On new bridge, fishing is now off-limits - FOX 13 News

On new bridge, fishing is now off-limits

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CLEARWATER (FOX 13) -

The new pedestrian bridge next the Courtney Campbell Causeway is off-limits for fishing.

The Department of Transportation banned fishing after cyclists complained about the mess.

"We found fish hooks, broken bottles, bloody fish out there," said Kris Carson with the Florida Department of Transportation.

Allison Moore came to the new Courtney Campbell bridge, looking forward to casting her line.

"It is a little frustrating considering how long of a wait it was for them to build it, and now they're like, ‘oh wait, hey you can't fish there,' " she said.

She and her friends had to settle for a spot far away after running into the "No Fishing" signs.

"You can look over there and watch all those joggers and stuff just standing up there and chit chat. They've be taking up as much space as we would fishing," she said.

After being banished from the bridge, Larry Smith found his own spot and has his own gripes.

"We're not the nuisance. It's the bicyclists going 30 mph, trying to run everybody down," he said.

Bikers are peddling another view.

"The last thing you want to think about is something that's going to take you away from your freedom of clearing your mind," said Silvia Robinson.

Fishing is how Larry clears his mind. Now, he wonders about his own freedom.

"We love the bay, so the fisher people should get a chance to fish too," he said.

While everyone has their own opinion, the DOT said banning fishing was best for everyone's safety.

"We have too many bicyclists and pedestrian fatalities. We want to change those numbers and this is a step in a direction that is positive," Carson said.

For now, Alison and her friends will keep fishing here, but they still have their eye up on the bridge -- and the prize below.

"Under the bridges like that, they have huge fishes that swim through," she said.

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