The nine-month ban on fishing at Elk Grove Regional Park will be lifted on Sunday, March 1. Local parks provider, the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) board prohibited fishing after hearing concerns over ducks and geese being severely injured by fishing hooks and lines left at the park’s lake.

At a community meeting last September, the parks staff displayed junk found at the lake including hooks, barbs, and a knife.

This staff spent the past few months creating a wildlife protection plan that includes hiring park rangers to ensure that the new fishing rules are enforced at the popular fishing destination.

Josh Branco, a CSD management analyst, told the Citizen that his staff saw a decrease in waterfowl injuries since the fishing ban was enforced last June.

“Now, we’re bringing fishing back and making sure that people are educated on how to fish safely,” he said. “We want people to be able to fish and enjoy the park for that purpose.”

Elk Grove Regional Park now has a fishing season that will last from March 1 through Nov. 30.

The park’s Pirate’s Island, where an elaborate playground once stood, will remain closed in order to serve as a safe haven for ducks and geese to nest. Branco said that the CSD staff will continue evaluating the use of that island – he mentioned the public interest in bringing a playground back to the site.

“We have seen some benefits for the wildlife at the park where they can go and make nests, and be away from people, especially during busy days,” he said about closure of Pirate’s Island.

Plans are to have at least three rangers join the CSD staff and enforce the new fishing regulations. Under the wildlife plan, rangers won’t issue citations for violations, but they can contact local law enforcement agencies for support.

Branco said that his district hired two rangers and they’re now planning to hire a senior ranger.

He also noted that the parks staff is continuing its cleanup of the lake site. Fishing waste containers remain at the lake.

On Feb. 1, children and adults were invited to try “magnet fishing” or using magnets to remove metal junk from the water. Branco said that volunteers fished out 18 pounds of metal debris that day.

“We’re going to do similar events like that,” he said. “It was an enjoyable and fun thing.”

The new fishing rules at Elk Grove Regional Park

Fishing will be allowed at Elk Grove Regional Park from March 1 through Nov. 30. Here are the CSD’s new fishing regulations. The state’s fishing regulations will also be enforced.

-Fishing will be prohibited during “plant days” or when the California Department of Fish and Wildlife staff adds fish to the lake.

-Fishermen must have a valid fishing license if they are ages 16 or older. They must also show their licenses to any peace officer or CSD parks employee.

-Only single-point barbless hooks and lead-free tackle are allowed. Artificial lures are prohibited.

-The daily bag and possession limit is two fish per angler.

-Fish cannot be taken with more than one closely attended rod and line per angler.

For more information on the lake, visit www.YourCSD.com. And for information on state fishing licenses and regulations, visit www.Wildlife.ca.gov.