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  • Katrina Elsken Lake Okeechobee News

FWC stops posting work plans for herbicide spraying online

Scott Martin, of Anglers for Lake Okeechobee, said that his organization opposes chemical herbicide spraying on Lake O, but they do not condone violence. He said while some are very vocal in their opposition to spraying at meetings and on social media, he heard of any threats or heard of any clashes between the spray operators and the anglers on Lake Okeechobee.

Martin said the “What’s happening on my lake” information was a tool anglers and guides used when planning a fishing trip or preparing for a fishing tournament.

“When we know they are going to spray an area, it affects where we will fish,” he said. “We definitely use that information.”

He said fishing guides don’t want to take tourists out for a day on the beautiful liquid heart of the Everglades, only for them to see people in hazmat suits spraying chemicals into the water. “The optics of them spraying are terrible.”

In addition, anglers don’t want to accidentally get close to an area that is being sprayed, he continued. “It’s a health concern,” said Martin. “What if I’m in that area and they spray chemicals and I ingest those fumes? It affects our ability to stay safe.”

He said posting the information at boat ramps will only work if they post all spraying plans for Lake Okeechobee at every boat ramp on big lake, since anglers often launch at one ramp and them move around the lake, depending on fishing conditions.

He said the time frame for when FWC posts plans will also be important since guides schedule fishing trips in advance.

Thank you Katrina Elsken, Lake Okeechobee News, for sharing AFLO's voice.


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