Monday , September 15 2014
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Tag Archives: FWC

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 »

Goodland Gator

‘Ray the Trapper’ attempts to snag the Goodland gator, who made no appearance that day.  PHOTOS BY MELINDA GRAY

GOODLAND LIFE Melinda Gray [email protected] There’s a new predator in town, and he’s causing quite a stir. An alligator rumored to be at least eight feet long has been trolling the canals and causing unease amongst Goodland residents. Buzz about frequent sightings has been swirling for a few weeks now, but following a recent uncomfortably close encounter, a call notifying the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was placed. On Aug. 4, Ray Simonsen Sr., one of Collier County’s four nuisance alligator trappers, came down to assess the situation. “With the influx of fresh water sheeting, and the end of ... Read More »

Red tide causes large fish kill in northeast Gulf of Mexico

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has confirmed a large-scale offshore fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. Citizens have reported observations of thousands of dead and dying bottom-dwelling reef fish, including grouper, hogfish, white grunt, triggerfish and snapper, as well as sea turtles and crabs, to the FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline. Water quality is poor in the region with several reports of black water. On July 23, FWC Law Enforcement took scientists to collect fish, water samples and water quality data from six locations offshore of Hernando County. Sample analysis confirmed a bloom of the Florida ... 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 »

Managing Black Bears in Florida

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FWC

By Noelle H. Lowery [email protected] 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 »

FWC provides guidance on enhanced boating safety legislation

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced changes that were made by the Florida Legislature and approved by the governor to divers-down flag requirements. House Bill 1049, by Rep. Raschein and Sen. Abruzzo, created an additional opportunity for divers to stay safe. Effective July 1, when in the water, they may display a buoy with a series of divers-down symbols as an alternative to the traditional divers-down flag. The buoy can be three or four-sided and must have a divers-down symbol of at least 12-by-12-inches displayed on each of the flat sides. Such a buoy should help divers, especially ... Read More »

Florida & Collier County

COUNTY MOVES FORWARD TO CHALLENGE FDEP CONSENT ORDER ON OIL EXPLORATION BY DAN A. HUGHES COMPANY (Naples, Fla.) – At Tuesday’s Board of County Commission (BCC) meeting, Commissioners decided to move forward with challenging the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Consent Order with a Texas-based company exploring oil drilling in Collier County Chairman Tom Henning placed an agenda item on the June 10, 2014 agenda to reconsider the BCC’s earlier May 13 decision to challenge the Consent Order between FDEP and Texas-based Dan A. Hughes Company due to a lack of communication with the Board of County Commissioners.  Dan A. Hughes ... Read More »

Deciphering Changes to Federal Gulf Fisheries

Red Snapper

By Noelle H. Lowery [email protected] Just as the weather, water and fishing were heating up in the Gulf of Mexico this spring, officials with NOAA Fisheries implemented new recreational fishing closures and accountability measures for six popular Gulf reef species — red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish, greater amberjack, hogfish and Spanish mackerel. The reason: Federal recreational catch limits in the Gulf were exceeded in 2013 for red snapper, red grouper, gray triggerfish and greater amberjack, while the combined commercial and recreational catch limits for hogfish and Spanish mackerel also were exceeded. If you are one of the thousands of ... Read More »

Life Jacket Facts

B18-CBN-6-13-14-6

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 »

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 »

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 »

Protecting Beach Birds

Least terns lay eggs in sand scrapes right on the beach.  Eggs and young are extremely vulnerable to sun and heat when adult birds are flushed by people, dogs, or vehicles approaching the nest site. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in cooperation with the Flor-ida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has posted a small por-tion of beach on the south tip of Keewaydin Island and part of an emergent sandbar one mile southeast of Cape Romano to protect nesting habitat for least terns, black skimmers and Wilson’s plovers. These areas have been posted an-nually since 2001 to protect beach bird nesting season April-August. “Protecting Florida’s wildlife and natural resources is our first priority,” said Rook-ery Bay Reserve Director Gary Lytton. “Taking steps to protect the least tern on Keewaydin Island during its ... 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 »

Look out for Gopher Tortoises

A gopher tortoise strolling across a road or through a backyard or field is a common sight during spring in Florida. Yet as tortoises become increasingly active this time of year, they are vulnerable to being struck by vehicles and injured or killed. Don’t forget to look out for these slow-moving reptiles with their bony-plated shells and elephantine legs. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages drivers to slow down on highways to help protect the state’s gopher tortoises. If a gopher tortoise is crossing the road, it is OK to pick it up and move it to ... Read More »

FWC responds to panther incident report

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently was contacted by a turkey hunter who reported injuries caused by a Florida panther. He indicated the incident occurred while hunting in the Tiger Creek area near Lake Kissimmee on March 17. He said he had two wounds to the top of his leg and a cut to his arm. He noted that after being injured, he was able to identify the animal as a panther from its color and long tail. Immediately after learning of the incident, FWC officers visited the individual and took his statement; however, it was not feasible to confirm ... Read More »

Panther Captured Near Beach Relocated

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists and law enforcement officers captured and relocated an endangered Florida panther found near the beach at Clam Pass Park in Collier County. Beachgoers spotted the panther in the mangroves as they were walking over a boardwalk that leads to the beach. FWC biologists and law enforcement officers responded to the scene and darted the panther with a tranquilizer. After a brief health assessment, biologists determined that the panther was in good condition. Biologists will use a radio collar to track future movements of the approximately 2-year-old male panther, which they estimate to ... 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 »

Beached Pilot Whales Perish Near Marco

The reason for the recent strandings is unknown.

By CBN Staff On Monday, January 20, this pod of pilot whales was found stranded at Marco Pass at sunset. The pod was ushered out to sea and was last seen on that day about two miles offshore. These whales were initially spotted in Naples on Sunday, January 19 near Gordon Pass in Naples Bay. At the same time, another pod was stranded in Lee County. After a long, tireless effort, rescue attempts came to an end. Of those stranded, eight died over two days, four of which were euthanized by veterinarians. On Thursday, January 23, a total of 25 ... Read More »

“Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing!®”

University Series will return to the Ft. Myers/Matlacha area March 8-9, 2014 at Matlacha Community Park. Held on a Saturday afternoon, the mini-event includes much of what is offered at the full LLGF Universities plus Kayak fishing on the curriculum. For this event, held in conjunction with support from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, women will travel from several states for education, hands-on fishing activities, habitat conservation and to meet other female anglers. On Saturday, the program begins with a session by the FWC on the importance of marine conservation, a demonstration of ... Read More »

There’s Something in the Water

The white marker indicates a “Very Low” presence of red tide while the green markers indicate there is less that 1,000 cells per liter. The small amount indicates red tide is “Not Present.”

By Natalie Strom [email protected] Marco Island’s waters and beaches have seen a recent invasion by a number of algae species. Some bad, the others just fine. Sightings and monitored reports by FWC have found red drift alga, graceful red weed, Alexandrium monilatum and red tide to be present along Marco’s coastline as well as within Marco’s canals. Nancy Richie, Marco Island’s Environmental Specialist, along with her award-winning crew of volunteer beach stewards, have noted that both red drift and graceful redweed have washed up on Marco’s beaches. Richie noted that often storms or passing fronts from the Gulf can wash ... Read More »