October 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

 

 

Gone-Coaastal-Logo-Small

 

GONE COASTAL COLUMN IS BACK IN ACTION WITH A FEW NEW FRIENDS

It’s been a while, and we’ve missed you. After a long hiatus, Gone Coastal, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management column is back in action with some changes.

You may not be seeing us around quite as much as you used to though. Gone Coastal is going quarterly. Why? Because we have new friends for you to enjoy in the form of videos.

The Marine Fisheries Management Division now has a YouTube channel called FWC Saltwater Fishing. You can get there easily by going to MyFWC.com/SaltwaterFishing. Check out new updates weekly on various subjects from how-to videos to artificial reef deployments.

Have a burning question about marine fisheries regulations? Want to know more about catch-and-release? We are here for you. Send your questions, photos, and fishing tales to Saltwater@MyFWC.com. Make sure your photo meets our photo requirements by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing, clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” scrolling down to “Get Involved” and clicking on “Submit a photograph!.” Learn more about our Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs and how you can “Catch a Florida Memory” by visiting MyFWC.com/AnglerRecognition or contacting AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com. And don’t forget to record all of your catches on the iAngler phone app or at www.snookfoundation.org/data.

Gone Coastal is one of many ways the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management is helping recreational anglers understand complex saltwater regulations and learn more about saltwater fishing opportunities and issues in Florida. We are available to answer questions by phone or email, and we would love the opportunity to share information through in-person presentations with recreational or commercial fishing organizations. To contact the FWC’s Regulatory Outreach subsection, call 850-487-0554 or email Saltwater@MyFWC.com.

 

 

‘Hands off!’ is best policy for sea turtle hatchlings

Sea turtle hatchlings are digging out of their nests and clambering toward the ocean in September and October, the last months of Florida’s sea turtle nesting season.

Just remember, “Hands off!” is the best policy for beachgoers encountering sea turtle hatchings.

Well-meaning efforts to rescue a sea turtle hatchling by helping it leave a nest or picking it up and placing it in the ocean are not good ideas, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologists.

Worse yet are instances where hatchlings are being handled by people who think it’s OK to get that close, often because they want to take a photo.

“Some Florida beachgoers are unaware that sea turtle hatchings should be watched from a distance and left undisturbed,” said Dr. Robbin Trindell, who leads the FWC’s sea turtle management program. “Even well-meaning attempts to rescue sea turtle hatchlings can do more harm than good. And digging into a sea turtle nest, entering a posted area, or picking up a sea turtle hatchling to take a photo also are against the law.”

Hatchlings must overcome many obstacles to survive. Digging out of their nests may take a few days. Once out, they are vulnerable to predators. And any misdirection on their path to the sea – from artificial lighting to items left on the beach, holes in the sand or people approaching or handling them – may leave them exhausted, lost or dehydrated on the beach in the morning sun.

“So please remember to keep your hands off sea turtle hatchlings and tell others to do the same,” Trindell said. “The best way to help hatchings is to turn off any artificial lighting on the beach at night or at least keep it shielded. If you see hatchlings, watch from a distance and never shoot flash photos.”

Bright lights on houses, motels, condominiums and businesses along the beach can disorient nesting adult females, but are particularly harmful to turtle hatchlings. The hatchlings will head for the bright lights, thinking they are the sparkling sea. They can end up walking landward and are more likely to become prey for animals like coyotes.

People are asked to call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline, 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC or #FWC on a cellphone, to report hatchlings that are stranded, wandering in a road or parking lot, heading away from the water or are dead.

For more on sea turtle nesting and hatchlings, go to MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle .

 

 

A bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, has been observed in Southwest Florida along Manatee and Sarasota counties.

Karenia brevis was observed in Southwest Florida in background to very low concentrations in five samples collected from Pinellas County, background to high concentrations in forty-one samples collected from Manatee and Sarasota counties, background to very low concentrations in three samples collected from Charlotte County, background to low concentrations in five samples collected from Lee County, and background to very low concentrations in four samples collected from Collier County. One sample collected alongshore of Okaloosa County (Northwest Florida) contained very low concentrations of K. brevis.

Additional samples collected throughout Florida over the past week did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills affecting multiple species, along with slight respiratory irritation, have been reported in Manatee and Sarasota counties since September 19th. Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides show southern, alongshore movement of surface waters, and southern, onshore movement of bottom waters between southern Pinellas and Lee counties over the next 3 days.

This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.

To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.      

The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a facebook page.  Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida.

 

 

SPINY LOBSTER SEASON UNDERWAY THROUGH MARCH 31, 2017.

The 2016 spiny lobster season regular commercial and recreational lobster season, which starts Aug. 6 and runs through March 31.lobster

Planning on catching some of these tasty crustaceans? Here is what you need to know before you go.

No one wants a small lobster for dinner. Make sure you check the size. Measuring devices are required, and lobsters harvested while diving must be measured while they are in the water. If the carapace length is not larger than 3 inches, it must be left in the water (see image on how to measure spiny lobster).

To protect the next generation and your future chances to have lobster for dinner, harvest of egg-bearing females is prohibited. Lobsters have hundreds of thousands of eggs that are easily visible and attached under the tail. While most lobsters have completed reproduction by the start of the fishing season, finding lobsters with eggs is common in July and August.

Stick to the bag and possession limits so there will be enough lobsters for all your friends and family. During the Aug. 6-to-March 31 regular season, the daily recreational bag and on-the-water possession limit is six spiny lobsters per person for all Florida waters.

Two-Day Sport Season

Where

Daily bag limit and max number you can possess while on the water

Max number you can possess off the water on July 27

Max number you can possess off the water on July 28

 

Monroe Co. and Biscayne National Park

6

6

12

 

All other Florida water

12

12

24

Know where you can go. Lobster harvest is always prohibited in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, certain areas of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  Visit FloridaKeys.NOAA.gov/regs/mc_lobster.pdf to learn more about areas in Monroe County that are open to spiny lobster harvest.

Bring a cooler big enough to hold the entire lobster. Spiny lobsters must remain in whole condition until they are brought to shore. Also, do not take spiny lobster with any device that might puncture, penetrate or crush its shell.

Have the proper paperwork. A recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit are required to recreationally harvest spiny lobsters unless you are exempt from recreational license requirements. Information about these licenses and permits is available online at MyFWC.com/License or you may purchase your license today at   GoOutdoorsFlorida.com .

Do double duty while you are in the water and remove invasive lionfish. These nonnative species are often found in the same areas as spiny lobster, and they negatively impact Florida’s native wildlife and habitat. Help keep the lionfish population under control by removing them from Florida waters. If you plan to take lionfish with a spear, be aware of no-spearing zones and always check with your local law enforcement agency before planning your spearfishing trips. Visit MyFWC.com/Lionfish to learn more or to participate in the Lionfish Challenge reward program.

Safety first. Divers, even those who wade in, should stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down warning device (red with a white diagonal stripe on a flag or buoy, for example) when in open water and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down warning device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators must slow to idle speed if they need to travel within 300 feet of a divers-down warning device in open water or 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel.

Divers-down warning symbols displayed on vessels must be at least 20 inches by 24 inches. If you are using a flag, a stiffener is required to keep it unfurled and it must be displayed from the highest point of the vessel, must be visible from all directions and must be displayed only when divers are in the water. So when the divers are out of the water, don’t forget to take it down. Divers-down symbols towed by divers must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches. More information on divers-down warning devices is available online at MyFWC.com/Boating by clicking on “Boating Regulations.”

Additional information on recreational spiny lobster fishing, including how to measure spiny lobster, is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster.”

 

 

GET TEENS FISHING — WE’LL COVER THE COST 

 

Partnership focuses on increasing high school participation in fishing and conservation efforts by offering funds for fishing teams

By Amber Nabors

Participation in rough-and-tumble sports is a great way to get high schoolers exercising. But there are many students who want a different type of adrenaline rush than getting tackled on the football field or tossed in the air while cheering for their team. For those students, I strongly suggest fishing — and there is even funding available to get a team started or add members to an existing team.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with its partners the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation and The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, are offering a grant from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation to encourage the creation and success of high school fishing teams and clubs in Florida. This partnership places a particular emphasis on establishing new high school angling teams and supporting existing ones in schools with diverse student populations.

The program will provide grants of up to $500 to assist with expenses related to fishing team or club-sponsored tournaments, team jerseys, insurance, and education for novice anglers. Supported teams and clubs will also partner with the FWC, FLW Foundation and The Bass Federation to complete a conservation project. The program not only benefits the students, but program participants and their families will receive education on conservation programs, aquatic and marine biology, and boating and angler safety.

High school can be incredibly stressful, and getting on or near the water to cast a line is a great stress reliever. Fishing encourages focusing on just one task at a time, which can give the brain the break it needs to process and store helpful information. Fishing also promotes mindfulness, because being aware of how fish habitats and changing weather and water conditions affect fish behavior improves fishing success.

And fishing doesn’t exclude the ladies. According to a recent report released by the RBFF and the Outdoor Foundation, of the 46 million Americans who fish today, more than one-third of them are women. In fact, the 2013 Florida High School State Champions were a female and male team from Bartow High School, and Tennessee’s Bethel University became the first college to offer a female angler a scholarship in 2010.

High school fishing teams and clubs do not have to be comprised of students from a single school. Students from several schools may come together to form a team or club, and fishing is one of the few sports where both male and female students can compete on the same team, at the same level.

There are countless benefits for both male and female students competing in team sports, such as building confidence, teaching respect and contributing to better health and stronger academics. But there are added benefits for female teammates competing alongside their male counterparts, such as an enhanced image of themselves and a greater overall resiliency, according to Jeffrey Rhoades, author of “The Joy of Youth Sports: Creating the Best Youth Sports Experience for Your Child.” Plus, the team camaraderie offers benefits to both sexes, as they enhance their social skills and learn to view one another as a friend and not an intimidating person.

High schoolers can also earn college scholarships for bass fishing. According to Bassmaster.com , there are nine colleges in Florida that have fishing teams affiliated with the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series: Daytona State College, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of Florida, Florida State University, Indian River State College, Polk State College, Seminole State College of Florida, University of Central Florida and University of North Florida. The University of Florida even made the Fishing League Worldwide list of the “Top 25 Bass Fishing Colleges.”

To date, there have been five high school fishing grants awarded. The first five grant award recipients are: Academy of Environmental Science, Crystal River; Lake Wales High School, Lake Wales; Pasco Middle School, Dade City; South Dade High School, Homestead; and Space Coast Junior/Senior High School, Cocoa.

There is still ample grant funding available, so interested parties are encouraged to apply soon for consideration. Online applications should be submitted at www.flwfishing.com/foundation .

For more information about this program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com . For more information about the Fishing League Worldwide Foundation, go to www.flwfishing.com . For information about The Bass Federation’s Student Angler Federation, go to www.highschoolfishing.org . Information on the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation is available at www.takemefishing.org , select “Corporate” at the bottom of the page.

 

 

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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