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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

September 24, 2009 at 11:57 AM

Cameras and citizen’s group hope to quell bad activities at American Lake in Pierce County

There has been some negative activities happening at American Lake south of Tacoma, and state Fish and Wildlife and Eyes in the Woods, a non-profit volunteer organization, along with about 25 members of a newly formed citizen’s group are aiming at improving public safety and reduce vandalism at the lake’s public boat launch.

Managed by state Fish and Wildlife, the boat launch and public recreation site in Pierce County is used by thousands of boaters and anglers each year, but vandalism and other illegal activities present ongoing challenges, Steve Sherlock, a state Fish and Wildlife statewide access site coordinator said in a news release.

“At the American Lake access site we constantly deal with vandalism, gang activities, illegal dumping and criminal activities of all kinds,” said Sherlock, who oversees more than 700 outdoor access sites – mostly boat launches – around the state. “We’re concerned that these activities could put visitors using the site for fishing and enjoying the outdoors at risk.”

“Eyes in the Woods has played a valuable role with WDFW over the years in recruiting volunteers to observe, document and report criminal behavior and poaching violations on state and private lands,” Sherlock said.

Trained in these non-confrontational reporting techniques by state Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers and Eyes in the Woods, the local American Lake volunteers will provide a presence at the launch site and monitor recently installed surveillance cameras.

A kick-off work party for the newly trained and certified volunteers is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. this Saturday [Sept. 26] at the boat launch.

The volunteers will pick up garbage, re-paint restroom facilities, trim vegetation, post Eyes in the

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