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Tag Archives: Florida Fish

Sea Turtle Update and Manatee Mortality

Submitted Photos

How Can You Help Marco Island’s Sea Turtles?  Submitted 1. Make sure all holes in the sand near nesting sites are filled in. 2. Remove everything from the beach at night. This includes tents, chairs, coolers, toys, towels, plastic bottles and bags. And remember, no glass! 3. If you live in a condo on the beach, go on the beach and check the lighting after 9 PM. Have all the outside balcony lights turned off, and all windows with light on inside, shaded. 4. Stay 20 feet from a marked sea turtle nest. Call Mary Kelly Nelson, Environmental Specialist, Collier County ... Read More »

Ask Me About the Birds

From left: Gwyn Goodman, Vivian Patterson, Sue Ordershaw, Frances Diebler and Opi DiFalco take a break from bird watching.

Submitted Calusa Garden Club members are fascinated with birds of all kinds. So it was no surprise when club member Sandy Wallen hosted a late afternoon bird watching event at her newly built home overlooking the ABC Islands. Members arrived with high-powered viewing scopes and cameras, ready to take photos of the colonies of birds hovering over the three mangrove islands. Did you know that the waters surrounding the ABC Islands (just south of the Jolley Bridge) are closed to public access? According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), this buffer protects the nesting and roosting birds. ... Read More »

Sandbar Closed for Nesting Season

A brown pelican dwarfed by his larger cousins, the American white pelican.

Submitted  By a unanimous vote, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) designated the Second Chance (SC) sandbar as a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) in November 2015. FWC Commissioner Liesa Priddy, a Southwest Florida resident, was an ardent advocate for the CWA designation and recently visited the SC sandbar. Commissioner Ron Bergeron and Chairman Brian Yablonski also were strong supporters of the CWA designation for SC sandbar. Annually, from March 1st to August 31st, SC is closed to public access for the summer nesting season. The sandbar is located one mile southeast of Cape Romano. It is owned by ... Read More »

Gentle Giant Release

Photos by Samantha Husted
Following her full recovery from brevetoxicosis, this manatee is ready to be released.

By Samantha Husted sam@coastalbreezenews.com On April 7th, Rookery Bay in congruence with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo released a manatee on Shell Island Road in Naples. The manatee in question was a 1,000-pound female who was rescued back in January after falling critically ill due to the effects of red tide, or harmful algae bloom. While red tide is commonplace in much of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, its impact on wildlife can be devastating. “The animal was showing signs of brevetoxicisity. It was having facial seizures, was unable to swim and ... Read More »

Give Space to Nesting Shorebirds

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Submitted Shorebird nesting season is underway along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds beachgoers to watch out for and to avoid disturbing birds and their young. Shorebirds build shallow nests out of sand and shells on beaches in spring and summer, hatching chicks that are difficult to see. Shorebird nests, eggs and chicks are well camouflaged and can easily be missed and even stepped on unless people know to look out for them. The snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover are several of Florida’s ... Read More »

A Sad Reminder: Dispose Fishing Line Properly

Monofilament carelessly left in the environment entangled this osprey,
resulting in death. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted A dead osprey was reported to be hanging from a pine tree near the fire station on San Marco Road this week. When city staff arrived, the osprey had already fallen to the ground. Its left talon was hooked by a circular fishing hook, and the body was wrapped by the line several times over with braided and monofilament fishing line. Even more heartbreaking, was the sight of the osprey’s partner perched in the tree over its dead mate. Reportedly, it was crying out for hours as its mate was hanging from the tree by the fishing line. Abandoned fishing ... Read More »

FWC considers modifying 2016 Gulf recreational red snapper season

At its Feb. 10 meeting at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft rule to modify the 2016 Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season. This newly proposed season will be considered for final approval at the FWC’s April Commission meeting in Jupiter. The newly proposed season would be open Saturdays and Sundays in May starting May 7. On May 28, the season would open continuously through July 10. Finally, the season would reopen for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and on Labor Day. This would provide for ... Read More »

FWC approves gag, black grouper size limit; gag season changes

At its Feb. 10 meeting at the Florida Public Safety Institute near Tallahassee, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to the gag and black grouper minimum size limit and the gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters. The approvals include: Setting a 24-inch total length minimum size limit for recreational harvest of gag and black grouper in Gulf state waters Setting a June 1 through Dec. 31 recreational season for gag grouper in all state waters of the Gulf excluding Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties (which have their own season from April 1-June 30) and excluding Monroe ... Read More »

2016 Python Challenge

This coming year, with the help of our partners, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida are hosting the 2016 Python Challenge™. This month-long invasive species awareness campaign will again include a public competition to remove nonnative Burmese pythons from public lands in Florida. With expanded participating areas, the lands where participants can search for and remove pythons have more than doubled. Are you up for the Challenge? Register for the Python Removal Competition and compete to see if you can harvest the longest or the most Burmese pythons and win grand prizes of ... Read More »

FWC approves Atlantic gray triggerfish size, bag limit changes

At its Nov. 18 meeting in Panama City Beach, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved changes to the gray triggerfish size and bag limits in Atlantic state waters. The approvals include: In Atlantic state waters: Changing the recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length and creating a 10-fish recreational bag limit Statewide: Changing the sale and import size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length These changes will go into effect on Saturday, Nov. 21. The changes were approved after stakeholders in southeast Florida expressed concerns that a 14-inch minimum ... Read More »

New CWA Protects Nesting Birds

A Wilson Plover nesting out on the Sand Dollar spit, Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area

Submitted A Collier County sandbar known as “Second Chance” was designated a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The island, part of a larger shoal complex, is an important nesting site for Wilson’s plovers and state-listed least terns and black skimmers. From March 1 through August 31 the sandbar will be closed to public access; the least tern, Wilson’s plover and black skimmer nesting season. Second Chance hosted the largest least tern ground colony in the region for four of the last five years. It is also an important site for Wilson’s plovers and ... Read More »

FWC passes new stone crab trap regulation

At its September meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its stone crab trap regulations for stone crab traps used in Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties. Beginning this year’s stone crab season, the use of round entrances (also known as throats or funnels) will no longer be allowed for stone crab traps used in state or federal waters off these three counties. The changes will also require that the rectangular or rounded rectangular entrances typically used in stone crab traps be no larger than 5½ by 3 1/8 inches at the most narrow portion of ... Read More »

THE NAPLES ZOO AT CARIBBEAN GARDENS HIRES FULL TIME VETERINARIAN

The Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and nationally accredited zoo, has hired a full time veterinarian, Lizzy Arnett-Chinn. Ms. Arnett-Chinn is the first full time veterinarian to be hired at the Naples Zoo. Lizzy Arnett-Chinn stated, “While I have enjoyed my time at Buttonwood Park Zoo, I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with a more exotic collection in a warmer climate. I am joining the zoo at such an exciting time as we are currently planning to build a new veterinary hospital. I can’t wait to see the new plans unfold from the ground up and I am looking ... Read More »

Storms impacting sea turtles on southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast

Heavy rain and rough weather along southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast are impacting sea turtle nests along the beaches, jeopardizing the eggs and hatchlings emerging from the nests. Many nests of loggerhead and green turtles have been documented this year in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by people working under Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) permits to survey the beaches for sea turtle activity. Some nests are reported to have been impacted or lost due to recent weather conditions. “Beach-goers can help sea turtle hatchlings survive by taking turtle-friendly actions along the weather-battered southwest Gulf Coast,” ... Read More »

FWC Enlists Gulf Reef Fish Anglers to Provide Data

As part of its goal of working with anglers to improve data collection and management of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking for anglers’ assistance through participation in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey. This new data collection program will improve how recreational catch is monitored and provide information needed to ensure sustainable fisheries in Florida. As of April 1, 2015, saltwater recreational anglers fishing from private boats off Florida’s Gulf coast (excluding Monroe County) are required to sign up for the survey if they intend to harvest, attempt to harvest ... Read More »

Saving Animals From Extinction at Naples Zoo and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

On Saturday, May 16th, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day and AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction. As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Naples Zoo is proud to participate in AZA’s SAFE program. For the first time, the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community will focus our conservation science, our wildlife expertise and our 180 million visitors on saving species in the wild on one special day, Endangered Species Day. Designated as a national celebration of America’s commitment to protecting and recovering our nation’s endangered species, the goal ... Read More »

Saving Animals From Extinction at Naples Zoo and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida

On Saturday, May 16th, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Endangered Species Day and AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction. As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Naples Zoo is proud to participate in AZA’s SAFE program. For the first time, the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community will focus our conservation science, our wildlife expertise and our 180 million visitors on saving species in the wild on one special day, Endangered Species Day. Designated as a national celebration of America’s commitment to protecting and recovering our nation’s endangered species, the goal ... Read More »

PICAYUNE STRAND RESTORATION PROJECT CLEARS ANOTHER HURDLE

~ Project phase will mitigate potential impacts on manatees as freshwater inflows are reduced~ The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has authorized the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to continue the next phase of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP), which will restore historic water flow and enhance wetlands in the western Everglades. The PSRP is a project component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, commonly called CERP. Once completed, the PSRP will reestablish historic water flows, reduce unnatural freshwater inflows, improve the water quality of coastal estuaries and restore ecological connectivity in the area. “This project exemplifies the department’s dedication to ... Read More »

Springtime Brings Close Encounters of Manatees, Boaters

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Submitted As springtime arrives, chances increase that manatees and boaters will have close encounters. Boaters can enjoy opportunities to observe one of Florida’s unique species but to avoid colliding with manatees, people on the water should take basic steps such as slowing down, watching out for the animals and complying with regulations in manatee zones. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers will be on patrol in state waters to remind boaters of the seasonal manatee speed zones that go into effect in April. They will be taking enforcement actions when necessary. “Our officers do their very best ... Read More »

Signing up to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey becomes mandatory April 1

Attention Gulf reef fish anglers: You’ve asked for better data and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has listened and taken action. Now the FWC needs your help. Signing up to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey becomes mandatory April 1, so sign up today. The easy, no-cost process will help the FWC paint a clearer picture of how many people are targeting Gulf reef fish, like red snapper and gag grouper, and what anglers are seeing on the water. The Gulf Reef Fish Survey is for anglers (including those 65 and older) fishing in the Gulf ... Read More »