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Port Milwaukee extends public access hours under Hoan Bridge for 2023 smelting season

Due to upcoming construction under the Hoan, 2023 will be the last smelting season for the foreseeable future with expanded public access under the Hoan Bridge.
Hoan Bridge
Posted at 7:51 PM, Mar 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-02 20:51:37-05

MILWAUKEE — Port Milwaukee is temporarily expanding public access hours for the area under the Hoan Bridge for residents participating in this year’s traditional smelting season.

From March 15 to April 15, gates under the Hoan on Jones Island will remain open for public access from the evening into the early morning.

“Smelting is a south side fishing tradition that has long been part of the fabric of Bay View and other near South Side neighborhoods," said Milwaukee Alderwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. "I am excited that folks who wish to participate in this year’s smelt run may do so.”

According to a news release, due to the upcoming construction under the Hoan, 2023 will be the last smelting season for the foreseeable future when the area under the Hoan Bridge will be open to the public.

Alternate fishing sites will be accessible to the public at the Port. Those fishing sites are near the Lake Express Ferry Terminal and the Russell Avenue Fishing Pier near the U.S. Coast Guard Station. People planning to fish on and/or near Jones Island can be reminded of existing public access guidance, as well as Port Milwaukee's Public Access Map, which is available on the Port Milwaukee website.

The news release states that Port Milwaukee security will be monitoring the area under the Hoan to ensure safety.

“Port Milwaukee remains committed to maintaining a high degree of safety, vigilance and compliance with security requirements for its commercial operations, while also providing residents with as much public access to the waterfront as possible under local, state, and federal law,” said Jackie Q. Carter, Director of Port Milwaukee. “We hope that members of the public can safely enjoy this year’s smelt run.”

Those planning on fishing under the Hoan should be reminded that tents, waste, and fishing equipment must be removed from under the Hoan on a nightly basis.

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