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TrickyVT1887

NORTHERN VA, BURKE LAKE We need to support DGIF to protect parking for anglers at Burke Lake

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Fellow Northern Virginia Anglers,

We need to support DGIF to protect parking for anglers at Burke Lake.

This article from the Washington Post shows how Virginia's Conservation Police Officers have been protecting the rights of fisherman to have a place to park, launch, and fish at the crowded DGIF parking area at Burke Lake. Many people use this area to park and walk their dogs, jog, and bird watch which then hinders anglers from using the resource. We as anglers need to support them to be sure that they protect our public fishing waters that are maintained by the our purchasing of fishing licenses and tackle purchases.

Contact DGIF to show your support

Headquarters (804) 367-9147

Regional Office (540) 899-4169

Here is what i found as the contact number for Fairfax

703-FAIRFAX (703-324-7329)

Here's the article enjoy

Article published Apr 9, 2008

Battle for space at Burke Lake

April 9, 2008

by Gene Mueller - The way new residents in the neighborhood figure it, when they visit Burke Lake off Route 123 in Fairfax, they should be allowed to park their cars wherever they wish. But Northern Virginia sport fishermen are in an uproar because the bird watchers, hikers and dandelion pickers are taking up the very parking spaces they paid for with their fishing license money and through Federal Sportfishing Restoration funds.

"It's a dilemma," said the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' John Odenkirk, the top fisheries biologist and manager in Northern Virginia. "What the nonfishing public doesn't understand is that in Northern Virginia we have lakes Brittle, Burke, Orange and Curtis all of them built and paid for with fishing license money and federal fishing dollars that come from special taxes placed on fishing equipment."

At Burke, for example, there is a special parking area and access ramp strictly intended for anglers. Apparently that doesn't matter to park visitors who want to look at the azaleas. They'll park as long as there's a designated space, ignoring warning signs and friendly admonitions.

"It got to the point that we had to issue trespass citations," Odenkirk said. "The first trespass case goes to court this week and, well, all of that will depend how the judge views our right to reserve parking strictly for those who paid for it. We'll see."

Odenkirk said secondary uses are permitted (bird watching, hiking, etc.) so long as they do not interfere with fishing.

"Uses which are prone to interfere with fishing, such as sailboating, radio-controlled boats, swimming, already are prohibited," he said.

Odenkirk added that some people perceive the immediate surroundings at Burke Lake to be a county park, and the Fairfax County Park Authority does indeed operate a large park near the lake.

"The fact remains that Burke has the fairly unique distinction of being a public fishing lake," Odenkirk said. "We have erected warning signs and posted notes on cars over the past two years in efforts to educate the public of this policy."

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I haven't been to Burke in a while, but I have never had a problem parking at the VDGIF parking lot, even though it is pretty small. During the day, can't you just park at the larger county park lot? I can only see it being an issue at night when the county lot is closed, but then again, the dog walkers and bird watchers won't be out at night so the VDGIF lot shouldn't have their cars in it.

That being said though, if the parking lot is paid for by anglers' money, then by all means they should get priority. Maybe you guys who go to Burke more often can shed some light on the severity of this problem.

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I'm confused as to which area is designated for fishermen...when I go to burke lake I park in the large lot right behind the bathrooms and in front of the park boat launch.  Which parking space is that?

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It looks like they are talking about both lots.  The marina lot by the boat rental area and fishing pier as well as the free public boat launch area.  In the Summer the marina lot gets very crowded, but I think I've always found a spot.

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Yea they are talking about the one that's designated JUST FOR FISHING.  If your coming up 123 going northbound it's the little narrow entrance that says "public fishing lake".  

They have been getting very strict lately, checking licenses every time I'm there as well as other friends of mine.  If you ask me it's great.  About time we have a place where our money is getting used the right way.  I paid for my license and I use it religiously.  These other people who want to walk their dogs and play fetch and bird watch have plenty of other places in this park to park their vehicles.

But yea, they are taking a step in the right direction.  I don't think it's as big a problem as they are making it out to be though, unless you go on weekends.  There is always plenty of parking when I go.  Just trying to make the public aware that they are serious in this matter I guess.

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The Park with bathrooms and boat rentals is a Fairfax County Park and if you're not a resident of Fairfax you have to pay (small fee; unsure of amount) to enter the park you also have to pay to launch a boat.  If you use the DGIF area you don't have to pay to enter or launch.  Glad to see the Conservation Officers are earning their pay.  Now if they can do something about loose dogs chasing sticks/balls/etc in the water and scaring off all the fish.

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For what it's worth, Gene Mueller writes for the Washinton Times, not the Post.  Angus Phillips is the outdoor writer for the Post...

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Being a Fairfax County Police Officer, about a year ago the VDGIF asked if we would help in enforcing the parking and trespass rules at the park. I write the heck out of people for parking illegally. The parking lot that is designated for just anglers is the southern entrance that is very obscure and is on the cove down near the dam. I usually work the midnight shift so I end up dealing more with people in the park at night doing things other than fishing, usually drinking and smoking up, which ends up leading to them going to jail or getting a summons. Burke Lake is a great lake to fish at night though. If you bank fish there at night, use the lot designated just for fishing and you may just get to meet me! I check fishing licenses too... HAHA Hey, $18.50 for 365 days of fishing is a dam good deal if you ask me! And write to support the effort, if not it won't be long and you won't have a place to park to fish, especially on weekends!

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