The Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD) Parks and Recreation Department has placed a moratorium on fishing at the lake in Elk Grove Park after waterfowl have been injured or killed by fishing debris left at the park.
The temporary ban is planned for June 3 through November 18 to allow park officials time to gather public input and create a wildlife protection plan.
“Ducks and geese are getting injured and, in some cases, dying from injuries by fishing line, hooks and other fishing-related litter,” said Steve Sims, Director of Parks and Neighborhood Services at the CSD. “As the stewards of this park, we need to press pause on fishing, so we can come up with a plan and do something about this.”
In recent years, park officials have taken steps to mitigate the negative impacts to waterfowl.
Currently, park staff and volunteers clean the lake shoreline daily. Open trash receptacles within 20 feet of the lake have been replaced with concrete trash receptacles with lids to prevent debris from blowing into the lake. And special recycling containers have been placed around the lake for the disposal of fishing line, hooks, lead weights or discarded bait.
These practices have been beneficial, but Sims says ducks and geese continue to be harmed or killed.
The moratorium will allow the CSD to consider a more comprehensive wildlife protection plan that may include restrictions such as seasonal-only fishing, regulating types of line and hooks, or requiring fishing licenses. In addition, the plan will include increased education efforts around fishing and wildlife feeding.
The CSD will gather input from the public and stakeholders, and consult with subject matter experts and other park agencies. The proposed plan will be considered by the CSD Board of Directors at a future board meeting.
The CSD operates and maintains 97 parks, 1,017 acres of park and open space, and 18 miles of trails in Elk Grove, including the popular 122-acre Elk Grove Regional Park at 9950 Elk Grove-Florin Road.
To learn more about the fishing moratorium and wildlife protection plan, visit www.yourcsd.com/wildlife.