Welcome to the, Anglers for Lake Okeechobee, website!
My name is Ramon Iglesias and I am a lifelong resident of Clewiston, and have been the General Manager at Roland & Mary Ann Martin Marina & Resort for the past 14 years. Growing up with Lake Okeechobee in my backyard I understand the importance of her health and have become a passionate advocate for Lake Okeechobee and its liquid heart. It is for that reason we have formed Anglers For Lake Okeechobee. We must unite to #SlowtheFlow into the Lake from the north, which reduces the need to discharge to the coastal estuaries. We must also combat the excessive spraying on the lake with alternatives like mechanical harvesting. Together we can make a difference.
Lake O holds many memories for the family, both precious and devastating. I’d like to share some of the McMillan Family history that has occurred on Lake Okeechobee, which is a Calusa word for “big water.” Dating back to the early 1950s, my great grandmother and great grandfather began commercial fishing on the south end of the lake. Showing their children and grandchildren how to make a living, they were always out helping them pull in the big stringers on a daily basis. Boy, I wish you could hear their stories. Then tournaments were introduced and my grandfather and great uncle became a team. They fished every weekend on Lake Okeechobee and got their kids involved as well. Unfortunately, on January 29th of 1978, a tragic accident occurred. My grandfather George, and great uncle Gerald were out pre-fishing for a tournament when a bad storm arose. (We all know how quickly Florida’s weather can change.) They were fishing out by the Clewiston “reef” when their boat capsized. It was an extremely cold January that year and the water temperatures were too cold for their bodies to stand. When the family and help were finally able to begin searching for them, it was too late as they had both passed away from Hypothermia. If you’re fishing the reef to this date and see a large cross on one of the islands, which what we call McMillan Cross at Cross Island, Lake Okeechobee.
You can see how I am so passionate about this great body of water that I get to call my “home lake.” My family still thoroughly enjoys fishing tournaments on a weekly basis, as we can host them year-round from results of a thriving fishery. The issues we are experiencing on the Big O are very near and dear to my heart. With that being said, I have put together a grassroots organization, Anglers for Lake O (AFLO), made up of people that are just as passionate, make their living on the lake, and those that love living in the surrounding areas. Our goals are to “Slow the Flow” north of the Lake in hopes of not only keeping our water levels at a safe and enjoyable level, but to help everyone and their estuaries in all directions from Lake Okeechobee. We as anglers are not only looking out for our body of water, but for everyone’s home waters. Please help us by joining our team and getting our voices heard!
My name is Breezy McMillan, and I was born and raised in Belle Glade, FL. Lake Okeechobee has been in my life since I can remember. I was fishing with my father at a very young age and was overcome with a passion for bass fishing. The majority of the McMillan family spends their weekends on this huge body of water. We fish because we love the sport, we fish because we have such an amazing fishery that produces healthy and strong largemouth bass year-round, and we fish for our family.