Broken down pier dangerous for local fishermen

Fort Hale Pier New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– After years of waiting, local fishermen want the Fort Hale Park Pier fixed. They say there’s no where for them to fish without putting themselves in danger.

“Now we are stuck behind what I say a wall, which is keeping us from fishing, with a broken down pier that no one wants to fix for us,” said Butch Riley, fisherman.

On a beautiful day fishermen flock to Fort Hale Park in New Haven to gather the catch of the day. The only problem is there’s not a pier to stand on. Fishermen say it’s been like this since Tropical Storm Irene took it out and Superstorm Sandy made it worse.

With the pier damaged, the fishermen have to cast their lines from the shore or up on the rocks.

New Haven Fort Hale Pier
New Haven Fort Hale Pier

“It’s very dangerous, we already had people if we get two or three people and you get a person that wants to fish, they got to climb on the rocks,” said Riley.

“When there’s too many people to fish you don’t want to fall over,” said Bertrand Lamothe, fisherman.

Locals tell News 8 that years ago people would come from all over to fish there.

“It was wheelchair accessible number one, number two it was an international pier. People come from other states to visit relatives in Connecticut and if they’re in this area and they’re fishing people, they could come over here mix,” said Riley.

Visitors looking forward to a fishing  trip are disappointed after finding out there’s no place to fish.

“I come from Belgium and I expected it was better and more space to fish. It’s a little bit old and destroyed,” said Ben Vannieuwbnhove.

“This is a bad situation for everyone who enjoys to fish and enjoy their freedom,” said Lamothe

Residents are frustrated nothing has been done to repair the pier.

“I hope the city or the state could take care of the pier,” said Lamothe.

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