Welcome to the latest installment of the Wednesday Wake-Up Call, a roundup of the most pressing conservation issues important to anglers. Working with our friends at Trout Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Everglades Foundation, Captains for Clean Water, VoteWater.org, and Conservation Hawks (among others), we’ll make sure you’ve got the information you need to understand the issues and form solid opinions.
Algal Blooms on Lake Okeechobee Stoke Fears of Another “Lost Summer”
Back in July 2018, massive algal blooms that started on Lake Okeechobee and spread to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries created a host of problems for local residents, the tourism industry, the fishing community, and wildlife:
The rolling disaster that we’ve been chronicling in South Florida continues unabated, as huge and disgusting algae blooms continue to choke inland waterways and red tides and fish kills plague the coasts. (Wednesday Wake-Up Call 07.18.18)
Today, the same bacteria covers almost 80% of Okeechobee, and the lake is higher (at 14 feet) than normal going into the “wet season.” If the level rises to 16 feet, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be forced to release the toxic water into the estuaries again. In the video above, Eve Samples of Friends of the Everglades explains the threat as it stands right now and what could happen in the coming weeks and months.
- Why does toxic algae continue to impact Lake Okeechobee? on wptv.com
- Jacksonville Commander announces Lake Okeechobee Wet Season Strategy on saj.usace.army.mil
- Algae-coated Lake O water surrounds Port Mayaca Lock and Dam on tcpalm.com
2. The Future of Louisiana Redfish is at Stake
Tomorrow, Louisiana will hold a meeting to discuss redfish management. This meeting will address Senate Concurrent Resolution 46, which mandates no harvest of redfish over 27 inches. While this is an excellent step forward, much more needs to be done to restore redfish. With the current rebuilding timeline, a 30% reduction in harvests still fails to rebuild the redfish stock by 2060, while a 40% reduction rebuilds by 2040 and a 50% reduction rebuilds by 2034. The American Saltwater Guides Association is advocating for a reduction of 50% so the stock can be rebuilt by 2034. Anything less is not doing enough to restore this iconic species.