In 2005, a moratorium was instituted on angling at City dams following numerous complaints about anti-social behaviour and injuries to aquatic birds. However, a compromise was reached in 2007 where limited and controlled fishing (seasonally, between October and April and with the relevant permits) was allowed at Doordekraal Dam in Durbanville.

The City’s Recreation and Parks Department will soon embark on a public participation process to find a sustainable solution to recreational activities – and angling in particular – at dams situated in public open spaces.

The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department plans to cast its net as wide as possible to get the public’s views on recreational fishing at dams which are under its management.

The dams, many of which are retention ponds to regulate stormwater downstream, are popular outdoor recreational facilities.

“The issue has resurfaced in recent times, with requests from some residents to allow angling at our dams once more. There is also evidence to suggest that illegal fishing has been taking place in spite of the moratorium.  Managing public open spaces and water bodies is important in conserving our environment in an urban context. We need to find a balance between recreational activities and the interaction with natural fauna and flora without a negative impact on the ecosystem.  In this regard, the City values public sentiment and comment and will soon embark on a public participation process to request input from residents,” said the Mayco Member for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien.

The Recreation and Parks Department has already embarked on a study to determine the feasibility of allowing access to certain dams for angling.

The study entailed reviewing more than 60 open water bodies and developing a set of criteria to guide where, when and how to allow angling in identified dams. Criteria included the size of water bodies, conservation value of the sites, current use and historical angling data as well as anti-social and environmental concerns associated with the activity.

“Subject to the finalisation of the feasibility study, a comprehensive public participation process involving all relevant stakeholders will be conducted prior to any decisions on the re-opening of dams for angling. An important aspect of the decision will be associated operational, environmental and social implications and measures to mitigate them,” Badroodien said.

The Recreation and Parks Department will communicate all relevant documentation in the local media at the start of the public participation process.

“We urge residents to share their views during the public participation process and to take all relevant issues into consideration. It should be about working together to ensure the sustainable usage of these facilities in the best interest of communities and the environment,” added Badroodien.

Residents are requested to help the City protect and conserve public open spaces and bodies of water and to report any illegal activity by phoning 021 480 7700 from a cellphone and 107 from a landline.

Picture: Supplied

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