HILO, Hawaii – There was a modest turnout in Hilo for a hearing on new regulations at Wailoa State Park on Thursday.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources wants to prohibit the use of stand-up paddleboards in the Waiakea Public Fishing Area, limit boat fishing to only when the boat is anchored, and prohibit the possession or use of any net within the public fishing area.
DLNR hopes to preserve the quality of fishing in the pond, known for its mullet catch. Mike Tokunaga – owner of the popular S. Tokunaga Store – told us the pole and line practice is unique to the pond.
As a fishing supply store that also sells stand-up paddleboards and related equipment, Tokunaga has a unique perspective on the proposed rule change. However, He says he supports the prohibitions to protect the fishing area.
Everyone at the hearing seemed to agree. Some even called for strict penalties for folks who break the new rules.
Other amendments include the updating of provisions on the mullet closed season and the taking of female Samoan crabs to be consistent with existing regulations.