No Fishing Signs
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Why "no fishing" signs?
 

We’ve all come across a “No Fishing” sign, posted on a pier, lakefront or fence. From a polite reminder to a stern warning, those two simple words can communicate a variety of messages. Here are a few common reasons why anglers are asked to stow their line.

Health dangers
Health authorities often temporarily or permanently install “No Fishing” signs to alert the public to the dangers of catching and eating fish that could cause serious health effects.

When waters are polluted with pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), mercury or even sewage, so are the fish. And in high enough levels, consuming these toxins can cause problems including “memory impairment, cancer, heart disease and damage to reproductive organs,” according to a new book on the subject.

And that threat can close down an entire body of water. Fishing enthusiasts and other residents in an Illinois community were disappointed on Labor Day weekend when their popular recreational destination, Wonder Lake, was closed due to excessive algae.

Fishermen’s safety
Sometimes, a “No Fishing” sign is posted to protect anglers from immediate danger. For example, it can be dangerous to fish when water is scheduled to be released from a dam, where the shoreline drops off dramatically or where it shifts frequently, such as near ocean piers.

Public safety
When anglers and others use the same lake or pond, local officials often institute “No Fishing” rules - paired with designated fishing areas - to resolve conflicts over safety and how to best share the waterfront.

Earlier this year In Toronto, for example, “No Fishing” signs along a stretch of Lake Ontario were installed, then taken down just a week later following objections from anglers and concerns that the rule wasn’t in line with existing laws.

Private protection
When a “No Fishing” sign is posted on private property, it’s meant to send a clear message that fishing in that location equals trespassing and theft – and for good reason.

Stocking a lake or pond with fish can be expensive, and signage is important for protecting a property owner, should a trespasser drown or become injured. But in order to neutralize their liability, owners must be careful to follow certain stipulations regarding the size, spacing and posting height of the signs.

Preserving fish populations
On public lands, “No Fishing” signs can be used to help maintain fish populations during a critical time – such as closing a lake or pond to allow recently stocked fish to mature, or closing a stream during spawning season.

When the water becomes too warm in the mouths of tributaries or spring holes, fish populations often become critically low and even catch-and-release fishing may be prohibited because the fish likely won’t survive after release.

Environmental conservation
Sometimes “No Fishing” signs are meant to protect not just the fish, but the habitat, and may incorporate language that prohibits swimming, hunting, boating or motorized vehicles as well.

Even in man made environments, fishing may be prohibited because of the refuse that some fishermen leave behind – including bait.

 
Strict Fish Size Requirements
 
The strict fish size requirements listed on this sign, alongside the strict prohibition against fishing from the bridge, show that overfishing was at one time a major concern for Padre Island, Texas.
 
 
 
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