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Ice fishing now allowed in Hudson despite mayor's controversial 'prostitution' comments

Signs posted at public lakes across the city say fishers can once again go out on the ice 'at [their] own risk.'

HUDSON, Ohio — After days of dealing with fallout from bizarre comments made by the city's mayor, ice fishing is once again allowed in Hudson.

Officials had been debating the practice, but confirmed Friday residents can now go out on public lakes and fish. Signs posted at all spots note fishers will be going out "at [their] own risk," and emphasize all children must be accompanied by an adult.

Hudson's ice fishing community was thrust into the national spotlight on Tuesday when, at a City Council meeting, Mayor Craig Shubert talked about the "slippery slope" of allowing the practice. The mayor visibly raised eyebrows inside the room when he suggested the creation of ice shanties for fishing could lead to illegal sexual activities.

"If you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution," Shubert said. "Now you have the police chief of the police department involved. Just some data points to consider."

RELATED: Hudson mayor doubles down on call for school board to be held accountable for 'pornographic content'

Shubert's remarks were widely mocked on social media and even by some of his colleagues, and the city later released a statement clarifying that the mayor's position is "largely ceremonial" under its council-manager system of government. Still, his aversion to ice fishing disappointed some longtime ice fishers in the area, such as Michael Whitacre.

"We go out there to get away from women," Whitacre joked in a conversation with 3News. "There is no reason that it should be this fun to catch 4-inch blue gill through an 8-inch little hole."

Whitacre lamented that a sign banning ice fishing had gone up at the same lake he had frequented since he was a kid. Much to his delight, a new sign went up Friday, and he is sure to be back on the ice as soon as possible.

RELATED: Ice now forming on Northeast Ohio's lakes, both large and small

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