Fishing access remains hot topic



June 2, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Iolan David Hawn joined the parade of people encouraging Allen County commissioners to rescind orders to close fishing holes along Elm Creek at the south edge of Iola, or develop a dedicated fishing access.
“I think we made a mistake,” said Gary McIntosh, commission chairman. “I’ve had a lot of calls, including several on Memorial Day.”
A road leading to a dam on the creek directly north of the old Lehigh Cement Co. plant that winds through the county’s maintenance shop area has been barricaded, commissioners said.
No signs have been erected off South State Street, where for 60 years people have driven to reach an old low-water bridge. But, commissioners said until they were advised otherwise, exiting the road onto its right of way was considered illegal.
Sheriff Tom Williams said initially he wouldn’t instruct his officers to cite violators and has given no indication that his opinion had changed.
Discussions may occur with Iola about developing an area accessible from South Washington Avenue, which once crossed the creek on a quaint lighted bridge. Commissioner Rob Francis displayed a map he obtained from the county’s cartographer, Kendall Ashford, that showed Wheeler Avenue ran from the south to the creek’s dam outside the county maintenance complex. It has been closed for years, though, and would require more than cursory attention to be opened.
“I think something good will happen,” McIntosh told Hawn.

TUESDAY afternoon commissioners went to Humboldt for a walk-through of the town’s senior center and afterward looked at a new fishing platform on the Neosho River at the west edge of town.
Larry Tucker, city administrator, noted Humboldt spent $2,000 on the project and $5,000 came from private donations.
“We need something like this on Elm Creek,” McIntosh said.

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