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Central Ohio residents cannot fish in some public ponds unless they are a certain age.
Earl Evaline can be found casting a line at Shrock Lake almost nine months out of the year.
“I come here when the ice is off, and I fish here clear through when the ice comes back on,” said Evaline.
The 68-year-old retiree was not always able to fish at Sharon Woods lake.
The Metro Parks only allows people who are 15-years-old and younger or 60-years-old and over to fish at the lake.
Evaline said those guidelines are fair.
“Because it's a small impoundment, there is very limited space to fish, and if you let everybody fish here, there wouldn't be any fish here,” Evaline said.
According to the Metro Parks director, the restrictions were put in place several years ago due to overfishing.
John O'Meara said the lake attracted avid anglers, who would catch all the fish. That meant those with less experience, like kids, were not catching anything.
“We decided, rather than having the pond overfished, we would limit the folks who could do it, in this case we limited it to kids and senior citizens,” said O’Meara.
The Metro Parks are public and receive taxpayer money, but O’Meara said the parks’ administration can set its own rules and regulations.
Fisherman Henry Kimmons said he does not understand the reason for the restriction.
“I actually feel since it is a public park, it should be open to everyone,” said Kimmons.
O'Meara said the park is managing its resources, which is something Evaline appreciates.
The Metro Parks director said several of the ponds and lakes in the park system have fishing restrictions.
He added that if someone is caught violating the rules, they would be reprimanded by park rangers and possibly cited.
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