Journalist: Amy Bennett Williams
Dec 3rd, 2020
In Capt. Daniel Andrews’ office, things are quiet and tidy. Too quiet and tidy.
Normally, with winter approaching, the river and estuary where this Fort Myers fishing-guide-turned-advocate with Captains for Clean Water makes his living would be alive with birds and fish gathering to feast on littler fish in clear, tannin-tinted water. On this early December day though, seven weeks into steady blasts of polluted freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding landscape, Andrews’ outdoor office just doesn’t look right.
He gestures toward a mangrove-fringed Caloosahatchee inlet along the Cape Coral shoreline, all but empty save a few ibis poking around in the mud.
“That would usually be full of roseate spoonbills, little bait fish, all kinds of things on a typical winter day,” he said. “The birds for me area always the indicator. This time of year, usually everything’s covered up in birds (but) there’s no birds because there’s no food, so that means the fish are going to be on the move and the ones that are here are skinny.”