10
Jun 16

A little mangrove destruction in Fresh Creek

I saw some photos yesterday of some mangroves being ripped up near Fresh Creek in Andros.

Mangroves, as most folks here would know, are vital. They are the nurseries for juvenile fish. They hold the shoreline in place when the big storms come through. They are host to crabs and shrimp and all manner of wild things.

You shouldn’t rip out mangroves because you want to put in a fuel station.

But… if the reports are true, that’s exactly what our good ole pal Prescott Smith is doing down in Andros. Yup, that Knight of Conservation appears to be ripping out mangroves. And yes, that’s a bonefish flat right in front of the ripped out mangroves.

It boggles the mind.

The number one threat to bonefish is not angler pressure or illegal netting or pollution. The number one threat to bonefish is habitat loss.

There is a lot of habitat in Andros. Miles and miles and miles of it, square miles. It is the biggest nursery in the Caribbean. It is only that good because it is mostly intact. Bonefish won’t be lost by a few huge devastating blows, but by a thousand little cuts. This is one such little cut.


09
Mar 16

BTT in the spotlight

You have to love it when the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust gets into Forbes. The author, Monte Burke is an angler and he is a fan of conservation and throwing flies at fish, so it made sense he’d pen this particular story.

The story is an interview with Aaron Adams and I urge you to check it out.

BTT is an organization I support personally. I have talked to many folks there and believe in what they are about and how dedicated they are to their mission.

Go on… join BTT if you haven’t already.

Support BTT

Support BTT


25
Feb 16

Clip it… Clip it really good… for SCIENCE!

BTT is running a Fin Clip Challenge, sponsored by YETI from March 1st to March 23rd. Collect as many fin clips as you can from South Florida to support YETI’s Bonefish Genetics Program. You get the most and you get the YETI Hopper Cooler with art by Jorge Martinez. Looks pretty dope.

More details about the contest on the BTT blog.

I doubt I’d be much help since I live in California and my only bonefish was caught accidentally and was likely the smallest fly-caught bonefish in Florida in that year.

The bonefish


12
Feb 16

Emerging Disasters

There are two things happening in the world of flats fishing right now that are just major bummers.

First is Florida. Billions of gallons of nutrient rich polluted water are pouring out of Lake Okeechobee and the impact to inland fishing in Florida is likely to be fairly disastrous. The Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River are taking the main brunt of this and their estuaries are going to have a hard time surviving. A sad situation with deep roots.

Next is Belize. Leonardo DiCaprio (DeCrapio??) is getting attention for his environmental actions and not the positive kind. Blackadore Cay, bought by DiCaprio a few years back, is the site he plans to build some real BS eco-resort that disregards local laws and the importance of the area to the people who live there now and make their living from the waters just off the shore of Blackadore.

Now, just because you’ve had to mentally go through those two total BS stories… here’s some eye candy in the form of some pretty bad-ass looking fish.

I kind of always thought Milkfish looked ugly… but I’m changing my mind on that.


21
Jan 16

Blackadore Disaster

Raise a hand if you’ve been to Belize.

A not-small Jack.

A not-small Jack.

Wonderful place. I love it there and really hope to hold my wife to her PROMISE that we could return for our 5th anniversary (we honeymooned there), if not sooner.

If you’ve fished there, you know one of the reasons why it is special… the diversity and quality of the fishing. The Belizians have gone further than most in putting in place protections for their game fish, which is to be applauded.

So, leave it up to some Hollywood nitwit to ruin it (or at least some of it).

Blackadore Caye is a located within view of Savannah Caye, one of the prime spots to go hunting for tarpon. It was at Savannah that I hooked (and lost) my first tarpon. It was where I landed my largest jack (maybe 20 pounds?). It is not a great place for a resort, but that is what Leonardo DiCaprio is doing.

This is the disaster of a resort.

This is supposed to be eco-everything. No fossil fuel use. Composted waste. All solar/wind. They make it sound like a godsend.

I can’t imagine it will be anything short of a disaster. You just can’t build something like that in a place like that and have it be zero impact. The thing that will be impacted first will likely be the fishing at Savannah Caye. More boat traffic isn’t going to do anyone any favors. It also seems the resort will make the island off-limits to the locals because the clientele for a place like this get uncomfortable when there are un-uniformed/non-drink-serving brown people around.

This map would seem to suggest that the Belizian people know what they want to do with Blackadore Caye:

Seems like the people of Belize want Blackadore to not become a resort, but seems like Belize isn’t going to get what they want from Leo.

Funny thing. Leo accepted a Golden Globe recently and dedicated his award to native people.

That’s some grade A hypocrisy right there. Leo should listen to Leo on this one.

There is a Facebook page for Defend Blackadore Caye. Join it. I just did.

Blackadore Caye, as a resort, is a lessening of everything Belize really is. It doesn’t need improving on, not like this, not by Leonardo.

 


15
Jan 16

The Bimini Ferry, Not Coming to a Port Near You

Resorts World Bimini wanted to bring rapid ferry service to Bimini to bring allllll sorts of flashy, cash-dripping Americans over to their resort.

Locals said “It isn’t going to work.”

Environmentalists said “It isn’t going to work.”

The Bahamian Administration said “I can’t hear you over the sound of all this money.”

Guess what? Resorts World Bimini got their ferry and their ferry terminal (at some high environmental costs).

And guess what happened next! Yup… the ferry has failed and the service has stopped.

The Bahamian people appear to be on the hook for this bit of douchbaggery.


02
Jan 16

Aragonite in the Bahamas

Aragonite is a mineral the Bahamas has in abundance. Of course, it could be that the other things the Bahamas has in abundance, like sea life, may depend, in part, on that very resource.

Still, where there is a buck to be made there will be people lining up to profit and the Bahamas are no different. That mining aragonite from the sea floor of the Bahamas could screw up what makes the Bahamas special is of little concern for the folks looking to benefit. It is a similar mentality to the one time thought process in the American West that there were so many bison that we couldn’t possibly kill them all, right?

The East End on Grand Bahama is set to reject any fresh attempts to create new mining operations there, citing the importance of the fishery to locals for providing fish for market, fish for the table and for C&R bonefishing.

 

 


17
Nov 15

BTT being awesome

This is why I love BTT. They are just solid and they’ll continue to get my money for as long as I’m declared competent and able to make my own decisions.


28
Aug 15

Damning

The MidCurrent story, both I & II are getting a lot of eyeballs. There are probably more comments on those two stories than all the stories I’ve written about the topic. It speaks to the authority MidCurrent has as a brand.

If you are still on the fence… I think these comments by our pal Prescott Smith about the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust really should help you pick a side. This is from the MidCurrent story:

BFFIA president Prescott Smith, who argues that BTT resists local input and is out of touch with ordinary Bahamians, says that BFFIA has no relationship with BTT now and no plans to work with the group on common cause conservation concerns in the future. Instead BFFIA works closely with Bahamas Sportfishing Conservation Association (BSCA), which Smith himself began in 1995 to address conservation issues he believed were of particular importance to Bahamians. According to Smith, BSCA has approximately 250 members; a request for the number of members with fisheries science backgrounds and/or advanced degrees in marine resources or natural resources management went unanswered. In any case, Smith asserts that locals know more about local fish behavior and patterns than do experts who visit the islands for a few months for programs like bonefish tagging.

Really?

Just to be clear… THIS is the organization Prescott won’t work with (and by the way, that is what actual conservation work looks like).

It is unclear if Prescott knew BTT has a Bahamian staff member, living in Grand Bahama, working every day on conservation issues (not weekends, really, working 5 days a week), getting in touch with ordinary Bahamians.

Instead of working with and supporting a world-class conservation organization like BTT, Prescott will only work with an organization he himself started and controls. This is the organization he’s talking about. Last news update on the website was from 2013. There is no list of staff. There is no list of partners or funders. Their facebook page was last updated in 2013. There is a Twitter account, started in 2008 with zero tweets. It is a ghost of an organization.

Incidently, this nearly non-existant entity is the only “Industry Partner” listed on the BFFIA’s website.

These are the partners of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust.

Which organization would a rational person choose to partner with I wonder?

I mean… is anyone still buying this stuff?

BTT & the Bahamas... they go well together.

BTT & the Bahamas… they go well together.


05
Aug 15

Protect Bay Bones!

From BTT. If you fish Florida, please take the survey!

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED: Project Bay Bones Survey

Do you fish for bonefish in south Florida? If you do, then we need your help. Bonefish and Tarpon Trust has partnered with researchers at Florida International University to create PROJECT BAY BONES to investigate changes in South Florida waters and how these changes may affect the quality of bonefishing. We need your help to fill in critical knowledge gaps on how bonefishing has changed in south Florida over the years. In the absence of scientific data on the health of bonefish populations, angler knowledge is an invaluable source of information. Thus, public participation is vital to the conservation of bonefish and to ensuring high quality fishing in the future!

You can help us by filling in a 10-15 minute survey and telling us about your fishing experiences. This survey is different than previous surveys on the bonefish fishery because it is tied into a larger study that is examining environmental changes in South Florida over time. Bringing all of these data sets together should help us better understand bonefish.

Click here to take the survey

If the link above does not work, please copy and paste the following URL into your browser: https://fiu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1GplxUPVHqt5xtz

We are looking for bonefish anglers of all levels and years of experience, including fishing guides. Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated and we thank you in advance!

For further information or if you have any questions, please contact fishscience@fiu.edu