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posted: 9/10/2013 4:40 AM

River 'bullies' need to get the message

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River 'bullies' need to get the message

"We support boating safety, but let's do it in a smart way."

I read in a recent issue of the Daily Herald that a group called "Boaters United" made this statement after hearing proposed legislation to improve boating safety on the Chain O' Lakes and the Fox River. If this is true, they need to let the bullies on the river know that. You know the bullies. Remember on the playground, the kids who were bigger, stronger, faster. They pushed the other kids around and made their lives miserable.

Today, these are the people who have boats that are bigger and faster. They don't seem to understand that the rest of us have rights, and would like to enjoy the water too.

As a fisherman, I am on the river 2-3 times a week. I have to go out very early in the day if I want to escape these bullies. They act like playground bullies. They speed by you as if you were not there.

In most places, the river is only 4-5 feet deep this time of year. So these guys leave a pretty big wake. They don't care how close they come to you. If they are pulling a skier, it makes it worse. They ignore the fact that I have lines out. It's not like I am sitting in the middle of the river. Like the bully, they want to play and don't care about anyone else.

Things are much more difficult on the river than on the lakes where there is more room to avoid these bullies. How about speed limits or no wake at certain times of the day? Like sunrise until 10 a.m. and 6 to 9 p.m., even if it were on certain sections of the river.

I believe we are all aware that this is a money issue. How about making it an issue of sharing this valuable resource so that we can all enjoy it?

Dennis Garber


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