Watercraft Visit - Not in my favor

Discussion in 'LOCAL OHIO TALK' started by chris369145, May 8, 2006.

  1. chris369145

    chris369145 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Cincinnati,Ohio
    Sunday afternoon, I was fishing at one of my favorite spots in downtown Cincinnati. I have several spots that I like for both flats and blues. My partner and I had just boated a 11lb channel when the good folks from the Ohio State Watercraft Division pulled up. I thought it was going to be the usual "hey how you doing" or if I was unlucky, the "full boat check, license, registration, lifevest and other saftey features.

    The conversation started by the Watercraft officer yelling "you are not aloud to fish here". I replied why? He stated that I was too close to the bridge. He asked me if I had ever heard of Homeland Security? I told the officer that I was familiar with the regulations as it relates to the anchoring near bridges. To my guestimate, I was almost 100 yards from the bridge. I asked to officer, was is the required distance from a bridge that I am required to be in order to be in compliance with Homeland Security. He did not know the answer so he had to ask his partner. His partner mumbled 300ft or 100 yards. Since I fish my share of tournaments, I always carry a lasar range finder on board. To the officers dismay, I pulled out my laser ranger finder. I was 92 yards from the bridge. I informed the officer that I was sorry for being within the 100 yard barrier. (I was actually thinking that these guys have way too much time on their hand and are not familiar with the current regulations)

    The next day, I attempted to put my witty brain to action. I called the U.S. Coast Guard office and had a great conversation with and officer. He stated that if you anchor within 100 yards of a bridge, dam or other important building, the coast guard or law enforcement agency has the right to board your boat. They only time the Coast guard would ask you to leave is during a "red" or severe level meaning immenent threat.

    Let me start by saying that I am in no way trying to undermine Homeland Security. I would merely like the opportunity to fish some of my favorite spots. Should I anchor within 100 yards of a bridge, I would welcome a boarding by law enforecment. I run a tight ship.

    My last call today was to the Ohio Division of Watercraft headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. I asked to speak to someone who could verify the State's directive. After a great conversation with an officer at the state level, she wanted to get me in touch with the supervisory officer in my region. The supervisory officer would know who was heckling me and also make sure they were enforcing the actualy inititive.

    20 minutes after I hung up, guess who calls, the officer who told me to move on. His department has since contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to verify who is permitted to anchor near bridges He said they have contacted the Coast Guards legal department. I am very curious as the outcome of this issue. I have a very big catfish tournament this weekend and it is actually in my back yard. Has anyone else come across a situation similar to this? I will post back when I hear back from the officer. Hope all is well. Hopefully I can fish my spots in downtown Cincinnati. Thanks and good luck

    P.S. I was not anchored in the navigation channel.
     
  2. flaboy

    flaboy New Member

    Messages:
    616
    State:
    Wedgefield, SC
    what right do they think they have? to board my boat! I think not!!!
    course they will and I will not try to stop them but they do NOT have that right!!!
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    what a joke! looks like the terrorists are winning! let me go find a rock to hide under.......
     
  4. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,456
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    Sorry to tell ya but yes they do. The Coast Guard has some pretty far reaching powers...W
     
  5. chris369145

    chris369145 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    State:
    Cincinnati,Ohio
    The officer from the Ohio Division of Watercraft called back and said that he had checked with the U.S. Coast Guard legal department. The final word is that a fisherman or other boater can fish within a hundred yards of a bridge. Here are the two caveats:

    • You can not anchor directly underneath the bridge
    • You can not tie off directly to a bridge
    I absolutely agree with this dissemination of the law. Looks like I will be able to fish my honey holes for the big tournament this weekend. Remember to check your drag.

    Chris
     
  6. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Messages:
    3,365
    State:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    good information for all boaters, thank you for sharing!!