The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its meeting Feb. 4 in Jacksonville, increased hunting opportunities, beginning with the next hunting season (2015-2016).
It established a new public hunting area in northwest Florida called Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area. The 4,017-acre WMA tract in Santa Rosa County will offer archery, general gun, muzzleloading gun and spring turkey hunts by quota permit, and a walk-in small-game hunting season.
The Oyster Gardening program concluded its first year of operation having successfully recruited more than 800 waterfront residents who dedicated about 135,000 hours to growing oysters inside specially designed habitats suspended from their docks. These volunteers also collected data that determined the most successful areas of the county for oysters.
Sign up today to participate in the Gulf Reef Fish Survey. 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 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program awarded the Season 2 Hall of Fame winner, Joseph “Brooks” Morrell from Hampton, with the TrophyCatch championship ring from the American Outdoors Fund. Morrell caught, documented and released a 14-pound, 9-ounce bass to earn the top prize for Season 2 (Oct. 1, 2013, to Sep. 30, 2014).
Several species of grouper will close to recreational and commercial harvest starting Jan. 1 in Florida state waters of the Atlantic, including Monroe County. This seasonal closure includes gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin and tiger grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore out to 3 nautical miles.
The 2014 legislative session transferred the “Deer Tag”, formerly known as the Sportsman’s National Land Trust, to the Foundation. In transferring the administration of this tag to the Foundation, the legislative intent is to focus funding efforts on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The FWC will not be the exclusive beneficiary of tag funds. A portion of the funds will be available to all eligible applicants.
The Report Florida Lionfish app is now more interactive than ever. Not only can you continue reporting your lionfish sightings and catches, your reports and photographs are documented on an interactive map. The map includes your important data such as where you found your catch, the date caught, how many you saw or removed and what type of gear you used.
The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 15 in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, and will remain closed through Jan. 31, 2015, reopening to harvest Feb. 1. Snook can be caught and released during the closed season.
Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2. These closures help maintain sustainable gag grouper populations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and will remain closed through Feb. 28, 2015, reopening to harvest March 1, 2015. Snook can continue to be caught and released during the closed season.
NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would add long-term recreational accountability measures for red snapper. Accountability measures are measures taken to prevent the harvest from exceeding the quota.
At its meeting in Key Largo on Nov. 20, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved lowering of the red grouper recreational bag limit from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state waters, excluding Monroe County.
Today, Governor Rick Scott and The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the funding of $34.3 million for nine Florida projects that address high priority conservation needs.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet Nov. 20 and 21 in Key Largo at the Hilton Key Largo Resort, 97000 Overseas Highway. Thursday and Friday sessions both start at 8:30 a.m. The public is invited and will be provided opportunities to speak.
A panel of experts will offer critical suggestions on how post-Gulf of Mexico oil catastrophe research funds should be spent. The panel is just one of the key marine presentations at the Guy Harvey Fisheries Symposium at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus.
Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, the Vote Yes on Amendment 1 campaign, today announced the support of Coastal Conservation Association Florida for Amendment 1, the Water and Land Conservation Amendment.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) has joined a groundswell of opposition to a controversial mangemement proposal for Gulf red snapper scheduled for a final vote of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council this week in Mobile, Alabama.
Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. To ensure this valuable resource is available for generations to come, take care when removing crab claws, and follow all protective management guidelines for stone crab harvest.