Apr 10

Turtles on Abaco

Given my recent experience with turtles down in Mexico, I was intrigued to find a post about turtles and poachers on the Black Fly Outfitters blog.

Basically, there is now a price on the heads of the total douchebags that are pilfering turtle nests in Abaco.

“Nesting Giant Sea Turtles in South Abaco Face a Real Threat From Human Interference & Pilfering of
Nest Eggs – Cash Reward Now Offered to Help Find Culprits” (Link added)


I’ve said it before, one of the best things about fly fishing is how it connects you to the environment of the places you do your fishing.  You come into contact with environments and creatures you’ve never seen before and you get to know the issues facing these places and animals.  Maybe I wouldn’t care about turtles if I hadn’t seen one lay eggs in Vallarta.  I did, though, and now this feels a bit more like my issue than it would have otherwise.

Hope they find the bastard(s) responsible.

Mar 10

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.