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Chad Love: California Town Bans Fishing, Frog-netting

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November 03, 2010

Chad Love: California Town Bans Fishing, Frog-netting

By Chad Love

There's been a lot of ink spilled and a lot of public bemoaning the past few years over how modern children are being denied the opportunity to put down their game controllers, unplug their iPods, turn off their smartphones and just go outside to do honest, simple, imagination-driven kid stuff. Climbing trees, building forts, roaming woods, splashing through creeks, catching frogs, crawdads and other such bucolic, rustic, healthy Huck Finn-ish activities. But for crying out loud, how can we expect our kids to develop an interest in the outdoors when we keep making more and more of it off-limits? Look kids, at the wonders of nature! But don’t touch! Don't feel! Don’t actually experience it, or we'll slap a fine on your butt.

From this story in the San Gabriel Valley (California) Tribune:
The Walnut City Council will vote at its next meeting on a proposed ordinance that would ban fishing in the city's waterways. The ordinance would ban residents from netting frogs and fish - including non-native crayfish that populate Walnut's streams. Councilman Tom King said fishing upsets the biological balance in the streams and threatens the city's egret population that feeds on aquatic life. "We want people to enjoy walking around and looking at the wildlife," he said. The City Council will vote on the ordinance at its Nov. 10 meeting.

Seriously? This beggars belief. The Walnut City Council wants to save the city's minnows and crawfish (non-native crawfish, even!) for the city's...egrets? Now putting aside the astoundingly moronic, what-color-is-the-sky-in-your-world statements of Councilman King, here's a question for the Walnut City Council: don’t you think there might be enough minnows and crawdads in your city's drainage ditches that you could possibly spare a few for the kids of your city? Just a few?

Ban adult fishing if you must, but why would you want to turn a kid with a dipnet and curiosity into a criminal? "Walking around and looking at the wildlife" is a fine and commendable activity—if you're visiting a zoo. But if you want instill in a child a sense of wonder and excitement about the natural world, you can't do it from behind a plate-glass window or a no-trespassing sign. You've got to let them get their hands dirty, because those dirty hands make a healthy mind.

So if this proposed ordinance actually passes, is there some way we can nominate the Walnut City Council for a public service Darwin Award?

Comments (16)

Top Rated
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from johntalbott wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

again, I am left wondering "what the hell is California thinking?" Some of the people there...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I wish California every success, but with the condition that that promise to draw all like-minded folks who would see the value in this ordinance as far from the East Coast as possible. We have plenty to spare.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I do disagree with the "ban adult fishing if you must" aspect. Many non-fishing parents will take their kid out a time or two in their lives. I don't think they quite instill the same love for it, or with the same level of opportunity. I don't think it's justified to cut anyone off from outdoor activities unless it's genuinely harmful and unsustainable in the habitat or represents a real safety concern. I don't think you should be able to shotgun within 25 yards of a soccer game, for example.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

this is really dumb- I doubt if there's anything in those pitiful things they call streams in So-Cal other than minnows and mosquito fish.
And kids with nest are going to make a dent in that population?
Luckily, I seriously doubt if this will start a national trend.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntermuthig wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

you have really got to be kiddin me with this

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntenthusiest wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This sure makes you wonder what kind of deprived or perhaps depraved childhood Mr King had. Shame on him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

YOU CANT EVEN SEE FISH UNLESS IT IS REALLY CLEAR WATER AND I DOUT IT IS!!! get a brain califorina.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Cholette wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is just an example of an idiotic law that all local gov'ts pass because someone gets a bug up their butt. It's certainly not unique to California.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from GERG wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is what its come to?When I was a child I spent countless hours and even all day exploring creeks around my house. I learned a lot more doing that than anything I learned in Biology.I have no idea how many property lines we crossed. Without fail every farmer we ran into said have fun and close any gates we had to open. Also the occasional warning about a nasty bull. We built dams, built boats,caught tiny minnows that were trophys to us!Had our swimming holes. We have to try to give our youth the chance for our same experiences, which seem virtually impossible.Its crap like this that slowly one bite at a time is breeding a generation That has no interest in knowing. Im doing the best I can with my son. Gettin him involved outside, for gosh sakes. He is almost 13 has KILLED 2 deer. I think he is finally startin to get my philosophy that if you sit and listen the woods will speak to you. When he gets that in his heart I will have been a successful Father.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is just plain disturbing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioboy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

The big disappointment here is that a public official will so completely disregard research and sound science, like that fact that fishing does not "upset the biological balance in streams". Its no wonder california has so many problems when they have people like this coming up with false statements and bad policies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from gautrey wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

These people sound like COMPLETE IDIOTS! I just can not believe that they want to ban netting frogs and fish. This has taken an all new meaning to "WAY TO MUCH POWER". A councel or counsel memeber should put it to a town vote versus taking it opon him or herself to make these kind of recomendations. Again this guy is an idiot!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I've been to Cali and didn't like it there, and I'm often glad I didn't find it to my taste.
I'm reminded about a young guest who visited my campground from Cali who abandoned most of his camping gear at the airport, in order to not have to leave his beer when he was over his weight limit. Lucky for him I'm kind and had an extra old tent and sleeping bag. What a fool, you'd think we didn't have beer in New England!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigfishguy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Just move to the East coast! We have plenty of crawdads and minnows, and not so many stupid councilmen. We also don't have starving egrets...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTmuley wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

One word,...California.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rebcalale wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

The level of misinformation and ignorance in these comments is mind bottling. I am a resident of Diamond Bar which is a neighboring community of Walnut. As one commentator correctly posted, running water is a highly prized rarity in these communities. However there are two excellent, yet very small streams in both communities, Sycamore Canyon and Lemon creeks. Lemon creek has a thriving population of small fish and Sycamore Canyon has crayfish (probably introduced recently) and frogs. My son is an avid outdoors kid and loves to visit both streams. He enjoys meeting kids who love wildlife and the outdoors like he does but he does not take kindly to destructive behavior.

Capturing tadpoles, frogs and/or fish degrades the two streams he loves. He is always concerned when he sees children mindlessly netting/and or catching tadpoles. For what purpose? Captured specimens most assuredly will end up in the toilet if taken from the stream. My son always tries to befriend kids he sees catching tadpoles and will in a good natured way try to get them to understand why this is not a good for the stream.

What concerns me is the ignorance I see in comments here that show no respect for California's fragile waterways. Please, when you know nothing about the subject, avoid foolish comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from jcarlin wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I do disagree with the "ban adult fishing if you must" aspect. Many non-fishing parents will take their kid out a time or two in their lives. I don't think they quite instill the same love for it, or with the same level of opportunity. I don't think it's justified to cut anyone off from outdoor activities unless it's genuinely harmful and unsustainable in the habitat or represents a real safety concern. I don't think you should be able to shotgun within 25 yards of a soccer game, for example.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GERG wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is what its come to?When I was a child I spent countless hours and even all day exploring creeks around my house. I learned a lot more doing that than anything I learned in Biology.I have no idea how many property lines we crossed. Without fail every farmer we ran into said have fun and close any gates we had to open. Also the occasional warning about a nasty bull. We built dams, built boats,caught tiny minnows that were trophys to us!Had our swimming holes. We have to try to give our youth the chance for our same experiences, which seem virtually impossible.Its crap like this that slowly one bite at a time is breeding a generation That has no interest in knowing. Im doing the best I can with my son. Gettin him involved outside, for gosh sakes. He is almost 13 has KILLED 2 deer. I think he is finally startin to get my philosophy that if you sit and listen the woods will speak to you. When he gets that in his heart I will have been a successful Father.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bioboy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

The big disappointment here is that a public official will so completely disregard research and sound science, like that fact that fishing does not "upset the biological balance in streams". Its no wonder california has so many problems when they have people like this coming up with false statements and bad policies.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from johntalbott wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

again, I am left wondering "what the hell is California thinking?" Some of the people there...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I wish California every success, but with the condition that that promise to draw all like-minded folks who would see the value in this ordinance as far from the East Coast as possible. We have plenty to spare.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from stick500 wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

this is really dumb- I doubt if there's anything in those pitiful things they call streams in So-Cal other than minnows and mosquito fish.
And kids with nest are going to make a dent in that population?
Luckily, I seriously doubt if this will start a national trend.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntermuthig wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

you have really got to be kiddin me with this

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntenthusiest wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This sure makes you wonder what kind of deprived or perhaps depraved childhood Mr King had. Shame on him.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Plotner wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

YOU CANT EVEN SEE FISH UNLESS IT IS REALLY CLEAR WATER AND I DOUT IT IS!!! get a brain califorina.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Cholette wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is just an example of an idiotic law that all local gov'ts pass because someone gets a bug up their butt. It's certainly not unique to California.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

This is just plain disturbing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gautrey wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

These people sound like COMPLETE IDIOTS! I just can not believe that they want to ban netting frogs and fish. This has taken an all new meaning to "WAY TO MUCH POWER". A councel or counsel memeber should put it to a town vote versus taking it opon him or herself to make these kind of recomendations. Again this guy is an idiot!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rebcalale wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

The level of misinformation and ignorance in these comments is mind bottling. I am a resident of Diamond Bar which is a neighboring community of Walnut. As one commentator correctly posted, running water is a highly prized rarity in these communities. However there are two excellent, yet very small streams in both communities, Sycamore Canyon and Lemon creeks. Lemon creek has a thriving population of small fish and Sycamore Canyon has crayfish (probably introduced recently) and frogs. My son is an avid outdoors kid and loves to visit both streams. He enjoys meeting kids who love wildlife and the outdoors like he does but he does not take kindly to destructive behavior.

Capturing tadpoles, frogs and/or fish degrades the two streams he loves. He is always concerned when he sees children mindlessly netting/and or catching tadpoles. For what purpose? Captured specimens most assuredly will end up in the toilet if taken from the stream. My son always tries to befriend kids he sees catching tadpoles and will in a good natured way try to get them to understand why this is not a good for the stream.

What concerns me is the ignorance I see in comments here that show no respect for California's fragile waterways. Please, when you know nothing about the subject, avoid foolish comments.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

I've been to Cali and didn't like it there, and I'm often glad I didn't find it to my taste.
I'm reminded about a young guest who visited my campground from Cali who abandoned most of his camping gear at the airport, in order to not have to leave his beer when he was over his weight limit. Lucky for him I'm kind and had an extra old tent and sleeping bag. What a fool, you'd think we didn't have beer in New England!

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigfishguy wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

Just move to the East coast! We have plenty of crawdads and minnows, and not so many stupid councilmen. We also don't have starving egrets...

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MTmuley wrote 3 years 23 weeks ago

One word,...California.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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