Thursday, July 10, 2014

No Fishing at South Branch Raritan River Neshanic New Jersey

I noticed the No Parking Any Time sign this past winter long before trout season, during which I noticed cars parked as usual. Now look what they've done. They've turned a perfectly appealing public bridge stop into an eyesore sealed off by police tape, and worse than that, they've denied a public space to well meaning anglers, kayakers, canoeists, and other recreation pursuers who leave the river as they find it.

I don't know who is more to blame, the influence of whatever person or people moved local politics to close public access, or the fools who went to the river, picnicked on the bank--and left stacks of litter behind. I saw the mess. And so did a landowner who took issue about it with me last year, not blaming me, but pointing out what people do in plain view from his backyard.

This is good reason for well meaning recreationists not only to speak up when we see fools making a mess--but report them to the police. Get their license plate numbers. We need the police on our side protecting our access to waterways, not against us. When transgressors who make a mess of a river and politics alike are reported, always make it clear that you are of whatever recreational pursuit you exercise, and your concern is that the waterway keep a clean public image and remain in good use. Access is never lost, except when people behave irresponsibly.

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