|Updated: 7/18 4:39 pm
||Published: 7/18 4:31 pm
River Parks Authority posted new signs up along popular sections of the Arkansas River within the last week. The signs say “no bow fishing allowed.” They ban a certain type of fishing, but it is not because the fish are bad and the water is not contaminated.
A bow fisherman takes a bow and arrow and fires it at the fish in the water. The River Parks Authority has not banned it altogether. They say they just want to make the rules clear to keep people on the bridge and down in the water safe.
FOX23 caught up with 21 year-old fisherman Andrew Parham. He bow fishes with his buddies but fisherman like him cannot fish off the River Parks pedestrian bridge. The new, color signs make that clear.
Andrew Parham said, “I mean if it’s a rule, it’s a rule. You can’t really change what the city has to say about it.”
The River Parks Authority clarified the existing rule by posting the signs on the bridge and on the fishing piers.
River Parks Authority director Matt Meyer said the purpose of the sign is simple, “informational, educational.”
The director said earlier this year people called them worrying about jogging on the trail while people were bow fishing. Parham agreed with the authority that it can be dangerous if the fisherman is not trained how to use the bow.
Parham said, “If there’s a lot of kids down there just trying to have a good time it could (be dangerous). There could be an accident or two.”
FOX23 walked the pedestrian bridge near 31st and Riverside Drive to see how many new signs we could find. FOX23 reporter Price McKeon found about a dozen of these signs. Even though the signs are new, the River Parks Authority said the law is not new.
Myers said bow fishing is not allowed in city parks unless a board designates an area for it. He told McKeon the River Parks Authority Board did designate an area years ago.
Meyer said, “Our board back in the ‘80s a long time ago designated that area on the west bank as being OK for bow fishermen.”
Parham said he’ll follow the rules but he will not give up bow fishing.
He said, “I’ll just have to deal with what we have to deal with and go bow fishing where we can.”
People with fishing poles can still fish on this side the south side of the bridge. People cannot fish off the north side of the bridge.