Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lake Metroparks to require guide permit, requirements

Professional fishing guides utilizing Lake Metroparks stream access now need to approach the agency for proper paperwork.

While the parks system has always had a policy whereby anyone offering a pay-for service must secure a free permit the issue has seen little daylight. Until now, that is, as Lake Metroparks has built a series of required steps to go along with park system policy.

“It’s really been a park rule for many years but it hadn’t been brought to anyone’s attention so I went to our ranger department and asked it to address the matter with compliant components,” said Steve Madewell, Lake Metroparks’ executive director. “What it is is a registration requirement.”

The three stipulations include obtaining a free calendar-year permit, maintain a $1 million general liability policy and which names the parks system’s three-person board of park commissioners as an insured entity. Proof of this policy holding is a requirement in order to obtain the free permit, Madewell said also.

Similarly, the guide must successfully pass a certified CPR and first aid course.

“That subject was recommended by our legal counsel,” Madewell said.
Madewell said as well that area fishing guides have voiced their support for the permit requirement and its associated stipulations.

“This speaks well of the profession and the professionals,” he said.

Lake Metroparks officials add that all properly registered guides must understand park property boundaries and also be in compliance with all applicable Ohio Division of Wildlife rules and laws.

Lake Metroparks owns or controls property along several important steelhead-fishing streams. Among them are both the Grand and Chagrin rivers as well as Kellogg, Arcola, Big, Paine, and Mill creeks. It also offers fishing at such inland waters as Granger's Pond and Hidden Lake.

Anyone desiring to obtain the free required permit can contact Lake Metroparks’ ranger office at 440-358-7290.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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