Wakeboarders vs. Fishermen
RICHLAND, Wash. - As temperatures warm up more people are heading back out on the Columbia River. But a few wakeboarders and fisherman are clashing over the rights to their favorite area.
They love a little spot right off Bateman Island, nicknamed "the mudhole", but when both show up at the same time it can be bad news for everybody.
The water is warm. The currents calm. It makes for great fishing. But the area also seduces skiers and wakeboarders. It sounds like a place loved by all, but fisherman claim wakeboarders ruin the experience.
"They scare the fish around," said fisherman Johnnathan Cook.
"I can't really fish at all. When I do get a fish, it has to be early in the morning when they're not here," said Chance Booker, fisherman.
Some fisherman let their frustration get the better of them.
"I've got a hammer in here that'll tell you to get on that d*** side," said one fisherman.
Wakeboarders said some have even started throwing rocks at their boat.
"They've done it so many times it's become an issue now," said wakeboarder Ben LaMothe.
Wakeboarders said they don't entice the fisherman on purpose.
"We're just all out here to have fun and share the river and sit around and enjoy the sun," said wakeboarder Tim Klees.
Benton County Sheriff's Deputies report they've received numerous complaints, but they've never seen wakeboarders breaking the law.
"We've even put down an unmarked patrol car on a couple of occasions, but no violations noted," said Cpl. Chuck Jones, Benton County Sheriff's Office.
And if you ask wakeboarders they'd just like to practice stunts and teach lessons without any problems.
"It's too bad we can't just all get along ya know," said wakeboarder Chris Cain.