AQUATIC SPRAY ISSUE UPDATE by Scott Wilson
I have been noticeably absent on this subject for nearly a month. Except Christmas and one fish day, I have had projects for the last 25 of 28 days including New Years.
Contrary to online negative feedback, I am completely self funded in this fight.
In St. Augustine, I managed to poke every bear in the den. Not only with the problem, but with a viable solution, that will work, to clean legacy nutrients out of the lakes.
After reports now from around the State, of people reaching out to local FWC biologists in there areas. This has created an internal unrest within the entire FWC.
Little over a week ago, I traveled to Stick Marsh for the meeting of United Waterfoulers, along with Jim Watt and Billy Locker, to try to get the perspective of duck hunters, as their main agenda was, "Aquatic Plant Control". FWC sent 2 biologists, one from Inverness, one a "Small Game" biologist from South Florida.
Here are a few observations from Jim Watt, Billy Locker and myself.
1st: FWC seems to send selective biologists, depending on what group they are dealing with so they sent the most pro hydrilla guy I've met to duck hunters, because they love hydrilla.
2nd: Although the hunters are against chemical spraying, in South Florida they don't seem nearly as concerned for big water body's further north being full of food and habitat, because they have STA's full of prime habitat.
3rd: The aquatic plant biologist sent from Citrus county, hands out an eleven page hydrilla management plan for Lake Rousseau, 20 minutes from home, totally nuked last fall with a massive fish kill, then blamed on fresh water from a hurricane that barely rained here.
***Take note: this is a 2014 plan for a lake I don't think you can even hunt, because there are very few areas far enough from marked channels. Are you kidding me?? A five year old plan, for a revisor, that has absolutely nothing to do with issues on St. Johns, central Florida, or Big O?? This is somehow supposed to appease someone. What a joke !
Last: After given opportunity for question and answer, my worst suspicions, and biggest nightmare were confirmed. I asked, "who is responsible for the decision making, of what, where, and when to spray? Is it a level one, two, or three FWC biologists??" Answer: "field level biologist " !!
Just so everyone understands, these are level one and two biologists, $13-17 dollar an hour people, in charge of your lakes, habitat, and eventually your drinking water.
Listen, I'm not picking on hard working people, that I don't know. However, do you think $15 gets Florida's "best and brightest" ? In charge of a million gallons of proven cancer causing poisons in our lakes and rivers? Or, are they being used as potential "scapegoats" from higher authorities?
The FWC hive is buzzing, its time to come together in real numbers.
Please everyone try to make room for
February 21st and 22nd
FWC commission meeting in Gainesville
I am led to believe we are going to get main agenda status for this critical issue.
WE NEED AN ARMY TO SHOW UP!
I will go into full recruitment mode as soon as I have more info on Agenda
As Always Thank you! For your time and consideration
Pastor Scott Wilson
Lake Okeechobee Aquatic Plant
Management Interagency Task Force
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