Problem Solver - August 2007
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Keeping the Waterfront Clean and Attractive to Fishermen

Some of our patrons are cleaning fish in inappropriate areas, causing foul odors and unsanitary conditions. How can we eliminate this problem while reducing labor and maintenance costs?

It's encouraging to see recreation managers who want to take a proactive stance to this dilemma. Too often, shoreline supervisors respond to this messy situation by cracking down on anglers and try to put the blame on their shoulders. This is not going to address the problem. If you offer people a place to fish, it's imperative you offer a place to clean their catches.

Progressive parks and campsites now boast fish-cleaning stations, which offer an easy, sanitary way for anglers to take care of their catches. Fishermen love these tables because they're the cleanest, safest, fastest and most efficient way to prepare fish and game, then dispose of the waste in a sanitary manner. Other park patrons appreciate the stations-even if they don't realize it-because the tables keep away the odors and bloody waste that often sully hunting and fishing locales.

Cleaning stations located near boat ramps and campsites reduce the chance of fish and game being cleaned in inappropriate places such as restrooms. They are the ideal solution for campgrounds, marinas, preserves and public shorelines looking to reduce foul odors and unsanitary conditions. The stations typically are made of stainless steel with poly cutting boards that don't take the edge off of filet knives. Other features include hose bib faucets, cold water pre-rinses with island brackets and an anti-rodent screen protector on the garbage disposal.

Each station is equipped with a heavy-duty disposal, so the ground-up waste is deposited directly into the sewage system. The systems easily shred solids such as fish parts, bones and fishing lures, allowing the waste-and the odor-to be removed from the park site.

Units can accommodate multiple users as well as offer ADA accessibility. They also can be a snap to install at waterfront locales because they arrive on-site, factory-wired, plumbed and assembled. Though it's recommended that tables be kept under a shelter, they are built to withstand the elements. They can survive rain, snow, wind, salt and seagull droppings.

By minimizing unsanitary conditions, the tables actually help pay for themselves. Maintenance crews will not have to devote time and energy to scouring makeshift cleaning stations. They also will be relieved of responding to patrons' complaints of foul odors coming from the bathrooms, picnic areas and other would-be fish-gutting spots.

But more than that, the stations help bolster your patrons' recreation experience. These fishermen-friendly amenities will draw anglers to your site, while clean shorelines will be a magnet for families looking to enjoy the water without worrying about slipping on discarded fish parts. Their enthusiasm for your venues should increase revenues, giving you a chance to bolster programming and spend money on more important things than cleaning up scales.

Fabwright Inc.: