Bait shop accused of dumping human waste into Caloosahatchee

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. A well-known floating bait shop is facing consequences after a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation revealed workers were dumping human waste into the Caloosahatchee River.

Jasper’s Bait received a $250 fine and a stern lecture from FWC officers.

The news didn’t sit well with Bill Birch, a Marina Town resident who regularly goes boating on the river.

“It’s not a good idea to be doing that,” he said. “Our water is precious to us — what do we do without water?”

John Cassani of Calusa Waterkeeper, a nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping the river clean, says the damage extends beyond people.

“It causes some problems with shell fish and bacteria in the water — it makes them inedible,” he said. “It (also) creates some big problems for the aquatic ecosystem.”

The bait shop had an outdated toilet and holding tank on board that caused the problem, the owner said, adding that the water released into the river was cleaner than the water used to operate the toilet.

The holding tank was upgraded following the citation.

Reporter:John-Carlos Estrada
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