SECTION A - News & Regulations from COE, FWC and others, including Bridge information

The latest Navigation Report can be found at: which goes to the Jacksonville District.

General Information for the Okeechobee Waterway can be found at South Florida Operations Office web page.

Information from COE

The latest Navigation Report can be found at: which goes to the Jacksonville District.

General Information for the Okeechobee Waterway can be found at South Florida Operations Office web page.



Notes on Fishing Rules and other announcements

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (a/k/a FWC) keeps us up to date on changes that fishermen (cruising-fishermen included) should know, and other items of interest to boating people. As the audience is somewhat varied, we give a quick note on the news and suggest that those interested in specific topics check it all out at the FWC web site.
There's also information on boating, parks, ramps, etc., etc. and we'll hope to include news on anything we think you'll want to know about.

FWC’s website is


Suggested Tweet: Get your snorkel &mask! Bay #scallop season opens June 28 @MyFWC: #Florida


Get your bay scallop bags and shucking tools ready. The recreational bay scallop season opens in some Gulf of Mexico state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) starting June 28, three-days earlier than the season was slated to start. The portion of Gulf state waters is from the Pasco-Hernando county line north and west to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County.

The season will remain open through Sept. 24, with the first day of the closure on Sept. 25. Gov. Rick Scott asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to open the 2014 season early to provide additional opportunities to Florida’s residents and visitors who flock to the coast to partake in this activity. The season is an economic draw to the coastal counties within the open region. This change is not expected to harm the scallop population.

All size limits and bag limits remain the same. The bag limit is 2 gallons of whole bay scallops or 1 pint of meat per person, per day, with a vessel limit of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops or a half-gallon of meat. Scallops may be collected by hand or with a landing or dip net.

Scallops cannot be taken ashore outside of the open area.

There is no commercial harvest for bay scallops in Florida.

The average number of scallops observed during 2013’s post-season surveys suggests similar or slightly rising abundances for 2014 in Homosassa, St. Joseph Bay and Steinhatchee. The St. Marks average has been decreasing since June 2012, which is most likely due to increased storm runoff in recent years.

Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag when scalloping in open water and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag in open water or 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed.

Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email to ask questions or send additional information.

Learn more about our new index-based graph, which illustrates long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

Gone Coastal

For immediate release: June 26, 2014
Photos available on FWC Flickr site: Go to
Video available on FWC YouTube site: Go to
Suggested Tweet: Have a family-friendly fun #scalloping. Learn more @MyFWC Gone Coastal:

Upcoming Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! events are scheduled for Nov. 14-16 in the Florida Keys.
To learn more, visit, call 954-475-9068 or email

For immediate release: July 25, 2014
Photos available on FWC Flickr site: Go to:
Suggested Tweet: Anglers! Win a @Phoenixbassboat on new #TrophyCatch site launched by @MyFWC!! #fishing #Florida

In preparation for season three of TrophyCatch, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) launched a new and highly improved website to facilitate gathering data on Florida’s famed trophy largemouth bass and to reward anglers for releasing them alive.

TrophyCatch is an incentive-based conservation program designed for anglers who catch-and-release largemouth bass heavier than 8 pounds in Florida. There are three different tiers and two bonus categories offering the opportunity to win prizes:

•The Lunker Club (8-9.9 pounds) ̶ $100 in gift cards, a short-sleeve T-shirt, certificate and decal.
•The Trophy Club (10-12.9 pounds) ̶ $150 in gift cards, a short-sleeve T-shirt, certificate and decal.
•The Hall of Fame Club (greater than 13 pounds) ̶ a $500 fiberglass mount, $200 in gift cards, a duffel bag, hoodie and other apparel, Glen Lau DVD, certificate and decal, worth approximately $1,000.
•The biggest bass of the season wins a $3,000 championship ring from the American Outdoors Fund, and if it happens to come from a major water body in Osceola County, Experience Kissimmee chips in $10,000 in cash. The current leader is J. Morrell, with a 14-pound, 9-ounce bass caught and released on Lake Kingsley, last March.
•One lucky registered angler will win a $40,000 Phoenix bass boat, powered by Mercury Marine and equipped with a Power-Pole. Besides getting a chance at the boat just for registering, every verified catch provides 10 extra chances for the drawing, which is conducted at the end of the season.

TrophyCatch seasons run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 each year. “Anglers should carefully follow catch-and-release guidelines for these big bass and document the catch through a photograph of the entire bass on a scale with the weight clearly legible,” said Tom Champeau, director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. The new website makes it easy to register and review the rules and prizing details. Anglers should remember to take a camera and scale, and perhaps a tape measure to document the catch quickly and safely before releasing it.

People then simply upload catch photos (up to five) or even an MP4 video clip up to 50 MB in size, complete a simple form and submit. Since this is a citizen-science program, properly verified data helps FWC biologists enhance, conserve and promote trophy bass fishing. This will ultimately benefit anglers, fishing-related businesses and local communities. Corporate partners, including Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rapala and Bass King Clothing, provide the rewards, in return for carefully documenting these catches and live-releasing them in the same water system where they were caught.
This program provides extremely valuable data and encourages live-release of these older, female bass, so they can continue to challenge other anglers and spawn in their home waters.

The program began in October 2012, and the World Fishing Network was gracious and conservation-minded enough to create the first website free-of-charge. TrophyCatch continues to expand, going from a total of 1,941 registrants and 185 verified club winners in season 1 to 7,903 registrants and 798 winners through the first three-quarters of season 2. Similar growth is anticipated for season 3.

“With additional demands on the website and reward processing, and evolution of the Internet, the enhancements that our new partnership with Brandt Information Services brings are sure to be appreciated by TrophyCatch participants,” said KP Clements, the TrophyCatch director. Clements also encourages anglers to subscribe to and to “like” to keep up with developments. The new website integrates these social media resources so that anglers can brag about their catches with their social networks.

The FWC encourages all anglers to check out the site, register to be automatically entered in the boat drawing and be prepared to catch-and-release largemouth bass. One never knows when or where a trophy bass will appear, but checking the gallery and catch records at may enhance one’s opportunities. From Okeechobee, through the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes to Lake Talquin, trophies are being caught year-round, but trophy bass are also being caught on small local lakes and even golf course ponds. These places are accessible and good bets for opportunities to land a lunker.

News from USCG

We attempt to include here only notices regarding serious bridge operating schedules. We have discontinued listing temporary changes that draw attention to semi-serious delays such as (most) painting projects, marathons, charity runs,  single-leaf operations, etc.
An exception to the above may be made because of seasonal traffic and items previously included may be kept w/updates.

REPEATING - July through October unless new information is received. 


Bridge Construction/Waterway Restrictions/Temporary Bridge Regulation Changes/Update.

The Florida Department of Transportation has advised that the Flagler Memorial Bridge will be placed in the open to navigation position for a six month period. Mariners are reminded that the horizontal clearance at the Flagler Memorial Bridge is currently set  at 70 feet and will remain until the new bridge is built and this bridge is removed.

The current schedule for the Flagler Memorial Bridge will remain in effect until it is placed in an open to navigation position. The Flagler Memorial Bridge will open once an  hour on the quarter-hour except that from 8:16 AM to 9:14 AM and from 4:16 PM to 5:14 PM the bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation with no exemptions except for emergencies.

With the Flagler Memorial Bridge left in the open to navigation position from May 12, 2014 until October 31, 2014, all vehicle traffic will be detoured to the bridges south of this structure. For this reason, the Royal Park Bridge will be on an hourly schedule at the quarter-hour (open once an hour on the quarter past the hour) from 6:16 AM until 8:14 PM Monday through Friday, except that from 7:16 AM to 9:14 AM and from 4:16 PM to 6:14 PM this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation. At all other times including Federal Holidays this bridge will open on the quarter-hour and three-quarter hour.

The Southern Boulevard Bridge will remain on the twice an hour schedule (top of the hour and bottom of the hour), except that from 7:31 AM to 9:29 AM and from 4:01 PM and 5:59 PM this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation.

PCL Construction will be working on the new Flagler Memorial Bridge and will have floating equipment in the vicinity of the Flagler Memorial Bridge. Any and all channel restrictions/closures in support of this new structure will be published in future Local Notices to Mariners and Broadcast Notices to Mariners. This bridge construction is anticipated to be completed by September 1, 2016.



The Coast Guard has approved a temporary change to the operating schedule of the Main Street Bridge across the St Johns River, Jacksonville, Florida, due to bridge repairs. From January 24 through December 30, 2014, the Main Street Bridge will open with a two hour advance notice between 6:00 a.m. and 6:59 p.m. to the bridge tender either via VHF-FM channel 9 or by calling 904-891-2191.

Between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. a four hour advance notice to the bridge tender will be required to receive an opening.

During the painting operation the contractor will be placing scaffolding under the bridge which will reduce the vertical clearance of the bridge up to 10 feet.
Chart: 11491

Seminole Equipment is working on the I-95 Bridge across the South Fork of the New River, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Due to painting operations the vertical clearance will be reduced by 5 feet from January 7, 2014 through July 31, 2014. The containment system can be retracted by two feet if 24 hours notice is provided to the contractor.
V&M Erectors will be working on another section of the I-95 Bridge across the New River. This work will close the navigation channel at night from 10:00 p.m. through 5:00 a.m. daily, April 6 through September 1, 2014. Mariners requesting passage at night should call 954-290-1877 and provide a two hour advance notice. V&M Erectors may be working on the bridge during daylight hours; but the floating equipment will be placed outside the channel limits.
Mariners are request to use caution when transiting through this area as there are currently three projects on going in this congested area.
Sieg & Sons, Inc. has advised the Coast Guard that they are replacing the fender system under the I-595 Bridge across the New River (South Fork), Fort Lauderdale, Florida from June 16, 2014 through December 30, 2014. There is floating equipment restricting the navigable channel. The horizontal clearance will be reduced to 30 feet from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The barge can be removed with 45 minutes advance notice to Ms. Dayana Iglesias at 954-920-5989. There are no vertical clearance restrictions.

Due to an equipment failure the Ft Denaud Swingbridge will only open every 2 hours on the top of the hour between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. The bridge will remain closed to navigation from 8:01 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. Mariners are advised that this bridge is opening and closing very slowly, please proceed with caution.

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August 2014 Section A

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