If you like to catch white bass in the Provo River, the time is now.

Last Thursday, my grandson Carter and I fished for less than an hour and caught 13 white bass on white grubs just below where the new bridge is being constructed.

However, this column is NOT about actually fishing the Provo River. It is about “trashing” the Provo River both physically (with garbage) and emotionally by people literally yelling at others who are legally fishing.

Both kinds of “trashing” must stop.

My son Mark was yelled at by a man and his wife while he was fishing for white bass on Saturday. According to Mark, the couple said it was the time for the June sucker to spawn and the river was closed to fishing. My son (kindly) explained that the river was not closed and that fishing for other species besides the June Sucker was certainly legal.

Undaunted, the couple warned Mark that he would be “cited” for fishing the river. He told them he would take his chances.

Let’s get this cleared up for those who may be confused about the regulations.

The Provo River, from the Center Street Bridge to I-15, is open for fishing year-round. You cannot keep walleyes for a couple of months in the spring and nighttime bow fishing is suspended from May through the first half of July.

That’s it, folks. The Provo River is open and doing quite well, thank you.

Beyond the obvious ignorance of the couple that yelled at my son, why do people think it is within their rights to practice vigilante “trashing” of others who have the right to be in a public area? Has COVID-19 turned us into police officers or perhaps even informants?

Let’s all take a step back and remember that we live in a country that still (I hope and pray) promises freedom and opportunity to all regardless of race, creed, or color.

The other “trashing” going on around the Provo River are the mounds of garbage left along the banks of the river by anglers and others who seem to have such little respect for the cleanliness of public spaces that they leave everything from fast food containers, cups, and sacks to lure packages, line, and discarded fish up and down the river.

On Thursday, the area in which we chose to fish looked like the inside of an abandoned building minus old couches and mattresses left strewn around. Newspaper, old fishing line, fast food “droppings,” lure boxes and more covered the ground, hung from trees, were tossed into the brush, and in short, made the area look like a pig pen.

Several years back I suggested that besides a valid fishing license, Utah anglers should carry garbage bags into the field every time they fish. It would provide a great incentive to pick up after themselves but, in addition, it would also provide the motivation to pick up after those who simply don’t seem to understand why cleanliness of public spaces matters.

I don’t believe this “trashing” is limited to anglers. Many people lunch near the parking lots or on the actual Provo River Trail. If there aren’t trash cans nearby, many just throw the remnants of their lunches on the ground. (I know this sounds crazy but I am not making this up.)

All kinds of people use our public areas around the Provo River. It is not right, therefore, to characterize those who don’t keep our public areas clean one way or the other. We all share some responsibility in this matter.

If you are planning on a quick trip to catch a few white bass this week, please take along a garbage bag and pick up a little trash along the way.

We simply can’t allow the Provo River to be “trashed.”

Don Allphin can be reached at don@donallphin.com.

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