Some interesting changes seem to be occurring.The Park officials
put in some rules and regs,I think are designed to limit access to
the Park.They started a online test to see if you have some basic safety
and boating skills.They also requiring fishing guides to register with the
Park and pay $1000 yearly fee to guide in the Park.
Yesterday as we crossed into the Park we did not see one boat.Also
we with a guide last week who moved from EC to Naples because of fee.
hurricane damage,no grocery stores and flooding.
My prediction,the fishing in the 10k area is going to explode because
for now,it benefits the rec.fishermen that choose to boat to this area.I say
for now because across the country the National Parks seeing to be heading
towards having a limited number who choose to walk carefully around there
simply let everyone slide on their renewals... Mine will come up again at the end of this year so I'll be learning first hand.... what the new fee will be - just like every other guide...
The problem is that the congress has not been willing to fully fund our national parks for some years now... The National Park Service comes under the Interior Department which for many years was made up from mostly one political party (and I'll leave it to your imagination to figure out just which party ...). Every Park has been pushed toward raising all kinds of fees as well as other annoyances but you can still clearly see just how strapped they are (take a ride down the only road in ENP from the front gate towards Flamingo and see just how bad that first seven miles is - and has been for about three or four months now, for a start). The only bright spot I can see is that the current concessionaire for the Park (the folks who do all the rentals and other money making in the Park) really are putting their own monies into their operations - and every visitor has benefited as a result. All of that, of course, is mostly down at Flamingo - over in the Everglades City / Chokoloskee area all of the facilities are private operations (motels, restaurants, shops, etc...).
As for lots of folks choosing to fish north of Everglades City (the northern boundary of the Park) to avoid fees and hassles.... That I'll believe when I see it. One of the great charms of that whole area from Key Largo all the way across to Naples is just how many really good places to fish there are. Considering how built up both east and west coast areas are - we're darned lucky to have so much true wilderness fishing available.... and it still is my favorite place in this world.
trips many people are not coming.Just leaving Choko and EC is a trip you
better be moving very slowly and follow the guide posts or you will get stranded.
So if guides move to other areas,you will have fewer people going out.You
live in SE Fla.,its get real old,real fast to get up at 4 am to fish the Park area.
Thank you daylight savings time...
Now I go over the night before, rooms are only $100 bucks this time of year. Getting old sux but I don't have to buy a license anymore, wake at 6 to the coffee brewing and short walk to the boat launched the night before.