Snapper season officially began June 1st and a good day on the water is causing
a major stink in one community. The people in Mexico Beach canal are literally "holding
their breath" in hopes that the city will find a better way to dispose of dead fish. Residents says you have to smell the stench believe it.
Fishermen are coming through the canal with great catches. After a long day working to catch their fish they filet and dispose of the fish remains right in the canal.
"The smell is absolutely horrible; there is a stench from the caucuses left from the previous day." said Zeke Gaines, a canal resident and avid fisherman. His brother William Gaines said the scene is unsightly, "You'll see fish heads that have been cleaned and they are just floating down the canal."
The canal is polluted with the carcasses but last year this wasn't a problem. Mayor Al Cathey of Mexico Beach said an on land cleaning pavilion was used last year. The City voted to use the disposal method of throwing fish into the canal after residents complained about the stench of the land pavilion.
Homeowners are worried their property value will decline. Residents are also concerned renters may decide not to come back to the area. Mayor Cathey is aware of the problem and what the people are dealing with and he recognized the system is flawed, "The issue now is are we cleaning such a volume of fish that the canal just won't flush itself enough to get rid of the caucuses and heads."
Gaines brother William is hopeful that the City can devise another disposal method, "If we had a dump site where everybody wouldn't just dump it in the canal then it would be a lot better, or run it off shore and let the fish eat the carcasses that remain." He and his brother mostly hold fisherman accountable for the polluted canal.
Mayor Cathey is urging concerned people to voice their ideas to the City. He is hopeful that a better way to dispose of the carcasses can be put into place soon.