Healthy habitats are the foundation of healthy fisheries – BTT focuses on conserving habitats that are critical to bonefish, tarpon and permit
by Jim McDuffie / President & CEO / September 14, 2018
[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s threats to flats habitats have become larger and more complex, our responses have evolved as well. In some locations, we respond by conducting research to identify important areas requiring protection or to improve resource management. In others, like Florida’s Everglades, we are advocating for new policies and sweeping changes in water management. And in a few, our mission occasionally requires us to roll up our sleeves and take direct action. In this issue, for example, you can read about the successful relocation of dozens of juvenile tarpon from a site in Southwest Florida slated for development—a challenging task that required quick action.
This was BTT’s most recent action in Southwest Florida—a region that has been of particular interest to us. For several years, we have been actively involved there in the restoration of degraded juvenile tarpon habitat, beginning with an initial site at Coral Creek. For this multi-faceted project, we partnered with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to design habitat restoration treatments and the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to implement them. Post-restoration monitoring at the site will allow us to further refine future restoration designs.
Similarly, we are also putting the pieces of a neglected habitat back together on the East End of Grand Bahama Island, where BTT is partnering with the Bahamas National Trust and the Bahamas government to remove an old logging road that is hindering critical bonefish habitat. The project will restore proper water flow and fish access to a mangrove creek that has been fragmented for more than 50 years.
These are only a few examples of how BTT is working to conserve our flats habitats—home to our fish and sacred to our fishing passions. Together, with your membership and continued support, we can ensure their healthy, vibrant future.
Featured Image is fly fishing the flats in the Bahamas – a public domain image.