Anglers Upset With Some Marinas

3-21-06 - Local fisherman are making waves after they say some Oklahoma marinas are joining together to keep them off of public water. But marina owners say they've only enforced current laws.

Johnny Thompson is from Platter, Oklahoma and is disturbed about what he says happened while fishing near Catfish Bay Marina in Kingston.

"Three years ago I was escorted out of a marina; OHP escorted me out, and they've been working to get it passed that no one can fish."

We were not able to get in touch with the owners of Catfish Bay, but OHP denies that ever happened. However they did say marinas are getting together to discuss how to cut down on the potential threat of anglers damaging their customer's boats.

The Corps of Engineers says while they encourage the public's use of the water, marinas do have authority to enforce the 50-foot rule, keeping fisherman a safe distance away.

During an open town meeting in Bokchito yesterday, concerned fisherman made sure U.S. Representative Dan Boren knew how much restriction is going on. Boren says he will be looking into it.

OHP told us today they do not enforce fishing laws, only boating laws. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says the issue needs to be resolved and fishermen need to continue having access to good fishing spots in the coves near marinas.