No fishing on Sunday at Naples Pier

With a new year often comes new laws and ordinances. And 2022 is no different. Naples City Council approved a ban on fishing at the Naples Pier on Sundays.

Council says the decision was made in order to save wildlife in the area. This new program has been put into place to protect the wildlife that have suffered injuries due to hooks and fishing lines.

Beginning on Sunday, Jan. 2, fishing is no longer allowed on Sundays. Fishing also isn’t allowed daily between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Beth Thorpe is visiting from Vermont. “Oh, it makes sense. There’s too many people wandering back and forth right now,” Thorpe said.

Paul Beaumont lives in Naples and says he bikes to the pier almost every weekend. “I think it’s better for swimmers. I think it’s better for visitors because when people cast, they aren’t really supposed to cast overhead, and they do. So, for people walking on the pier, it’s safer,” Beaumont said. 

This is a pilot program to see if the city can combat these issues on busier days. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida says it will save birds. Every day, one to three pelicans are admitted to its hospital with severe injuries from the pier.

I’m not against it. Even though I do like to fish, I have fished from the pier. I think wildlife should come first,” said Beaumont. 

Mike Naughton is visiting from Minnesota and says the program has potential. “I think it’s a good idea not to allow fishing on weekends when you have so many people walking up and down the pier trying to have a good time,” Naughton said.

“The other thing is, fisherman can come after work and fish at the best times of day rather than fishing in the middle of the day when it’s not as good,” said Naughton.

Again, the program’s primary goal is to save injured birds, as well as dolphins and turtles.

Naples Beach Patrol officers were out by the pier on Sunday to ensure no one had fishing gear. The pilot program prohibits fishing on Naples Pier from January through May. Once the program ends, city council will get an update and will be able to determine its effectiveness.

Reporter:Michelle Alvarez
Writer:Drew Hill
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