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Lake O releases effect not that bad

August 28, 2013
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

An extra rainy rainy season has necessitated maximum legal release of Lake Okeechobee water to avoid damage to the levee at Clewiston. The results of this is of great concern, but the histrionics, (screaming and pleading water) and gross exaggeration, (killing everything off) contained in recent letters will deter rather than attract reluctant vacationers to come to our town.

What are the facts? If it is not serious, the top Army Corps of Engineer generals should don their speedos and come sport in our waters. If the true extent of the problem is not known, then we should urge the local politicians we employ to urge the governor to commission an enquiry to define the problem, decide what and when something can be done about it and at what cost. The other water problem of red tide that does indeed kill should also be addressed. Looking at the last 22 charter fishing captains reports in our local newspapers, there is no mention of anything dead. "Water quality is very good off the beach." "Despite low salinity fish still seem to be feeding." "Still showing a bit of brown water." "Fresh water everywhere but persistence still produces nice fish." These are the only allusions of the problem. My canal has been reddish brown, but it has never had much clarity and is usually a depressing blue black. There are a gazillion little fish present, some tarpon but less than last year, and few mullet, but nothing to date in a belly-up position and the manatees have been as active as ever. Bid Clerk is a construction website for researching construction projects. It has a $61 to $65 million project listed for work on 21 miles of the Clewiston levee. Perhaps a solution is in the works. Let's keep up rational pressure to see that it happens, rather than holding hands and marching about with flapping banners, an activity that only seems to benefit the TV news channels.

Peter Reid

Fort Myers Beach



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