May 2015 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


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

 

 

Red grouper bag limit changes to 2 on May 7 in Gulf state and federal waters

The red grouper recreational bag limit will change from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, excluding Monroe County, on May 7.

This change was approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its November 2014 meeting.

The Commission hopes that this change will allow for a longer recreational red grouper season in federal waters, which closed early in 2014 because the recreational catch limit was exceeded in 2013. The two-fish bag limit was initially requested by Florida anglers and for-hire captains to help maximize fishing opportunities for red grouper, especially during late fall.

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

 

 

USCG DISTRICT EIGHT

The USCG District Eight (Gulf) Local Notices to Mariners (07-2015) is now available for download.
                  
In addition, the 2015 USCG Light List Volume Four is now available and is updated to Local Notice (52-2014), as is the summary of corrections.

The Local Notice to Mariners, Light List, and Summary of Corrections are posted weekly and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free download) or another PDF Viewer.

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.

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 (use “LNMs, Charts, Chart Corrections, or Light Lists” as the subject from the pull down menu).

 

 

IMPORTANT FLORIDA ANCHORING NEWS for APRIL 2015 REPEATING IN MAY

NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA  22304
Read this media alert online at: http://goo.gl/Avg985
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2015 / Updated March 25 2:00PM EDT

MEDIA ALERT UPDATE:

BoatUS: Anchoring Restrictions Under Review by Florida Legislature;
FL House Committee Bill HWSS 15-06 Has New Number: HB 7123

UPDATE: March 25, 2:00PM EDT: Earlier this morning BoatUS sent the following media alert that includes a discussion of Florida House Committee Bill HWSS 15-06. This bill has been updated by the House and is now named House Derelict Vessel Bill and known as HB 7123. For your reference, this change has been annotated in the copy below and BoatUS continues to urge recreational boaters have their voice heard on this important issue.

THE ISSUE:
The 2015 Florida legislative session is underway, and the regulation of boat anchoring and how to take care of derelict boats remain hot topics in both the Florida Senate and House. Each are taking very different approaches that could affect how Florida boat owners as well as visiting cruisers use their boats in state waters:

FL Senate Bill 1548, introduced by Senator Charles Dean (District 5), would impose a substantial statewide restriction on overnight anchoring within 200 feet of the high water mark of residential property. Additionally, it would prohibit statewide anchoring or mooring a vessel that is incapable of moving under its own power, or exhibits other specific characteristics like being partially sunken, demonstrating it is at-risk of becoming derelict.

Over the last decade, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has understood that derelict boats in Florida have muddied the waters with regard to rational conversations about anchoring. As a result, BoatUS wholeheartedly supports any effort to reduce the state’s derelict vessel population. However, BoatUS is very concerned over the chilling effect that a significant, statewide anchoring restriction could have.

In the Florida House, Derelict Vessel Bill HB 7123 introduced by Representative Holly Raschein (District 120) deals with derelict vessels without changing current anchoring law. The bill creates an “at risk” category of boats and gives local governments new tools to take care of these boats. Because local governments have sought anchoring restrictions to address problems with derelicts, BoatUS believes that Derelict Vessel Bill HB 7123 is a common sense step in providing new tools to deter vessels from becoming derelict in the first place.

TWO ACTIONS NEEDED NOW:

1. Because of its onerous 200 foot statewide anchoring restriction, BoatUS urges boaters to request that their Florida State Senator reject SB 1548 by emailing them at: http://goo.gl/TUscmr .
Read Senate Bill 1548 at: http://goo.gl/lBnzeP.

2. Because of its common sense approach to derelict vessel issue, BoatUS urges boaters to voice their support of Derelict Vessel Bill HB 7123 by emailing their FL Representative at: http://goo.gl/wDZKUO .
Read Committee Bill HWSS 15-06 at: http://goo.gl/XYp6Ip .

WHO:

Boat Owners Association of The United States remains actively engaged with state lawmakers to ensure that active, responsible boaters will continue to enjoy the Sunshine State. BoatUS is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half million members with government representation, fighting against unfair federal taxes, fees and regulations that single out boat owners, and keeps boaters safe. BoatUS is also non-partisan. Additional information on Florida anchoring is at: BoatUS.com/gov/floridaanchoring.asp  .
 

 

No "new" news for MAY on All Aboard Florida. Check our archives over the past few months for more information.

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) continues 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.

 

 

Suggested Tweet: Grouper seasonal closure May 1 in Atlantic, Monroe Co. waters
http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/101cd63
 #Florida

GROUPER FISHING REOPENS MAY 1 IN ATLANTIC, MONROE COUNTY WATERS

Anglers targeting grouper in Florida state waters of the Atlantic, including Monroe County, will be able to take home some of their catch starting May 1, when the season for several species reopens to recreational and commercial harvest. The following species will reopen to harvest May 1: gag, black, red, yellowmouth, yellowfin and tiger grouper; scamp; red hind; rock hind; coney; and graysby.

The harvest of these species of grouper will remain open until Jan. 1, 2016. These species are closed annually from Jan. 1 through April 30 each year as a measure to ensure the long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species. State waters in the Atlantic are from shore to 3 nautical miles out.

Recreational anglers targeting these species may not take more than three grouper per person per day. Within this three-fish limit, anglers may possess only one gag or black grouper (not both). Due to recent changes, captain and crew of for-hire vessels are now allowed to retain recreational bag limits of grouper when the season is open.

Dehooking tools must be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for use as needed to remove hooks from Atlantic grouper, including reef fish.

More information about grouper bag and size limits, gear restrictions and fishing seasons, including a new map of the Atlantic and Gulf grouper fishing boundaries, is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing ; select “Saltwater Fishing” then

 

 

 

 

 

SNOOK TO CLOSE IN GULF STATE AND FEDERAL WATERS

Snook will close to all harvest in Gulf state, federal and inland waters, including all of Monroe County and Everglades National Park starting May 1. Seasonal harvest closures conserve Florida's valuable snook populations and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.

Snook is open to harvest in Atlantic state, federal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, through May 31, closing June 1.

Both the Atlantic and Gulf will reopen for recreational harvest September 1.

Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. Snook may be caught and released during the closed season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to handle their catch 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," "Recreational Regulations" and "Fish Handling."

Learn more about recreational fishing at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on "saltwater" and "Recreational Reglations."
AN/MR/MFM WBD

Species are closed annually from Jan. 1 through April 30 each year as a measure to ensure the
long-term sustainability of Atlantic grouper species. State waters in the Atlantic are from
shore to 3 nautical miles out.
 

 

REPEATING in MAY,  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 .

 

 

FROM CAPT. JOHN YEAGER
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON
HILLSBORO INLET BRIDGE REPAIRS
ANNOUNCED HERE IN MARCH UPDATE.


FLORIDA – EAST COAST - HILLSBORO INLET: Bridge Repairs. PCL Civil Constructors, Inc. has advised the Coast Guard that they will start work on the repairs to the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge on January 5, 2015. This project is anticipated to be completed by November 14, 2015. There will be various bridge restrictions and closures throughout this project. The contractor will be working closely with the marine interests to ensure impacts to navigation will be at a minimum. As started on January 5, 2015, from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. the bridge will be closed to navigation nightly through April 30, 2015. Mariners may request an opening during these time periods by providing a four-hour advance notice to the bridge tender or by calling (954)-943-1847. The vertical clearance will be reduced by 2 feet during the entire project length.

The north and south side channels will be closed to navigation during this entire time frame as there will be turbidity barriers in place and a small barge will be behind the fender system. The restrictions previously published below are being re-evaluated. Updates will be published in future Local Notice to Mariners: Due to repairs to the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge, this waterway will be allowed to remain closed to navigation from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 12:01 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for a two week period. This work will be completed after Easter and before July 4th, 2015. Comments on this waterway closure should be directed to LT Montalvan at Christina.t.montalvan@uscg.mil and Michael Lieberum at michael.b.lieberum@uscg.mil. The times may be changed based on comments received; however there is a need for the two 4 hour closures to allow these repairs to be completed within the two week time period. The roadway will be closed to the vehicle traffic completely for 19 days in additional to the above two weeks two four hours closure periods. The Florida Department of Transportation will be issuing a separate press release on this restriction.

Ref: LNM 07-14 through 11-15 CG File: 3014  Chart: 11467
 

 

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.

 

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 the project began on September 2, 2014 and will continue until May 15, 2015.

Ref: LNM 45-13 through 06-15 Chart: 11467

 

 

REPEATING IN MAY
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 Construction/Waterway Restriction/Temporary Bridge Regulation 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, 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.

Update:

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.

According to the local DOT office (4/29/15), the project is expected to be completed by midnight, 4/30/15.
Ref: LNM 04 through 50-14

 

 

REPEATING IN MAY

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 has been changed to once an hour on the quarter-hour. 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 new 15/16 print 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 MAY

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

CHANGED FOR MAY

FLORIDA – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY – WEST PALM BEACH TO MIAMI – NEW RIVER – FEC RAILROAD BRIDGE: Test Deviation.

The following information has been extracted from the Test Deviation, please view www.regulations.gov USCG-2015-0271 for the complete text.

The Coast Guard is issuing a temporary deviation from the operating schedule that governs the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) Railroad Bridge across the New River, mile 2.5, at Fort Lauderdale, FL. This test deviation is from April 19 through 6:00 a.m. on October 16, 2015.

During the test deviation period, the draw of the FEC Railroad bridge across the New River, mile 2.5, at Fort Lauderdale, FL, will operate as follows:

The bridge is constantly tended.

The bridge tender will utilize a VHF-FM radio to communicate on channels 9 and 16 and may be contacted by telephone at 305-889-5572.

Signage will be posted displaying VHF radio contact information and the bridge tender and dispatch telephone number. A countdown clock for bridge closure shall be posted at the bridge site and visible for maritime traffic.

A bridge log will be maintained including, at a minimum, bridge opening and closing times.

(e) When the draw is in the fully open position, green lights will be displayed to indicate that vessels may pass.
(f) When a train approaches, the lights go to flashing red and a horn starts four blasts, pauses, and then continues four blasts then the draw lowers and locks.
(g) After the train has cleared the bridge, the draw opens and the lights return to green.
(h) The bridge shall not be closed more than 60 minutes combined for any 120 minute time period beginning at 12:01 a.m.

 

 

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: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Due to an electrical malfunction the East Venetian Bridge is closed to navigation until further notice. Vessels that may pass without an opening may do so at any time.

The Coast Guard has been advised that the planned 9 month operation to repair the West Venetian Bridge approaches has been delayed until June 1, 2015; the West Venetian Bridge will remain open to all marine traffic and the East Venetian Bridge in the closed position. During this time this bridge will only open for emergency vessels such as Coast Guard, Police and Fire. No other exemptions will be allowed.

Ref: LNM 39-14 through 16-15 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 July 14, 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.

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