MATLACHA, Fla .– A few days ago, aerial photos showed algae floating in the Matlacha Pass.
Pollutants have been a major concern not only for water quality experts, but also for wildlife. But how does this affect local fishermen?
“We are having fun and are busy fishing all day!” “
For the past four years, Captain Matt Ruffing has operated Cape Coral Fishing Charters full time. Originally from Wisconsin, Ruffing and his family were drawn to Southwest Florida for its waters. But recently, aerial photos showed algae floating in the Matlacha Pass. The same waters he used to cross for his charter.
“Seasonally, obviously, I notice that the clarity of the water changes,” says Ruffing. “A few years ago we had a really bad red tide – I noticed a lot of dead fish floating offshore. But from what I saw, in Matlacha, in those areas that I go through all the time. days I don’t see any dead fish but I see a lot of wildlife.
In fact, coming out of Matlacha Passpelicans, loons could be seen bombarding the waters, catching unsuspecting fish below.
And dolphins, jumping in the wake of the boat. Ruffing says it wouldn’t if there was a problem with the water.
“Usually when the water quality is bad and toxic, it all comes out somehow,” he says. “The bait is hard to come by. it’s going pretty well. Just in the pass, around Bokeelia, I didn’t hear any complaints that way.
Water quality experts have cited storm runoff as a potential contributor to the recent change. Something that has become kind of a norm with the hurricane season. And while the water has cleared up in Matlacha over the past two days, those who use it the most know that this isn’t the last time they’ll see a storm runoff this year.
“It raises the water and changes the conditions of the water,” Ruffing said. “We were there, I think three or four days after (Elsa), were fishing and you can tell the clarity of the water is disturbed because of that. Yesterday we were about 50 miles offshore and we could see our anchor hanging 80ft below the boat and it was pretty clean water.
And like any good fisherman, Ruffing says he’ll take advantage of the right conditions while he can.
“I don’t see anything that anyone is going to suffer from anytime soon, anyway.”