What’s happened to the flats north of Fort Pierce ?

Moved over acres and acres of flats North and East of the North bridge. 
No grass to be found what’s so ever, all sandy hard bottom. 
Am I wrong or in the wrong area?
fished a culvert with water pouring out and no predators to be found. 
Very little opportunities on artificials. 

Replies

  • greenie-slayergreenie-slayer Posts: 850 Officer
    Dumping massive amounts of fresh water, algae blooms, and probably a few other factors have killed off the majority of the grass on the entire treasure coast. Very sad. Until these issues are fixed or we have a major drought you won't see much grass anywhere. The only time i flats fish around here anymore is when the pompano are in. I stick to snook are tarpon the rest of the year
  • P91473P91473 Posts: 125 Deckhand
    Further north from Harbor Branch on down it is decient. Awesome sea trout bite going on.
  • RedfinaticRedfinatic Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    edited April 18 #4
    Thank you for the tip. I’ll give it one more chance and explore Harbor Branch .
    pretty disappointing what I observed yesterday.
  • Reel MullarkeyReel Mullarkey Posts: 1,869 Captain
    It's crazy to think that we / they spray the lakes to kill the weeds, then dump it in to the rivers. Does it take an environmental scientist to figure out what's happening? It is a shame! Even up in Jupiter all the grass is gone. We have a brownish slime that covers the sandbars now. 
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  • SpineymanSpineyman Destin, FlPosts: 8,160 Admiral
    I am also told that Merritt Island where I grew up fishing, is also naked as a j-bird. It is a shame what they are doing to our resources due to greed. MI used to be some awesome pristine flats, and full of fish as well.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

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  • Capt.AWCapt.AW Posts: 936 Officer
    The last two years there has been an explosion of what I believe(don't know for sure) is shoal grass, or manatee grass.  It grows well during the spring, summer, and fall, but will do a rapid die off on the first hard cold front. Another thing that has been happening is that I have been snagging turtle grass more and more often. 

    While it is a depressing shell of what it used to be there are still good fishing opportunities.  I have a had a few 25+ trout days with fish up to 7lbs on artificial over the past few weeks. 
  • Conchy CritterConchy Critter Posts: 2,304 Captain
    Things changes. It's been going on for millions of years.
  • frosstyxfrosstyx NCPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    edited April 24 #9
    Capt.AW said:
    The last two years there has been an explosion of what I believe(don't know for sure) is shoal grass, or manatee grass.  It grows well during the spring, summer, and fall, but will do a rapid die off on the first hard cold front. Another thing that has been happening is that I have been snagging turtle grass more and more often. 

    While it is a depressing shell of what it used to be there are still good fishing opportunities.  I have a had a few 25+ trout days with fish up to 7lbs on artificial over the past few weeks. 
    Where is this happening, lol.  I have been down here it Ft pierce for 3 days and cant find the trout, we caught 4 shorts just south of harbor branch today but nothing over 14”.  Any tips would be greatly appreciated.  We will only be here for another week then we head back to NC, plan on hitting the shallow reefs Thurs.  
  • P91473P91473 Posts: 125 Deckhand
    edited April 25 #10
    Yesterday, on the flats off round island just before dusk the trout where thick and hungry. Quality size as well. Find the bait, find the fish. Today at approx. 6pm another good bite off the flats just south of the moorings. 
  • fishnitrofishnitro Posts: 88 Greenhorn
    Moved over acres and acres of flats North and East of the North bridge. 
    No grass to be found what’s so ever, all sandy hard bottom. 
    Am I wrong or in the wrong area?
    fished a culvert with water pouring out and no predators to be found. 
    Very little opportunities on artificials. 
    I fish that area this pass weekend I caught trout reds a small snook.
    All artificial.
  • ccampccamp Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    This is what happens when an ecosystem like Florida’s is bombarded with development, industry, and all the other things that the most advanced animals on earth bring. There is no one problem but all the problems have one source.....US.
  • ReelyblessReelybless Posts: 6 Greenhorn
    I live up in the Brevard county area and have seen the decaying of the Indian River Lagoon as well.  From what I have been told there are many contributors to the problem, fertilizers, sewage releases, freshwater dumps from Lake Okeechobee, but I'm amazed how people ignore the manatees impact on the sea-grass.  I know they were once an endangered species, heck they still might be, and people really enjoy seeing them, but good Lord those things can eat the sea-grass!  I looked over on the FWC website and they state the following:

    "Florida manatees are large, aquatic mammals that are native to Florida. Adult manatees are typically 9-10 feet long from snout to tail and weigh around 1,000 pounds; however, they may grow to over 13 feet long and weigh more than 3,500 pounds. Manatees have two fore limb flippers that they use for steering movements and to hold vegetation while eating. A large, round, flattened paddle-shaped tail is used for swimming."

    "...Manatees are aquatic herbivores (plant-eaters). Also known as "sea cows," these herbivores usually spend up to eight hours a day grazing on seagrasses and other aquatic plants. A manatee can consume from 4 to 9 percent of its body weight in aquatic vegetation daily."
    https://myfwc.com/education/wildlife/manatee/facts-and-information/

    So if you do the math, the average manatee can eat 40-90 lbs of sea grass a day.  According to the FWS website..."When aerial surveys began in 1991, there were an estimated 1,267 manatees in Florida. Today there are more than 6,300 in Florida, representing a significant increase over the past 25 years."
    https://www.fws.gov/southeast/wildlife/mammals/manatee/
     
    Once again, doing the math...say the average manatee eats 65-lbs of sea-grass daily.  Multiply that by 6,300 and you have 409,500-lbs daily.  Which is a huge impact!!!  Now I know that the manatees are spread around the state and 6,300 manatees are not doing the "all you can eat buffet" on the IRL sea-grass flats each day, but many are here. If the health of the lagoon depends on a sea-grass, then they certainly having a major impact on the waters quality.

    If our politicians are so concerned about man's impact on the aquifer, why do they turn a blind eye to the manatee's impact?  Not sure what needs to be done about it, how we solve the sea-grass crisis, don't care to debate you and I know that this will probably make some environmentalists very mad. This problem cannot all be blamed on Man's actions, the wildlife does impact the problem as well.  Just wanted to throw it out there. 
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 337 Deckhand
    I live up in the Brevard county area and have seen the decaying of the Indian River Lagoon as well.  From what I have been told there are many contributors to the problem, fertilizers, sewage releases, freshwater dumps from Lake Okeechobee, but I'm amazed how people ignore the manatees impact on the sea-grass.  I know they were once an endangered species, heck they still might be, and people really enjoy seeing them, but good Lord those things can eat the sea-grass!  I looked over on the FWC website and they state the following:

    "Florida manatees are large, aquatic mammals that are native to Florida. Adult manatees are typically 9-10 feet long from snout to tail and weigh around 1,000 pounds; however, they may grow to over 13 feet long and weigh more than 3,500 pounds. Manatees have two fore limb flippers that they use for steering movements and to hold vegetation while eating. A large, round, flattened paddle-shaped tail is used for swimming."

    "...Manatees are aquatic herbivores (plant-eaters). Also known as "sea cows," these herbivores usually spend up to eight hours a day grazing on seagrasses and other aquatic plants. A manatee can consume from 4 to 9 percent of its body weight in aquatic vegetation daily."
    https://myfwc.com/education/wildlife/manatee/facts-and-information/

    So if you do the math, the average manatee can eat 40-90 lbs of sea grass a day.  According to the FWS website..."When aerial surveys began in 1991, there were an estimated 1,267 manatees in Florida. Today there are more than 6,300 in Florida, representing a significant increase over the past 25 years."
    https://www.fws.gov/southeast/wildlife/mammals/manatee/
     
    Once again, doing the math...say the average manatee eats 65-lbs of sea-grass daily.  Multiply that by 6,300 and you have 409,500-lbs daily.  Which is a huge impact!!!  Now I know that the manatees are spread around the state and 6,300 manatees are not doing the "all you can eat buffet" on the IRL sea-grass flats each day, but many are here. If the health of the lagoon depends on a sea-grass, then they certainly having a major impact on the waters quality.

    If our politicians are so concerned about man's impact on the aquifer, why do they turn a blind eye to the manatee's impact?  Not sure what needs to be done about it, how we solve the sea-grass crisis, don't care to debate you and I know that this will probably make some environmentalists very mad. This problem cannot all be blamed on Man's actions, the wildlife does impact the problem as well.  Just wanted to throw it out there. 
    This is an interesting thought and certainly they have an effect on the grasses, but it actually might be the contrary to what you believe. I'm not sure if studies concerning this effect have been done with manatees in Florida but they have studied the effects of "mega grazers" in marine systems such as sea turtles and they actually increase the production of the grasses. Essentially they graze on small patches and typically eat part of the grass which causes it to have to grow back and utilize more nutrients. 
    Here's one link to a paper on the importance of grazers:
    https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/24831891.pdf?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    and here's one particularly about sea turtles:
    https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2014.00028/full
    Featuring this quote:
    "More recently, however, there has been a paradigm shift to the view that large-bodied grazers, particularly green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), were critical in maintaining relatively heavily grazed, but healthy, seagrass ecosystems (Jackson et al., 2001Bjorndal and Jackson, 2003). In fact, the argument has been made that sea turtles and seagrasses have coevolved a reciprocal dependence and that natural densities of green turtles could help reduce the detrimental impacts of eutrophication on seagrass beds through increased rates of nutrient uptake under heavy grazing "
  • justintimejustintime Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    “If our politicians are so concerned about man's impact on the aquifer, why do they turn a blind eye to the manatee's impact?”
    Open season on Manatees!!!!
    Just kidding. Do the math on how much sea grass grows in Florida from Jacksonville, to the key and back up to the panhandle. It’s probably too big to quantify, like billions of pounds. Plus a huge population of manatees live in Florida’s rivers, I’ve seen hundred in the St Johns in Blue Spings alone. They eat no sea grass, just freshwater aquatic vegetables. Definitely not fair to blame a species that’s borderline extinct. The problem is humans. 6,000 manatees vs 21 million humans.. do the math. 
  • RedfinaticRedfinatic Posts: 57 Greenhorn
    edited April 30 #16
    Well, I didn’t give up and worked hard to get some bites  I did find a bunch of dink trout where the mullet were schooled. P19473, thanks for the tip north of Harbor Branch. At 60 years olds, you should of seen these same waters 12-20 years ago. I foresee no change in its grass growth recovery for years to come.
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 9,185 Admiral
    Jesus F'n Christ. 
    Manatees?  It should hurt to be that stupid.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • KlingerKlinger Posts: 1,860 Captain
    I once believed they were herbivores,  but learned that's not entirely true. Apparently,  they are omnivores , as they spent a lot of time grazing on fish scraps at the cleaning table in the Keys for the last few years 
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,840 Captain
    Klinger said:
    I once believed they were herbivores,  but learned that's not entirely true. Apparently,  they are omnivores , as they spent a lot of time grazing on fish scraps at the cleaning table in the Keys for the last few years 
    Deep down every vegan loves meat 
  • SSN651SSN651 Posts: 98 Greenhorn
    They don't call them sea cows for nothing. YUM manatee steaks...

    Chuck
  • sleepydeersleepydeer Posts: 60 Greenhorn
    Jesus F'n Christ. 
    Manatees?  It should hurt to be that stupid.
    I’m with this guy.  The grass situation sucks pretty bad but that’s the equivalent of a rabbit eating your whole lawn. 
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,472 AG
    one manatee would wipe out a trout flat in a week..
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • DigitalchaosDigitalchaos Posts: 73 Greenhorn
    They are an invasive species .shouldn't the government erradicate them lol
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 9,185 Admiral
    The danged invasive dot-head matanees are eatin all our gol-durned trouts!
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
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