Today, murky golden water dropped down into the Saint Lucie River as the Army Corps of Engineers decided to release water from Lake Okeechobee for the first time in over 2 years. The Saint Lucie River was making a comeback and now it may have to fight back again to ward off the wrath of Lake Okeechobee.
Daryle Crowe (pictured below) throws a lure towards the Saint Lucie Lock with his bait caster as we both watch the water drop thru the gates. ” I can feel my lure bounce off their backs but there just not biting today.” Daryle referring to snook fishing. He continues, “I have been fishing this River for over 15 years, you would always see tarpon, snook, jumping mullet, and manatee. It used to be you could just drop your lure against the wall and you would catch a snook. When I was a kid I could catch my 2 fish limit in about 45 minutes, but that all changed when El Nino made its way thru here in the late 90′s and the Lake dumped into the River for a long period of time, bringing with it enough silt to blanket the bottom of the River, causing fish to have lesions and sores, and disrupting the salinity of the water. Before El Nino, You could watch mullet being chased by large snook and heared towards the Lock trapping the mullet and the fishing was great.
The gates to the Lock are not wide open and water should only be let out for the next 11 days, that is if Hurricane Ike cooperates and changes course from its 5:00 pm track that has Ike eerily close to the treasure coast and pointed at Lake Okeechobee.
Daryle keeps fishing the Lock and states, “the River should be able to handle water releases for a few weeks, lets just hope that is all it is”
In 1928 during a hurricane, the dike around Lake Okeechobee was compromised and over 2000 people lost their lives. The Army Corps of Engineers are in a no win situation, lower the Lake to protect the dike you have fish kills and you are back in a drouhgt situation in 2009. Don’t lower the lake, the dike breaks, I’m stopping here, I don’t want to write the rest.