No fishing from new bridge on Courtney Campbell Causeway - WFLA News Channel 8

No fishing from new bridge on Courtney Campbell Causeway

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The new pedestrian bridge along the Courtney Campbell Causeway in Hillsborough County just became accessible to pedestrians recently, but it's already causing some controversy.

Anglers have been angling to get out and cast a line from the bridge for months, but the Florida Department of Transportation isn't allowing fishing.

"There were some good fish out there because of the barges and stuff. Well, there's always good fish out here," said Linda Dipaolo of the Hurricane Pass Angler's Association.

Dipaolo watched with disappointment as FDOT posted "No Fishing" signs on the bridge. Anglers are still allowed to fish from underneath the bridge, and along the areas leading up to the span.

FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson explained the reasoning behind the fishing ban. She said it's too dangerous for walkers, runners and bicyclists to be on the bridge when fishing is going on.

"The money was federal enhancement money," Carson said. "It was built for bicyclists and pedestrians."

Carson said she'd received numerous complaints from bicyclists saying that the bridge was littered with broken bottles, fishing hooks and other trash.

"We just installed no fishing signs and my phone has not stopped ringing from bicyclists thrilled that we're banning the fishing out there because," she said. "To be honest, it got trashed the first couple of days."

Fisherman John Casio agrees.

"Beers and garbage and everything. I picked it up this morning a lot," he said.

But Dipaolo wishes DOT would reconsider its decision.

"It's just a shame that some fishermen are ruining it for all of us," she said.

The construction on the Hillsborough portion of the project should be fully completed by the end of October. Construction of the Pinellas County side of the pedestrian trail will begin in 2014.

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