More than half of Newport Harbor's public docks may be off-limits to fishing if the Newport Beach Harbor Commission's recommendations take effect.
The commission voted Wednesday night to ban fishing from six of the harbor's 11 public docks, which are also referred to as public piers.
The ban is intended to protect the piers — some of which were recently refurbished — from fishermen who stomp on mussels, cast their lines in the way of boat traffic, and who take up space where boaters could be docking. Many fishermen who use the public docks are from inland cities, and many of the boaters are from Newport, causing a sometimes tense situation that the city now seeks to defuse.
"We have to make sure that the public piers are open so the boaters can access them," said Harbor Commissioner Ralph Rodheim.
Some of the fishermen have refused to move when boaters want to dock, Rodheim said, and the boaters have had to call the Harbor Patrol to remove the fishermen in some instances.