OAK HARBOR, Ohio — Capt. Dave Spangler of Dr. Buggs Charters is preparing for the worse this summer. As the toxic algae bloom grows and shifts in the western Lake Erie basin, he and other charter boar captains are loosing business day by day.
Rows of boats docked waiting for walleye fishermen to book a charter have been a pretty common sight at the Wild Wings Marina.
Spangler said the phones have stopped ringing as that green gook continues to swallow up the lake.
"It's going to be rather big. Covering quite a bit of the western basin now. It will be here for the majority of the summer and rest of the early fall," he said.
Proof of that can be seen on satellite pictures Spangler monitors on a daily basis.
Shoreline nutrients feed into the shallow, warm lake and the bloom appears.
"And we have all that drop off from August, September and October. We can't make up those seven, eight, nine weeks because we have to take the boats out of the water."
It's frustrating for the guys who make their living on the lake because they said this is the best and biggest batch of walleye on the lake in 40 years.
The fish cleaning businesses is also expected to take a hit.
"Fishing been pretty darned good. Good days, bad days. Today decent. Don't have any fishing boats," fish cleaner Jeff Shatto said.
Spangler is also vice president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association representing 300 charters in the area.
He just wishes a problem that's been in the news since Toledo's algae-related water crisis five years ago would be fixed.
"It's very frustrating to know how good the fishing is and how bad the issue is with the algae. Not been improved at all," Spangler said.