ASSOCIATION ENTERS 2009 WITH COMMITMENT
years ago, a small group of long-time local Boca Grande guides
gathered to form the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association
(BGFGA). At the time, there were no pressing emergencies or
issues that needed attention. Things were good, guides were
busy and our world famous Boca Grande fisheries, including tarpon,
inshore and offshore, were healthy.
However, there was the foresight
by the founding local guides, including present president Cappy
Joiner, to create a professional association on behalf of local
charter fishing and for the protection of our natural resource
against what may possibly come in the future. At the time, our
last possible concern was the devastating decline in health of
our world famous tarpon fishery that has taken place during the
has continually answered positively and graciously all local
requests for help, support and financial contribution regarding
issues, projects and worthwhile endeavors on Boca Grande. During
the early 1990's, the association accomplished its largest hurdle
at the time with the enduring campaign that resulted in the
Fifth Street guide docks.
pickup dock for all guides to load and unload charter clients,
although very necessary, was not easily accomplished. The project
was long lasting and involved many people, both from the island
and Lee County government. It appeared that the project would
never come to completion, but the steadfast persistence by the
guides association resulted in victory and the result has not
only benefited BGFGA members and their clients, but also non-member
guides who use the facility.
At the time,
our membership had no idea that a much larger hurdle loomed
in the distance. Who would ever think that the very fishery
that had made Boca Grande world famous would shrink in health
to what we have witnessed during the past few years? Although
the subject has been a matter of deep concern for association
members, most individuals and governmental agencies outside
of the BGFGA have not seen the light until recently.
the realism of a once pristine natural resource that is now
headed for total destruction is evident to most everyone and
things are happening. There is no doubt that the aggressive
effort by the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association regarding
the issue has been paramount in finally getting realistic recognition
to the subject. Even with buy-in from most previous non-believers
(including the press and resource regulatory agencies) the campaign
is far from over or completed.
in mind, the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association is dedicated
to maintaining the pressure and communication necessary during
2009 to finally accomplish a reversal in the health of tarpon
at Boca Grande through sensible regulation at the state level.