It may be months before anyone can go back out into the waters of the Indian River Lagoon, but that’s not stopping a group of young aspiring fishermen from learning how to cast their net.
Holding a sign that reads “When can we touch the water,” a group of boys and girls that signed up to learn how to fish at Flagler Park Saturday, had to tie knots, bait lure and cast their rods on land instead.
Thirteen year old Kyle Derrick wasn’t expecting that.
“First I didn’t know it was that bad because I thought I was able to fish in the water, but then they were telling me because the algae would get on your hands and you would get infected,” said Derrick.
He knows dumping of the toxic water from Lake Okeechobee won’t stop anytime soon, so the clinic is practice for now, but for how long?
Derrick said, “I can’t even cast net my bait, cause there is no bait and I can’t even put the cast net in my mouth.”
Even though they’re learning how to fish, there’s nothing Chase Kimpton, Kyle’s friend, wants to reel up in this lagoon.
“I’ve already seen a couple of fish die and it’s like green water, like pure green water and it’s nasty,” said Kimpton.
Mark Nichols, owner of DOA Fishing Lure, host the clinic once a year. He said normally they would have the children fishing off the pier or in the water.
“These captains normally would take the kids out in their boats, we’re not going to put the kids on the water, we’re not going to be liable for it, we’re not going to take a chance.
Nichols said this is the worst he’s ever seen the lagoon in 33 years.
“Until our government can actually build some huge reservoirs south of the lake or south and north of the lake, there’s not any fix.”
But these future fishermen stand by and hope for a different answer.
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