In September 2019, citizens made complaints to Council about the Marina. There were two main concerns: (1) electric power was cut off when water levels were high (as they were in 2017 and 2019) and (2) concerns about visitors abusing fishing privileges – notably to do with the fish cleaning table (see photo below). The Town was quick to upgrade the Electrical system – that’s now fixed. And now at the Committee of the Whole Meeting on 21 June, Town staff are recommending removing the fish cleaning table altogether and banning the cleaning of fish on municipal property. A survey was conducted of other municipalities and it seems others have had the same problem and now ban fish cleaning. You will have to clean on your boat or at home.
Problems with the cleaning table are:
- The present cleaning facility is not attractive to users. It is very small, located in the direct sunlight, surrounded by walls, no wind, and a lot of bees.
- Because only one person can use it at a time, the wait can be sufficient to cause anglers to find other places, or solutions.
- There is no waste disposal system, hence the less scrupulous use of the garbage bins or the campground bins.
Report by Julie Behan-Jones Assistant Manager Waterfront Operations
Here is what Julie said in her report to Council:
Lake Ontario is becoming famous for prosperous fishing which has resulted in both personal and chartering anglers discovering Cobourg Marina, as a gateway to the open water. The fishing community has increased to such an extent that one of our docks has become home to several seasonal charter boats and the transient fishing boat numbers have doubled in three years.
Although welcoming Anglers to the Cobourg Marina and Waterfront has been beneficial both in terms of recreational options for guests and financial gains to the Marina, it has not come without some opportunities for growth and improvement.
The existing Fish Cleaning Station is a single use unit wherein there are no means of disposing of the refuse. In recent seasons anglers have begun cleaning their catch on docks, ramps and lawns around the marina and disposing of their cuttings in the municipal bins along the waterfront or dropping them into the harbour.
This current practice is causing unpleasant situations for guests, residents and staff alike.
The survey of “over twenty” sources (12 are recorded in survey document – see Links below) suggested the need for a change in practice.
So Julie recommends:
Many sources have experienced similar issues to those that Cobourg Waterfront Staff have seen worsening in the past few seasons and to that end, we feel that a policy change is required to fall in line with the changing trend.
That Council endorse and approve the Amendment to By Law No. 022-2016 (Download from this page) to include: “Fish Cleaning/Gutting/Descaling is Prohibited within the Cobourg Harbour Waters, Marina and Waterfront Property, Municipal Parks and Infrastructure”.
Signs will be put in place and social media and the web site will educate people on the change. Julie says that “Waterfront Staff will remove the current fish cleaning station in an environmentally responsible manner.”
If Council approves Julie’s recommendations at the C.O.W. meeting, it will then need approval at the Regular meeting on 28 June so it will be a few weeks before there is any change.
Cobourg News Blog Report
- Complaints about Marina – 2 September 2019
Supporting Documents from Staff
At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on 21 June, Council approved the Staff proposal to ban fish cleaning on Municipal property but only until May 31 next year. This would allow time for a staff report on the cost of providing an upgraded acceptable cleaning station and its benefits. Deputy Director Teresa Behan said that the Marina already sells coolers and ice and that most people clean fish out in the Lake – not the harbour.