Fight over fishing in Naples

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NAPLES, Fla.- A fight over fishing on local bridges. The City of Naples says it’s just too dangerous and is now considering a ban.

The beach, boating and sunning are all part of the Naples experience. For many people, including Vera and Jim Drefke, fishing is also a big part of why they love this area.

“He caught a big fish this year,” said Vera Drefke.

The City of Naples may ban fishing on several bridges because it could be a distraction to drivers. City leaders also say there’s really not enough room along the road for people to fish and its a hazard to boaters who pass by underneath. They say in the past, fishing on the small bridges has caused trespassing issues and damage to private and public property.

“It should be banned because of the boats going through,” said Jim Drefke.

“I think it’s a good idea because it is sort of a distraction when you’re driving,” said resident, Lindsay Panutsos.

The bridges considered for the ban include:
Mooring Line Drive Bridge
Park Shore Drive Bridge
Harbour Drive Bridge
Galleon Drive Bridge.

“I think it’s a bummer because it really takes away the idea of fishing,” said beachgoer Dominick Moffre. “You wanna fish anywhere that you can without having a problem.”

Panutsos says if the city bans fishing on these bridges, leaders should think of other designated areas.

“They need to make more public fishing areas, not to completely shut them out,” said Panutsos.

WINK News found out some of the bridges already have signs posted that say no fishing. The City Manager says they’ve never been part of a city ordinance and that’s why they’re included in the new ban. If it passes, the city will put up signs on all the bridges. The Drefkes say they’re happy to fish elsewhere.

“There are so many places where you can fish where its not gonna injure other people,” said Vera Drefke.

The city will hold a public hearing on the ban at the next city council meeting on April 1.

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