Letters to the Editor

Facts on fishing and fireworks

The recent article “Sleuth Uncovers Public Beaches,” reported statements by Sheriff Mark Brown that were incorrect.

The incident in question involved a property owner at Lagoon Point. It was stated that the property owner did not shoot a firework at a fisherman but rather into the air to scare the fish. I was one of the witnesses to the incident. The fisherman was attempting to cross a 50-foot section of property to get to the public property on the other side where he intended to fish. The property owner was fishing on his property, as he frequently does, and confronted the fisherman and pushed him when the fisherman attempted to walk around him.

The fisherman did manage to pass by and walked on another 50 yards or so. The property owner went into his house, emerged with the fireworks and walked up to the fisherman who was now on public property. A verbal confrontation ensued; the first firework was fired from about 20 feet away and went over the fisherman’s shoulder narrowly missing him. A second firework was fired that did go more into the air. To say that the fireworks were set off to scare the fish makes no sense. The property owner was fishing prior to the incident, and subsequently returned to his property to fishing.

The sheriff’s office was immediately called and the incident described by several of us. Officers then went over and spoke to the property owner. Throughout the salmon season the property owner guarded his 50-feet of beach to prevent fishermen from crossing to reach the large area of public beach on the other side that lacks any other land access. The confrontations were often heated and frequent. To his credit, the property owner and his wife, who also fished, did let fishermen cross onto their property if a large salmon was hooked and swam in that direction.

Joe Sheldon
Coupeville

 

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