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Lake O discharges poisoning us

July 6, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Lake O discharges are now exposing our families and pets to higher risks of cancer, plus liver and neurological disease. No longer is it just brown water at the beaches.

From Karl Wickstrom, editor and writer: "Why would Florida pass up a chance restore these world-class inshore waters, the very heart of our 9.7 billion dollar fishing industry? The same reason as last time and all others before, politics.

"Our water system is working exactly the way the sugar industry wants it and as the biggest political influence in Florida, sugar gets what sugar wants. Once again our politicians played on our hopes."

The Everglades are being polluted and water starved. Florida Bay and The Keys depend on this supply of clean water. It is staggering that the lower third of Florida is swimming in an ecological disaster to help put money in the pockets of what many now call Florida's sugar mafia.

Another obvious problem is a lack of common sense term limits for politicians as the founders of our government intended, not 40-year cushy careers while the environment is being destroyed. Another issue is the Federal subsidies and protections given each year to Big Sugar by Democrats and Republicans forcing Americans to pay more for sugar and sugar-based products while enriching the sugar barons.

This disaster must be turned around and it can be fixed. The water from Lake O must be temporarily held in reservoirs then directed south as was intended to replenish The Everglades and Florida Bay, anything else is foolish.


Clear or gold flecked clear DOA Shrimp allowed to drift or cast along the barrier island surf zones is a hot ticket to a snook battle.

Often we'll beach the boat in one of the passes (50 yards or so back or in from the Gulf) and fish off the transom. Open the bail and free line the live or fake shrimp with the current. I like keeping my index finger on the spool lip allowing me to control the outgoing line but also to help feel that thump or in some cases, a slight tick coming up the line. Once felt, flip the bail and go to work.

These same shrimp are also deadly casted or drifted into any dock structure anywhere near the Gulf right now.

Over the years this low-tech method has put nearly every Southwest Florida inshore species in the boat with a few surprise tarpon mixed in that obviously hunt the shoal edges along with a surprising number of grouper.

Off shore snapper are on the chew along with grouper and mule amberjack on the deeper rock piles, reefs and ledges out to 200 feet.

Fuel tanks in boats "breathe," sucking in summer humidity (water) through their outside vents contaminating ethanol containing fuel and eventually creating a sludge that must be filtered out before entering your engine.

Your first line of defense is usually your in-line fuel/water separator filter. By replacing this low-cost filter yourself (very easy to do), and protecting your engines fuel system, you will save a ton in repair bills. The last poll I conducted of 6 marine shops showed that 50 percent of local marine engine repairs are contaminated fuel/ethanol related.

If your boat has been sitting for a long time, before starting, test the fuel by using an inexpensive test kit to check for water contamination and replace the fuel/water separator filter. If the test shows heavy contamination, I wouldn't start the engine. Call a pump-out company which will suck out the contaminated fuel and properly dispose of it.

New filter(s), fresh fuel and then always use an ethanol treatment product every time you gas up.

Plan your offshore trip carefully and get back in before the afternoon lightning and rain. The shallow Gulf can turn very nasty very quickly.

Be a wise captain and put your crews safety first.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-440-1621 or



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