The Dewees Island Conservancy‘s fly fishing clinic was a great success, despite the crisp hint of fall. The Dewees Island Conservancy and Charleston Waterkeeper teamed up on Friday, November 18th, to host a fly-fishing clinic for island residents and guests. The event was very well attended; golf carts lined the shell paths of Dewees as residents came to learn more about fly-fishing in salt water.
The original scheduled speaker was Baker Bishop, a professional fly fisherman out of Sullivans Island who divides his time between the waters in the Charleston area and Islamorada, Florida. He is currently serving on the board of Charleston Waterkeeper. Baker comes from a family of fly fishermen, including his mom, who taught him at an early age to tie flies, cast and clean fish!
It was our good fortune to have her along and able to lead the workshop when Baker had an unexpected delay in getting to us! Sandie Bishop, Baker Bishop’s mom, who has been his mentor and inspiration in fly fishing all his life, recently won the fly division of the Red Bone Tournament held in Islamorada Florida! She fished with Captain Tim Klein and caught a Bonefish on day one and a Redfish on day two, to complete the Redbone slam, and take top honors!
Sandie began by thanking the ladies for bringing their husbands to “tag along with our clinic today,” providing a few chuckles. Soon the crowd was casting flies out over the clear water, undeterred by the cold and wind. One onlooker described the graceful casting of lines as a “sort of ballet.”
The event was followed by a complimentary lunch featuring the remarks of Charleston Waterkeeper Cyrus Buffum, who discussed the challenges of specific point source and non-point source pollution management issues along our waterways. He describes the Charleston community as fortunate because we understand the value of our local rivers and creeks for quality of life issues. Cyrus and his team aim to celebrate, educate and protect the public’s right to clean water.
To date, there are 113 active permits allowing the legal discharge of pollutants into the Charleston Harbor watershed alone. Charleston Waterkeeper is currently undergoing the task of reviewing all permits designated within its local jurisdiction, while working to highlight the vital component of public participation in the fight to protect the public’s right to clean water. As an advocate for environmental law, Waterkeeper aims to ensure industrial polluters are compliant with mandatory regulations and that necessary enforcement is administered. The organization will examine the past five years of discharge monitoring reports to determine which polluters within the local watershed have been and are in violation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and also to evaluate how well state and federal agencies are able to enforce current laws. (charlestonwaterkeeper.org).
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