Mixed reaction to fishing ban at Cooper Riverside Park

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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – You might call it a tale of two parks in Mobile.

One allows fishing, the other used to, but doesn’t anymore.

A lot of people on both sides of the question are talking.

RENOVATIONS AT COOPER RIVERSIDE

Cooper Riverside Park in downtown Mobile just reopened Wednesday after renovations.

There are new coats of paint, the pier rails are repaired, and the sculpture called the “Portal” which was damaged during Hurricane Katrina has been refurbished.

The statue of Ervin Cooper, the park’s namesake, is still watching from a park bench.

The reviews are coming in.

Victor Clark of Mobile said, “I think its really great. It’s a pleasure to have this park back.”

Chester Hughes in town for a convention from Lancasterk, Pennsylvania, said he could see the park from his hotel room this week.

Hughes said, “It’s the first time I’ve come down here and walked through it: beautiful.”

NO MORE FISHING

But, there is one change at the park: no more fishing.

The Stimpson Administration said the park’s founders intended there would be no fishing here.

Clark said, “I’m glad about that, just because, when they cleaned their fish, they left all the trappings alongside there and left everything dirty.”

Hughes said, “That would be bad if you left your carcasses behind and attracted flies and things, I suppose.”

DIRECTED TO ARLINGTON PARK

A sign said you can fish at Arlington Park.

We found several people there who used to fish at Cooper Riverside.

What are their thoughts on the change?

When asked what she thought about fishing being stopped there, Lietrese Rogers of Mobile said, “They shouldn’t, they shouldn’t.”

Al Beaver of Mobile said, “I think they shouldn’t have stopped it, or they should build us a pier out there. They built a pier here, but at low tide, the water is only about about a foot deep. So, when water does come in, it’s only about two and a half, three feet deep.
The big fish aren’t going to come in here like they do down there in the deep part of the river.”

City officials said they’ve helped fishermen at Arlington Park by putting in a bait cutting table and buckets.

But, the quest for the big one has now changed locations.

People can also fish at Battleship Park.

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