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More Lake O water coming, plus invasives?

July 13, 2018
By GEORGE TUNISON , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Heard bad news on the radio this morning, more contaminated water is about to be released from Lake O and will be heading our way. I turned off the radio and hit the TV to watch politicians bickering as they questioned FBI agents that now play a role in swaying national elections.

I switched channels and saw long-term previously unseen politicians speaking out about "solving the water problems." Would it be unfair to think: where have you been for the last several decades? Now, I'm staring at that redfish on my plate wondering if it's really safe to eat. Sadly I know the answer.

With blue-green algae comes better awareness - something tangible easy to see. A large segment of the population seems numb to what is happening around them, finding it easier to be concerned about Facebook posting their latest sock shopping trip to Wal-Mart.

I turned of the tube and went outside to get some fresh air and get away from it all for a few minutes and was greeted by two lawn poison trucks on my street spraying the lawns while I watched the rain clouds forming in the distance, wondering how long it'll be before the upcoming shower washes all those "safe" insecticides and weed poison 30 feet down the street into the drain which directly enters the water behind my house, which then flows in Matlacha Pass and into that redfish on my plate.

My cousin came down with his two boys, 13 and 15. First trip to the "Sport fishing Capitol of the World!" Let's go fishing guys! No thanks, we just got these new phone games. I was stunned.

I countered, well, I have a friend that has a farm not far from here that would love to have you boys come out and take care of some hogs that are destroying his crops. They looked at me like I was an alien. You mean kill them? You mean with real guns? Never mind, I said, as I glared at their father who immediately and sheepishly blamed it on "the Mrs."

Seems sales of hunting and fishing licenses are on the decline across America as the minds of our youth are being captured by an electronic reality with an unhealthy dose of repetitive violence mixed in.

As these folks grow and have kids, instilling these same values, where will we be 20 - 30 years from now?

Stop the world I want to get off! I want no part of that reality.

Lionfish aren't the only invasive species to worry about. Asian carp are destroying river systems in the midlands with fish and game managers desperately trying to keep them from entering and possibly destroying the Great Lakes fisheries.

Recently the Maryland state record for snakehead was broken by a 19.9 pounder which was 35+ inches long. If you're not familiar with snakeheads, you might be soon as they are probably coming to a lake or river near your neck of the woods. These long, thick, eel-looking vicious eating machines from Southeast Asia were imported into the U.S. for the aquarium trade, as where lionfish, and like lionfish, tey are thriving, competing for food and territory.

Top water bass anglers are running into them while fishing the canals around Miami for another beautiful but invasive species, the peacock bass. Seems the snakehead is a sucker for those top water rat lures thrown around the banks and lily pads. Be warned; the snakehead has a formable set of razor sharp dentures and will go out of its way to eat your hand in a flash.

If prepared properly like the lionfish, it's delicious to eat.

On a brighter note, snook fishing in the surf and around the passes is really good and live baiters as well as early morning beach walkers using spin or fly gear will score with a always possible double-digit jumbo thrown in the mix.

Near and off-shore snapper and Spanish macs are on the chew.

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



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