Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Everglades Reopens, and Everyone's Happy—Especially Florida Keys Guides

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

The Conservationist
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

October 21, 2013

Everglades Reopens, and Everyone's Happy—Especially Florida Keys Guides

By Mike Toth

http://ak.c.ooyala.com/dpaHY2ZzqsN9vT6-CGUokbvwGt-yec-D/promo206652229

The government shutdown affected many Americans, but hit one group particularly hard—the backcountry fishing guides of the Florida Keys, who rely upon entry to Everglades National Park so their clients can cast for snook, redfish, seatrout, snappers and other species in a beautiful, remote, wild area.

These 16-day closure directly affected the guides—who must buy annual permits that allow access to the Everglades—because if they can't fish, they can't take clients out. And unlike federal employees, there's no possibility of back pay. But it also took away another element.

"It's not just about the money. It's a way of life," said Jim Willcox, a longtime backcountry guide based out of Islamorada who called in from the Everglades this morning. "If I don't have fun, neither do my customers. My clients just waded to and caught two reds. We saw roseate spoonbills and several crocodiles on the way in. It makes you realize how lucky we are to have this."

Backcountry guide Randy Towe, who last week organized an on-the-water protest about the closure that drew about 500 people, is pleased and relieved that the park is back open, but has a message for Washington and Congress: "I hope that somehow they can figure out a way, if they're going to shut it down again in January, (to) let us fish in the parks, let us make our living, let us provide for our families, and fight out whatever they're trying to get settled."

Comments (2)

Top Rated
All Comments
from gator fan 2017 wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

I am glad they get there work back they are hard working people.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carivegan PuertoRico wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

I don't believe they should allow people to fish state parks. These should be PROTECTING wildlife and fauna, not selling out to locals who are selling out to their clients for extra money. Here in Puerto Rico this is not legal or acceptable for the fish, or the land creatures who are harmed by the fishing hooks left around. This is wrong.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Carivegan PuertoRico wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

I don't believe they should allow people to fish state parks. These should be PROTECTING wildlife and fauna, not selling out to locals who are selling out to their clients for extra money. Here in Puerto Rico this is not legal or acceptable for the fish, or the land creatures who are harmed by the fishing hooks left around. This is wrong.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from gator fan 2017 wrote 25 weeks 5 days ago

I am glad they get there work back they are hard working people.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment