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Tag Archives: Florida Fish

FWC furthers lionfish control measures, prohibits lionfish aquaculture

At a Sept. 10 meeting in Kissimmee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) acted to prohibit lionfish aquaculture. Lionfish are an invasive species that have a negative impact on native fish and habitat. The changes will go into effect by Dec. 1. Updates will be available at MyFWC.com/Lionfish. Management changes were developed in coordination with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and include: Prohibiting the harvest and possession of lionfish eggs and larvae for any purpose other than destruction; Prohibiting the intentional breeding of lionfish in captivity. A scientific research exception will allow permitted research institutions to ... Read More »

DEP to Host Gulf Recovery Webinar

Submitted Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will host a Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) funding and projects webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 1 PM. The webinar is part of the ongoing efforts to restore and recover the economies of the Gulf Coast states impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council recently announced the process by which council members may submit projects for funding consideration under the council-selected restoration component. The submission window for ... Read More »

FWC, partners see ultimate coral reef-building success

Researchers at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) observed transplanted nursery-raised staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) spawning for the first time this month at Tropical Rocks, just over 4 miles offshore of Marathon. These corals were supplied by the Coral Restoration Foundation and Mote Marine Lab nurseries and outplanted by the FWC. The project was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act via The Nature Conservancy. The FWC, in collaboration with the Conservancy and other American Recovery and Reinvestment Act partners, began construction on the Middle Keys coral nursery in late 2009 but suffered setbacks due to ... Read More »

Facebook.com/KidsGetAPlan. Black bear curriculum teaches kids about wildlife, meets Florida education standards

Giving schoolchildren a chance to learn all about Florida black bears is a great way to teach them about wildlife, while sharpening their skills in reading, math, science and problem solving. For that reason, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has updated its Florida Black Bear Curriculum, and put it online for the first time atBlackBearInfo.com. The revised Florida Black Bear Curriculum is free, easy for teachers to use, and meets the new Florida Standards for educational curricula. The curriculum offers 10 lessons on topics such as “The Black Bear Necessities” and “Oh Where, Oh Where is the Florida Black Bear?” ... Read More »

MORE THAN 163 ACRES OF CONSERVATION LAND DONATED TO STATE OF FLORIDA

~Collier County property donation helps preserve habitat for endangered species~ The state of Florida is accepting a major land donation from Calusa Pines Golf Club, LLC, an affiliate of Indian Hill Partners. The move will preserve wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in Collier County. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of State Lands, acting on behalf of Governor Scott and the Board of Trustees, accepted the donation of the more than 163 acres of valuable conservation land on the north border of Picayune Strand State Forest.  The parcel is valued at $400,000, and also includes $1,000 per acre for management. The donation ... Read More »

Be a Hero! Help rescue manatees, sea turtles by getting FWC decals

“Be a Hero!” by getting decals that help with the research, rescue, rehabilitation and management of Florida’s endangered manatees and sea turtles. People can receive a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manatee or sea turtle decal, and show their support for saving these iconic Florida species, with a donation of $5. Rescues of manatees and sea turtles that are injured, ill or otherwise in distress are one of the many FWC conservation activities supported by decal donations. The new editions of the decals are originally designed works of art, and available now at local tax collectors’ offices across the ... Read More »

FWC supports ‘Operation Dry Water’ for 6th year

Last year, nine people died from boating accidents related to alcohol and drug use in Florida. That represents 15 percent of the state’s boating fatalities for 2013. “Alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents are preventable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section. “Even one death is too many. We want all boaters to enjoy the freedom to get out on the water and the opportunity to do it safely.” That is why law enforcement agencies around the state and country are participating in “Operation Dry Water” this weekend. This nationwide, public ... Read More »

Managing Black Bears in Florida

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FWC

By Noelle H. Lowery noelle@coastalbreezenews.com Most Southwest Floridians are well aware of the wide variety of wildlife that lives amongst them. Alligators, panthers and manatees, oh my! Not to mention, the vast array of lizards, birds, squirrels, bob cats and raccoons scurrying on land and the wide assortment of fish swimming under water. The largest of the furry creatures — the Florida Black Bear — has been the focus of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for the last month. The FWC launched its new Florida Black Bear Management Plan, introducing Southwest Floridians to it through three public ... Read More »

Red Tide ‘Not Present’ — For Now

These ominous blood-red tides are caused by a large accumulation of algae in coastal waters and are especially common along the coast of Florida. While disconcerting, only some are harmful to marine life: these are known as HABs, harmful algal blooms, and can even pose a risk to humans.

By Melinda Gray melinbrya3@yahoo.com This time last year, Marco Island and other Southwest Florida coastal communities were reeling from the negative effects of a prolonged red tide bloom. Reports of the bloom began in December 2012 with Marco Island presenting “very low” to “low” concentrations of red tide, and by mid-February 2013, those concentrations crept up to “medium” status. The 2013-2014 season has been a very different story. Currently, the Collier County Natural Resources Department is reporting that Karenia brevis, or K. brevis — the naturally-occurring dinoflagellate that causes “Florida red tide” — is “not present” in samples of water ... Read More »

Life Jacket Facts

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Marco Island is paradise for boaters — with more than 100 miles of interior canals, six miles of beach and 6,000 registered boaters. As we approach the summer months, it is imperative to remember one of the most important and essential safety tools for boaters: the life jacket. According to the National Safe Boating Council, close to 85 percent of those who drown in boating accidents every year are not wearing a life jacket, despite requirements to have U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets on board vessels for all passengers. Further, the 2013 Boating Accident Statistical ... Read More »

Take a Hike: Sand Dollar Island is Waiting for You to Explore

Critical Wildlife Area. PHOTO BY NANCY RICHIE

PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com Take a hike and explore one of the most beautiful ecosystems in southwest Florida, walking from Tigertail Beach Park parking lot on the new boardwalk, through the tunnel of mangroves, around the southern end of the Tigertail Lagoon, then heading north to the very tip of Sand Dollar Island “spit” that curls around toward Hideaway Beach, and then tracing your steps back. It takes almost three hours at a moderate pace; longer if you stop a few times taking in the abundance of wildlife that you can’t help but encounter. Once out on the ... Read More »

FWC 2013 Boating Accident Stats

Sixty-two people lost their lives in Florida last year in boating accidents, and there have already been 11 deaths so far this year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which has released its 2013 Boating Accident Statistical Report. The theme of accident-related messages from FWC staff is clear: Officers want to help keep Florida’s beautiful waterways a safe place to boat. Failing to have a proper lookout is a leading cause of boating accidents, statistics show. The 2013 Boating Accident Statistical Report is now available online at MyFWC.com/Boating; click on “Boating Accidents.”   Read More »

Sea Turtle Season is Here

Sea turtle nesting has begun in Florida and will continue through the end of October. The Sunshine State accounts for 90 percent of sea turtle nests in the continental United States and five of the world’s seven beach-nesting species of sea turtles, including the loggerhead, green turtle, leatherback, hawksbill and the rarest and most endangered sea turtle – the Kemp’s ridley. Report sightings to 1-800-404-FWCC. Workers and volunteers can mark off the area to help prevent inadvertent damage; and if you spot a stranded or trapped female turtle call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-800-404-FWCC. Read More »

Fishing Line Perilous for Pelicans

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists, monofilament fishing line and fishing hooks can entangle these animals, leading to injury and even death. The brown pelican is one species that is especially impacted by monofilament line. These birds frequently spend time looking for an easy meal at piers and other fishing hotspots, where they are often hooked accidentally when trying to grab bait off an angler’s line. Additionally, discarded monofilament line hanging from trees, piers and other structures can ensnare these birds. Once entangled, pelicans can have a difficult time flying and feeding. If you do accidentally ... Read More »

Stone Crab Season Closes

The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closes on May 16, with the last day of harvest on May 15. This closure occurs each year during the species’ peak spawning season to help protect and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource. Stone crab season will reopen on Oct. 15. Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season but only if they have been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer. Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after ... Read More »

Wanted: North Florida anglers to collect tarpon DNA

Volunteer anglers in northern Florida are encouraged to catch and collect a DNA sample from every tarpon they catch that is 30 inches or longer. Since 2006, scientists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) have partnered with Mote Marine Laboratory to use DNA fingerprinting as a way to track the movements, habits and recapture rates of Atlantic tarpon in coastal and inshore waters. Anglers can collect a DNA sample by scraping the outer jaw of the tarpon with a small, abrasive sponge. Immediately after collecting the DNA sample, the sponge should ... Read More »

Smalltooth Sawfish Sightings

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff Marco Island boat captain Ted Naftal was quite surprised to see what was on the end of his fishing line after a four-hour fight on April 25 — a 16-foot, 600 lb. smalltooth sawfish. This is the second such monster caught in Marco waters in the last two months. On March 7, Rookery Bay Reserve Fisheries Biologist Pat O’Donnell and his volunteers captured three endangered smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) in Fakahatchee Bay while out on their monthly shark monitoring and tagging program. The largest was a female measuring nearly 15 feet. Two types of sawfish, ... Read More »

FWC Launches New Gopher Tortoise App

PHOTO COURTESY OF FWC

By Coastal Breeze News Staff Springtime in Florida means the sight of gopher tortoises strolling across a road or through a backyard or field. They leave their burrows in search of green plants to eat and a tortoise to become their mate. From now through May, females will be laying eggs the size of ping-pong balls in the sandy apron outside their burrows. This activity, however, makes them vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed. Now, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has launched a new smartphone app to report to the FWC when and ... Read More »

Manatee Speed Zones in Effect

Now that weather and waters are warming, manatees are disbursing into their popular feeding and loafing areas. To ensure manatee safety, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers, along with federal and local law enforcement partners, will be increasing patrols in these areas. This effort coincides with seasonal manatee zones that went into effect April 1 and run through Nov. 15. The speed zones are intended to protect the state’s official marine mammal from collisions with boats. Boaters should pay strict attention to signs that delineate each seasonal manatee protection zone and their boat’s speed. Boaters and ... Read More »

2014 Manatee Count

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported a preliminary count of 4,831 manatees in Florida during this year’s statewide aerial survey, conducted in late January. “This year’s manatee count is the third highest we have recorded since the first statewide aerial survey in 1991,” said Gil McRae, director of the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. “We are encouraged by the relatively high count, especially given the high number of manatee deaths documented recently. Information on warm-water habitat use from this year’s survey will be integrated with manatee survival and reproductive rates to update future population projections.” ... Read More »