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NEWPORT BEACH : Council to Tackle Limits on Pier Fishing

Pier fishing may be banned or limited by the City Council when it considers several alternatives tonight.

“The fishermen just create trash problems . . . bait, fish guts, food wrappers, to the point that no one else wants to use the pier,” Assistant City Manager Ken Delino said. “We’ve tried everything. We’ve passed out T-shirts (reading) ‘Don’t Pollute the Pier.’ We’ve passed out cards. We’ve talked to people. Nothing has worked.”

Merchants and residents around Newport and Balboa piers support limiting the times when fishing will be allowed.

The Central Balboa Residents Assn. adopted a resolution in September supporting such limits “as an extraordinary measure to eliminate the unresolvable problem of filth.”

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In November, the Newport Pier Assn. also voted to support limited times.

The associations and city officials said that 24-hour fishing also creates an atmosphere in which “transients sleeping at the end of the pier is a common occurrence because they easily blend with the fishermen and their lawn furniture and barbecues,” according to one city report.

The council will review a plan that offers several alternatives: banning fishing, limiting hours for fishing, limiting hours for any use of the pier.

“We’ve been working on this problem for over 10 years. Hopefully this will give us the tools we need,” Delino said. “We’ll just cordon off some areas and just say no fishing during these times. The bottom line is, the fishermen monopolize the pier and the general public just don’t use it. The fishermen make it so messy that no one else wants to go out there.”

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