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Fishing Along Banks of Raleigh Lakes Could Lead to Fines

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RALEIGH — Despite the dry weather, the fish are biting in our area. But a word of warning if you want to go fishing inRaleigh: do not do it along the banks of any lake operated by the city.

Even though a law has been in place for years, it seems some people still have not gotten the message.

"We thank you for your understanding, but you will not be able to fish there," park official Ben Hermmann tells a man fishing along the banks of Lake Wheeler.

Bank fishing is not allowed at Lake Wheeler or any lake in the city of Raleigh. Park officials say erosion is one reason the city enacted the ordinance years ago.

"Imagine hundreds of people all along the bank on this lake fishing. You're going to have erosion and in some cases you're going to have trash that's left and that eventually goes out into the lake," says Hermmann.

"They come up with an excuse saying its people leave trash behind. I think it's not everybody," says Jeremy Schofield, who has received two warnings for fishing on the bank.

To avoid getting an $80 fine, Schofield now fishes only where it is allowed -- on wooden piers at the lake or at Simpkins Pond, an area created specifically for bank fishing.

"I don't see the difference whether I fish over here or over there," he says.

Park officials say there is a big difference when it comes to preserving the city's lakes.

There are no restrictions against fishing from a boat, and there is plenty to be caught at Simpkins Pond.

The law applies to all city lakes, but it is especially important at Lake Wheeler, which is a back-up water supply for the city. That also means it is one of the cleanest lakes around.