The Power Of The Squeaky Wheel Keeps Boat Ramp Open

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - The Sasser Fish Ramp at Meeman-Shelby Forest Park looks like the surface of the moon. Not the best thing to deal with when trying to launch a boat into the Mississippi. There was talk that it would close, but Local 24's Mike Matthews says the power of the squeaky wheel will keep it open.

Legislators in Nashville are so tight with a buck they squeeze it until George Washington starts to cry.

But we are talking about something that's important for a lot of people.

It is a Swiss Cheese, pock-marked piece of concrete; the Sasser Fishing Ramp at Meeman-Shelby Forest Park. If it were shut down, it would leave ramps in Tipton County and in Memphis.

There are restrictions on what you can catch in Memphis because of sewage discharge, says Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland. He says, "So this would actually shut down commercial fishing in Shelby County, and believe it or not, we have a thriving commercial fishing industry."

The fishing is for spoonbill, also known as paddlefish. There's a demand for the fish caviar. Put the caviar catchers aside, and you've got a big community of average folks who just want to put their boat in the Mississippi River.

It was enough for Shelby County Commissioner Heidi Shafer to support the whole thing. "Shelby Forest is a really good location and it is a draw," Shafer said. "I can't believe they were just going to close it, so thanks for working through that, and I'm in full support."

In Memphis and in Tennessee, if you make a lot of noise, politicians pay attention. There was a petition drive underway, with people stopping at the landmark Shelby Forest General Store to sign.

There were letters to Governor Bill Haslam.

And it worked.


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