Monday, February 23, 2015

Standing up for whats right

 It has been some time since i have updated or made a report but ill start off 2015 with this story of trying to right a wrong. A few weeks ago at Willis landing off bear creek road in Hubert North Carolina there was an incident on the creek between a commercial fisherman and 2 kayaker's over a parking space that the commercial fisherman felt was his own private parking spot. What it came down to is these 2 guys were gonna spend there time from work on the water kayaking and a parking space was open ,so they unloaded and launched only to be aggressively approached by the commercial fisherman in his boat yelling and screaming at them for where they park and after words exchanged he ran his commercial boat around them a few times sending wakes at them from the speeding boat,putting them at risk of flipping over in the ice cold waters.

 Marine fishery's were called in and the commercial boater found and ticketed so you would think this is the end of the story right? wrong. This commercial fisherman feels that since kayak's do not get registration by the state unless they have a motor that they have no right to take up Public parking at a wild life ramp. Now this story takes a twist in a weeks time there is no parking signs put up in the small parking lot stating NO parking without a trailer and the parking went from close to 10 spots down to 4- 3 for trailers and one for Handy capped parking.

 What is the problem with that? well it eliminates parking for locals fishing the sea wall and for kayaker's looking for a safe place to fish away from heavy boat traffic. No inquiry's were made or public comments looked for just signs banning single car parking,i have lived here for 14 years and have used that ramp every year all year since it is across the street from me.

 The ramp has a history of being problematic since it is a very small ramp with limited parking,but it has always ran smooth by the people who use it kayaker's and boaters alike. Last year they painted the sides of the road to make better room for trailer parking and still allow room for single car parking but after 1 complaint from this commercial fisherman we are stopped from single car parking.

 I have taken it upon myself to try and bring light to the injustice this brings by not allowing EVERYONE to use this PUBLIC launch. I have contacted and requested we talk about this and see if we couldn't get it resolved. After talking for a bit and him offering alternative spots for a new kayak ramp and pointing out that what was being suggested would not make anything better just worst considering the location of the site proposed is heavy traffic and a waist of tax payers money and he agreed it was.

 Then i was asked what i would do? and i firmly told him i would leave well enough alone, since it has always worked before and no matter what you will not please everyone, leave the bottom gravel part for single car parking and the sides of the road that were marked last summer for trailer parking only and are now off limits to single car parking only, this would allow all user groups to use the public ramp since we all help fund it with license fees and registration for boats as well and from the sale of kayaks and fishing gear which a small portion of all that helps fund the public ramps in North Carolina.

 The only other ramp to use in that area is a 2.4 mile paddle from shell rock landing to the mouth of bear creek and then another mile or so up the creek to fish,now i don't know about y'all but that's a heck of a paddle on the inter coastal water way with barges ,off shore boats and hundreds of other fishing vessels running up and down it. I would not allow a young person to paddle that even if he had been at it for years it is simply just too dangerous and too far.

 Bear creek is a great fishery, it was a safe haven for people to take there kids fishing in kayaks, rafts or small oaring boats and now that is gone for the time being. This is not about ME its about all the others that use this ramp its about the older woman with cancer who fishes off the sea wall every year in the summer from sun up to sun down, because fish is very beneficial for her to eat and she can not find many other places far from her to fish and enjoy,she lives 2 blocks from the ramp yet can not use it.

 Where does this go from here? i don;t have a clue but if i can help make a difference to all those who don't know how to fight and will just sit back and say we can not do anything,i will fight for them,i will try to get it back to a usable ramp for all not just commercial boaters. I want people to know we have rights too, we help pay for that public ramp we do clean ups to keep it pretty and usable,we teach kids to fish there we, teach the art of kayaking for pleasure or for fishing,its a safe haven for me to take wounded warriors out there in a kayak fishing or in my boat,yes i have both so the parking for a trailer is no real issue to me since i have access one way or the other ,its about those who don't have boats or have a place to fish peacefully.

 If you are reading this and want to help and voice your concern over OUR public resource please send an email or make the phone call to and let him know how you feel about all this. And thank you one and all for takeing the time to read and hopefully voice your opinion on this matter. here is some pictures of the ramp just to get the point across and show it is small but for the last 14 years that i have lived here it has worked as it is.

the ramp has now been settled and all remarked so EVERYONE can use it thanks to everyone who helped get it back open.