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Dave Spangler: Lake Erie loses tireless full-time advocate

Dave Spangler: Lake Erie loses tireless full-time advocate
October 28, 2020 James Proffitt

Dave Spangler, a ceaseless advocate for Lake Erie, died Oct. 21, at 74. He spent the last few decades working to make Lake Erie the best body of water he could.

Spangler appeared in Great Lakes Now’s “Unlocking the Lakes” episode to share about how COVID-19 has been affecting tourism and the recreational fishing industry. He often spoke with Great Lakes Now reporters Gary Wilson and James Proffitt. Both found Spangler more than eager to get Lake Erie’s 2 cents in on important topics.

Spangler operated a charter service on the lake for 27 years. He served as vice president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association and president of Lake Erie Waterkeeper and was a current board member of the Lake Erie Foundation. He was a decorated veteran and a Purple Heart recipient.

Spangler was a go-to resource not only for reporters, but for public officials as well. He was a frequent guest at seminars, workshops and other events where scientists, educators, journalists and elected officials met to learn more about Lake Erie issues. Over the years he made hundreds of presentations to public groups of all sizes.

From Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and former Gov. Bob Taft to a long list of Ohio’s U.S. and state representatives, senators and other officials, the Lake Erie charter captain was a friend to all. And one with the knowledge and experience that has been crucial in the ongoing effort to reduce toxic algae blooms on the lake and address other environmental issues.

“Dave was a close friend of mine and advisor and did so much for Lake Erie Waterkeeper. He was kind and caring,” said Sandy Bihn, Lake Erie Waterkeeper president. “Board members will remember Dave’s making fish for our dinners, and folks attending Waterkeeper meetings learned so much about fishing, Asian carp, algae and much more.”


Check out some of the Great Lakes Now stories that Spangler appeared in:

C+: Western Lake Erie receives mediocre score on new report card

COVID-19 Comeback: Great Lakes businesses and scientists bounce back

Fishing and Freighters: Great Lakes industries take COVID-19 economic hit

Walleye: Lake Erie population skyrockets. Again.

Great Lakes Charter Captains become Lake Advocates


Featured image: Lake Erie Charter Captain Dave Spangler (Photo by Great Lakes Now)

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