Ok, so I will kick the hornets nest. Living in the south metro area, I see this at many places that ppl fish from shore. Let me define ppl. I would guess that 90% are not of Swedish descent. It is absolutely disgusting to watch ppl taking every fish caught, whether in season or not, cleaning fish on the spot and throwing the remains to the side and just have general disregard for the lake and surrounding area. Culture is culture. I was raised to respect my surroundings, whether I owned it or not and there are those who don't have that ethic and never will.

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Greybeard53

I also spend a lot of time in downtown Northfield. The state of the area in the story is EXTREMELY exaggerated. There is a lot of pressure for an area that size. (approximately a two block stretch of river) On any given night, it’s not unusual to see 50-75 people fishing that stretch. The most common catches are rough fish, but there are game fish as well.

This year, I will admit that litter has been worse than in the past. I routinely pick up a few pieces of litter as I fish, as do others. This wouldn’t be needed if everyone dealt with there own, but to say 40 bags of garbage were picked up in three weeks as claimed in the story? Not a chance. There is also a lot of late night traffic from several bars along the river, so attributing the litter to just fisherman is a stretch as well. As far as human waste, I admit I did see ONE rolled up diaper that was left near the parking lot.

One problem I see is lack of trash containers, and the few there are rarely emptied. As BigSam mentioned, in all the time I’ve spent there over the years, I have also never seen a city worker cleaning or picking up trash, never seen a police officer patrolling and have only seen a CO once. Local business owners and fishermen do a majority of the clean up.

In my opinion, one person’s exaggeration led to an extreme over reaction. The city has already realized this and has removed the no fishing signs. Hopefully, everyone can use this as a learning experience and just take responsibility to clean up after themselves.

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JosMN

Maybe they should put up signs to clean up after themselves for ALL ethnicities to be able to read? Since that is usually the "excuse".

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