Jim Rowan, from Fort Lauderdale, poses a stinging question:

I hear that stingrays lie hidden on the flats and they can really hurt you. Are they a real danger, and should I avoid wading?

Q I hear that stingrays lie hidden on the flats and they can really hurt you. Are they a real danger, and should I avoid wading?

It's true that stingrays inhabit all tropical and subtropical flats. The few anglers I have known who stepped on one did have to get hospital treatment. But if you follow a simple procedure you should never get hurt. First, realize the stingray doesn't want to get stepped on any more than you want to step on it. The stingray will usually flee from what it considers to be danger - including a wading angler. When you wade, always shuffle your feet along the bottom. Don't lift your feet and step forward as in a normal walking manner. By sliding the foot forward you will touch the ray, which should immediately flee and hopefully leave you unharmed.