Great article about the overuse of poison to control aquatic plant growth. I know they spray the stuff everywhere like it’s safe or something. I live off of the Cocoplum very close to the intersection at Toledo Blade and Hillsborough, and I noticed a few weeks ago along the Port Charlotte side of Toledo Blade on the right heading towards 41 they must’ve sprayed some garbage all over the oak trees and pepper trees that are beginning to grow out into the drainage ditch — no small amount, either. I can’t believe that it’s legal for our counties to dump that much chemical on plants and trees that are bordering a drainage ditch on one side and a canal on the other. Take a look next time you’re in that area. I mean, I’ve seen the guys spraying gallons of it on medians just to prevent weeds growing through the cracks, but I never knew they showered it down on entire trees. And with regards to people saying it’s not toxic and it disappears in a few days: I’ve heard of Roundup salesman drinking Roundup at meetings with farmers to prove to them that it is totally harmless. Whether or not that ever happened I don’t know, and they were probably lying if they did and it was just water. I’ve heard that they spray Roundup on all of our wheat harvest to make the harvest come faster and make the wheat easier to harvest since it’s dry. Now we’re seeing class-action lawsuits for people getting cancer after using large amounts of Roundup. I don’t trust any of the companies saying their poisons are safe.
— Brian Smedley
I grew up in Englewood and was taught to fish by my father. We have always enjoyed the water with our families and will continue to do so when our waters clear up. I also enjoy The WaterLine and the radio show. I have come up with a theory on the severity of the red tides which may be completely off the mark, or hopefully something worth researching. This is supposedly worse red tide since 2005 which got me thinking about hurricanes. Last year Irma came through and drained the Harbor. Charley came in 2004 obviously and sucked water out of the Harbor. A few years ago if I remember correctly Lake Okeechobee had some of the lowest water levels on record. I wasn’t around for Hurricane Donna but remember being told by the old timers that it drained the entire Harbor. I would like to know if that caused a bad red tide the year after that. If so, that seems like a correlation between exposing certain elements to the air that are normally covered with water can somehow increase the intensity of red tide. Just a thought from a local fisherman looking for a solution, not just someone to blame. Thanks for all the fishing information in the paper and on the show.
— Roy Robinson
Interesting idea, so I did a bit of research. Donna blew through in September of 1960. Prior to that, Southwest Florida had been experiencing roughly a yearlong red tide. After the storm, only four of the next 46 months recorded medium or greater levels of red tide — and only one of those was in the first year after Donna. This historical data is available online at https://goo.gl/pvGLYN. I like the way you’re thinking, even if this one didn’t pan out.
— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher
Your publication is outstanding for its informative and entertaining articles which are an excellent source for all outdoors people to better enjoy the many delights of natural Southwest Florida. What I appreciate most, however, is your dedication to educating us in how delicate our environment is and how we all can be a part of protecting it while we enjoy it. Thank you for this extremely important aspect of WaterLine.
— Jamie Reynolds
Can we scare the fish out of the red tide? Do the sound waves affect red tide? How about a big magnet to fetch the iron out of the water? Uh-oh, my beer is empty. Can red tide be a useful resource? I think not for myself but for everyone.
— Kent Mudgett
Answering your questions, in order: 1) Maybe, but you’d have to have a much better idea of how the red tide is moving around than we do at the moment. 2) I’m not aware of any research on that. 3) Umm … 4) It is useful. If you’re a crustacean or mollusk, it reduces the number of predators you have and provides you with a bounty of food. Did you mean useful for humans? I highly doubt there would be a way, but people are inventive.
— Capt. Josh Olive, WaterLine Publisher
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