The politics of pollution

Mike Ketcher and sons Grant and Jake, along with Capt. Rich Russell and the nice cobia they caught aboard the Enterpriserecently.
I’m not an environmentalist, tree-hugger or political activist. I’m a fisherman. My frustration with the politics of pollution and my desire to see it stop began not altruistically, but because fishing was getting screwed up. And therefore, my living was in danger.
My interest for the common good came when we all ferreted-out the causes of dead zones, dead reefs, dead seagrass, dead fish, sick fish and no fish.
It became apparent that agricultural run-off carrying pesticides, nutrients, algae and other bad stuff, killing natural seagrasses and corals and leaving in their place gloppy masses of life-snuffing algae was being deliberately introduced into the Gulf and Atlantic by a good-buddy culture of polluters and politicians and facilitated by the highly-political U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among other quasi-political bodies.
The politics of pollution appears to be funded by political corruption and will never go away unless we get mad enough to say enough is enough. Readers of this column are well aware of what I speak.
So while the politicians prattle on year after year about what they are going to do, they just flat don’t. Before the Lake O discharges, turtlegrass – which larvae of grouper, snapper, yellow tail, snook, trout and more need to mature into adulthood – covered about 95 percent of refuge waters. Now it covers about 10 percent. The rest is a slimy goo.
Before long, there won’t be anything left for us to enjoy, except for those responsible for all this, who will be enjoying their new swimming pools and Lexuses. Get mad.
Capt. Rich Russell of Enterprise took out Mike and Lisa Ketcher and sons Grant and Jake of Overland Park, Kansas on a light tackle fishing trip the other day. They fished the near shore piles and wrecks and caught a nice cobia (see photo) and brought a 250-pound goliath grouper to boat. Nice catch on light tackle. The cobia was taken on the second reef and took a half hour to bring to gaf.
Capt. Trent Petry of Sunshine Tours has been fishing the outside bays and passes and scoring nice catches of Spanish mackerel. In the back waters, he’s been catching whiting, black drum and red fish. Some trout are also in the mix.
Capt. Sean Black of Say What has been fishing permit this week, and limiting out each day. The permit are moving to wrecks a tad further out southwest of Marco Island.
As a post script, the governor of Georgia is suing the Army Corps of Engineers for messing with his lakes and reservoirs, drawing down their water. How about that, Gov. Bush?
Nah, too much to wish for!
See ya!
Retired fishing Capt. Fred Lifton has been fishing Marco Island waters for more than 32 years. He welcomes your fishing questions, comments and suggestions at 394-7445, or by fax at 394-8353.,/i>

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