Water contact

Discussion in 'Special Feature: Q&A with Jim Brown' started by biggbass, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. biggbass

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    Name:
    Chris Stockdale
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    Jim- been Bass fishing San Diego lakes since the late seventies. I joined our bass club in 1980 at the age of 15.
    The city lakes were always no water contact drinking water reservoirs. Strictly enforced.
    Well , are they still drinking water reservoirs? If so what changed in the philosophy? A better filtration system ?
     
  2. Jim Brown

    Jim Brown City Lakes Program Manager 1974-2003 (retired)
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    Great question, and the short answer is "politics."

    The long answer is that a local bank vice-president was turned away from using his rowing shell at Miramar. He contacted his Councilman (Ed Stuiksma) who championed his cause at the same time a local canoe and kayak club was trying to gain access to city reservoirs.

    All were sent to the City Lakes Committee which turned them down on the basis of our local rules for recreational use of city reservoirs which were based on limitations imposed on us by the State Department of Public health which regulates use of primary reservoirs.

    I'm sure it is part of the reason all of my hair is grey, but it became my duty per direction of the council to the manager to implement various trial programs for larger than 10 horsepower motors as pushed by the Council of Bass Clubs, canoes, kayaks, sailboards, skiing, wakeboarding and PWCs as pushed by their enthusiasts.

    In short, I had to handle the bureaucratic process of managing the hoops and hurdeles established by the state and county health agencies opposed to these uses, and it was very trying.

    For me, it came down to some straight talk on the state level:

    How can the state permit these activities on state operated primary reservoirs like Perris and regulate/prevent a local agency from doing the same?

    The answer was that there was a statute providing the state health officials with that authority, but the fact body contact activities were permitted on state operated reservoirs was an embarrassing bit of hypocrisy, particularly since that water in Perris eventually comes to San Diego anyway.

    In time the issue came before a committee of the legislature where state Senator Jim Ellis ( a former city council member) led to a change of state health authority over local agencies in San Diego County only.

    Crazy, right?
     
  3. Bobber

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    I know, say on San Vicente, that skiers and other recreational boaters are allowed water contact. How does this same rule apply to fishermen? Say if they wanted to retrieve a swimbait, or make their way to shore? I have understood that was strictly against regulations. What is your take on this?
     
  4. Jim Brown

    Jim Brown City Lakes Program Manager 1974-2003 (retired)
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    It is tough to answer questions that are hypothetical as well as situational. If you swam to shore because your boat sank is quite different from wanting to take dip on a hot day. Swimming per se is not permitted as a form of recreation, but of course a skier is going to swim to retrieve a ski or toward their tow boat - in those instances swimming is incidental to the permitted purposes allowed by state health per the city's [permit for recreation on a primary water supply reservoir. Sound involved and confusing and impossible to defend? Pretty much!
     
  5. Bobber

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    Thank you for the input. I have always been curious about this topic.
     
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