Vivi Hang

Vivi Hang

White Rock clamps down on pier crabbers

People have been fishing from the main pier for decades, but are now being directed to fish off of the eastern float.

The City of White Rock has installed signs notifying people that they’re not allowed to fish or crab off the main pier.

People have been fishing from the main pier for decades, but are now being directed to fish off of the eastern float.

Eric Stepura, White Rock’s director of recreation and culture, said the signs were installed along the pier railings over the summer.

In addition, there are also new yellow signs on the float that tell those fishing to make sure lines do not obstruct incoming boats and traps are not left unattended.

Stepura invited Peace Arch News to the pier Friday to discuss the rules of the dock. Though he noted the rules haven’t changed, he said the city posted the signs to deter people fishing off the main pier because of potential hazards.

“We don’t want a person standing here, casting away and these hooks flying through the air. We get huge crowds of people here,” he said.

The potential danger is even greater when there’s a major event, such as Canada Day or during a concert series, Stepura added.

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

On the eastern float, there’s a concern with leaving traps unattended, he 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 city’s concern is that people leave crab lines out while boats are coming in to dock.

“People have put their crab traps out but have walked into the shore, go for a bite to eat or use the washroom or something. We have had confrontations between the propellers and the rope lines. That’s where we’re at now, it’s really a courtesy thing,” Stepura said.

The city is also requesting that people do not fish off the western float that is used as a berth for sailboats.

“When these craft pull out of here they are under motor,” Stepura said.

“So again, we don’t want people crabbing off this side because of the conflict of the propellers and the fishermen.”

He said eventually there will be more float space at the pier.

“At this point, it’s one of council’s priorities in terms of adding some additional marina space.”