August A. “Gus” Muench grew up in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood, spending much of his childhood fishing and swimming in local rivers and streams. Muench worked as a Supervisor for the General Telephone Company (GTC) while also crabbing for blue crabs in eastern Tampa Bay. After retiring from GTC in 1976, Muench became a full-time blue crab fisherman and opened his current business, Captain Gus’ Crabby Adventures, where he takes tourists on a boat tour of the Little Manatee River area near Ruskin to pull, bait, and catch blue crabs. Muench is also a devoted conservationist and has been involved in several regional environmental organizations, including the Little Manatee River Preservation Committee, Cockroach Bay User Group, and the All Release Sport Fishing Society. In 1990, he won the Chevron Conservation Award for his efforts to protect Cockroach Bay.
In this interview, Muench discusses his childhood on the bay, his history as a crabber, and his current business. Muench also describes his role as a conservationist and his goals of restoring both the marine and plant environments of the bay. Muench details various issues affecting the bay, including the effects of dredging, sewage water, and stormwater runoff. Muench also talks about his artificial reef business, his role as Director of the South Shore Intertidal Habitat Project, and his Uzita Preserve land preservation goals.