April 2016 Section A

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Information from COE

RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS on OKECHOBEE WATERWAY & LOCKS. Keep checking at www.saj.usace.army.mil

 

 

Information from FWC

 

4 Florida counties open April 1 to gag grouper recreational harvest 

State waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will open to recreational harvest of gag grouper starting April 1.

This regional season will remain open through June 30, with the first day of the closure being July 1. The season also includes all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County.

As a reminder, the minimum size limit for gag and black grouper caught in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is expected to change from 22 inches to 24 inches total length later this spring.

In addition, the gag grouper season in the remainder of Gulf of Mexico state waters also is expected to change from July 1 through Dec. 3, to June 1 through Dec. 31. A news release will be issued when the size limit and season change. These changes will be posted online and can be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.” State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will not be open for gag fishing July through December. Monroe County state waters follow Atlantic grouper rules.

The season in all federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico is also expected to change later this spring from July 1 through Dec. 2, to June 1 through Dec. 31.

Gag grouper caught in state Gulf waters (from shore to 9 nautical miles out) April 1 to May 31 off the four-county open region can be landed on the Gulf County side of Indian Pass and the Dixie County side of the Steinhatchee River, but may not be taken ashore in other areas if those areas are closed to harvest. For example, a gag grouper caught April 1 in state waters off Jefferson County cannot be taken ashore in Levy County or parts of Dixie County outside of the Steinhatchee River. To see maps of these areas, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Grouper.”

The bag limit is two gag grouper per person. Recreational anglers targeting groupers in the Gulf may harvest no more than four grouper per person per day (within this four-fish limit, anglers may keep only two gag grouper).

If you plan to fish for gag grouper in Gulf state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, please make sure you are currently signed up as a Gulf Reef Fish Angler (annual renewal is required).  To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing   and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Reef Fish Survey.” Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com .

To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Grouper.”

 

 

LOOK OUT BOATERS - MANATEES ARE ON THE MOVE

Taking their cues from the warm spring weather, Florida manatees have begun leaving their winter retreats and heading north along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and through inland waters.

So if you’re a boater enjoying spring days on the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cautions you to look out for manatees and follow posted manatee zones.

From April 1 through Nov. 15, seasonal manatee zones require boaters to slow down in certain areas to prevent manatees from being struck by motorboats or personal watercraft.

FWC law enforcement officers will be on patrol in state waters to remind boaters of the seasonal manatee speed zones and will take enforcement actions when necessary. Manatee zones and maps are available at MyFWC.com/Manatee , where you can select “Protection Zones” for links to county maps.

“Our officers do their very best to support conservation of this species,” said FWC Capt. Gary Klein. “We ask that boaters take notice of the zones and do their part as well by increasing their awareness of the possible presence of manatees.”  

Because manatees are large, slow-moving and difficult to detect when underwater, operators of boats and personal watercraft need to take basic steps to avoid causing injury to manatees:

•Wear polarized sunglasses to help spot manatees.
•Look for the large circles on the water, also known as manatee footprints, indicating the presence of a manatee below.
•Look for a snout sticking up out of the water.
•Follow posted manatee zones while boating.

The FWC also asks anyone seeing an injured, distressed, sick or dead manatee to call the agency’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or dial #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone.

You can watch manatees without disturbing them if you follow “Guidelines for protecting native wildlife – Florida Manatees,” a brochure that includes tips for canoers, kayakers, paddle boarders, snorkelers and scuba divers. It’s available at MyFWC.com/Manatees , click on “Boat, Personal Watercraft and Paddle-sport Operators” and then on “Paddle-sport Operators.”

Support the FWC’s manatee research, rescue and management efforts by purchasing a “Save the Manatee” Florida license plate at BuyaPlate.com, or by donating $5 to receive an FWC manatee decal by going to MyFWC.com/Manatee and clicking on “Decals.”

 

 

Share your red drum fishing experiences with the FWC

A new red drum stock assessment is complete and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking input from anglers about their experiences with the red drum fishery. We want to know how you think the fishery is doing and what you think of the current bag limits.

visit MyFWC.com/RedDrum2016  to learn more about red drum and take a short survey.

Prefer to talk in person? FWC staff will be attending fishing club meetings, boat shows and retail outlets to gather input in northeast and northwest Florida.

Share your experiences and opinions, see what other anglers in north Florida think, and find out where FWC staff will be next by visiting our Facebook page.

 

 

Snook reopens in Gulf state waters March 1

The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier fish  ̶  snook  ̶ reopens on March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.

In the Gulf, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license unless exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.

It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home during the open season. When choosing to release a fish, the FWC encourages anglers to handle it carefully to help the fish survive upon release. Proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save the carcasses after they are filleted and provide the carcasses to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. This program allows anglers to participate in the collection of data such as the size, age, maturity and sex of one of Florida's premier inshore fish. For a county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Snook,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”
In Atlantic state and federal waters (including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River) the season is open through May 31, and one snook may be kept per person, per day. The size limit in Atlantic waters is no less than 28 inches total length and no more than 32 inches total length.

For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”
 

 

USCG Districts Seven & Eight - LNMs


The USCG District Seven Local Notice to Mariners http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lnms/lnm07122016.pdf  (12-2016) is now available for download. This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

In addition, the 2016 USCG Light List Volume Three is updated weekly on the following page: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListWeeklyUpdates  and is updated to Local Notice (12-2016), as is the summary of corrections http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lightLists/corrections/V3D07.pdf . These links must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

The Local Notice to Mariners, Light List, and Summary of Corrections are posted weekly and require Adobe Acrobat Reader https://get.adobe.com/reader/ (free download) or another PDF Viewer. This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

If the link does not work directly from your email editor you should either copy and paste the entire link into your web browser or follow the LNM links from the Navigation Center home page http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/ . This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

In order to download the latest information more rapidly:

•Place your mouse over the “PDF” symbol next to the corresponding week.
•Right click for PC / Control click for Mac.
•Choose “Save Target As”.
•Save the PDF to your computer and open using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you have questions regarding this message, you may contact the Navigation Center http://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=contactUs  (use “LNMs, Charts, Chart Corrections, or Light Lists” as the subject from the pull down menu). This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

To unsubscribe http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=listserverunsubscribe&srvr=LNMd7 .  This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

                        *** All links must be cut and pasted into the web browser.***

The USCG District Eight (Gulf) http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lnms/lnm0812g2016.pdf  (12-2016) is now available for download. This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

In addition, the 2016 USCG Light List Volume Four is updated weekly on the following page: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListWeeklyUpdates  and is updated to Local Notice (12-2016), as is the summary of corrections http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lightLists/corrections/V4D08GM.pdf . These links must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

The Local Notice to Mariners, Light List, and Summary of Corrections are posted weekly and require Adobe Acrobat Reader https://get.adobe.com/reader/  (free download) or another PDF Viewer. This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

In order to download the latest information more rapidly:
•Place your mouse over the “PDF” symbol next to the corresponding week.
•Right click for PC / Control click for Mac.
•Choose “Save Target As”.
•Save the PDF to your computer and open using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

If you have questions regarding this message, you may contact the Navigation Center http://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=contactUs  (use “LNMs, Charts, Chart Corrections, or Light Lists” as the subject from the pull down menu). This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

To unsubscribe http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=listserverunsubscribe&srvr=LNMd8g .  This link must be cut and pasted into the web browser.

                          ***All links must be cut and pasted into the web browser.***

 

 

SHARE YOUR RED DRUM FISHING EXPERIENCES WITH THE FWC

A new red drum stock assessment is complete and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking input from anglers about their experiences with the red drum fishery. We want to know how you think the fishery is doing and what you think of the current bag limits.

Visit MyFWC.com/RedDrum2016  to learn more about red drum and take a short survey.

Prefer to talk in person? FWC staff will be attending fishing club meetings, boat shows and retail outlets to gather input in northeast and northwest Florida.

Share your experiences and opinions, see what other anglers in north Florida think, and find out where FWC staff will be next by visiting our Facebook page, Facebook.com/RedDrum2016.

 

 

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – MIAMI – BROAD CAUSEWAY BRIDGE: Bridge Discrepancy

The Broad Causeway Bridge across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Miami, Florida is on singe-leaf operations at the quarter-hour and three-quarter hour until further notice. A double-leaf opening is available if two hours advance notice is provided to the bridge tender at 305-891-2221. This bridge provides a horizontal clearance of 33 feet with one leaf in the closed position.

M&J Construction has advised the Coast Guard that starting January 12, 2015, they have begun repairing the Broad Causeway Bridge. In order to complete these repairs, the Coast Guard has agreed to allow this bridge to operate on single-leaf operations with a four hour notice for a double-leaf opening to the bridge tender. Mariners are advised that during this 480 day operation, M&J Construction will be requesting permission to block the navigation channel at night to install the fender system under the bridge. This nighttime work will minimize disruptions to marine traffic. The start of this operation will be published in a future Local Notice to Mariners.
Ref: LNM 13 through 50-14 Chart: 11467

 

 

FLORIDA – MIAMI ENTRANCE CHANNEL – MIAMI BEACH CHANNEL – EAST VENETIAN BRIDGE:

Temporary Final Rule. The East Venetian Bridge is closed to navigation until further notice. The West Venetian Bridgeis open to navigation position until such time as the approaches to the bascule bridge have been repaired.  REF: LNM 39-14 through 41-15 and Docket Number USCG-2014-0719 Chart: 11467.

 

 

FLORIDA – MIAMI TO MARATHON AND FLORIDA BAY – HAWK CHANNEL – SNAKE CREEK BRIDGE: Test Deviation.

The Coast Guard is temporarily changing the regulations governing the Snake Creek Bridge across Snake Creek, Islamorada, Florida. From 8:00 a.m. on March 16, 2015 until 6:00 p.m. on May 10, 2015, the Snake Creek Bridge will be allowed to open on signal, except that from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. this bridge will open at the top of the hour, seven days-a-week. Ref. LNM 08 through 41-15 and Docket Number USCG-2015-0046 Chart: 11451.

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