Of Gill Nets and Turtle Eggs

I’m in Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta to be specific.  Here for a few days with my daughter and my mother-in-law and her husband.

I’ve had some really enjoyable fishing the past few years from the beach.  This year, I have some glow-in-the-dark flies to try out, so I went out the first night.  No dice.  The flies held their glow for about three casts before needing to be recharged with the headlamp.

I was picking up exactly 0 fish, 0 hits, 0 anything.  As I was walking down the shore I noticed something bobbing just off the beach… a gill net, strung across the whole river mouth.  Well… that pretty much sorted that out.  Now I don’t know if the Chernobyl Flies would have worked or not. Bummer.

As I was walking back I noticed something in the foam line and a few steps further and I saw it was a sea turtle.  The turtle was struggling to get over a little sand berm that had been formed.  I watched as it finally struggled over the berm, made its way 20 or so feet up the beach and began digging a whole.

It occurred to me that this stretch of beach is just about the only bit of sand this turtle could have laid her eggs.  This is the most natural bit of beach for probably 15 miles in either direction with resort upon resort upon resort.  I watched her for a while as she started dropping her eggs and I left her in peace to finish her work.

Vallarta Sea Turtle

While I was bummed about the gill net and lack of fish, I felt pretty fortunate to see the sea turtle.

Today I went down to the river mouth to try my luck again.  Got skunked, which doesn’t happen often here.  On the walk back I looked for the spot the turtle had laid her eggs.

I found it… there was a hole and a couple dozen eaten turtle eggs.  Something had gotten to them and all her effort was wasted.

Well… that sucks.  C’est la vie.

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  1. That does suck, dude. Very sad, especially considering the plight of most sea turtles nowadays.

  2. Yeah… gets worse. On the way out today I brought my camera to take pics of the despoiled nest and found two more empty and probably raccoon-destroyed turtle nests (there is probably some specific word for the hole a turtle leaves their eggs in, but I don’t know what that word is). Bumming me out. However, I think I found one more that wasn’t destroyed. So… a little glimmer of hope in there somewhere.

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