Reader Rant: Stop In-Harbor Bait Dumping

Fellow readers of The Log, as I write this, I am sitting in one of the best places to kick it: Alamitos Bay, here in good ol’ Long Beach.

I’m at the very end of the dock overlooking the bay, I see almost every boat that comes and goes out of here, and I have noticed a disturbing fact: The fishing boats that are returning to the launch ramp seem to dump their old useless bait overboard right on the turning corner, just down from the ramp.            

The pelicans love it, the seagulls love it and the sea lions love it even more. In the recent past, I have reported this fact to the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association and it was then reported to the marina office. The office, in turn, responded by saying they will put up a sign or something.            

I know not if this has happened. But what I do know is that fishing boats are still dumping bait in our little picture-perfect bay. And the damndest thing is that the fishermen themselves have no idea of the damage in what they are doing.            

To them, they are just feeding the harbor wildlife and lightening the load for the trip home. They know not what they do — however, if this continues, the results could be disastrous.            

Let me point out that San Francisco has docks that have been overrun by sea lions, Newport Harbor has boats have been sunk by sea lions, and now Oceanside has the same problems, as per Bob Smith’s recent Reader Rant in The Log’s Aug. 31 issue.            

Somehow, we have to inform the fishing boat folks to dispose of their bait while they are still way out at sea — not in our bays and harbors. They will save money by keeping less weight on the boat (with gas as high as it is, every little bit helps) and they will save the marinas, to boot.            

We need something more than just signs that nobody reads, mainly because there are already just too many to read. We need people like Mark Sandoval, the main man in Long Beach; Carl Kirnbauer, from the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association; and maybe even the Coast Guard Auxiliary to get out and tell the people what’s happening when bait is dumped in the harbor.

This needs to stop NOW, before we are on national news like the other boaters that are looking for some new safe place to dock their beloved boats.

Rod Brown
Long Beach boater

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