Fishing is now prohibited at Elk Grove Regional Park’s lake until Nov. 18. This moratorium went into effect on June 3 when “No Fishing” signs were installed at the popular fishing destination.
The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board approved the moratorium this April, due to parks staff concerns over fishing debris such as hooks and fishing lines injuring ducks and geese at the lake.
During this temporary ban, the CSD staff will gather public feedback and draft a wildlife protection plan for the board to adopt.
“As the stewards of this park, we need to press pause on fishing, so we can come up with a plan and do something about this,” CSD Neighborhood and Parks Services Director Steve Sims said in a press statement.
The CSD staff reported that the future wildlife protection plan could include regulations for what types of hooks or fishing lines can be used, requirements for fishing licenses, and seasonal-only fishing.
Parks staff reported that too many fisherman left hazardous waste at the lake, despite that staff members and volunteers clean up litter along the shore every day.
During their April 17 meeting, the CSD board heard accounts of waterfowl suffering serious injuries or dying from the debris.
Brandon Merritt, a member of a waterfowl rescue group, recalled seeing ducks that died from swallowing discarded hooks.
“Why such a senseless injury, maiming, and death at the park”? he asked the CSD board. “Just so that a few fishermen can come and grab a fish, and do who knows what with it?”
CSD Director Rod Brewer, who lives near the lake, recalled his experiences of seeing trails of blood left by injured animals.
“I hate that we have to go there,” he said about the moratorium on fishing. “But when you see too many pictures of the last two or three years, and you see it in person, you really have to do something to look out for those lifeforms that can’t really take care of themselves.”
Sims told the CSD board there’s also an issue with ducks and geese eating harmful, processed human food fed by park visitors.
The state’s fish and wildlife department stocks the lake with trout and catfish twice a year. They also invite visitors to learn how to fish as part of their “Fishing in the City” program.
For more information on the fishing moratorium, visit www.YourCSD.com/wildlife.