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Bay fishing rebounds with restoration efforts

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There are more than 115,000 registered boats in Tampa Bay, more than 9,000 acres of new sea grasses have been established since 1988 and the snook population is up since a freeze on its harvest in 2010.

A few days after snook season reopened, Nanette O'Hara of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program made those points and others in a presentation Saturday about "Net Benefits: A Retrospective on Fishing for Food and Fun in Tampa Bay."

Her talk, hosted by Palmetto Historical Park and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, included a brief history about commercial and sport fishing in the area.

Audience questions varied from avid fisherman to those who just like to eat fish. Concerns included habitat restoration, invasive species and the impact of increased of pollution with continued development in the area.

Photo: Rick O'Hara