Bradenton officials tweak Riverwalk fishing ban to target cast netting instead

City councilman Gene Gallo led the charge Wednesday morning to revise a proposed ban on fishing along the walkway at the Riverwalk to only prohibit cast netting.

The originally proposed ordiance would have banned fishing from anywhere on the Riverwalk walkway besides the designated fishing pier. Public Works Director Jim McLellan first brought the proposal forward after complaints that allowing fishing on the sidewalk led to litter, disturbances and other issues.

Gallo told the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday that he wouldn’t support a fishing ban across the board. His plan to strictly prevent cast netting won over his fellow council members at Wednesday’s meeting.

“I would like this to read that there be no cast netting on the Riverwalk and keep away from the term ‘fishing’ so that a father can still take his son or daughter down there on the Riverwalk and fish,” Gallo said.

“A guy going down there with his son is not going to be littering the sidewalk,” he added. “That doesn’t make sense.”

McLellan’s push to ban fishing was met with fierce opposition on social media. Many said the plan was “ridiculous” and that the city should instead crack down on the homeless and speeding bicyclists.

Fishing ban compromise file photo 2.JPG
Bradenton looks to ban fishing along Riverwalk with the exception of the fishing pier. The ban is designed to encourage the use of the pier instead of fishing from the walkway, but hasn’t gone over well with the public. City officials may be looking for a compromise before a final Feb. 27 vote. File photo by Tiffany Tompkins Bradenton Herald

City officials approved the ordinance to move forward for a second reading and public hearing at the Feb. 27 city council meeting.

Ryan Callihan is the Bradenton Herald’s County Reporter, covering local government and politics. On the weekends, he also covers breaking news. Ryan is a graduate of USF St. Petersburg.
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