February 2015 Section A

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Information from COE


Information from FWC


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 web site is www.MyFWC.com

 

 

NEW for February 2015 


Latest news is "not much news" on the Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program and All Aboard Florida. Check our archives over the past few months for more information.

Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program (most recent survey that we know about, with 12/7/14 deadline) apparently complete but no results have been announced at our Press Time.

All Aboard Florida (private investment group's plan to run 32 trains a day from Orlando to Miami causing more bridge closures on the St. Lucie, Loxahatchee and New Rivers) continue to be unsettled at our Press Time.

USCG's request for comments on All Aboard Florida continues, probably 'til June, by mail at Office of the Commander, 7th Coast Guard Dist., Brickell Plaza Federal Bldg., 909 SE 1st Ave., #432, Miami, FL 33131-3050.

For up-to-date information on both of the above situations we suggest watching Florida news and checking websites listed for Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS.com) FWC (myfwc.com) and this monthly website update, where press releases appear as received.

 

 

FWC News Release: FWC to meet Feb. 4-5 in Jacksonville
For immediate release: January 28, 2015
Susan Smith, 850-488-8843 (first-day issues)
Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 (marine fisheries issues)
Suggested Tweet: Wildlife management issues on @MyFWC agenda for Jacksonville meeting: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/ece8a8  #Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet Feb. 4-5 in Jacksonville at the Hyatt Regency, 225 E.Coastline Dr. The sessions on Wednesday and Thursday both start at 8:30 a.m. The public is invited and will be provided opportunities to speak.

Highlights of the Feb. 4 agenda include:

A Florida Sportsmen’s Conservation Association annual award.
A discussion about Florida black bear management and future actions.
A vote on establishing Deer Management Units statewide and increasing hunting opportunities.

Highlights of the Feb. 5 agenda are:

Consideration of a resolution establishing Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day.
Federal marine fishery management council reports.
Discussion of a draft rule setting the Gulf red snapper season for this year.

For the full agenda, go to www.MyFWC.com/Commission    and select “Commission Meetings.” Follow live coverage on Twitter @MyFWC (https://twitter.com/MyFWC) and join in the conversation by using tag #FWC2015!

Suggested Tweet: Wildlife management issues on @MyFWC agenda for Jacksonville meeting: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/ece9bf  #Florida
http://www.myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/rulemaking/workshops/

 

 

FWC News Release: Snook reopens in Atlantic state waters 01/28/2015
For immediate release: January 28, 2015
Contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

Suggested Tweet: Anglers! #Snook season opens in Atlantic on Feb. 1! http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/ecef62  #fishing @MyFWC #Florida

Snook reopens in Atlantic state waters

The recreational harvest season for snook reopens on Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season will remain open through May 31.

In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 32 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 the angler is 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. As a result, the FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home, even during the open season.

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them 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 Florida's premier inshore game fish, snook. For the county-by-county list, go to www.MyFWC.com/Research   and click on “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”

The harvest of snook in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and all of Monroe County, will reopen March 1. Snook harvested from the open waters of the Atlantic may not be transported through closed water or landed in the closed area. Anglers may catch and release snook during the closed season, but the FWC encourages anglers to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival 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 www.MyFWC.com/Fishing  and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

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

 

 

SEASONAL GROUPER CLOSURE STARTED JAN. 1 IN ATLANTIC, MONROE COUNTY WATERS

Several species of grouper have been closed to recreational and commercial harvest 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 harvest of these species of grouper in Atlantic state waters will remain closed through April 30, reopening May 1. The harvest closure was established to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species.
A similar closure will also occur in federal waters of the Atlantic. Tiger grouper is not included in the federal closure.

Grouper information, including Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico grouper regulations, is available online. Go to MyFWC.com/Fishing and select “Saltwater” then “Recreational Regulations” and “Groupers.”

 

 

As announced here in January, BLUE CRAB TRAP CLOSURES HAVE BEGUN IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA. Additional information follows:

Areas of our state where blue crab traps may not be in state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways) from the Florida/Alabama state line through the Franklin/Wakulla county line include Waters of the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee Bay.

Until trap season reopens, blue crabs may be harvested with other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps. Blue crab harvesters may also use standard blue crab traps during the closure if the traps are attached to a dock or other private property.

Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery, because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.

These closure are part of three regional, 10-day blue crab trap closures that will occur in 2015. Coastal waters from Broward through Pasco counties will close to traps July 10-19, and waters from Hernando through Wakulla counties, including all waters of the Ochlockonee River and Ochlockonee Bay, will close to traps July 20-29. There are six regional closures total: three in even-numbered years on the east coast and three in odd-numbered years on the west coast (see map).

  Blue crab map

For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Trap Retrieval/Debris Removal”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap-retrieval coordinator, Kyle Miller, at 850-487-0554.

 

 

LADIES, LET’S GO FISHING!

To learn more, visit ladiesletsgofishing.com, call 954-475-9068 or email info@ladiesletsgofishing.com.

 

 

Repeating in February REPORT FLORIDA LIONFISH APP UPDATED WITH NEW INTERACTIVE MAP

Lionfish mapThe 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. You can use this map to help determine where lionfish are being spotted and what reefs have recently been cleaned. There is even a “show reef” option that maps all of Florida’s artificial reefs and provides the location and depth at which each reef can be found.

You can also share your submission on Face book or Twitter. Use #FWCLionfish to make sure we see it as well.

Download the app today at the Apple Store or Google Play. Don’t forget the most important information, the latitude and longitude where you caught your lionfish and the date caught. We can’t add your data to this new map without it.

Lionfish are a nonnative species that have a negative impact on Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages you to remove lionfish from Florida waters whenever you can.

The FWC shares all data with the U.S. Geological Survey, which has been collecting similar data for years.

Learn more about lionfish by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

 

 

Save The Date: Lionfish Clinic & Hunt

Clinic: Friday, April 24, 2015, 6 p.m.
Hunt: Saturday, April 25, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Benefiting the Martin County Artificial Reef Program
Location: Loxahatchee River Center  805 US 1, Jupiter, FL 33477
Contact: info@mclionfish.com or Martin County Hotline: 772.221.1387
 

 

News from USCG - BRIDGE NOTICES:

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 with updates.

 

 

NEW INFORMATION FROM THE USCG

... for District 7


Electronic editions of the Light Lists are available on the USCG Navigation Center's website at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightLists.

 

Full updates to the electronic editions of these volumes are available at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListWeeklyUpdates.

 

A summary of Light List corrections to the Light List Books are available at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListCorrections.

 

... and District 8

 

Electronic editions of the Light Lists are available on the USCG Navigation Center’s website at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightLists.

 

Full updates to the electronic editions of these volumes are available at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListWeeklyUpdates.

 

A summary of Light List corrections to the Light List Books are available at: http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lightListCorrections.

 

 

REPEATING IN FEBRUARY

MAIN STREET BRIDGE ON ST. JOHNS RIVER, JACKSONVILLE, BRIDGE REPAIRS AND FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH – FLAGLER MEMORIAL/ROYAL PARK/SOUTHERN BOULEVARD BRIDGES: Bridge Changes/Update.

 

FLORIDA - ST JOHNS RIVER – MAIN STREET BRIDGE - JACKSONVILLE: Bridge Repairs.

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 April 30, 2015, the Main Street Bridge will open with a two hour advance notice between the 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. The project completion date is April 30, 2015.

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.

Superior Construction Company has advised the Coast Guard that they will be using a snooper truck as part of this operation which will reduce the vertical clearance to 22 feet at different locations. The snooper truck can be removed if 30 minutes advance notice is provided.

Please note these dates may change or be added due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or equipment failure. Unless specifically identified in the schedule, mariners should anticipate the described opening restrictions are in effect. Additionally, to support mariners with the latest information we have provided a cell phone to the bridge tenders at the Main Street Bridge who can be contacted at any time, 904-891-2191.

Scheduled bridge closures to navigation

6am Jan 10, 2015 – 6am Jan 11, 2015

6am Jan 17, 2015 – 6am Jan 18, 2015

6am Jan 24, 2015 – 6am Jan 25, 2015

Ref: LNM 04 through 50-14

 

 

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – PALM SHORES TO WEST PALM BEACH – FLAGLER MEMORIAL/ROYAL PARK/SOUTHERN BOULEVARD BRIDGES: Bridge Construction/Waterway Restriction/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 Florida Department of Transportation has requested that the Flagler Memorial Bridge be placed on a restricted opening schedule until the new Flagler Memorial Bridge construction can be completed.

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 Flagler Memorial Bridge opening schedule will be changed starting November 1, 2014, to once an hour on the quarter-hour. Starting Wednesday, November 12, 2014, in addition to the once an hour schedule, the Flagler Memorial Bridge will be allowed to not open at 8:15 a.m. and at 4:15. p.m. Monday through Friday except Federal holidays to allow for rush hour traffic. The bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation with no exemptions except for emergencies. The Royal Park and Southern Blvd Bridges will return to their normal operating schedules per 33 CFR 117.261: (v) Royal Park (SR 704) bridge, mile 1022.6, at Palm Beach. The draw shall open on the hour and half-hour.

(w) Southern Boulevard (SR 700/80) bridge, mile 1024.7 at Palm Beach. The draw shall open on the quarter and three-quarter hour.

While the new Flagler Memorial Bridge is under construction, the following emergency plan will remain in effect with no exceptions except for emergencies:

If an emergency occurs and the Flagler Memorial Bridge is left in the open to navigation position, all vehicle traffic will be detoured to the bridges to the south. For this reason, the Royal Park Bridge will be on an hourly schedule at the quarter-hour, except that from 8:16 a.m. to 10:14 a.m. and from 4:16 p.m. to 6:14 p.m. this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation. The Southern Boulevard Bridge will remain on the twice an hour schedule (top of the hour and bottom of the hour), except that from 8:31 a.m. to 9:59 a.m. and from 4:31 p.m. to 5:59 p.m. this bridge will be allowed to remain closed to navigation.

Ref: LNM 45-12 through 50-14 Chart: 11472

 

 

The following information provided by our editors is again included in the Gold Coast Cruising section of the 15/16 edition:

PALM BEACH AREA BRIDGES

Usual opening schedules are listed on Chart 8, however, delayed construction on Flagler Bridge may cause further changes and once-an-hour openings are likely. Contact bridges on CH 9.

REPEATING IN FEBRUARY

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY –WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI –WEST PALM BEACH – LAKE AVENUE/ROBERT HARRIS BRIDGE: Temporary Bridge Regulations/Bridge Repair.

The Florida Department of Transportation has initiated coordination with the Coast Guard to consider regulations on the Lake Worth/Lake Avenue/Robert Harris Bridge, across the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway mile 1028.0, Lake Worth, Palm Beach County, Florida, which will allow for some bridge closures and temporary regulation changes to order to facilitate construction/repair activity on this bridge.

The Coast Guard has agreed to allow this bridge to remain closed to navigation from 12:05 a.m. to 4:59 a.m. and from 7:05 a.m. to 10:59 a.m. daily, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. This bridge will be allowed to open once an hour on the top of hour for the remainder of the day. The vertical clearance of the bridge will be reduced by 5 feet which will allow for a vertical clearance of 30 feet in the closed position. On Saturday, Sunday and Federal holidays the bridge will open on-demand.

Coastal Gunite Construction Company has advised the Coast Guard that they will start this project on September 2, 2014 and will continue until May 15, 2015.

Ref: LNM 45-13 through 50-14 Chart: 11467 CG File: 2674

 

 

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – NEW RIVER (SOUTH FORK) – CSX RAILROAD BRIDGE: New Bridge Construction/Temporary Regulation Change/Horizontal Clearance Reduction.

The contractor working on the CSX Railroad Bridge replacement across the South Fork of the New River mile 2.8, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida has requested to temporarily change the regulation governing the existing CSX Railroad Bridge. This temporary regulation change has been approved and has placed this bridge to an on demand schedule whereas the bridge will be placed in the closed to navigation position during certain portions of the construction operations with an open on demand schedule. Mariners are requested to contact the bridge tender on VHF-FM channel 9 for opening and passing information.

The pile driving operation began on February 14, 2014 on the north side of the channel with completion scheduled for July 30, 2014. The pile driving operation on the south side is scheduled to begin on January 5 with completion scheduled for April 30, 2015. The estimated completion date for this project is June 2016.

 

 

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 will begin 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

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