Irresponsible anglers are being blamed for Fife Council’s decision to block fishing in a Glenrothes park.
The local authority has posted ‘No Fishing’ signs in Riverside Park after complaints from the public about fishing tackle being left beside the wildlife pond, endangering wildfowl.
But the council’s decision has been criticised by a local fisher, who insists that the facility has been used by anglers, without problems, for many years.
According to Richard Smith, the council’s team manager, access and biodiversity, action had to be taken to safeguard birdlife.
He said: “There were several incidents regarding lost lines and hooks at the Riverside Park pond which were injuring ducks and swans.
“This caused a lot of distress to visitors and we received a number of complaints. As monitoring of anti-social anglers can be quite intense and requires to be constant, the council, as land owner, can limit or restrict angling as required.
“In this instance, the ‘No Fishing’ signs were erected in response to public concerns for the welfare of the wildfowl.”
But the fishing ban has angered keen angler, Kieran Ferrier, who contacted the local authority to register his protest.
The 17-year-old, from Stenton, feels he was “palmed off” by an official due to his youth.
He is furious that an age-old tradition has apparently been blocked by the council without consultation or notice.
He said: “From what I remember, there’s always been fishing at Riverside Park.
“I’ve been fishing there for the past two or three years, but my mum remembers her brothers going there and my dad used to fish it, so you’re talking more than 35 years.
The teenager contacted the council by email and, eventually, by phone.
He said: “I was told it wasn’t policy to allow fishing, but wasn’t informed when this policy had been put in place. I wasn’t really happy with the answer and felt that I had been palmed off because of my age.”
During a further phone call to the local authority, he spoke to another official in the parks department.
Kieran said: “He very quickly said ‘no fishing’ was the council policy and hung up on me. I’ve had a look at the council website and there’s nothing there about a ‘no fishing’ policy in Riverside Park.”
According to the teenager, the wildlife pond has a healthy population of brown trout and some perch.