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Reeled in: State stops endorsing fishing off Sheepshead Bay footbridge

Brooklyn Daily
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The state will stop endorsing fishing on the Ocean Avenue Footbridge.

The Department of Environmental Conservation listed the Sheepshead Bay span in a fishing guide it publishes — despite city laws barring dropping a line from the 8-foot-wide walkway — but a local pol angled for a change, because line-caster were hitting pedestrians and leaving a mess, he said.

“I think what was important was for the state to be consistent with the city, and since the city outlaws fishing on the bridge, I wanted the state to be consistent,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay), who penned a letter to the requesting the change. “And I’m glad that they are going forward and changing that. It was certainly dangerous for the pedestrians, whether it was from people actually fishing and casting their lines or leaving bait and fish on the bridge. It was dangerous and then people could certainly hurt themselves. It’s just too narrow for pedestrians and people fishing.”

Fishing is not allowed on the narrow bridge, but the signs addressing that are unclear, critics say. Postings depict a stick figure casting a rod inside of a circle with a line through it, but there are no written warnings, and some have taken the sign to indicate fishing is okay, but casting is not, according to area fishermen and pedestrians alike.

Now another local pol is asking the city to put up more clearer signs.

“According to DOT regulations, fishing clearly is banned, so I asked them to replace the signs so it should clearly show, ‘No fishing and casting,’ ” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay), who also advocated for more enforcement there last month.

The Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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