City leaders explain decision to keep city property open for fishing, hunting

City leaders explain decision to keep city property open for fishing, hunting

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Lawton’s Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem made a joint decision today to get fishermen back on the city owned water.

If you live in Comanche County, and Comanche county only – hunting, fishing and boating is allowed again on city owned property… two days after council decided to ban it effective next week.

“Allowing people to still fish and to hunt was important. Myself and the Mayor felt like it was something we should allow people to do,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jay Burk.

Mayor Booker said their action helped clear up issues brought forward by Council.

“They were concerned about Texas closing it’s State Parks and a flood of people coming. We believe this measure will take care of the crowding issues,” said Mayor Stan Booker.

Councilman Sean Fortenbaugh shared on his Facebook page that he believed Council made the wrong call which he supported.

He said getting that corrected is a step in the right direction.

“I think there are some things that weren’t considered, and we may have to make modifications. I am glad the fisherman and hunters can get back out and do their thing,” said City Councilman Sean Fortenbaugh

But, Fortenbaugh said after council decided to all be involved more, something he was in favor of, no input was asked from other members today.

“I was surprised today a new directive came today without even a phone call to us," said Fortenbaugh.

“The decision we made today was exactly what council voted on. We followed the ordinance the way it was laid out… the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem can make decisions," said Mayor Booker.

Mayor Stan Booker said it’s crucial during a fluid time that they have the discretion to make decisions on their own.

Another decision made today involved who can actually sell the equipment.

“We’ve also allowed the bait shops to open back up, for the purpose of selling bait. The council had closed off sporting goods, so we are going to leave that in place,” said Mayor Booker.

Full breakdown of City of Lawton decision

- If you have a hunting, fishing permit you can do those activities on city property

- if you don’t have a permit, and can prove your residency in the county, you can purchase one

- Pleasure boating not allowed – social distancing guidelines must be followed while on a boat

- Mayor Booker says this is all about limiting crowds, so if they become an issue, further action may be taken

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