Popular Miami Beach bait spot gets reprieve

The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday approved a resolution to accept ownership of a defunct navigational marker planned for demolition from the U.S. Coast Guard and execute an agreement with a Miami non-profit sport fishing tournament to maintain the so-called “bent range.”

The decision spares the old tower — one of four that guide big ships into Government Cut at night — from being torn down and replaced by a tall, thin pole that would not attract much bait, such as threadfin herring and pilchards.

The South Florida recreational fishing community, rallied by Miami maritime attorney Bruce Marx and Wildlife Foundation of Florida chair Rodney Barreto — pledged nearly $215,000 to maintain the structure. Those funds would be administered by the Capt. Bob Lewis Billfish Challenge under an agreement with the county. The next step is for the Coast Guard to make sure the transition complies with the National Environmental Policy Act, which is expected to happen shortly.

“Many kudos should be given to Miami-Dade County government because they moved mountains to make this happen,” Marx said.

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