Tuesday, March 7, 2017

More information about the Blueway Trail Coalition meeting held on March 3rd in West Palm Beach.

To read the first segment about this news, the latest changes and proposals going forward, use this link. The blog post below and more to follow will be much shorter reading but will examine certain specifics in detail.

Fishing piers were always part of the plan—and the overall project—for both sides of the C-51 Canal, Lake Worth and West Palm Beach. The photo below is a proposed cross-section which would employ the use of concrete pilings, not like the wooden pilings of the past. Any pilings used for fishing piers would be constructed so vibration is held to a minimum to protect the water control structure, the Spillway (S-155).

Where the Intracoastal Waterway (aka, Lake Worth Lagoon) meets the C-51 Canal is known as one of the best Snook fishing areas in the state of Florida.

Until recently, wooden fishing piers extended from the north (West Palm) and south (Lake Worth) sides of the C-51 and were located east of the S-155. Those have been closed due to their deterioration and safety reasons.

Two years ago, on the Lake Worth pier, the shaking and swaying of the pier became quite noticeable and the ‘writing was on the wall’, so to speak. Quite unsettling some times was watching a fisherman catch and release. The pier was about 15′ above the water and the fish caught and released made a big loud splash when they hit.

A triple-whammy for that poor animal. A hook in the mouth, slapped silly, and easy catching for a larger fish. The good news is any new piers to be constructed will be lower, much closer to the water.

The Blueway Trail group talked briefly about queuing of vessels waiting to bypass the S-155 and where that location would be. Locations were considered and also discussed was a signalization system to notify boaters. Stay tuned for more about that.

In the slide above note the existing debris device (buoy and flotation line) that traps trash and vegetation and feeds most of that material to the south (Lake Worth side). The new plan would reorient this process so that debris is directed north. This would allow for more efficient debris collection and leave a clear passage for kayaks and canoes, for example, and also be the queuing area for vessels using the boat lift.

Stay tuned for information, time and location, of the next Blueway Trail Coalition meeting. These meetings are very well run as one would expect of any meeting attended by the South Florida Water Management District and the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. All city representatives, staff, and other entities in attendance were well-prepared ahead of time for every topic of discussion. . . just in case you’re wondering how much can possibly get done in one meeting.

Now you know.