Sunday, January 11, 2009

A place to fish

Growing up in Florida it seemed like the places we could legally fish commercially changed every couple months. This bay or that canal was open or closed either for a few months or permanently. My mother's family were 4th generation Florida fishermen and the best place to find the fish was too often closed to fishing.

There was always a lot of politics involved, somebody wanted to build on the shore and didn't want fishing boats to block their view or sport fishermen didn't want commercial boats around. Now it's even worse with the ban on using nets in Florida waters.

One place we can fish without interference is around Cape Lookout Island off the coast of North Carolina. An ancestor, Joseph Fulford donated 4 acres of land on the Island to the US Government in 1805 to build a lighthouse.

Then in 1822 an additional l5 acres was sold to the government so they could build houses and buildings to support the lighthouse and a lifesaving station on the island.

But our ancestor put the following language in the deed:
"reserving to ourselves and our heirs the privileges of fishing on the shores of the Cape."

So unless the US Government wants to say the deed is not legally binding and return the land, we have a place to fish without interference.

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