Bowfishing outlawed at Navarre Beach
NAVARRE BEACH — Alvin Pittman has used his cast net to fish for mullet in Navarre Beach waters nearly every week for 50 years.
The 78-year-old Air Force veteran isn’t into bowfishing or crossbow fishing. But Thursday he showed up for the Santa Rosa County Commission public hearing in Milton to watch them vote, 4-1, to ban bowfishing on the one-mile stretch of the Navarre Beach Bridge and causeway.
Pittman wanted to make sure cast-net and hook-and-line fishing remained options along the stretch that serves as an entryway to the four-mile barrier island.
“I’m out there every day when the wind is out of the east,” Pittman said. “It helps me throw my net for mullet.”
In all of his time fishing at Navarre Beach, Pittman said, he has seen only three fishermen using a bow or crossbow to catch fish.
Pittman also wants to make sure the county enforces the prohibition. Otherwise, he asked, “What good is it posting signs out there?”
Only Lane Lynchard, the county’s District 5 commissioner and an avid outdoorsman, voted against the ordinance outlawing bowfishing on the beach bridge and causeway.