Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CALMER WATERS? Pole-and-Troll Zone Being Considered for Tiger Shoals

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CALMER WATERS? Pole-and-Troll Zone Being Considered for Tiger Shoals

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Julavits, The Times-Union

A "pole and troll zone," inside of which powerboaters could only use push poles or trolling motors for propulsion, is being proposed for a popular 2,500-acre section of Mosquito Lagoon near Titusville.

The lagoon is a favorite destination for many Northeast Florida fishermen and duck hunters.

The proposal is part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service management plan for Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, whose boundaries include about 21,000 acres of Mosquito Lagoon.

The refuge will hold a public meeting on the proposal on Thursday, April 29, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at North Brevard Public Library, located at 2121 S. Hopkins Ave. in Titusville.

"Our long-term objective is maintaining quality fishing in Mosquito Lagoon," said Dorn Whitmore, chief ranger at the refuge.

"Our fishing pressure continues to increase, and we're getting more and more prop scars. Most of this area we're talking about has prop scars."

The area in question is called Tiger Shoals, and it's well-known to fishermen and duck hunters alike. Tiger Shoals is about 3 miles long and 1 3/4 miles wide at its widest point. Fishermen explore the sea-grass flats there for redfish and trout. Waterfowlers hunt near an area called the Glory Hole, which is in the middle of the proposed pole-and-troll zone.

The Tiger Shoals area is getting the most pressure, Whitmore said.

According to refuge managers, fishing pressure has nearly tripled in the lagoon over the last 10 years, with an annual influx of 123,000 boats.

The generally shallow lagoon is world famous for its heavyweight redfish and trout. Most of the lagoon has negligible tidal flow.

Reds spend their entire lives in Mosquito Lagoon, spawning in deepwater areas and growing to sometimes record proportions. …

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