By: Capt. Dave Stephens
Seems like this summer’s rainy season is a far cry. This is the reason why I have decided to open my column talking about rain. I have fished Charlotte Harbor my entire life, and our rain amount for the year is way down. Our ecosystem thrives on a balance of saltwater, that depends on our summer rain falls. This year our summer rain has not made its grand entrance. I hope by the time my readers read this, we are complaining about to much rain. Our ecosystem is very diverse and unique, it requires a balance of freshwater mixed with salt. A large majority of our fish require higher salinity levels. While some of our fish require a mixture of salt and fresh. Also, we spend certain months that are considered our dry months. This time normally happens during the winter. As we move into spring, we start seeing rains moving into our area. The closer we get to summer, AKA Hurricane season, we have more abundant rain amounts. This year, we have not had the rains that our fishery require. As waters warm from the winter, the old stagnate grass and algae form and can be rather stinky. If you have been around some of the local creek mouths you have seen and smelled it. This is due in part to the lack of rain. When mother nature sends us a large amount of rain, she is doing our harbor a great justice. I’m sure if you have spent some time on the harbor, you have seen this. Well folks this has been happening for years, we just need mother nature to send us the rains to flush our harbor clean.
Even though we have been dealing with some not-so-great water, our fishery finds a way to thrive. Over the past few weeks, we have kept our clients very happy. We have caught more snook and snapper than you can count. The trout fishery has been a little slow, which is normal for summer. The key to finding feeding fish, is finding good clean water. I hope by the time this column is read, that we have had a large amount of rain. Enough to flush out the negative waters and welcome the new oxygenated water.
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Capt. Dave Stephens