Here's what an STA looked like almost 15 years ago...

PinmanPinman Posts: 2,307 Captain
This was STA 5. It was a football field of Hydrilla. The number of ducks there was ungodly. Fisheating Bay on Lake Okeechobee looked very similar to this in the late 70's through 80's. No one will ever convince me there is a better duck attractant in Florida than Hydrilla but yeah, I know the problems that go along with it. You won't find topped out SAV like this at any STA now.
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Replies

  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,472 AG
    Not a lot of cover there. What, no bright orange canoe? :grin May the cattail monoculture begin!! :banana
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,307 Captain
    navigator2 wrote: »
    Not a lot of cover there. What, no bright orange canoe? :grin May the cattail monoculture begin!! :banana

    There are cattail islands in the distance. This stuff was a bear. Could barely paddle through it. Could absolutely not walk through it. Finally figured out the only way to beat it was to push pole through it.

    But good lord the ducks loved that topped out 'drilla!
  • navigator2navigator2 Posts: 22,472 AG
    Pinman wrote: »
    There are cattail islands in the distance. This stuff was a bear. Could barely paddle through it. Could absolutely not walk through it. Finally figured out the only way to beat it was to push pole through it.

    But good lord the ducks loved that topped out 'drilla!

    Glory days! Sadly things have changed here close to home. What used to be a tough decision on where to because so many good options is a tough decision on whether to go anywhere or not or just fish. I'll be fishing this week. :(
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • TGunnTGunn Posts: 1,863 Captain
    I remember that.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,792 Admiral
    I really don't care about STA's for many reasons... but, I always thought that part of the plan was to remove the new growth(cattails) on a rotational basis. I don't drive around all of them, but has this practice begun?
  • darkwing duck1darkwing duck1 Posts: 138 Deckhand
    glory days my friend. duck dynasty era we live in now has ruined it.
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,093 Captain
    We just had a complete detailed presentation on plant management in the STAs by the "boss" at SFWMD, Lou Toth, at the SFWMD WRAC Recreation meeting Monday at my request. It was a very interesting presentation and explained the reasons for the recent changes in the planning for the STAs. I am not going to do a long analysis of what is happening, but the original idea of one cell totally cattails, the next cell a mix and the third cell almost all SAV has been changed due to a desire to prevent the SAV from being blown up on the levees during storm events (note the thick band of cattails and bulrush around all cells and the wide swaths crossing all the cells at several points)...there will be more emergent vegetation in all cells...and the SAV of choice is not hydrilla but others such as Illinois pond weed, and a mixture of plants....All of this to reach the optimum reduction of Phosporous in the water......That is the single purpose of the STAs and we will simply need to take advantage of whatever hunting opportunities occur within those parameters.
  • Derek ArsuaDerek Arsua Posts: 2,474 Officer
    It kills me to see all the hydrilla I remember lake O when it was like that and you had to plan out thru wheel ditches and run it but the birds were so thick it was breath taking now if you run up 500 to 1000 birds while scouting your stoked for the am. If I remember correctly I don't recall any of the bass fisherman speck fisherman or duck hunters complaining about it really once they figured out how to use it and navigate it. It's no wonder the growth in okeechobee has slowed. I for one say stop killing the hydrilla the boats will cut wheel ditches 250 hp bass boat has no issue cutting it for us. It hurts not only the economy of the small town but the feeding and resting grounds of the migrators sure it's not native but I don think too many people care of it's better than what the native aquatic plant life can offer. In my opinion hydrilla provides a better hiding place for bait fish which means more bait fish which in turn means more food for game fish. It's simple to see back in the 70's 80's and 90's the big O was a destination for hunters and fisherman alike they say they accidently killed Kissimmee and flowed it to the big it can handle it then all we got was dead fish mud algae blooms and little to no ducks. The lake had been recovering but I still see the proof of over control of hydrilla and it sucks
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,792 Admiral
    funny how the "big Boss" has said they are making mid stream adjustments to the plan. That's because these things don't work,and they need to create a new plan to keep the dream alive. BOHICA
  • gator4evergator4ever Posts: 2,558 Captain
    I don't know why the powers to be don't draw down the STAs every other or 3rd year and burn them? They could rotate the burns.

    This would solve the eutrophication issue and allow for more gallons of water per acre. Not to mention what it would do for the ducks.
    "sometimes it's OK just to kill a little time" my grandpa 1972
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,792 Admiral
    SFWMD will never put their name on a burn permit..atleast I don't think so.
  • TGunnTGunn Posts: 1,863 Captain
    Hydrilla isn't native but neither are fake boobies, high heels or lipstick. They are all fine by me.
  • godvlmangodvlman Posts: 382 Deckhand
    All those "IMPRINTED" birds!!! Where will they go now? What will be the next excuse to the demise of Florida waterfowling, without looking at the elephant in the room, or course!!
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,093 Captain
    There has been very little if any spraying for hydrilla on Lake O for years....the changing level of the Lake is what keeps the hydrilla down. The spraying on Lake O is for the floating exotics, to clear cattails, torpedo grass, and other such plants. It is a gigantic and expensive program. Clearing blocks of cattails has opened additional duck hunting areas. If you want information contact FWC's Don Fox.
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,093 Captain
    When (or if) a STA cell is dried out...and burned or the debris removed....it must be rehydrated for about two years before the cell is effective again....and no hunting is allowed in new cells for two years as they revegetate.
  • binellishtrbinellishtr Posts: 8,792 Admiral
    N. Cook wrote: »
    There has been very little if any spraying for hydrilla on Lake O for years....the changing level of the Lake is what keeps the hydrilla down. The spraying on Lake O is for the floating exotics, to clear cattails, torpedo grass, and other such plants. It is a gigantic and expensive program. Clearing blocks of cattails has opened additional duck hunting areas. If you want information contact FWC's Don Fox.

    just be careful of the floating mud tussocks this created..if u see mud avoid it at all costs.Unless u have the hP to motor thru it of course. Spent an hr freeing up a guy this yr already.
  • roachbusterroachbuster Posts: 553 Officer
    TGunn wrote: »
    Hydrilla isn't native but neither are fake boobies, high heels or lipstick. They are all fine by me.

    Lol
  • Bite 1Bite 1 Posts: 489 Deckhand
    Well if need to know the biggest problem on lake "O"is pressure. The ducks have been run to death, and there are many places they can go now W/O being run over every day. Thank you Duck Commander /mud motor, Many ponds around the lake full of ducks. The lake is in best shape in years. Just more people working them. So they leave.Think about this: if U had a boat run up ur *** every day and U had some one shoot at UR *** every time you fly where would you go?Ha,Ha still some good shoots on lake have to work for them now. Get'em
  • N. CookN. Cook Posts: 2,093 Captain
    Actually those floating muds are a sign of a healthy marsh.....natural occurrence as vegetation rots on the bottom creating methane gas which can cause sections to rise to the top....occurs to a large degree where there is no spraying....LOX NWR has them in several areas.....never sprayed.....and the teal and fulvous love them....
  • BatemasterBatemaster Posts: 1,701 Captain
  • GoldHunterGoldHunter GainesvillePosts: 231 Deckhand
    N. Cook wrote:
    Actually those floating muds are a sign of a healthy marsh.....natural occurrence as vegetation rots on the bottom creating methane gas which can cause sections to rise to the top....occurs to a large degree where there is no spraying....LOX NWR has them in several areas.....never sprayed.....and the teal and fulvous love them....

    Hmm...I'm not sure the residents around Orange think so highly of floating muds as you do. Those things have made the lake practically unusable and somewhat dangerous. Contrary to your stipulation that it occurs to a large degree where there is no spraying, the constant spraying of hydrilla and other invasive species adds considerable amounts of dead organic matter to the waters. This only accelerates the natural eutrophication process exponentially, and through these actions we are complicit in the premature filling in of our lakes.
  • bowhunter4lifebowhunter4life Posts: 1,299 Officer
    Pinman wrote: »
    This was STA 5. It was a football field of Hydrilla. The number of ducks there was ungodly. Fisheating Bay on Lake Okeechobee looked very similar to this in the late 70's through 80's. No one will ever convince me there is a better duck attractant in Florida than Hydrilla but yeah, I know the problems that go along with it. You won't find topped out SAV like this at any STA now.

    Yep....i remember coming out of harney pond canal and it looked similar to that and was loaded with ducks. The airboats would jump them up, and they would circle,and come right back to it. Now when you jump decent numbers of ducks they disappear into the horizon. Nothing for them to hold to in my opinion.
  • Silent snookerSilent snooker Posts: 378 Deckhand
    Yep....i remember coming out of harney pond canal and it looked similar to that and was loaded with ducks. The airboats would jump them up, and they would circle,and come right back to it. Now when you jump decent numbers of ducks they disappear into the horizon. Nothing for them to hold to in my opinion.

    Actually harney pond looked similar, to an extent, the week leading up to this season. While scouting we stopped and watched exactly what you described happen for the first hour of daylight. Large flocks getting kicked up and looping right back to the hydrilla. After the first week of being hunted heavy the numbers decreased substantially.
  • HuntsmanHuntsman Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    I'd be to embarrassed to have a photo taken with just one duck :rotflmao

    Nice one man :)
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,156 AG
    Pinman wrote: »
    This was STA 5. It was a football field of Hydrilla. The number of ducks there was ungodly. Fisheating Bay on Lake Okeechobee looked very similar to this in the late 70's through 80's. No one will ever convince me there is a better duck attractant in Florida than Hydrilla but yeah, I know the problems that go along with it. You won't find topped out SAV like this at any STA now.

    No Beard?....I thought all duck commanders had a beard?..... :shrug:grin
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,340 Captain
    Interesting blind material in the boat..pre camo burlap.
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,307 Captain
    Huntsman wrote: »
    I'd be to embarrassed to have a photo taken with just one duck :rotflmao

    Nice one man :)

    Yeah but it IS the duck of all ducks! (see my screen name :wink).
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,307 Captain
    duckmanJR wrote: »
    No Beard?....I thought all duck commanders had a beard?..... :shrug:grin

    I had a beard once! Then I found a job.
  • PinmanPinman Posts: 2,307 Captain
    Interesting blind material in the boat..pre camo burlap.

    Fastgrass off the duck boat
  • gator4evergator4ever Posts: 2,558 Captain
    Actually harney pond looked similar, to an extent, the week leading up to this season. While scouting we stopped and watched exactly what you described happen for the first hour of daylight. Large flocks getting kicked up and looping right back to the hydrilla. After the first week of being hunted heavy the numbers decreased substantially.

    In 1981 (I believe one of the first years of steel shoot only) You could literally walk out into lake at Harney Pond. Talk about teal OMG it was something. But in all my years I have never seen more ducks than in the flooded cane fields of Okeelanta Sugar.

    Think for a minute when the lake was high. The only shallow puddle duck water around was Okeelanta and Talisman. But Talisman got shot up quick we never over shot the fields we hunted. Back then a lot of the birds stopped at Merritt Island. I wonder how MI has been affected with the STAs? I would bet there are less birds wintering there?
    "sometimes it's OK just to kill a little time" my grandpa 1972
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