Skip to main content

FWC, Fisheries Councils Finding Social Distancing Solutions

Martha Guyas of FWC Marine Fisheries Division presents slides on State Reef Fish Survey program. Commissioners visible in live feed frames at top.


Online, or “virtual,” meetings of fish and wildlife management authorities seem to be flowing pretty smoothly, if last week's meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) was any indication.

And good news for the less tech-savvy among us: Getting involved in the meetings is fairly easy. Confession: I was a little nervous about commenting—I've been in front of the FWC for decades, but this was my first time via my MacBook.

The seven commissioners, each in their own homes or offices, were clearly visible in the top bar of the Adobe MeetingOne audio and web conferencing portal, as was FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. Staff making presentations were pictured (still photo only) on the right side of the frame, and documents were featured large and clear in the middle of the screen.

Instructions for public comment were pretty clear. Through my telephone on speaker phone, I chimed in—audio only--to asked the FWC to make an annual report of the Reef Fish Survey Program, which it's planning to bring statewide (more on that in the July issue of Florida Sportsman). I did ask the commissioners if my voice was clear, and I got several thumbs up.

Landings trends in commercial fishery indicate trouble for stone crab populations. Monterey Seafood Watch recently downgraded Florida stone crabs from "best choice" to "avoid."


The commission also heard from a number of stone crab fishermen about draft options for rebuilding the stone crab population. Among FWC proposals: raising the minimum size claw to 2 7/8 inches, requiring escape rings on traps, limiting the number of “checker boxes” (a sort of holding pen for crab of questionable size), and amending season dates to close earlier in the spring—helping reduce interactions with egg-bearing female crab. The public comment was lively, with trappers weighing in on their feelings about the tighter limits.

The FWC meeting was abbreviated from the usual multi-day format. Dates and agendas for other meetings coming up can be found at MyFWC.com under “About Us.”

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC)—federal agency that makes rules for the offshore waters on the Atlantic coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas—will hold a longer virtual meeting in a few weeks, June 8-11. A formal public comment session takes place Wednesday, June 10, beginning at 4 p.m.

A few things the Council will look at include stock assessments for greater amberjack, king mackerel and red porgy. The Council is also reviewing catch levels for dolphin.

I'll be there. Hope you will, too!

-Jeff Weakley, Florida Sportsman Editor




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

How to Buy and Rig a River Fishing Kayak

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Power or Paddle? Bonafide PWR129

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

It's a Skiff, It's a Kayak: Bonafide SKF117

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage Lynx to the Next Level

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Hobie Mirage iTrek 9 Ultralight Packed with Features

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Extend Your Range in the Salt Marsh

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Florida's Capital Fishing

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 FULLY RIGGED Fishing Machine

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Mounting Forward-Facing Sonar on A Kayak: Mounts, Scanning Applications and More!

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

On The Water with Old Town: Bass Fishing at PRIVATE GEORGIA LAKE

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

DECKED-OUT Old Town Sportsman BigWater ePDL+ 132 Complete WALK-THROUGH

Kayak Fishing Fun Senior Editor Thomas Allen is joined by Old Town's Brand Evangelist Ryan Lilly to work some magic in b...
Videos

Dreambuild: Old Town ePDL Gets Rigged to the Hilt

Florida Sportsman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now

Never Miss a Thing.

Get the Newsletter

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

By signing up, I acknowledge that my email address is valid, and have read and accept the Terms of Use