June 2013 Section A

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

The latest Navigation Report can be found at: www.saj.usace.army.mil which goes to the Jacksonville District.

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

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

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 w/updates.

Notices from FWC

 

CELEBRATE UPCOMING LICENSE-FREE FISHING DAYS BY ATTENDING AN FWC EVENT

fishing man

family fresh water fishing

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be celebrating a saltwater license-free fishing day June 1 and a freshwater license-free fishing day June 8 by partaking in several events the first week of June.

License-free fishing days are a great opportunity for Florida’s residents and visitors to cast a line into the water and get hooked on saltwater and freshwater fishing. Anglers are not required to have a saltwater recreational fishing license on June 1 or a freshwater recreational fishing license on June 8.

To help celebrate, FWC staff will be at several boat ramps and docks talking with the public about saltwater fishing. Staff will also be greeting visitors at the welcome centers on Interstate 95 and I-75, participating in Visit Florida’s Fishing Month. Staff will talk about how to handle fish, use dehooking tools, general boating safety and more. A women’s fishing clinic is also scheduled.

“We hope visitors and residents alike will be able to join in the excitement of Florida’s saltwater and freshwater fishing this year by participating in one of our license-free fishing days or attending an event surrounding the days,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. “This is an excellent opportunity to share the fun and togetherness of a fishing trip with the entire family or to introduce someone to a lifetime hobby of fishing.”

Scheduled event dates and locations are as follows:

  • May 31 – June 2: I-95 Welcome Center outreach.
  • May 31: Dockside outreach in Carrabelle at Timber Island Road.
  • June 1: Dockside outreach at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge boat ramp.
  • June 7-9: I-75 Welcome Center outreach.
  • June 7: Dockside outreach at the boat ramp at Lanark Village.
  • June 8: Women’s Fishing Clinic in St. Petersburg at Weedon Island.
  • June 9: Dockside outreach at St. Marks River boat ramp near San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park.

The first week of June is also National Fishing and Boating Week. Thirty-seven states, including Florida and Georgia, will have license-free fishing days during the June 1 through June 9 national celebration of fishing and boating. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s www.TakeMeFishing.org website is a great place to learn about events sponsored by businesses and communities during National Fishing and Boating Week, as well as locating fishing sites, identifying recreational species and finding fishing tips.

FWC staff will also be at the I-75 welcome center June 22 as a part of Visit Florida’s Fishing Month.

Fishing is a low-cost, wholesome outdoor activity, which is why the FWC offers four days when a recreational fishing license is not needed. Can’t make the June 1 or June 8 license-free fishing days? The FWC also made Sept. 1 a license-free saltwater fishing day, which not only falls on a holiday weekend, but is during the popular bay scallop season.

Each year, the first Saturday in April and second Saturday in June will be license-free freshwater fishing days.

All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions apply on these dates.

To make your fishing day successful, check out MyFWC.com/Fishing for fishing tips, locations and rules.

 

STONE CRAB SEASON CLOSED MAY 16

 The commercial and recreational harvest of stone crab claws in Florida closed on May 16. This closure occurs each year during the species’ peak spawning season to help protect and sustain Florida’s valuable stone crab resource. Stone crab season will reopen Oct. 15.
 Commercially harvested stone crab claws may be possessed and sold during the closed season but only if they had been placed in inventory prior to May 16 by a licensed wholesale or retail dealer.
Stone crab traps must be removed from the water within five days after the close of the stone crab season unless a special extension is granted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Learn more about the stone crab harvest season by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater” and then either “Recreational Regulations” or “Commercial.”

 

GULF RECREATIONAL RED SNAPPER SEASON BEGINS JUNE 1

Red Snapper Tagging

The 2013 Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season begins June 1 in state and federal waters.

This year’s state season is 44 days long and will be open through July 14 with the first day of the closure being July 15. The federal season off Florida will be 26 days long.

The state season was approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its April 17 meeting in Tallahassee. State waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles in Gulf waters; federal waters extend beyond that line to 200 nautical miles.

State and federal regulations require all commercial fishers and recreational anglers fishing for any reef fish species in the Gulf of Mexico to use circle hooks, venting tools and dehooking devices. In Gulf state and federal waters, the minimum size limit is 16 inches total length and the bag limit is two fish per person, per day, within a 10-fish snapper aggregate limit.

While the yearly quota for how many pounds of red snapper can be harvested has increased in recent years, the federal season length has gotten shorter over the past few years because of more fishing effort and larger fish, according to federal fishery managers.

The FWC Commission chose to go inconsistent with the 2013 federal season based on reports that the upcoming federal stock assessment would likely show red snapper populations are doing better than previously thought and reports from anglers that the fishery is improving.

More information about red snapper fishingis available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and then “Gulf Red Snapper.”

 

GULF AMBERJACK CLOSES IN STATE AND FEDERAL WATERS

The recreational harvest of greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters closes June 1. Greater amberjack will reopen for harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters Aug. 1.

State waters in the Atlantic extend from shore to 3 nautical miles and in the Gulf from shore to 9 nautical miles.

Seasonal harvest closures protect Florida’s valuable greater amberjack populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.

Learn more about recreational fishing at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”

 

ATLANTIC SNOOK TO CLOSE IN STATE AND FEDERAL WATERS

 

 The recreational harvest of snook in Atlantic state and federal waters closes June 1.

Snook will reopen for harvest in Atlantic federal, state and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, on Sept. 1. Snook remains closed for harvest in Gulf of Mexico state waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will decide at its June meeting in Lakeland whether to allow the Gulf snook harvest to reopen Sept. 1.

State waters in the Atlantic extend from shore to 3 nautical miles and in the Gulf from shore to 9 nautical miles.

Seasonal harvest closures protect Florida’s valuable snook populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.

Learn more about recreational fishing at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater” and “Recreational Regulations.”

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