Friday , October 31 2014
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Tag Archives: wildlife

Cooler weather brings more hunting opportunities

Football season is in full swing, and the 2014-15 hunting season is cranking up. Heck, in Zone A, they’re already into general gun season. But for the rest of us, I’d like to cover some things you should know regarding three hunting seasons that are just around the corner: muzzleloading gun, gray squirrel and the first phase of dove. Immediately following the close of crossbow season in each zone, the muzzleloading gun season begins. Season dates on private lands run Nov. 22 – Dec. 5 in Zone B, Oct. 18-31 in Zone C and Dec. 6-12 in Zone D. During muzzleloading gun season, bows and crossbows ... Read More »

Friends of Fakahatchee announce Fall swamp walk schedule

The Friends of Fakahatchee have announced their Fall schedule of swamp walks in Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.  In addition to its five-hour Biologist-Led Swamp Walk, the group is again offering the 3 1/2 hour Tram Tour and Swamp Walk. Both adventures take visitors into the heart of the Fakahatchee Strand, home to more orchid species than any other place on the North American continent.   The Preserve is also a haven for diverse wildlife and migratory birds. For many visitors, a Friends of Fakahatchee Swamp Walk is the highlight of their Florida visit. Led by experienced guides, participants wade in ... Read More »

Stone Crabs are Back!

Little room to maneuver.

By Melinda Gray melinda@coastalbreezenews.com The beginning of another Stone Crab season is here! On Wednesday, Oct. 15, crabbers began pulling their crab traps, set just ten days before on Oct. 5. Fresh, delicious stone crab claws will be available until May 15, when they go back out of season. Kirk’s Fish Co. in Goodland expects to be stocked with fresh stone crab claws of all sizes shortly after the boats hit their dock. This year, due to some recent expansion, their store will offer a larger quantity of fresh crab claws and other seafood. They’ve added two new crabbers, and ... Read More »

Letter to the Editor: James & Joanne Funk

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To the Editor: My wife and I moved to Marco Island 15 years ago to enjoy this wonderful paradise. As voters, we have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who over the past ten years has been a key advocate for keeping our beaches pristine and intact, while preserving our precious wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations. That candidate is Victor Rios for the office of City Council. During the ten years we have known him, he has demonstrated his continued dedication to community and a willingness to help others. This is easily verified by looking at his ... Read More »

Floridians hunting deer out of state need to be aware of CWD laws

Florida hunters planning to hunt deer, moose or elk out of state this year need to be aware of certain laws and regulations aimed at preventing chronic wasting disease (CWD) from entering our state. CWD is a contagious neurological disease that has been found in captive and wild cervids (white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose and elk) within 22 states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea. The disease causes degeneration of the brains of infected animals, resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death. There is no known evidence that CWD can be transmitted to livestock or humans. The disease ... Read More »

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 »

Parking Meters on Marco?

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By Pat Newman Parking meters may be making their debut on Marco Island if a proposal to install 10 meters on Elkcam Circle is approved by City Council. The recommendation came after Guy Verdi, owner of the Philly Grille on Collier Boulevard, appealed to the Marco Island Planning Board that his planned expansion was jeopardized by updated parking requirements. “We need to expand, or close our doors. I feel like Marco Island is putting us out if business,” Verdi told board members at their Sept. 5 meeting. City Manager Roger Hernstadt explained that it was his and the Planning Board’s ... Read More »

License-Free Fishing

Action: Saltwater license-free fishing day Sept. 6 Information: Florida residents and visitors can experience Florida’s unique saltwater fishing opportunities without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license on Sept. 6. All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions apply. Miss this license-free fishing day? Nov. 29 is also a saltwater license-free fishing day. There are eight license-free fishing days each year including four freshwater and four saltwater. An annual license for residents can be purchased at 1-888-FISH-Florida or at License.MyFWC.com. All fishing license fees are used to support Florida fish and wildlife conservation and help attain additional funding for Federal Aid in Sport Fish ... Read More »

Conservancy of Southwest Florida 2014 Red Snook Tournament set for Oct. 24-26

An angler participates in the 2013 RedSnook Tournament to benefit Conservancy of Southwest Florida water quality and gamefish research initiatives.

This year’s tournament features lower entry fees, new kayak division and honorary chair Oliver White The 2014 RedSnook Catch and Release Charity Tournament will be held Oct. 24-26, and supports the water quality protection and gamefish research conducted by Conservancy of Southwest Florida. New this year is the kayak fishing division, which has become increasingly popular in Southwest Florida for recreational fishing. Anglers will enjoy lower entry fees than in years past.  Also new this year is the honorary chair, Oliver White.  White is a famed salt water fly fisher and entrepreneur. Brands from Costa Sunglasses to G. Loomis have endorsed ... 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 »

To Thine Own Self…

Business

Artful Life Tara O’Neill taraogallery@marcocable.com I recently overheard a conversation between two professional photographers. One emerging; the other well-seasoned — both artistic. The seasoned artist is fabulously known for a certain genre of photographs, with a few variants, and is quite successful. The emerging artist utilizes a wide-range of subjects. “I admire your dedication to your subject,” says our emerging artist. “Don’t worry,” says the seasoned artist, “you’ll find your niche.” “I hope not!” says the emerging artist. And I said, “Bravo!” I was witnessing, and admiring, a sense of adventure in the emerging artist that was too strong to ... Read More »

Water flow study at Naples Airport

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The large pond along Airport Pulling Road at Naples Municipal Airport may take on unusual colors during the next month, but there is no cause for concern. University of Florida researchers are adding dye to the waters to test computer models that predict water flow. Testing will continue for three to four weeks and will occur during or immediately following rain. The dye, the safest used for water tracking, typically creates a reddish tint and may take more than 100 hours to dissipate. Underwater gabions – walls created with baskets of rocks – were installed in the pond earlier this year ... Read More »

Farmer’s Market

Lettertoeditor

There is a clear misconception that Farmers’ Markets should be merely fruit and vegetable stands.  This perspective is looking through a limited lens of commerce versus one of community, so let’s take a step back.  Here, in Marco Island, we cater to both the local and transient guest, and we are truly one family.  These once-a-week markets for five hours are really about social connection.  Yes, radishes and cucumbers used to take center stage, but they have happily made room for flavored honeys, fresh pastas, locally carved sustainable artifacts, wildlife photography and custom terrariums.  As diversity started to populate the ... 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 »

Help America’s Forests: Join the Arbor Day Foundation in July and 10 Trees Will Be Planted in High-Need National Forests

America’s forestland is a prized natural resource, and anyone can help plant trees in these vital areas by joining the Arbor Day Foundation this month. Through the Replanting Our National Forests campaign, the Arbor Day Foundation will honor each new member who joins in July by planting 10 trees in forests that have been devastated by wildfires, insects and disease. The cost for joining the Arbor Day Foundation is a $10 donation. America’s national forests face enormous challenges, including unprecedented wildfires that have left a backlog of more than one million acres in need of replanting. The Foundation has worked ... Read More »

Celebrate Our Nation’s Birthday by Respecting Our Beach

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PROTECTING & PRESERVING Nancy Richie NRichie@cityofmarcoisland.com One of the best holidays in our country is the 4th of July! Our nation — turning 238 years old — knows how to put on a party, right? It is a day to reflect why our nation is so great, how we are the luckiest citizens on earth, and be thankful for all those that have and do ensure that the United States remains the “land of the free.” It has always been such a big, happy, fun-filled holiday for my family growing up in California in a small town and then raising ... Read More »

EcoTour Provider Training Series Back at Rookery Bay

Rookery Bay Reserve naturalist Randy McCormick explains the role of mangroves in southwest Florida’s environment during while touring the Reserve. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROOKERY BAY RESERVE

Submitted With approximately 97 percent of Southwest Florida’s ocean-based economy coming from tourism and recreation, ecotour professionals serve as ambassadors of local natural areas. These ecotour professionals often rely on their knowledge of natural history to provide clients a memorable experience. In order to meet the growing educational needs of ecotour professionals, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, in partnership with Florida Sea Grant, is offering a series of field and classroom-based programs this summer. Back by popular demand, the Ecotour Provider Series promotes sustainable tourism practices by providing guides, naturalists and tour operators with information, tips and tools to ... Read More »

Plitvice Lakes

Sometimes the pools of water are emerald in color.

SPEAKING OF TRAVEL Vickie Kelber vickieonmarco@comcast.net AUNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, Plitvice Lakes in central Croatia near the Bosnia Herzogovenia border is the crown jewel of the eight national parks in this country. The most visited site in Croatia, it is about a three hour drive from Split, two from Zagreb. There are public buses as well as organized excursions from these two cities to the park. When touring Croatia, a visit to the Lakes is a pleasant break from cities, churches, and ruins. We had heard that Plitvice Lakes was beautiful, but were initially somewhat blasé about our visit. ... Read More »

Author Day for Seventh Graders

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By Coastal Breeze News Staff The Language Arts program chair for Marco Island Charter Middle School, Jerra Minning, organized the school’s first Author Day. The assignment for the students was to write a newspaper article about living on the #1 island per TripAdvisor.com, from their perspective. Five presenters spoke to each of the seventh grade classes sharing with students their own unique perspective on writing and the publishing process. Once students completed the assignment, teachers reviewed them and chose four to be published in Coastal Breeze News. Congratulations to the young writers published below!   Lia Okenka: Marco Island was ... 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 »