Fishing ban instigated by only 7 complaints over 3 years says city councillor

TORONTO – Over 10,000 local anglers are hoping the Executive Committee will take the bait and adopt the “Gone Fishing” motion on Tuesday, aimed at making more of Toronto’s waterfront more open to fishing.

The motion comes after signs went up in public parks between Unwin Ave and Sunnyside Park reading “no fishing”; yet the new rules are based on too few complaints according to one city councillor.

“Apparently there were 7 complaints over 3 years, so these signs were put up on that basis,” said Toronto city councillor Paula Fletcher, who will put forth the motion at Tuesday executives meeting.

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According to section 608-38 of Toronto’ municipal code fishing is allowed unless there is a sign specifying otherwise; however, the locations affected have been common fishing grounds for years prior to the signs appearing last week.

“Today we are going to hear from the staff about why they felt they had to jump the gun and put signs up; 20 signs in 8 different locations on the waterfront. I think it would have been better to actually talk to the fisherman before taking steps like this,” said Fletcher.

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Fletcher said that the city’s parks, forestry and recreation department, who are responsible for putting up the signs in accordance to the city bylaw, jumped the gun by making the two-kilometre stretch a no fishing zone.

“Something smells a little fishy about this process,” said Fletcher.

Species of fish in Toronto’s waterfront have been restored from just 5 to 17 various species, making for a fairly significant variety of fish for anglers to procure.

Fletcher also noted that there is no question of public safety when it comes to fishing along the waterfront, that fishing is a passive shoreline sport.

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