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Miami shrimp yet?

Anyone know if shrimp are swimming around at night yet?

Replies

  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    Haven't heard a word - but with the die-off of sea grasses in north Bay... I'm not expecting much...  As a guy who's been booking and running night trips in the urban areas of Biscayne since 1996... that's not good news for me at all... 

    For years and years you could expect good, strong shrimp runs in the area from Haulover all the way south to Government Cut every winter.  I'll be watch closely to see whether there are any shrimp at all this winter in the Bay...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Wra22Wra22 Posts: 237 Deckhand
    What is truly amazing is neither the government nor the marine biologists at FIU or University of Miami have much to say about it. I believe the powers that be want to dredge Government Cut again. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    Actually there is a "task force" set up and having meetings and it's on-going... I went to one of the meetings and after two hours of one agency or other doing everything they can to show that their outfit is on the ball.. I got up and walked out - and I won't be back even though I have a direct interest in solutions....

    I was part of an audience of about fifty and maybe a few hours after I left someone in the audience got to ask a question or provide some input - but, for me... life is just too short.

    Here's what I believe is possibly a big contributor to the die-off of the seagrasses in the upper Bay from Government Cut north to Haulover... All of the freshwater canals in south Florida are in place to drain away storm waters (much needed when they were put in place shortly after WWII) - without them south Florida would never have developed the way it has in the last seventy years.  One of the problems that has always plagued every city, town, county, etc.  is that weed growth in those same canals can choke them to the point that they can't provide that necessary drainage.  More than forty years ago it was quite common for the folks maintaining the canals to use mechanical harvesting for weed control - but over time that has morphed into the use of herbicides instead...  I'm pretty sure no one intended harm - spraying is just much cheaper - and when you see a small skiff with a spray tank on the road or in use in a canal no one ever pays them much attention -but I can tell you that any canal getting herbicides in it soon loses whatever fish were there... The problem?  As I see it is that all of those canals eventually drain into the coast - and I can't believe the residues of the chemical compounds used to kill weeds in freshwater aren't having some effect in the Bay since that's where all of it ends up... Over the years of herbicide use I'm pretty sure there's been some effect downstream... I believe that a solid first step to repair the Bay would be to stop any herbicide spraying in our canals from the Palm Beaches south to the Keys... while at the same time doing the research to verify that the basic water quality in our stormwater run-off isn't causing the harm I believe it is...

    Back to the one meeting I attended, there was much talk about sewage leaks (from the pipes that run under the Bay) and of all things "sea level rise" as though that had some dramatic effect (I guess if you're a political type you have to run it up the flagpole....) but no mention of the basic water quality coming out of our canal drainage system.  I haven't able to determine whether freshwater quality is being studied - or if what I suspect is actually a big contributor to our water problems down here - maybe someone who reads this can contribute...

    I've been running night trips in the urban areas of Biscayne Bay since 1996 - and we were doing that kind of fishing for many years before that (early seventies was when I started fishing the Bay).  Those night trips were outstanding - particularly during winter or summer shrimp runs.  Nowadays with the decline of the seagrasses, the shrimp have declined as well - and if there's no food coming on the tide - there's no fish there to feed on them....  We still catch tarpon and snook on those night trips but we have to work a lot harder to catch less fish and that's directly attributable to the lack of shrimp.  When it's in good shape Biscayne Bay can produce great quantities of shrimp - but the way we're headed now it's pretty clear that the Bay is in trouble... and I'm not seeing any clear definable reasons for it - or any solid solutions being offered... Sure hope that changes. 



    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 3,228 Captain
    It's not just the canals Bob, there are airboats with spray tanks on them all over the everglades. 
     I do know there are far less crawfish in the everglades now, and frogs are suffering for it. You would almost never clean a frog without a crawfish in their stomach. Now there are very few. The frogs are also skinny. I have found smaller frogs inside other frogs. I didn't use to see that. It started on the east side and has worked it's way to the cypress. Spraying that much herbicide cannot be good for the state.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    Thanks for the input.... I imagine the folks who sell the herbicides (and the folks that make a living doing the spraying) will resist any effort to bring it to a halt so we'll need some serious scientific work to find out if what I suspect is actually the problem.  Herbicides are trouble wherever they're employed - but rarely with any sudden dramatic effect.  I'm just guessing but I imagine the problem shows itself only very gradually over the years.  At the downstream end though -there's no doubt the Bay is in trouble.  Hearing that canal herbicide spraying is going on out in the Everglades is very disturbing.  I actually know the fellow, Adam Gelber, in charge of Everglades restoration so I'll ask him a question or two about it....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • plasteredplastered Posts: 671 Officer
    Last year was terrible for shrimp.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,799 Captain
    Sewage leaks - I don't think I would eat anything coming from BB.
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 3,228 Captain
    I read that parts of Lake Okeechobee are wastelands. I also read that once the herbicide is mixed it has to be applied, it is illegal to transport it on the road. So it is dumped overboard. The last few months they have been draining the lake into south florida thru the management areas. There are four big diesel pumps west of Krome on 41 that were running 24/7 pumping water west. They finally stopped a couple weeks ago, but all that water was sent into Fla bay.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    Actually not sent to Florida Bay since the Park (Everglades National Park) is under a consent decree to not allow waters into the Park that aren't relatively nutrient free (and they'd have to go through the Park to get down to Florida Bay).... This whole water thing is very complex - and whenever one of the parties cries foul - they all end up in federal court over it.  That includes the state (and its agencies), the federal government, the indian tribes, and the NGO's (Florida Wildlife Federation, Audubon, and more...).  Each has their own interests - and lawyers....

    When they "drain the lake" it doesn't go south much at all - it goes to the east down the St. Lucie and to the west down the Caloosahatchee rivers - where it thoroughly messes up the water quality on both sides of our state....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,165 Officer
    Just talked to a lobster guy out of the Miami River.  Only a few small ones (shrimp) about a week ago and nothing since.
  • bluechipbluechip Posts: 182 Deckhand
    Well it seems like its a bad time to start exploring the bay at night for tarpon. I was hoping there were shrimp to rev the tarpon's engines and make it a little easier to find them. I'll still go. **** shame about the environment. I just started fishing the bay. I live up in Delray Beach but have been exploring the glades and the bay a lot in the past year. I could only imagine what it once was if this is the current dialogue. 
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    There’s still 20 to 40lb fish under the bridges that connect Miami to Miami Beach on the falling tide - but they rarely show near the surface when there’s no shrimp...

    we’re still able to jump a few (both with flies and lures) but only because I know where they should be...

    Anyone wanting to learn will learn more in one night with someone that knows the drill than they will in a year on their own.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Gary SGary S Posts: 3,228 Captain
    Actually not sent to Florida Bay since the Park (Everglades National Park) is under a consent decree to not allow waters into the Park that aren't relatively nutrient free (and they'd have to go through the Park to get down to Florida Bay).... This whole water thing is very complex - and whenever one of the parties cries foul - they all end up in federal court over it.  That includes the state (and its agencies), the federal government, the indian tribes, and the NGO's (Florida Wildlife Federation, Audubon, and more...).  Each has their own interests - and lawyers....

    When they "drain the lake" it doesn't go south much at all - it goes to the east down the St. Lucie and to the west down the Caloosahatchee rivers - where it thoroughly messes up the water quality on both sides of our state....
    Bob that water was coming thru 2A and down flood control canals and pumped by 3 large pumps into Tamiami canal west of Krome ave. It then went under the two new bridges into the park. The airboat association was near flood level for months. Where else do you think that much water could come from?
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    The miles and miles of 'glades between the big lake and where you saw it being pumped is where it comes from....

    That's just one of the features of such a big area - and us living in or near the tropics where mother nature can do her best to drown us out at any time..... that was the big push for flood control after 1945... Whenever folks want to point the finger at the Corps of Engineers - we all need to remember that they were asked by the state (acting for everyone with flood problems...) to come up with a fix way back then... This is what has lead to a host of problems -that will take a ton of monies and years to make a dent in.... 

    By the way much of what you hear me sound off about - comes from the book by Michael Grunwald - THE SWAMP... It's a pretty full history of man's dealings with the Everglades - all the way back to the early days when Spain was the owner of this area.  Hard to believe from our "modern viewpoint" that the stated policy of Florida - all the way up to WWII was to drain the Everglades - and turn it into "productive land"...  We're darned lucky that the 'glades pretty much defeated all of their efforts over a hundred year span...

    That book is so well written that it was hard for me to put down.  Grunwald lays it all out.  It's up to us to do what we can so that our kids and grand kids (at last count I have seven of them....) can go into the backcountry and find the same fishing we've enjoyed...
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • HurricaneBKHurricaneBK Posts: 213 Deckhand
    They use herbicides pretty liberally in the STAs south of the lake. The aquatic vegetation that grows is either killed mechanically or with herbicides and left to sink to the bottom since the goal there is for the vegetation to take up the nitrogen and phosphorous in the water making it less nutrient rich when it reaches the Glades. Whether the herbicide use has a significant impact down stream from the STAs I don't know.

    There's also significant herbicide use on the levees along the canals in the STAs to keep the area around the pump houses clear, most of which I'm sure runs down hill into the canals themselves.
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  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,799 Captain
    Sorry guys, but Elvis has left the house on the water dumping regarding the state. Started way before my time (mid century) and they're still fighting over how to rectify the situation. Can't be fixed in our time, but at least our politicians could cut us some slack and apply the funds we've approved to appropriate actions. Just amazing that in our age of instant gratification we can't get along long enough to fix a problem affecting our entire ecosystem.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,964 AG
    they spray the sta's?
    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.
  • HurricaneBKHurricaneBK Posts: 213 Deckhand
    Yeah, mainly to control exotics and unwanted vegetation I believe. They put a lot of effort into managing the desired plant species so that they can best absorb phosphorous from the water flowing through the STAs.
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  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 498 Deckhand

    Here is actually a great informational video on the spraying that takes place all across the state. Most of the spraying is done under the guise of being used to kill non-native aquatic plants, but as you can see in the video, the sprayers are spraying almost entirely native populations of plants. Undoubtedly the contractors and chemical makers who have been hired by the state don't care as they are being paid either way. And you can definitely bet they are doing whatever they can to hide the fact that these herbicides are nothing but bad!

    This guys youtube channel is actually very informative on a lot of the water issues and corruption found in our states water and wildlife management (its actually pretty disturbing). And although certainly he is biased against and some of the points he uses are a bit of a stretch, I think the videos are certainly worth a watch because the indiscriminate spraying of poisons all over the state is horrible.

    As for what these herbicides may do down stream, you can sure as hell bet there are trace amounts being flushed into our rivers, estuaries, bays and ocean. And I'd be willing to be they are having a negative impact on seagrasses, algae and plants that are imperative to the function of these ecosystems (although the impacts of these chemicals may still be minimal compared to other issues our waters are facing).
  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 498 Deckhand
    Oh and I forgot to mention, one of the major things we know is an issue with the waters being discharged around the state is nutrient pollution. And what do you think all of these aquatic plants do in the water... remove nutrients. So when we spray and kill acres of plants (native or invasive) were are removing the lakes and swamps ability to do this. Additionally, when these plants die they sink and decay creating more nutrient wastes...
  • HurricaneBKHurricaneBK Posts: 213 Deckhand
    Oh and I forgot to mention, one of the major things we know is an issue with the waters being discharged around the state is nutrient pollution. And what do you think all of these aquatic plants do in the water... remove nutrients. So when we spray and kill acres of plants (native or invasive) were are removing the lakes and swamps ability to do this. Additionally, when these plants die they sink and decay creating more nutrient wastes...
    Actually getting them to decay is the goal, at least in the STAs from what I've read. That layer of mud that is building up on the bottom from decayed plants traps the nutrients in place for years. Who knows, a couple decades from now we'll probably see somebody trying to extract it for use as fertilizer. 

    Agree that the spraying seems to be rather indiscriminate however some plant species affect the flow of water so much that they cause more problems than the nutrients they're removing and so it ends up being "better" for the downstream ecosystems they're trying to protect to remove some species and let water flow through the management areas in a more controlled manner.
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  • tarponhuntertarponhunter Posts: 498 Deckhand
    The sinking decaying matter may remove some nutrients but in reality most is actually mineralized and resuspended in the water as this matter is decayed. It's only when this muck is buried rapidly that we actually see a large loss in nutrients. The major issue is that through spraying they are not only killing the plants that continue to remove nutrients and clean the water, but they are also not actually removing the nutrients (just letting it sink to the bottom). And now with less plants securing the muck and abating wind agitation, whenever this muck is stirred up when it gets windy much of the nutrients are resuspended.

    In one of Knep's videos he shows some before and after shots of an entire island (multiple acres in size) of floating vegetation and grasses that is now gone due to the spraying. So now not only are we missing acres of plants that remove the nutrients but also the decaying plants that have sunk are resuspended every time there's decent wind in the open lake (this is mainly because most of Florida's lakes are very shallow so it takes little wind action to stir things up)
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,165 Officer
    Still no shrimp for the wing net boats.  Just got a report from a guy on the river.  He saw two boats that were out last night, one got 6 shrimp the other 4!  This moon used to be one of the best for shrimp runs.  Not no more!
  • BibijawaBibijawa Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Hopefully this coming cold weather will get the shrimp going.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 1,165 Officer
    Just heard from my contact on the river that the shrimp ran last night.  One boat brought in about 1,000 lbs.  Size was pretty nice too.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 4,771 Captain
    That must have been to the south... We never saw a shrimp last night while we were tarpon fishing... We managed to jump one or two then had a last minute sight fished 40lb fish on an 8wt... I came off the water just after midnight... 
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
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