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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not originally from Ohio, but for the last couple years I have been traveling to the state frequently. When I get the chance to fish, I like to explore the Cuyahoga Valleye NP area and the Cuyahoga River.

That being said, yesterday I took my wife to fish the walkway at Beaver Marsh to catch some bluegill and whatnot. She's new to fishing, so I thought this would be a great place to have some fun getting a lot of bites from the numerous small(ish) fish I know are in there.

Anyways, when we were on the walkway, a park ranger came up to us and she said, "Oh, you guys are fishing?! Hmmmm I don't know about that."

I said, "I believe fishing is allowed here."

And she said, "Yes, but this is a wildlife refuge! We try to discourage fishing." She said it in a real kind of whiny voice like a mother scolding a child.

I said, "Well, I'm aware there are some lakes in this park that are closed to fishing. I didn't think this was one of them."

She said, "Well, I think it should be."

I told her I was for the most part just going to supervise my wife while she fished, and that she was new to fishing, and I was trying to give her a good experience. I also told her we practice total catch and release.

I didn't get mad or cop an attitude with her, although this seemed like a situation where someone might do that. After all that she said, "Ok, I guess it's ok since you're going to let them go..." But I really got the impression she was NOT ok with it, but only saying so in order to avoid a confrontation.

I understand that the park ranger most likely wasn't a fisherwoman, and she would've preferred people not fish there, but I don't really get where she was coming from with the "We try to discourage fishing here" comments.

I've had other encounters with park rangers here (only been a couple times) and they've always been friendly and chatted and asked if I was catching anything.

For the record, we fished for about 1.5 hours. My wife caught 6 small/medium sized bluegill and when I briefly fished I caught 3 bluegill and 2 golden shiners. Then we got tired of the hordes of bicyclists and headed for Brushwood Pond.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Only fished there for about an hour. Had a bunch of bites from little panfish too small to hook. I landed 2 small bluegill and that was it.
 

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If it's legal to fish there, and you want to, I say go for it! That park ranger was poor of line with her tone and insinuations.

Rangers are like cops in that they may not personally agree with what you ate song, saying, stand for; but of you are not
Breaking any laws, they can do nothing about it.

I respect the fact you didn't tell her where to go with an "I know my rights" act, tells me you have some class.

Mr. A
 

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I can understand why they try and discourage people from fishing there. It is a heavily traveled section of the towpath trail and the boardwalk over the beaver marsh is not wide enough for bikers and fishermen. There's really no place to fish that is not on the boardwalk either.

I have fished there once or twice, but didn't like all the traffic either. Never heard of it being a wildlife refuge.

I would love to launch a kayak out there and fish some of the deeper spots for bass. Anyone ever tried this?
 

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She was just giving you her personal opinion.......did she have a gun? If not she was an interpretive ranger and the only way she could have done anything if you were breaking the law was call someone else. I would make a call to the CNVP Headquarters and report the incident so it would not happen again.

Being in the recreation field myself, sometimes you will encounter people that have personal beliefs and will act upon them to "educate" people.

There is a whole preservation vs wise use of resources debate I wont get into. If you ever have extra time read up on the difference between the National Forest Service and the National Park Service. Pretty interesting stuff.
 

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It is either legal or illegal to fish there. She should certainly know which is the case. As a law enforcement officer she should keep her "opinions" to herself and stick to enforcement of the law . . . especially when she is working and in uniform as a representative of the state and its laws. Her actions and comments, unfortunately, reflect on the public opinion of all officers. She should know this and watch carefully how she conducts herself and what she says.
 

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She sounds like the kind of person that doesn't want any animal hurt. My guess is she hates the idea of them thinning the deer herd out, and would then wonder why all the deer look so thin and sickly at the end of winter. Basically someone that got into the park service because it seemed like an easy job, and really has no clue how an ecosystem works. If she eats meat, it's highly possible that she thinks the meat in the grocery stores is born prepackaged.

As you said........ a very sweet person. But not one with much of a clue in how mother nature works.

Unless of course it's like Bdawg said and she was strictly speaking about fishing from the walking path. If that was the case, she shouldn't have been afraid to say that specifically. A reasonable person would surely understand, and move along.

Probably not a good idea to be fishing from there anyhow...... as even the OP mentioned...... that is a highly congested area.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I can understand why they try and discourage people from fishing there. It is a heavily traveled section of the towpath trail and the boardwalk over the beaver marsh is not wide enough for bikers and fishermen. There's really no place to fish that is not on the boardwalk either.

I have fished there once or twice, but didn't like all the traffic either. Never heard of it being a wildlife refuge.

I would love to launch a kayak out there and fish some of the deeper spots for bass. Anyone ever tried this?
It was definitely crowded the last day I went. If I ever go again, it will be on a weekday during the off season.

As for kayaking, I think with the forage base in that lake (small shiners, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, etc.) plus the habitat, plus the lack of pressure, there has GOT to be a 9+ lb. bass lurking somewhere out there. The only problem would be getting to her. A kayak would be one way, I suppose...
 

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I'm trying to think how you would get a yak in there. I have kayaked in Indago Lake
just down the road. Ranger told me NO MOTORS at all then no problem. even took
out my Float tube down there once when the AFD water rescue was training .
 

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I have caught a couple of small bass in that marsh fishing from the boardwalk. Seen some huge carp and snapping turtles in there too! One turtle came out from under the boardwalk and tried to eat the bluegill I was reeling in!

I'm sure you could get some big carp out of there, but you better have heavy line to get them through the lily pads!

You might be able to launch a kayak from Riverview Rd. where the birdwatchers always pull over. Or, you can carry your yak to the edge of the boardwalk.
 

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I've had some really good experiences with some NP rangers, and I've had some
not so pleasant. . . .



It gets even uglier if your on a mountain bike off road there, trust me.:(
 

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I'd have told her "If you really want to discourage fishing here, why not put up a sign that says NO FISHING!
 

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I really think that you should report your encounter with some one in the "main" park office. It is not her job offer you her opinion. Truthfully, her opinion is totally irrelevant. Citing the time and place of your incident along with a physical description of the woman would be helpful.

To attempt to disuade you from fishing a spot where it is legal to fish is an abuse of power.

If left uncheck, this unacceptable attitude/behavior will continue to grow.

On another front, your Civil Rights have been violated.
 
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