Shoals Fishermen Frustrated With Lack of Lights

070113 LD Dark Boat Ramp

ROGERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A busy Shoals boat ramp needs lighting repairs, but according to the county commission, there is confusion over who is responsible for the bill.

Just off Highway 72 in Rogersville, the Elk River boat ramp draws a big crowd as dozens of fishermen release their boats for a bass tournament.

But when the sun goes down, the dock gets dark.

“It`s very dangerous, you get off your boat, you don`t have a light down there, you can`t see what you`re stepping on,” said fisherman Scotty Taylor.

With every overhead lamp burnt out, Taylor says fishermen are starting to get fed up with the lack of light.

“My daddy likes to come in the evenings because it’s so hot during the day, he can fish a couple hours in the evening then come home, but without lights he can`t come down here and do that,” said Taylor.

Fishermen say without any light, it’s difficult to get their boats back on shore, which is why many of these fishermen are rallying to get these lights turned back on.

“Yeah, oh yeah, I’d like to know the answers why?  Why isn`t it kept the way it needs to be kept?,” said fisherman Phillip Barnett.

WHNT News 19 contacted Lauderdale County Commissioner D.C. Thornton, who represents the eastern part of the county.  According to Thornton, the commission is aware of the issue and calls the dark boat ramp, a safety concern.

Thornton says the next step is figuring out whether the commission, state, or City of Rogersville is responsible for footing the repair bill, leaving the status of these lights in limbo for a little while longer.

Thornton says he called the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for an answer, but has yet to hear a response.

WHNT News 19 also contacted the fisheries division, and a representative says the department doesn’t fund lights at any of the state’s boat ramps.

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