Waikiki-Diamond Head reopens for fishing

Waikiki-Diamond Head reopens for fishing

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's open season off the shores of the Gold Coast.

After a one-year freeze, the state today reopened the Waikiki-Diamond Head area for fishing, attracting a big crowd of anglers and spear fishermen.

"Plenty fish, beautiful year 2014," said Aiea resident Bryce Cleaver.

"I caught Kumu, some tako, Papios, Menpachi some Uhus."

Many showed up the night before and camped in the Kaimana Beach parking lot.

"We came at like 3 o'clock in the morning and we stayed over night and went out at 6:30," said Taylor Tuia of Mililani.

Added Cleaver: "Oh yeah, this beach was crowded this morning, never seen it so crowded."

The state allows fishing in the area only on even-number years to protect the area from over fishing. The areas runs from the ewa side of the Waikiki Natatorium to the Diamond Head Lighthouse. The rest of Waikiki is off limits.

Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources were out enforcing the fishing rules and found about a dozen people fishing on the wrong side of the border. About three of them were issued warnings.

Some spear fisherman said they like the one-year ban.

"(There's) no over fishing," said Kalihi resident Alvin Vargas.

"It gives a year to grow and stuff."

But others said fishing poses potential dangers for beach goers. They say the spear fishing is being conducted just a few feet away from swimmers and surfers and could lead to accidents.

"I think that they should ban it all together from Kaimana," said Diamond Head resident Yuko Kasai.

"The reason being is that this is a kid-friendly swimmer friendly beach and there are plenty of places for fisherman to fish."

The state has urged fishermen to operate with caution when fishing off of Waikiki. The area will remain open for fishing until the end of the year.

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