Published: Dec 28, 2011 11:28 PM EST
Updated: Dec 28, 2011 11:56 PM EST

SANIBEL, Fla.- A multi-million dollar project to open Blind Pass may have reached its limit. The beautiful blue waters of the pass separate Sanibel and Captiva.

In 2009, Lee County spent $3.2 Million to clear out 130,000 cubic yards of sand to open the pass, which had been closed since 2001. But Joe Caputo, who fishes at Blind Pass three times a week, says it's time to be cleared again.

"First of September, there was no sand out there," said Caputo, "now you can see the definite build up of the bar up there."

Blind Pass has opened and closed naturally several times since 1999. County officials say there is no current threat of the pass closing.

"There's less fish every time we come out here," said Ron Skotnicki, another frequent fisherman, "the boats have had a hard time coming through here."

Lee County received a state permit for dredging earlier this month. A federal permit is expected at the beginning of January.

"I really would appreciate (dredging) and I'm sure the business people around here would too," Caputo said, "as far as the local taxpayers...that's another issue."

County officials estimate the new project would cost several hundred thousand dollars.