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Fishing guides in Los Roques National park continue taking clients to fish illegally in ecologically sensitive areas that are closed to such activities. Up to now, anglers have only had their gear confiscated, but with the deterioration of Venezuelan/US relations, we’ve been worried that American anglers might be in danger of losing more than just their fly rods. Despite our warnings, we continue to receive reports about anglers being caught in closed areas.
We understand most of the anglers who are being taken into closed areas have no idea they are violating the law. Guides are simply taking clients into closed areas, it seems, because the fishing is better there, and better fishing means bigger tips.
Well, there is now less reason for clients in Los Roques to be victimized by their guides, as we have acquired a map of the Los Roques Archipelago that shows which areas are closed to fishing and other activities. We’re indebted to subscriber Hank Fischer for suggesting the idea and have posted the map to our web site for subscribers to download for free. Just go to www.anglingreport.com and scroll down to Los Roques Map. We’re not entirely happy with the map, but an angler with a sense of direction should be able to use it to keep tabs on where his guide is taking him each day. Just having the map in hand and being able to articulate one’s concern about being taken into a closed area will likely help nip this problem in the bud.
The map we have located and posted to our web site (www.anglingreport.com) shows El Grand Roque (labeled simply as Los Roques) in the top right-hand corner. This is where the tourist facilities are, such as hotels and shops. This is also where anglers begin their daily outings. All of the other islands in the archipelago are also shown on the map. Each one is cordoned off with a dotted line and a two-letter code that indicates how the area is classified. The code to focus on is PI or, Integrally Protected Zone. Any waters marked this way are closed to fishing and other activities. We’ve done our best on the web site to describe all this and make the map useful to you. Don’t go to Los Roques without downloading it. And don’t come back without letting us know how your guide and/or outfitter reacted to seeing the map.