Obama administration uses government shutdown to ban fishing off of the …

The Obama administration has closed off parts of the ocean around Florida to public access as part of the government shutdown.

National Park Service told charter guides this week that they cannot take clients fishing in Florida Bay until the government shutdown ends.

That means that more than 1,100 square miles of prime fishing is off limits between the southern tip of the mainland to the Keys until further notice.

The closing affects not only fishing guides, but anyone with a license to conduct business in the park, including tour operators and paddling guides — anyone with a Commercial Use Authorization permit, said Dan Kimball, superintendent of Everglades and Dry Tortugas national parks.

Biscayne National Park is also off limits.

Enforcement rangers will be on duty, Kimball said.

Capt. Mike Makowski, owner of Blackfoot Charters in Key Largo, estimates this eliminates about 60 to 70 percent of his hunting grounds.

“This is going to put a lot of guys together in a small area close to the park,” Makowski said. “It’s going to be even worse on the weekend when we’re going to have to compete with the recreational anglers.”

 

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