“Fish Tumors/Lesions, Visual Common Sense for SLR/IRL”

Sheepshead with tumor from North Fork of St Lucie River found 2-8-14
Sheepshead with tumor from North Fork of St Lucie River caught  2-8-14 by Dave Smith

This photo showed up on the Rivers Coalition facebook page yesterday. The fisherman reported catching the sheepshead near the mouth of Bessey Creek, close to the hugely polluting C-23 canal. Within minutes, the photo had been shared  30 times and numerous  comments ensued.

Unfortunately, tumors and lesions are not new or unique to our time. In fact, the Rivers Coalition formed in 1998  when the locks were opened from Lake Okeechobee to a level  rarely experienced. So many fish had lesions  that the cover of the Rivers Coalition handout included the photos  below.

As usual  the  government did a “study” to determine the “possible” causes: SLR/IRL fish lesion studies and the study did  state “water quality” was the cause—polluted water from Lake Okeechobee; C-23; C-24 and others local runoff. Years of destruction to fish habitat.

Today,we seem to be making progress as people, as voters, but policy makers and politicians  continue to ask for more studies, more science. I completely respect science, and yes, science changes over time, however; you don’t have to be a scientist to “know/see” there is a problem and have the common sense just to fix it.


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