Listening to the news that the Corps of Engineers was stopping the water releases into the St. Lucie and reducing discharges into the Caloosahatchee River I thought, "oh thank you!" Our government at work helping us.
In my non-PC opinion the news report should read: the rains have stopped. We are only going to allow the poisoning of your environment and economy for just awhile longer, at least slow way down till next summer so we can continue to protect sugar at all costs while slowly destroying The Everglades eco system, two rivers, and their associated marine systems at their outflows along with the long term negative effect on Florida Bay and The Keys.
Now there is a plan for a lake or water retention areas? Buy land not buy land? There is one solution; the water must flow south as was intended by the creator. There is one thing for sure without continuing public pressure, change if any, will come slowly.
Fewer rains and discharges seem to be reflected in the current red tide report from the FWC.
Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, was measured in water samples collected this week ranging from background to very low concentrations at several locations in, along and offshore of Pinellas County south to Lee County.
Tables and maps of sample results are available on their web site: (myfwc.com/research/redtide/events/status/statewide/).
The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines: (myfwc.com/research/redtide/events/status/contact/).
Lionfish are back in the news again and it will be interesting to see what comes out of the big lionfish summit held at Coco Beach that ended this past Thursday.
"The expansion of lionfish populations represents a serious threat to marine ecosystems in Florida," said FWC executive director Nick Wiley. "Dealing with this highly invasive, nonnative species and the negative impacts on our environment and economy will require a strong cooperative effort among government agencies and affected stakeholders.
Native to the Indo-Pacific region, lionfish were first spotted in Florida waters in the mid-1980s. In recent years, their numbers have increased dramatically and their population has spread throughout the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and up the Atlantic coast of the United States. Lionfish have no natural predators in our waters, and they eat and compete for food with native species, including economically important species such as snapper and grouper.
As stated before, do not touch a lionfish as you will be stung by its beautiful, flowery, poisonous 5-10-inch quills that extend all around its body. If you are stung immerse the affected part in very hot water and have a friend tightly squeeze any unaffected body part with Channel Locks to take your mind off the lionfish sting. It can be pretty bad, I know.
Any lionfish should be removed with a dip net or spear. Florida Sportsman Magazine showed a great recipe for them.
If gearing up for trout choose a light to med-light, 6 1/2 to 7-foot graphite rod with a smaller quality reel fully loaded with 15-pound braid line. Attach a 36-inch piece of 15-20-pound quality fluorocarbon leader material to your main line with no swivel using a back-to-back Uni-knot. When casting a spoon use a tiny 35-pound rated SPRO swivel before your leader.