May 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

 

 

FWC'S SUMMER CAMP INFORMATION FROM THEIR SITE. VISIT MYFWC.COM FOR MORE 

 

As part of the FWC, FYCCN helps the agency coordinate and run several summer camps throughout the state. Camps vary in the activities they offer, but the theme of conservation--centered recreation is consistent throughout. Some of these camps, like Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp and Everglades Youth Conservation Camp, have been offering fun, affordable and educational camps for decades. Caring staff and volunteers make every effort to help the campers have a safe, enjoyable experience in the real Florida.

Take a look through this list of camps to Find one that suits the child’s interests!

 

Everglades Youth Conservation Camp: Residential Camps

West Palm Beach, Florida

Wildlife Adventurers, Eco-¬‐Equestrian, Anglers, Trail Blazers, Paddlers, PathFinders, Explorers, Mariners, Rangers, Leadership Camp, Camping

http://www.fyccn.com/eycc

Contact: Janica Kerber, Janice.Kerber@MyFWC.com  or (561) 624-¬‐6929

 

Ocala Outdoor Adventure Camp: Residential Camps

Silver Springs, Florida

Anglers, Fish Camp, PathFinders, Hunter Safety, OutFitters, Bowhunting Skills, Safari - Wilderness Outdoor Skills

http://www.fyccn.com/Ocala%20Conservation%20Center%20and%20Youth%20Camp

Contact: George Warthen, George.Warthen@MyFWC.com  or (352)625-2804

 

Joe Budd Youth Conservation Center: Day Camps

Midway, Florida

Freshwater fish camp, saltwater Fish camp and archery camp

http://www.fyccn.com/Joe%20Budd%20Youth%20Conservation%20Center

Contact: Meghann Bryant, Meghann.Bryant@MyFWC.com  or (850) 933-4322

 

Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center: Day Camps

Lamont, Florida

Hunt camp and freshwater fish camp

http://www.btycc.org/events.aspx?a=viewPost&PostID=29767

Contact: Joshua Gold, Joshua.Gold@MyFWC.com  or (850) 617-9381

To Find information on summer camps offered by our partners, check out our FYCCN partner page at http://fyccn.org/All%20Partners . Use the Filter by activity box on the left side of the screen to Find a summer camp near you.
 

 

BECAUSE BOATING MATTERS

Earlier this year, in response to an outpouring of support from our industry, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation that would prevent thousands of acres of Biscayne National Park from being closed to fishing and boating activities!Boat fishing

Now it’s the Senate’s turn to do the same, and ensure that state and federal agencies work collaboratively when making fisheries management decisions in state waters. Park Service actions that would fundamentally change the recreational and economic landscape in Biscayne National Park, and other national parks, should be implemented in the least restrictive manner possible.

Senators Bill Cassidy and Marco Rubio have just introduced “Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act” legislation to reverse the 10,000 acre marine reserve—and preventing a fishing ban in the park’s most fishable reef track.  This bill will ensure that state authorities, like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), have a true seat at the table in fisheries management decisions for National Parks in state waters.

We’ve had great successes engaging Congress on this critical issue, but before our efforts pay off we need the Senate to act. Ask your Senators to co-sponsor S. 2807, “Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act

If the Senate doesn’t step in now our legislative efforts could be exhausted! 

Click here to write your Senator now!

Boating United is the grassroots platform of the recreational boating industry. It is comprised of boating manufacturers, businesses and supporters who share the common goal of protecting and promoting the industry. Take action, learn about the issues and more at http://boatingunited.com/

 

 

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.”

 

 

UPDATE ON THE NORTHERN INDIAN RIVER LAGOON 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is providing status updates each weekday to keep people informed on the state's cooperative efforts in response to a brown tide event in the northern Indian River Lagoon/Banana River. These updates will help residents stay informed of the conditions in the lagoon, as well as the latest actions by the State of Florida.

Last week, agency leadership from FWC, Department of Environmental Protection, St. Johns River Water Management District and Department of Health toured the Banana River near Cocoa Beach down to Patrick Air Force Base. They were joined by Speaker Steve Crisafulli and Senator Thad Altman. In addition, they met with Brigadier General Wayne R. Monteith and other partners at the base. They observed the brown tide event and discussed current status with experts and health officials as well as witnessed local, county, SJRWMD, FWC and DEP crews assisting with cleanup led by Brevard County related to fish mortality.

Photos of the tour and other response efforts are available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsku4iYee

 Current Status and Most Recent Information

There are no new reports of fish mortality via the fish kill hotline (1-800-636-0511) as of April 5.

Fourteen water samples were collected April 6 from northern Indian River, Middle Banana River, Thousand Islands at Ramp road, Eau Gallie Causeway, Melbourne Causeway, W. Cocoa Beach Causeway and Sykes Creek (80 total samples). Results are expected the end of the week.

DEP Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett and SJRWMD Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle visited Brevard County April 6 to discuss the current state of the Indian River Lagoon. They heard from local representatives about the issue and shared with those individuals what each agency is doing to help with improvements.

Northern Indian River Lagoon Brown Tide Event

Water from Lake Okeechobee does not reach Brevard County through the Indian River Lagoon; therefore, there is no evidence the brown tide event is related to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

FWC continues to work closely with the DEP, SJRWMD, DOH and other state, regional and local agencies to assess and respond to the large brown algal bloom in the Indian River and Banana River lagoons, including monitoring environmental conditions.

While brown algae is non-toxic to humans, it can reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water, impacting fish and other wildlife.

Response efforts:

FWC continues to take and analyze water samples to monitor conditions associated with the fish mortality event; primarily low dissolved oxygen levels.

DEP and SJRWMD deployed staff and boats to assist Brevard County with their local recovery and clean-up efforts.

Local Department of Health offices continue to monitor for human health impacts and provide assurances regarding public safety.

SJRWMD continues to regularly collect water quality monitoring samples to track movement and trends in the bloom activity and to monitor for changes in the algal species type. In addition to on-the-ground response and monitoring efforts, state and local agencies also continue to focus on longer-term water quality restoration efforts for Indian River Lagoon.

The SJRWMD and partners continue to support oyster reef restoration efforts in northern Mosquito Lagoon.

On March 30, the SJRWMD hosted a cost-share workshop in Palm Bay encouraging communities to apply for dollars for projects benefiting the Indian River Lagoon. More information on the cost-share program is available at http://www.sjrwmd.com/funding/FY2016-2017/

Governor Rick Scott’s office distributed a press release on Friday, March 25th expressing strong support for the state, regional and local agencies assessing and responding to the algal bloom.

FWC Response

FWC is taking weekly water samples from 8 to 10 sites in the Indian River Lagoon.

The highest concentrations of brown tide were observed in samples taken on March 16 from Riverdale Drive and from March 25 at the Saint John Boat ramp in the northern Indian River Lagoon.

Samples have been provided by FWC’s Fisheries-Independent Monitoring staff and volunteers.

The FWC has received nearly 400 calls and online reports allowing them to document the size and duration of this extensive event, coordinate a response and disseminate information about the cause of the fish kill.

Calls can include information requests, fish kill clean-up, and reports of fish mortality and disease.

Report a fish kill, diseased fish or fish with other abnormalities to 1-800-636-0511.

Report sick or injured wildlife at 888-404-3922 or Tip@MyFWC.com

Other response efforts include

The SJRWMD continues to regularly conduct seagrass transect surveys in the Indian River Lagoon to monitor the health of the lagoon.

Results from the March 31 water samples show the highest concentration of brown tide was at the 520 Slick Boat Ramp in the Banana River Lagoon and the lowest concentration was observed at the Nasa Causeway.

At four sites in the Indian River Lagoon concentrations decreased, one site each in the Indian River and Banana River Lagoon concentrations remained similar, and one site increased in the Banana River Lagoon (the 520 Slick Boat Ramp site).

Seven additional water samples were taken from the northern Indian River Lagoon and the A. Max Brewer Memorial Causeway (57 total samples).

The Town of Melbourne Beach, in partnership with the SJRWMD, recently completed a storm water treatment system consisting of interconnected swales and exfiltration trenches. This project will prevent 492 pounds of nitrogen and 98 pounds of phosphorus per year from entering the Indian River Lagoon.

This summer, Indian River and the St. Johns River Water Management District are kicking off a project to convert a number of homes from septic to sewer. This proactive measure is projected to keep more than 3,000 pounds of nitrogen and more than 500 pounds of phosphorus out of the Indian River Lagoon.

The SJRWMD routinely monitors water quality in the Indian River Lagoon and its tributaries, collecting and managing data from 58 sites monthly to provide reliable data about current water quality conditions.

To monitor specifically for algae species, the SJRWMD partners with FWC and the University of Florida to sample and analyze five sites monthly and provides additional event-driven support when algal blooms are reported.

In addition, the district maintains five stations that provide continuous water quality monitoring, sending the information electronically to the agency’s headquarters.

In addition to on-the-ground response and monitoring efforts, state and local agencies are also focusing on longer-term water quality restoration efforts for the Indian River Lagoon. These restoration projects and management strategies are essential to reducing nitrogen and phosphorous levels, which will help to decrease the intensity and duration of algal bloom events.

To address elevated levels of nutrients in the lagoon, in 2013, DEP adopted three basin management action plans (BMAPs) to implement the projects and activities necessary to bring the lagoon back to health.

In addition, DEP has adopted the St. Lucie BMAP, which will also help the Southern Indian River Lagoon.

To date, the stakeholders have achieved all obligations outlined in the BMAPs.

Restoration Funding

Including the recently signed Florida First budget, the state will have invested nearly $80 million dollars in projects in Brevard County to restore the lagoon during the past, current and upcoming fiscal years.

For the upcoming fiscal year, nearly $26 million from the Florida First budget will be invested in 10 water quality improvement projects.

This includes $21.5 million in a muck dredging project – a key component of long-term lagoon restoration.

This includes funding in three key areas to lagoon restoration:

Wastewater: $2,872,500

Dredging: $61,500,000

Load Reduction (storm water): $14,221,788

Additional projects may be funded through DEP’s and SJRWMD’s budgets; for example, both DEP and SJRWMD are contributing partners to the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program.

In addition, DEP encourages local governments and communities to reach out to their Division of Water Restoration Assistance, which provides grants and loans for water quality and quantity projects.

Additional cost-share funding and other restoration projects are also funded by the SJRWMD.

Local communities are also encouraged to engage with the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program (NEP), a unique local, state and regional partnership to protect the lagoon.

 

 

RED DRUM BAG LIMIT LOWERED TO 1 FISH IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA STARTING MAY 1

 At its April 13 meeting in Jupiter, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a measure to lower the recreational red drum daily bag limit in the northwest red drum management zone (Escambia County through Fred Howard Park near Pasco County) from two fish to one fish per person.

This change will go into effect Sunday, May 1. The daily bag limit is also one in the southwest management zone, which means after this change is effective, the daily bag limit will be one red drum per person, per day in all Gulf of Mexico state waters. 

All other red drum regulations remain the same, including the eight fish vessel limit and six fish per person transport limit.
These changes come as the result of stakeholder concerns that red drum populations have declined in some parts of the Panhandle region of northwest Florida since 2013, the final year of data included in the most recent stock assessment.

“The action of the Commission reflects the recreational and economic significance of the red drum fishery, as well as the value of stakeholder input in fisheries management,” said FWC Commissioner Charles W. Roberts III.

Staff have been gathering public input from anglers to better determine what is being seen in their local areas via a statewide online survey, the FWC Red Drum Forum Facebook page, and by talking with anglers at fishing club meetings, boat shows, tackle shops and dockside angler intercepts.

Staff are also collecting public input in the northeast region of Florida, where stock assessment population estimates indicate numbers may have seen a decline at the conclusion of the assessment period (2013). The stock is still exceeding management goals in that area.

The Commission will consider whether to continue the reduced bag limit in northwest Florida and whether any changes are needed in northeast Florida at the June 2016 meeting in Apalachicola. Staff will also continue to gather public input on red drum populations in northeast and northwest Florida, as well as across the state through the end of May.

Take our survey today at MyFWC.com/RedDrum2016

 

 

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.

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