My home on Perrine Court was built in 1996 and my wife and I have fished off the back sea wall with our 3 children, 3 nephews who live on the Island, and now 5 grandchildren, as well as countless house guests over the year and therefore I believe I have had “good perspective” of the number and type of fish we would catch over those 20 years.
We have the good fortune of have Jim Timmerman as a neighbor and when he approached me about the possibility of having one of the “Ocean Habitats” installed below our dock and described the fine work of David Wolff in developing and distributing this system to clean and revitalize our waterways. I read everything available on the Internet about Ocean Habitats and told Jim I was not only interested in the pilot project via the Waterways Committee but said at a point when the program looked like it was halted that I would have considered buying one personally.
The Habitat was installed beneath our dock on May 18th of this year so it has a little less than 4 months so far but we are now seeing a significant increase in the diversity of the fish being caught. For at least the last 10 years it seemed that Catfish and Sheepshead were about all that were being reeled in. We have seen huge numbers of bait fish, as well as Mangrove Snapper, and small Sea Trout, and some exotic things like Jelly Fish and a Sea Spider. We are looking forward to seeing Snook again but as I understand the “life cycle” it takes quite a bit longer for these artificial dock reefs to fully “mature” and we look forward to the coming year watching to see what fish will be returning that we haven’t seen in 15 to 20 years.
My wife and I applaud your efforts in this pilot project and hope that someday we see the Habitats below most of the docks along many of the Marco waterway canals. We especially appreciate the hard work done by Jim Timmerman in evaluating and championing this project. We believe that this is the path to cleaning up and revitalizing what we love most about this island paradise – it’s wonderful waters.
Peter R. Foster, MD