Among my friends we had a disagreement/confusion as to what the following sign means:

enter image description here

The sign is located on the top of the waterfall, but an access path to the bottom is nearby.

Our hypotheses:

  1. No fishing due to risk of falling rocks (from the mountain)
  2. Caution when fishing due to risk of falling rocks
  3. Do not throw rocks down because of people fishing on the bottom (risk of injury/death to the fisher)
  4. Do not throw rocks down because of people fishing on the top (risk of disturbing the fish)

I think 3. is the most likely but I would like to find a more official source, or alternatively other similar signs at similar places to clarify the meaning.

Added from a comment: it is on the top level of the waterfall, but a path to the bottom is nearby.

  • 14
    5. Fishing at this location should be performed with fishing poles and bait rather than by throwing rocks at the fish.
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 11:48
  • 3
    is the sign at the top or the bottom? It's pointless to tell people not to throw rocks down when you're at the bottom already. Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 16:20
  • 1
    Since the sign is showing rubbish crossed out, I presume this is something to do with not throwing your rubbish over the fishermen.
    – Nick
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 3:40
  • 4
    My guess would be: Please do not throw trash in the water as this is a fishing spot. Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 12:00
  • 2
    @KateGregory it is on the top level of the waterfall, but a path to the bottom is nearby.
    – xngtng
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


I don't have any definite answer or additional information regarding this one specific sign but I have the feeling some background knowledge can help resolve the question, at least partly.

  1. This interpretation can be confidently ruled out. Any half-way competent sign/graphic designer tasked with representing “no fishing” would use a red circle over the pictogram representing the fisherman. This convention comes from road signs but is widely understood in Switzerland and Europe and is used in other contexts too (buildings, public transportation).

  2. This interpretation is very unlikely too, there is a commonly recognised sign for “falling rocks”. If that's what you want to represent you would draw the mountain side next to the loose rocks. Again, this is a reglementary road sign in Switzerland but is also used occasionally on mountain paths there and in neighbouring countries. This also applies to interpretation one.

  3. This interpretation makes the most sense to me but, not knowing the exact location, this is admittedly a judgment call. The “rocks” or “rubbish” also reminds me of a sign I have occasionally seen on motorway bridges elsewhere and which did share the same meaning (I couldn't find an example and it's not exactly the same, in France for example such a sign would also feature a hand IIRC).

  4. I cannot definitely rule this one out but in the unlikely event that someone would put a sign like that, I would expect such a sign to come from some angler's group, with some additional text or logo rather than in the form of a pictorial “road” sign from the municipality, as this one seems to be.

  • 4
    Some fishermen throw food into the river to attract fish to near their lines. The sign might be prohibiting that, as it adds extra nutrients to the river, and possibly causes pollution or a wildlife imbalance
    – CSM
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 14:19
  • @CSM That's definitely a possibility (although if I am not mistaken, feeding fish to make it easier to catch it is typically done a few hours in advance in lakes, not fast mountain rivers like the Doubs) but in my experience, rules like that are usually explained with text rather than pictograms.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Aug 4, 2020 at 15:12

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