For the past 18 months I've been trying to find out what happens to the money that Florida collects from saltwater fishing licenses. I'm sure there are a few million fishermen in the state who would also like to know. William W. Osepczwk
Response: We got an answer from Ed Irby, Chief of the Office of Fisheries Management and Assistance Services with the Florida Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Between Dec. 1, 1989, and Jan. 17, 1991, the state collected $14,246,091 in saltwater fishing licenses fees. During that period, 619,413 resident one-year licenses and 105,720 non-resident one-year licenses were sold. The fees also came from one-day licenses, charter boat licenses and pier licenses.
Although his department is financed on a calendar year, its budget runs on a fiscal year from June 31 to July 1, Irby explained. So the budget for the 1990-91 fiscal year just ending was cautious, he said, and not all the money has been spent. Leftover funds automatically go back into the Marine Resources Conservation Trust Fund, which is protected by law from being diverted to other sources.
Anyway, $12-million was budgeted for 1990-91 and of that, only $10.5-million has been spent. Here is where the $10.5-million went:
Special categories such as data center, coastal/offshore fish research, estuarine fish assessment, habitat research, fish propagation and production, fisheries research and bait fish: $4.3-million. Division of Law Enforcement for salaries and expenses: $3-million ($2.3-million of that went for patrol vehicles). Division of Marine Resources for salaries, services and operating expenses: $1.7-million. Artificial reef construction: $1-million. Office of executive director of DNR for salaries and expenses: $281,000. Marine Fisheries Commission: $205,000.
There has been considerable misunderstanding among fishermen as to what this money will do, Irby said.
"They want to see more fish in the water right now, and they have been oversold on hatcheries and on stocking programs," Irby said. "The fact is, we have put far more fish back in the water through proper management than we ever did by stocking."
"We didn't get where we are overnight," Irby said. It took 50 to 75 years for Tampa Bay to get this bad. The lack of fish is the result of overfishing and too many people moving into the area causing environmental problems. We still allow people to tear down mangrove swamps if they put enough pressure on us, Irby said.
Until we understand the reasons the fish are not out there, we are not going to get them back, and, according to Irby, that is going to take some time.
Company replaces faulty fascia, soffit
We had Aluminum Craftsman Inc. install Anaconda Alsco Premium 30 soffit and fascia in our home in May, 1978. It came with a 40-year warranty.
Recently we noticed that the white finish was wearing off in places. After we complained, Anaconda asked for photos and a small piece of the product, and informed us in January that the product installed on our home was not the product for which we had contracted.
Bruce Jones at Aluminum Craftsman said he would check into it. What he did was replace a part of the fascia in the back of the house. He said that was all his company intended to replace.
We paid extra for the best product offered. Now we have fascia on our house that has the finish wearing off, and nobody is willing to take responsibility for it.
Thanks for any help you can provide.
Mark J. Sebacher
Response: We were happy to learn that Aluminum Craftsman has replaced all the fascia and soffiting, and that you are pleased with the results.
I finally received a call from Citibank explaining everything. According to them it was a computer glitch that caused them to say I was paid in full.
But at least I got the $229 check back from them, something I know would not have happened if it wasn't for you.
Again, thank you.