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Kiwanis Korner: Godfrey reports good water quality helps fishing industry

By Staff | Aug 11, 2011

This month, the guest speakers at the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club all have something to do with fishing and/or water quality. Last week, Dave Godfrey from The Bait Box shared some incredible stories about both topics.

Godfrey showed up to The Bait Box in the early 1990s looking for employment after leaving the military. In true Ralph Woodring style, Dave was hired and put to work within hours that day. He says he has never looked back since he is able to get paid for doing something he loves – fishing. Esperanza Woodring was responsible for teaching Dave how to throw a cast net.

Dave has been a fishing guide for many years, but most recently his duties include running The Bait Box shrimp boat at night to catch bait for the following day. His job starts around sunset, and – if all goes well – he is back at the dock by midnight.

Of course, in addition to shrimp, Dave comes across many other types of fish in the nets. Recently, he has seen more flounder, sugar trout, sea scallops and other species which had not been prevalent until this year. He claims the good water quality, and lack of red tide, have helped the fish spawns and the fishing has been great.

Speaking of water quality, Godfrey is also an active member of S.T.A.R.T (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide). This grassroots organization, including several Kiwanians, does research focused on the control and mitigation of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) such as red tide to help maintain coastal water quality. Kiwanis is proud to be a sponsor once again of the upcoming S.T.A.R.T. fund-raiser called Cracker Fest, which will take place on Nov. 4, 2011 at The Bait Box. If you like to square dance or two step, eat a roasted pig or smoked mullet, and hear some great music outdoors in the fall, please plan on attending.

In addition to S.T.A.R.T., Kiwanis is fortunately able to support more than 20 other local organizations during this tough economic year. If your organization could use a helping hand this year, please speak to a Kiwanian about how we may assist. We are always happy to help. You may also learn more about Kiwanis by attending our Tuesday morning breakfast meetings at The Dunes every week.