City of White Rock decided in 2016 to enforce crabbing restrictions on the main pier. (File photo)

New limits set for fishing and crabbing off White Rock pier float

Activities prohibited on northern portion due to safety hazards

White Rock council voted Monday to further limit crabbing and other fishing activities off the float attached to the pier’s eastern side.

Council gave final approval to a bylaw amendment which prohibits fishing and angling off the northern portion of the float, as well as another bylaw amendment setting fines for violations.

The measure comes two years after a 2016 step that restricted fishing to the eastern float.

READ MORE: White Rock clamps down on pier crabbers

City spokesperson Farnaz Farrokhi told Peace Arch News Tuesday that, under the new amendment, fishing and crabbing are still allowed from other portions of the float, as well as from the pier (except for the west side at the far end, adjacent to the marina, where signage states that fishing and crabbing are forbidden).

According to a staff report presented during the July 9 governance and legislation committee meeting, the new amendment – which received first, second and third reading at the council meeting later that evening – was suggested to respond “to a public safety issue” between people who use the float for angling and crabbing, and boat operators who are using the float for temporary moorage.

“Numerous incidents have occurred where crab trap lines, which are thicker than typical fishing line, are fouling and stopping propellers of boats that are attempting to dock at the Float,” the report by the director of planning and development services explains.

“Complaints have also been received from a business that uses the Float to embark and disembark tour passengers, where crab fishing from the Float has slowed and impeded his boat in docking at the Float. It is also noted that those crab fishing from the Float sometimes do not respond or heed requests from boat operators to clear their lines from the Float and allow boats to dock safely and in a timely manner.”

The report adds that having lines stopping propellers can impact a boat’s maneuverability, as well as create a potential for propellers and boats “to snag crab fishing lines and pull fishers into the water.”

Farrokhi noted Tuesday that staff will be updating signage to reflect the new amendment “and also raise awareness of the potential for fishing lines to impede safe boat navigation and possibly present a hazard to anglers themselves – ie. getting their lines tangled and pulled by boat propellers.”

In 2016, the city’s director of recreation and culture told Peace Arch News that signs notifying people that they’re not allowed to fish or crab off the main pier were installed along the pier railings that summer.

At that time, Eric Stepura noted the rules hadn’t changed, but that the signs were posted to deter the activity due to the potential hazards created by “a person standing here, casting away and these hooks flying through the air.”

“The various measures we put out here are for public safety and to avoid confrontations between boaters and the fishermen,” Stepura said.

The southern side of the float serves as a customs clearing dock for boats visiting from the United States; the northern side is used by White Rock Sea Tours and Whale Watching.

The latest staff report had noted that provisions of the existing Parks Regulation Bylaw were “not enforceable” in connection with the activities on the float.

It also noted the bylaw amendment would not prohibit angling, net-setting or crabbing from other areas of the pier, except within seven metres of the float ramp; and, that signage advising of the restriction and identifying areas where the activities are permitted was also recommended.

The amendment to the city’s ticketing bylaw sets fines at $50 for a first offence and $75 for each subsequent offence, up to a maximum of $10,000 or imprisonment up to six months for contravening the bylaw.

Just Posted

Community invited to help with Downtown Surrey BIA’s fence art project

Association is hoping to change the ‘narrative’ for 135A Street with artwork

Surrey killer foiled by cops’ suspicion he was underage in a bar

Birinderjeet Singh Bhangu was shot dead outside the Comfort Inn and Suites Hotel on Fraser Highway

Bureaucracy leaves Whalley Legion members thirsty

Legion’s new location needs liquor licence, despite being down street from former digs

Blaine railway stop contingent on international support: All Aboard Washington

Non-profit organizers look to residents of Surrey, White Rock and North Whatcom County

Delta man charged after police surround Tsawwassen home

Troy Kevin Reimer, 52, is charged with one count of uttering or conveying a threat to cause death or bodily harm

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read