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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to the proposals of regulations put forth at the recent public hearing I wanted to start a post on this. So it can be put out there and any opinions expressed.
I was raised around Mt. Island. Have lived 2 mins from it for the last 17 yrs. Fish on it probably 100 times a year. I am the founder of the Hardcore Kayak Fishing Team which has been involved in many activities on the lake- mostly in conjunction with the N.C. Wildlife Federations local chapter on Mt. Island. That is the Mt. Island Wildlife Stewards and I am the current Vice President..
As a paddler, being non motorized- the way the proposal is currently worded it doesn`t seem it will affect me YET. That being said I don`t see anything in this that I am for or want to support.
This only pertains to Mt. Island Lake. But I`d suggest everybody pay some attention because I fear this type of thing is coming to your area next. I will include a link to the Marine Commision which lists the proposals and other details on the public meetings as well as a link of statistics on MIL. Alot of that deals with usage statistics and facilities the numbers are very old (1999) but the facilities are still the same. It also includes projected usage numbers for future years.
Just a quick summary of some of what is being proposed:

Usage fees to be charged. No $ amount has been set.
Restrictions on size and types of boats allowed on the lake.
Use of fees to establish a "police dept."
As it is now this does not affect anything under 10 hp or human powered craft.

Statistics Link

Mt. Island Lake Marine Commission

New laws- The Char-Meck POlice working with all 3 marine commissions of Norman, Wylie, And MIL unify all the boating laws (up to this point) so they would be consistent on all 3. I also expect whatever the Mt. Island Commision changes in this round of proposals will also be "unified" and end up being copied by the Wylie and Norman Commisions. If you frequent all 3 lakes as a boater or fisherman- go ahead and get your
wallet out.

There are alot of questions that need to be answered by the MIL Marine Commission.
What are the fees going to be?
How will the fees be used to benefit the users of the lake ?
It was said at the last meeting they need the money to "continue to provide the same level of service they have in the past." (now I just need to figure out what they provide to address that one)
How does limiting boats by length or type of muffler affect water quality?

And I think it`s about time we figured out how people get elected to the Commission.

Where has the money come from up to this point and what has it been spent on?

Basically I need a fee amount to be announced. An estimation of money generated per year and EXACTLY what it will be spent on to benefit the users. Including fishermen. Hopefully even wildlife.
As far as the type of boats they want to restrict. Whatever the state laws are- that is what the laws should be on MIL. Period.

I will be at the next meeting and keep adding to this what I can.

Anyone with any opinions- whatever they may be please post them.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------stu
 

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Nice report Stu! This is an interesting turn of events and may be more specific to MIL than the other lakes. I have yet to fish MIL, but have wanted to for a while.

According to the proposed regs, I would still be ok to launch my boat on the lake, but at what cost? A huge concern with that is they could eventually limit the number of permits to a small handfull, and limit the locations that would sell them.

That is a key issue, where these permits will be sold and how they are to be displayed. It seems for now, they are proposing to allow for single day use passes...where will those be sold?

Too many questions left to be answered in this package and that always concerns me.

Thanks for bringing this out...maybe some good will come of it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It said the sticker would be displayed in front of your regular registration down in there somewhere and a daily pass would just be carried on your boat.
I do expect a limit will come into play someday. Which seems unneeded since the 2 public accesses themselves do that job.
There are 2 public ramps with 160 total trailer spots. (no car parking for us lowly kayakers without trailers- only tickets) Then there is a neighborhood private ramp. Don`t know how many that adds but that`s it.
Where sold I hadn`t thought of yet. Probably have to order direct from them. A store that doesn`t make any off of it doesn`t have any incentive to mess with it. AND they run from Jan. to Dec and will NOT be pro-rated.
I keep running into the same thing in my head--
How can we be having this discussion and hearings without an announced cost and estimated amount of money generated AND exactly what it will be spent on!!!
Thanks for the input Lewis.
 

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I read through it pretty quick and didn't see the sticker locations at first glance.

Ordering a permit will certainly help put a damper on daily use! :eek: I'm with you as to the rules being passed without all the fees established and planned expenses put out up front. According to the site, the rules go into effect on January 1, 2011. It seems that has already been established, whether the public rants or raves...
 

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Thanks for the post, you know that whatever starts at MIL and Wylie will run right up the Catwaba.

Darrell
 

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Just when I thought my blood pressure was beginning to go down. Utterly rediculous. Let me kinow what I can do, I WILL be attending the Lincolnton meeting in July. If this passes ALL lakes will adopt similar measures I'm sure. We pay to register the boat, we pay tax on the boat, we pay tax for our gear, we pay tax and fees for the trailer, we paid tax when we bought the boat, we pay for a fishing license, and we pay, pay, pay... For what, extra regulations? I am flabbergasted at the idiocracy.
 

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Thank you guys for not only bringing this to the attention of this forum but also to the attention of those who read the Charlotte Examiner. The biggest issue I can see is that no one really has a clue about this in my area, everyone I've told about it didnt even realize there was a MtIsland Marine Commission, they're just simple fisherman kayakers or boaters. Would anyone be interested in getting together and making an organized effort to distribute flyers at the ramps on say Memorial Day weekend or other weekends so that we can bolster numbers for the June Gaston Co meeting or the July Lincoln Co meeting? Also if anyone would be interested in collaborating on the flyer please let me know. If we can simply get a copy of the proposed reg in the hands of most ramp users I think we could really have a chance at getting them to atleast turn out at the meeting and stand a chance at curbing this pending nightmare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Nice write up there Lewis. Thanks for that. For anybody that wants to help I guess the only answer is spread the word and get to a meeting if you can. I realized last night that I will be in the Bahamas the week of the Mt. Holly meeting. But do think it`s a great idea to get some flyers out. I`m out this sat with a kids B-day party but can hand some out sun on my own. All it really needs to say is the basics asking people if they want to pay a fee- where to get the info on proposals and where the meetings will be. Also there emails and phone #`s if anyone wants to call with questions or voice there opinion. According to the Mt. Island weekly story it was announced (the 1st meeting) only a couple days beforehand and at the meeting they were told "an add was put in the Charlotte Observer." (I`m guessing that didn`t reach alot of people and people see that as a pretty weak attempt to actually let the public know.)
I am going to spend more time looking at the questions on the survey. I guess by the numbers I can figure out how many but I don`t know who filled them out. As in location or how many lake property owners and how many users of the lake. That could have been one of the questions. Be interesting to see any differences in property owners VS John Q. Public`s answers.
I think even what you feel may be a losing battle is a worthy cause if you believe in something. (or in this case DON`T)
The pessimistic side of me thinks they`re gonna do it no matter how many people are against it so that same part of me is wondering if when the terms of the current commissioners are up and they get replaced can the proposals be rescinded ? I`m gonna force that out of my mind until it`s over.

Again- even if you don`t live nearby you better think about this because I fear if this passes it will be "coming to a lake near you" very soon after.
I have been on lakes with fees. Most owned by a town and that pays for assosiated costs. I`m cool with that. Mt. Island is a PUBLIC resource. We already have taxes that pay for it to be taken care of. It has County, City, and Game enforcement. Same with any rescue squads. Duke Power and the NCWRC take care of the 2 launches.
------------------stu
Any mails can be sent to [email protected] or call 980-241-1759
 

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Thanks...I also write some stuff for NC Sportsman and Anglers Channel and posted with both...

Hopefully, there will be a good attendance and many of the questions will be answered. I just hope they are good answers!
 

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wow this explains the security cameras they put down at the launch, obviously for security but im shure there using the cameras for survey purposes to get an accurate number count on the boats and users to run the numbers on to set the FEES. this really stinks its just a money grab,seriously i probably am on the water 4 to 6 day a week there. thanks guys for the info, feel like ive been walkin around with blinders on
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
WHHOOOAAA! Hold on a minute there.....I`m out of the loop on this one!
CAMERAS....WHERE EXACTLY? They`ve must be very new, well hidden or both.
Any signs with them.
We deserve to know who put them there and why.
Hope they are really secure or they may catch a pic of someone stealing them. If they are for security fine. The place definitely needs it. Many car break-ins is just one reason I don`t want to park my car up in the new lot. People have stolen the dock plates for the scrap metal several times.In that case I suspect it is done by the Mt. Holly Police Dept. I guess they`ll see my ugly mug tonight after work cause I want to go see them.
Vaporizor--Did you see/know that was me who blew by you then got off on old 16 last night ? I figured you`d see my stickers?
 

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The cameras referred to I first noticed about 3 weeks ago, they've even got a little speaker that says somehting like, 1st camera-"welcome to mt island boat ramp" 2nd camera-"thank you for using the Mt Island Lake boat ramp, we hope you enjoyed your visit" Also something like, "these photos are being transmitted for security purposes. They have 2 I know of motion activated, one is on the right just as you begin down the hill after exiting the parking lot, 2nd is as you are exiting the parking lot. I think a better message would be,"Thank you for using Mt Island Lake, a public lake, which you are now foolish enough to pay more money to use, or if you don't it will become our private lake, either way we win, now please bend over and grab your ankles"
 

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Does Duke Energy know about all these changes and are they ok with all this? Or, is it even up to them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Interesting. We haven`t been going there much lately. 1st due to this parking ticket fiasco and 2nd we have better areas to hit during the spawn. Not too long ago our buddy Snakehead said something about cameras and the speakers. I somehow thought he was talking about in Belmont. Not surprised I didn`t hear anything. Those are gonna have to be mighty loud for me to notice over my normal blaring heavy metal!
I guess it`s better for people to see them and know about them and prevent crime or anything else but part of me wishes they`d be hidden and some of these people would not know, break into somebodys car and get caught.
So now I still want to know who is monitoring them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Does Duke Energy know about all these changes and are they ok with all this? Or, is it even up t o them?
Apparently nothing is "up to" anybody but the people on the commission. Duke wouldn`t have any say the way I have it figured. Duke and the NCWRC take care of the ramps and the bank fishing access below the dam. Which keeps being referred to and is listed in the usage stats as MIL but IS NOT. That is WYLIE. Anything from these proposals will not have anything to do with water past the MIL dam.
NOW- I can see that Duke Power doesn`t have any reason to be against the new regs. BUT would be happy to support them if some $$$ from the fees went their way to take care of the ramps.
I`m gonna put this one point on again because they are gonna sound like a broken record trelling us these proposals will ensure Mt. Island doesn`t become too crowded.
THE AVAILABILITY OF PARKING AT THE 2 EXISTING RAMPS AND SLIPS ALREADY ON THE LAKE ARE THE LIMIT ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BOATS THAT CAN USE THE LAKE AT ANY GIVEN TIME.
So don`t make any more! Problem solved.
These new restrictions are not a way to prevent anything what they want is to cut back and have less people on the lake than right now. And make a bunch of money in the process.
Will less gas motors be better for water quality- YES- but I still don`t think they have the right to charge fees.
As a paddler will it hurt my feelings to be rocked by less wakes and buzzed by less boats and jet ski`s? -NO- but it`s not about what I want or what a handful of people elected by a slightly larger handful of people want.
It is about letting a public resource that already has taxes and entities that take care of it remain FREE of additional fees.
Let state laws do what they are designed to do. Be the standard on ALL public waters.
Make no mistake this is the precedent. If it passes every commission on every water between 2 dams is gonna do the same. I`d bet 9 out of 10 people that use the lake didn`t even know there was a Marine Commission much less the fact that they could propose something like this. Better check on your home lake. If this passes it will open the "flood gates" all athe way up and down the Catawba. (pun intended) Lakes without commisions will establish them.

Do I know everything the Commission has done ? Certainly not. They do, and should be doing, permits for events like swim races, buffer zones, wake zones and the like. I do not want anyone to think I`m saying they haven`t done any good for Mt. Island Lake.
Just that THIS is not good and way out of their bounds.
 

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Sign me up for with those against this rule.

Normally, I am all in favor of users paying a fair share for using a resource. When I use Lake Norman, I frequently put in at Stumpy Creek, which has a $2 honor box, which I always use. That's fair.

However, an annual permit for MIL essentially turns it into a private lake. You'll either live right there and buy the annual permit, or you'll go elsewhere so that you don't have to worry about getting a permit, and the (likely) high cost. Moss Lake near gastonia is this way, the daily permit is $12, and the annual fee is $60 (fees apply to each kayak, stu, which should REALLY **** you off with the armada), which is more than I want to spend to fish for a day. If you live right there, you pay your $60 and enjoy a semi-private lake where nobody bothers to come in and pay $12 for a single day usage.

It's a public resource, keep it that way. If you need to charge a couple of bucks to use a ramp, we can live with that (probably). If you're looking for a back door way to have a private lake... That's a way different story.
 

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A better plan would be for the marine commish to get permission to travel the lake and enforce no wake zones, drunk boating violations, and other idiotic things people do on the water. Give big fines and let the lawbreakers instead of the lawful pay for the enforcement.

Wishful thinking, I know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I`ve been to Moss. ONCE. That`ll be all for me thanks. Got skunked and YES I paid the fee even though it was dawn and nobody there I put it in the box.
Here`s the difference with LAKES like Moss, Twiddy, Lure etc.. In some cases they are actually owned by the town. Some lakes like this have NO property owners. They have no patrols by city or county agencies. No one like Duke to be made to pay for the ramps and especially I bet no money is generated for those lakes from fishing equipment taxes, licenses, boat registration, or the like. They basically are private in many cases and only they are footing the bill to let you get on it.
A similar example of different regs that I support would be the Cherokee having their own fishing regs and licenses. I`m cool with that.
What we are talking about now is the #!*^&!$*#! CATAWBA RIVER ! You can dam parts of it and call it whatever "lake" you want. I would argue with anyone that it is our STATES greatest and most important natural resource. In that respect more than anything else it deserves to be protected and I surely don`t think enough is done for it BUT it should be done on a State and federal level not as any one sections commission decides to vote into LAW.
I know many of you on here are some smart rascals so read this and of course if you are or know a lawyer by all means ask them to read it.
From the Commision website:
"Authority subject to all supervening provisions of law and may not conflict with or supersede provisions of general or special acts or regulations of state or other higher government agencies promulgated under the authority of general law."
As just a regular fellow to me that almost seems to say-If the state boating laws say a boat with above water exhaust is legal, and a boat over 30 ft boat is legal, and an air boat is legal, and there is no state fee for getting on what is public water THEN aren`t all the things being proposed in conflict with state regulations?
Legally I don`t figure what I just said means a hill of beans but I bet most of you see the point. Maybe I just don`t understand the definition of conflict properly?
In this discussion and considering some of the exceptions mentioned above seems like part of what the issue is where do you "draw the line?" I`m saying draw it at the river! It`s a public resource, has state laws and various agencies that police it and no commision should be able to place a fee on "their" section of it. Or rules different than the state.
Some of what is at the heart of it all and I think has surprised many people is 1st off not even knowing there was such a commission but never would they believe it is within their power to create laws, fees, or restrictions like this. So the question is in part who gets to make the rules?
What if each town in the mtns starts to make their own fees and different laws on trout streams. Do any of you who run around in the saltwater think any town should charge you a fee to get in the ocean?
Is it really that different?

Protect MIL by putting an end to any further development or adding any future motor boat launches and leave it at that.
Can the Marine Commision do that ??
I don`t know--- but nobody knew they could do this either!
 
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