Governor Scott's Caloosahatchee Tour & Local Fishing Guide and Clean Water Advocate

Jul 9, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced they are suspending releases of water from Lake Okeechobee as of Sunday evening. Nutrient-laden water coming from the lake is blamed for a toxic blue-green algae bloom that's been moving down the Caloosahatchee River and impacting Lee County waters for about the past two weeks. Governor Rick Scott toured the Caloosahatchee River this morning to see impacts of the toxic bloom first-hand, and said afterwards he would be declaring a state of emergency. We’re sitting down with WGCU’s Rachel Iacovone to find out more about this visit.

Blue-green algae on the Caloosahatchee River on July 9, 2018.
Credit Rachel Iacavone / WGCU

RELATED: Gov. Scott Tours Blue-Green Algae Bloom in SWFL, Declares State of Emergency

Plus, we meet Port Charlotte resident, Captain Chris O’Neill. He’s owner of Tail Chaser Charters, a fishing guide serving mostly around Charlotte Harbor and Boca Grande. Chris has more than 20 years experience guiding anglers. He also owned Coastal Angler Magazine, and has been a nationally published outdoor writer for decades. He’s a guest on multiple national outdoor fishing shows per year, and is founder of the Hooked on Kids foundation to help fatherless teens.

Chris got our attention via Facebook -- he recently began posting photos of massive fish kills caused by red tide, including huge goliath grouper and snook, as well as other marine life like sea turtles, and a manatee. He’s become a vocal advocate on social media for finding a solution to our region’s water issues like red tide and blue-green algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River. Several of his videos have gone viral, and he recently started a Facebook group called Save our Gulf Information Exchange, which has gained more than a thousand followers in less than a week.