TAMPA BAY TIMES: Red Tide and Lake Okeechobee’s blue-green algae ruined the dreams of my brother, the fishing guide, and literally worried him to death

Tampa Bay Times: Written by David Futch. November 2, 2018.


The official word is that my brother died of a sudden cardiac arrest.

But I’m blaming Florida’s toxic algae release of blue-green goo from Lake Okeechobee into the Gulf of Mexico. It broke my brother’s heart.

My brother was Mark Futch, a premier tarpon fishing guide from Boca Grande, hailed throughout Florida for leading a successful campaign to outlaw fishing equipment that was killing tarpon, a large game fish that is inedible but sought after for sport and its renowned leaping ability. But when the purposeful release of toxic algae hit the Gulf of Mexico, killing everything in its path, including Mark’s charter fishing business, his heart just couldn’t take it.

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