Saturday , February 13 2016
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Tag Archives: FWC

FWC Law Enforcement COLLIER COUNTY

Lieutenant Sushil along with Officers Kleis, Lugg, Polly, Reams and Reith participated in a multi-agency Flex-Op with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.  The operation focused on safe driving, speed enforcement, resource protection and drug interdiction in the Panther Zones located on State Road 29 and along I-75.  Collier County Sheriff’s Office provided units from multiple districts, along with support from their K-9 and Aviation teams.  The operation was a huge success with a total of 11 citations issued, 59 written warnings and 3 physical arrests being made. Officers Araujo and Barringer attended a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla meeting.  ... Read More »

FWC Law Enforcement COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Polly and Reams were conducting traffic enforcement in a Panther Zone off of County Road 850.  Officer Reams observed a vehicle coming up from the rear of his patrol car at a high rate of speed.  Officer Reams proceeded to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle for unlawful speed and when he asked the driver of the vehicle for his driver license, the driver was unable to provide one.  FWC’s Dispatch confirmed with the officers that the driver had never been issued a Florida driver license and had no other driver licenses on file.  The subject was arrested ... Read More »

2016 Python Challenge™ Invasive Species Festival

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The 2016 Python Challenge™ is a conservation effort that includes public outreach on invasive species and a month-long competition to remove Burmese pythons from public lands in Florida. Visit PythonChallenge.org for more information about the 2016 Python Challenge™, including information on the unique Everglades ecosystem, and details about the 2016 Python Challenge™ Python Removal Competition, including competition and area rules, how to register, and training opportunities. Free in-person, hands-on trainings will be offered through Feb. 6. To report nonnative fish and wildlife, call the FWC’s Invasive Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1(888-483-4681), report your sighting online at IveGot1.org or download the IveGot1 smartphone app. For more information ... Read More »

Learn how to catch a python with free hands-on training in Fort Myers, Naples

People who live in southwest Florida can learn to identify and safely capture Burmese pythons at upcoming 2016 Python Challenge™ in-person training sessions in Lee and Collier counties. Training for Lee County is on Dec. 20 at the Olga Community Center in Fort Myers, with both morning and afternoon sessions. Can’t make it to the December training? You can still sign up for training in Collier County on Jan. 19 at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples. For those who can’t make the west coast trainings, more sessions are offered in different locations throughout south Florida in December, January and February. Training ... Read More »

FWC ‘releases’ snakes throughout Florida as part of 2016 Python Challenge™

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is conducting a Virtual Snake Finding Mission, “releasing” toy snakes near popular Florida landmarks in an effort to raise awareness about nonnative species in Florida. The search for the toy snakes ? which are superimposed on pictures of Florida landmarks  ? is part of the 2016 Python Challenge™. The project allows people from all over the world to be part of this effort to reduce the negative impacts of nonnative species. Beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8, people can visit Facebook.com/MyFWC for a clue to where one of the brightly-colored toy snakes is virtually hiding. The ... Read More »

Have fun helping wildlife, wild places when holiday shopping with FWC

There are gifts to show off your support of wildlife. Other gifts will help you carry on the tradition of spending time with family and friends on Florida’s beautiful beaches, waterways and wildlife conservation areas.   Check out our shopping list, because the holidays are almost here!   -Florida wildlife T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, art or other gifts are available at WildlifeFlorida.com. Strut apparel featuring your favorite species! Help conserve the Everglades by getting gear like the T-shirt that shows support for the2016 Python Challenge™. -A Florida fishing license or hunting license can be purchased online atGoOutdoorsFlorida.com, by calling 888-347-4356 or in stores. There are licenses for residents and visitors, ... 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 »

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 »

FWC Approves Comprehensive Bear Management Rules

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Submitted The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continued its long-standing, proactive approach to bear management at its meeting in Sarasota on June 24. FWC Commissioners approved several bear-related rules that address a wide variety of tools to manage bears. In summary, Commissioners approved changes to strengthen the wildlife feeding rule. Commissioners also approved changes to the bear conservation rule, which include a permit program to authorize landowners to remove a bear causing property damage under certain circumstances. These changes also allow the public and trained security personnel to scare bears with less-than-lethal methods in appropriate situations without a ... Read More »

FWC approves changes to the spiny lobster commercial dive endorsement

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to the spiny lobster commercial dive endorsement at its meeting April 15 in Tallahassee. Commercial harvesters targeting spiny lobster while diving are requiredto have a crawfish commercial dive endorsement along with a saltwater products license (Florida’s basic commercial license) and a restricted species endorsement. The commercial dive endorsement program was implemented in 2004 in an effort to reduce conflicts within the commercial lobster fishery during a time when the commercial dive fishery was rapidly expanding. No new or additional commercial dive endorsements have been issued since the program was ... Read More »

FWC moves forward with comprehensive draft bear management rules

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continues to build on its long-standing, proactive approach to bear management. At its April 15 meeting in Tallahassee, FWC Commissioners approved several proposed bear-related rules that will be presented for final action in June. The draft rules address a wide variety of tools to manage bear populations and help reduce human-bear conflicts. Staff were directed to refine changes to the feeding rule by making a new sub-section specifically for bear feeding and adding coyotes to rule 68A-4.001(3). In responding to feeding violations, staff will focus on written warnings as a key component. ... Read More »

Do Not Disturb Nesting Sea Turtles

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Submitted Sea turtles have begun nesting attempts in the area. Good time to post a few reminders about proper sea turtle etiquette. It can be thrilling to watch a sea turtle crawl onto the beach at night and dig a large hole in the sand to lay dozens of eggs. Just remember that “Do not disturb” is the best behavior to follow when observing a nesting sea turtle. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks people not to get too close, shine lights on, or take flash photos of nesting sea turtles. Spring is the beginning of sea ... 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 »

Give Florida’s beach-nesting shorebirds space to help them survive

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) asks beachgoers to watch out for and avoid disturbing beach-nesting shorebirds on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the state. Shorebirds build nests out of sand and shells on Florida beaches in spring and summer, hatching chicks that are difficult to see. Shorebird nests, eggs and chicks are well camouflaged and can be easily 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 beach-nesting shorebird species that face conservation challenges and need ... 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 »

FWC asks beachgoers to help survey spawning horseshoe crabs

As spring approaches, horseshoe crabs congregate to spawn along sandy beaches and shallow coastal waters throughout the state. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists are asking the public to assist in the FWC’s survey effort by reporting horseshoe crab sightings and other useful information. Although horseshoe crabs mate year-round, spring is the peak season to see them aggregate on beaches and in bays. Citizen scientists interested in contributing to the survey should have the best luck sighting horseshoe crabs around high tide within three days of a new or full moon, March 20 and April 4 respectively. The FWC asks ... Read More »

Naples Zoo Announces New Panther Exhibit

Naples Zoo officials announced today they are breaking ground on a permanent home for a young Florida panther that cannot be returned to the wild after it was blinded by a shotgun blast. This new panther exhibit will focus on expanding public awareness of the issues surrounding the growing number of cats in the area. And to meet the increased need to care for injured or orphaned panthers, Naples Zoo is also creating habitat space to provide temporary care along with an all-new large animal veterinary clinic. This is part of a cooperative effort with the US Fish and Wildlife ... Read More »