Illegal fishing still causing problems on Courtney Campbell pedestrian bridge


What should be an enjoyable place for people to walk or bike is becoming anything but, with many complaining that the Courtney Campbell Pedestrian Bridge is being trashed by fishermen, even though fishing is illegal there.

It has not even had its official grand opening yet, but on the pedestrian bridge, there's all kinds of garbage and fishing debris.

And now, for the second time, people who use this bridge say something needs to be done. The evidence is everywhere.

"Trash, dog droppings, beer bottles," said Sonya James, who uses pedestrian bridge frequently.

"Nasty fish debris smeared across the pavement," said Courtney Weaver, upset by illegal fishing.

Weaver said since it opened last month, she comes out to the pedestrian bridge almost every evening to relax, but she says the illegal fishing makes is less relaxing and more stressful.

"My husband actually got hit in the head by one of the lures someone was throwing out."

Just last month, ABC Action News covered this same problems with the illegal fishing, but people say they're not seeing anything being done to fix it.

"This is for exercise, rollerblading, walking, and they're just out here doing things they shouldn't be doing out here. I think they need more security out here so they won't be out here doing all this," James said.

Officials with the state's Department of Transportation, the agency that owns this bridge, said they weren't available for an interview, but they did say they have a partnership with Tampa Police to patrol.

Tampa Police say that while they have the partnership, it's not within its jurisdiction to write tickets to people illegally fishing.

People out here say whoever is responsible, needs to take action.

"They built this out here so people can enjoy being out here, but no one enjoys being out here seeing the blood, the dog poop, the trash and stuff, that's not nice at all," James said.

Officials with FDOT said they weren't aware that these issues were still going on and that in order to keep fisherman off the pedestrian bridge, a better partnership must be formed with the city to regulate it.

They said they plan to look further into the matter.

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