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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I took a trip up to Assateague last weekend to stay at a cottage and meet the girlfriends family for the first time. Not so much a full blown fishing expedition but I brought my gear anyways. I have never been there, so I didn't really know what to expect.

To get to the point quickly, mother nature has done a beautiful job creating this place, but "The Man" has really done it a disservice.

Not doing any research, we loaded up the truck and ventured to the park on Saturday. After paying the $5 at the gate, we took a quick trip to the visitors center to chat w/ a person of knowledge. What I got was a 15 minute speech on what I couldn't do whilst visiting the park. It was more of "Thanks for visiting, now don't come back, OK?" attitude I picked up.

First of all it's $70 to even attempt to drive on the beach. Yes it's a yearly pass, but seriously. That's only to drive on a couple mile stretch, as "Tom's Cove Hook" is closed due to the dear Plover. It's goes steps up in price depending if you want to drive in MD (Day only), more for night time and up to $150 if you want to go to the "Bull Pen".

I was handed a copy of "the rules", and it's as long as my arm. Just a brief highlight of some of the rules are as follows:

-NO PETS (EVEN IN YOUR VEHICLE)
-NO FIRES (that got to me) :D
-NO BEACHING THE YAK FROM 03/16-09/02
-NO ALCOHOL

I pulled up to the edge where the ORV access starts and stepped out to the beach to toss a spoon for the hell of it. I witnessed the park police drive by at least 3 times in a 20 minute period giving me the stink-eye, just waiting for me to pull out a bottle of Mad Dog, light off a Thor Missile, pack a whopper bong hit and Sumo stomp a Plover nest. :confused:

What the hell did people do in the past to lock that place down like Alcatraz?

I don't get that vibe in Hatteras.

Is it a Northern beach thing or what?

And no, no fish caught.

Skunk
 

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It's actually kind of awkward that you bring this up because I was just checking this place out for a possible summer beachside camping spot. I always like the VA Eastern Shore and that area of MD. All I want is a place to sand spike the tent down by the beach so I can do some fishing, swimming, and fireside beer drinking at night. Might have to look elsewhere if the Nazi's invaded that seashore.
 

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I used to work for the NPS at Assateague Island on the Maryland side. Maryland is exlusively a national seashore. you can drink beer, have a fire on the beach and there is a bull pen where you can stay the night and sleep in your truck. That is the 150 fee. It is a bargain. Think about it. To camp there is $20 a night. For $150 you get unlimited camping all year and 15 miles of beach to drive on. Also, if there was no fee, the beach would look like a Wal-Mart parking lot. Would you want that? I think not. The only beach closed in Maryland is the north end where it is only accessible to hikers anyhow. That gives the birds nesting grounds there. My understanding of the hook is it is a great place to fish but is an important area for endangered plovers to nest. I understand beach drivers dislike the birds but just think if our beloved Striped Bass became endangered. We would surely want the spawning grounds off limits to increase the population. Hopefully with management and protectioon of the few underveloped beaches the birds can become self sustainable and we can fish along side the birds. Sorry your experience was not a good one.
 

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Our son went to space camp at Wallops a couple years ago. To kill a day we went the the Island, oh my gosh, no swimmimg between the green flags, no surfing between the red flags, no fishing between the yellow flags on and on. Got out of the car and the beach was packed, got back in the car and left. It was kinda like going to the Moorehead city area and tring to get on the beach, forget it. We went to a public beach access and a guy had a table set up and wanted to charge $5.00 to park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It may seem I'm over reacting regarding my experience there, but.....I'm used to camping/fishing in areas where the HEAT
doesn't rival the surface of the sun.

It's nice to camp & fish and not be shadowed by "Big Brother" the entire time.

And no, I don't shun the laws of the respective areas I camp at. That being said, I don't need someone looking over my shoulder making sure I don't.

Skunk
 

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Sorry...I meant threatened....would you feel different if red drum or striped bass were put in the "threatened category" b/c stocks plummented? Regardless, if not for the NPS seashores we would have homes along the beach and you would not be able to even gain access just to walk let alone drive a truck on the beach.
 

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The "heat" at Assateague has decreased crime dramatically. At one time, people would get stuff stolen from their campsites and cars. Now that doesn't happen as much. Personally I'm thankful to have park rangers patrolling around. Makes me feel secure someone will not steal everyting I got.
 

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I'd like to camp at places like that too. Unfortunatley places like Assateague is public and easily accessible by road and anyone who pays an entrance fee can enter. That includes thieves, child molesters etc. W/O a law enforcement presence there would be loads of crime and lets not forget about poachers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd like to camp at places like that too. Unfortunatley places like Assateague is public and easily accessible by road and anyone who pays an entrance fee can enter. That includes thieves, child molesters etc. W/O a law enforcement presence there would be loads of crime and lets not forget about poachers.
I agree with you. More reason to stay off the beaten path and savor the sereneness. ;)

Skunk
 

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I'd like to camp at places like that too. Unfortunatley places like Assateague is public and easily accessible by road and anyone who pays an entrance fee can enter. That includes thieves, child molesters etc. W/O a law enforcement presence there would be loads of crime and lets not forget about poachers.
WOW Are you kiddin me? Yeah loads of criminals I know stalk the beach everynight. Give me a break. Looks like somebody has been watching to may NPS training videos. With a mentality like that why not shut down the entire eastern seaboard for the plovers to breed hassle free. Hell just shoot me now and get it over with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
WOW Are you kiddin me? Yeah loads of criminals I know stalk the beach everynight. Give me a break. Looks like somebody has been watching to may NPS training videos. With a mentality like that why not shut down the entire eastern seaboard for the plovers to breed hassle free. Hell just shoot me now and get it over with.


I love fire, when it's not on me...:D
 

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Skunk Ape... I hear you on the vibe from the man. I had fished Assateague for a few years before going to Hatteras for the first time. When I hit the beach in NC and fished with no fishing liscence, no park entrance fee, no crowd, no garbage on the beach and no man on patrol bothering you constantly I had a sense of true freedom. Oh yea... I caught fish in NC too. Unfortunately NC is becomming more like AI with the restrictions being put in place. It may be the difference in regional population numbers that drives the enforcement attitute.
 

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WOW Are you kiddin me? Yeah loads of criminals I know stalk the beach everynight. Give me a break. Looks like somebody has been watching to may NPS training videos. With a mentality like that why not shut down the entire eastern seaboard for the plovers to breed hassle free. Hell just shoot me now and get it over with.
what do you want a free for all. AI is near large population centers and huge crowds descend there. I worked the entrance station and know first hand. NPS Park Rangers provide for your security and safety while visiting these wonders that God has provided for us. They are the first responders when someone is lost or in trouble. Without their presence a law enforcement officer from the mainland would have to respond. In an emergencey situation every second counts. A far as the plovers, everything in nature has a specicial niche. take bats for example, they eat mosquitoes and AI definitely needs more of them.
 

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I thought the NPS went from janitor to bird expert in about 3 seconds.
It appears you are attempting humor but to inform you about the NPS and AI operations, they have biologists who are experts in their respected fields and they research everything from plants, deer and the birds. The maitenance guys clean the bathroom. If AI is a hassle there is always Ocean City and by the way the rockfishing is really great in the inlet. Lots of big fish move in there. You can pay for parking or do like me, park along the street for free and cart your gear to the fishing spot and have a blast. Night time is the right time.
 
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