Conservation Press Releases


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Officers Run Down Gill Netters at Night

On July 29, 2015, officers from the Charlotte County Sheriffs’ Marine Unit found themselves involved in a high speed chase through pitch black Charlotte Harbor as they tracked down 4 men accused of illegal gill netting.

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Legislation Introduced to Preserve Fishing Access in Biscayne National Park

On the heels of the recent announcement to close over 10,000 acres of Biscayne National Park to fishing, a coalition of recreational fishing and boating organizations praised the introduction of a bipartisan bill, H.R. 3310, that will help stop this and similar unwarranted fishing closures from occurring.

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Bass Management is Evolving

Bass anglers may wonder why the Sunshine State supports some of the best bass fishing in the world. Florida’s abundant lakes and rivers provide habitat necessary to produce good fisheries and the Florida largemouth bass possesses unique genetics that favors rapid growth to trophy size. Harvest management through fishing rules and regulations also play a role, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently considering sweeping changes to streamline bass regulations and make them more effective.

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Join the Dove Club!

Dove Club permits enable one adult and one youth (age 15 or younger) to hunt all scheduled dates for the dove field of their choice. Permits cost $150 and enable both hunters to take a daily bag limit of birds. All hunts take place on Saturdays from noon until sunset. Scheduled hunt dates and number of hunts vary between fields from late September through mid-January.

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Good Scallop Year Forecast for Florida’s West Coast

Each summer, biologists assess bay scallop populations along the Gulf coast of Florida, located in open and closed recreational harvest areas. Surveys are usually initiated in June and completed in July. Scientists look at long-term trends in the abundance of scallops in both the open and closed areas and present those findings to the Division of Marine Fisheries Management.

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Gulf of Mexico Greater Amberjack Size Limit Change Approved by FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved changing the minimum size limit for greater amberjack caught in Gulf of Mexico state waters from 30 inches fork length to 34 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the center of the fork in the tail.

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Satellites Enable Coral Reef Science Leap from Darwin to Online

With Earth-observing satellite data, scientists can now monitor the health of coral reefs, even in the most remote regions scattered around the globe where it is otherwise difficult to see changes.

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Double-take: Angler Lands Same Trophy Bass Twice Practicing Catch-and-Release

Robert Burnett, 55, from Inglis, is one of the most productive participants in TrophyCatch, with 26 Lunker Club (8 to 9.9 pounds) and one Trophy Club entry (10 to 12.9 pounds). His story and videos highlight the success of catch-and-release

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Public Locked Out of Biscayne National Park

Recreational Boating and Fishing Community Strongly Objects to Fishing Closure. “Florida Sportsman Magazine has been reporting on that reef fishery…»

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Man Catches State-Record Blue Catfish During Tournament

Bill Stewart, 66, of Weeki Wachee, caught a 69-pound, 8-ounce blue catfish on the Choctawhatchee River, near Ebro, during the Choctawhatchee Catfish Roundup tournament on May 30. He beat the previous state record by 5 pounds.

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U.S. House Passes Resolution to Improve Magnuson Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to pass H.R. 1335, amending and reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Act “to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes.”

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June “Outta’ the Woods”

With the dog days of summer almost upon us, it’s sometimes hard to even think about hunting. But if you’re age 16 to 40 and haven’t completed the state’s hunter safety course requirement, now’s a good time to be thinking about signing up. Don’t put it off – summer is the best time to take a class in your area.

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Woman Catches Record Flier Fish

Twila Gates, from Marianna, established a new Florida freshwater fishing record with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) this month. Her catch of a 1-pound, 5.6-ounce (1.35 pounds) flier on May 9 from a Jackson County pond beat the old record of 1.24 pounds.

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Gulf State Recreational Red Snapper Season Opening Memorial Day weekend

The 2015 season will start the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 23) and run through July 12, closing July 13. This season will resume for all of Labor Day weekend (Sept. 5-7) and finish with Saturdays and Sundays throughout the rest of September and all of October, with the last day of harvest being Sunday, Nov. 1.

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First Annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day a Success

Florida’s first annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (first Saturday after Mother’s Day) was a success, from statewide lionfish removal efforts to unveiling the new “Reef Rangers” lionfish removal program to educating the public about lionfish.

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Changes to Red grouper Bag Limit in Gulf Waters

The red grouper recreational bag limit will change from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, excluding Monroe County, on May 7.