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

Repeating as in March Update: OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY & CANAVERAL LOCK, FLORIDA NOTICES & INFORMATION

Last month's information on the Okeechobee Waterway advised that Canaveral Lock would be closed this winter for installing new manatee protection systems there. The scheduling on that has been changed.

The planned and earlier announced 3-week closure will not occur as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration launch date was changed to February 24. (Visit http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/Operations/index.htm for more on that.) The reopening for all boat traffic is now planned for 9 April, 2011. If any dates are changed again a new Notice to Navigation will be issued when the new completion dates have been determined. Visit the web site or call the USA Corps of Engineers at 904-232-2013 (Aaron Kelly) for latest information on the lock status. Information will also be updated on the link provided as soon as known. There will be no open periods prior to 9 April except for NASA recovery ships.

The latest Navigation Report can be found at:
http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/Operations/Branches/Navigation/NavNotices.htm

Additional information concerning Okeechobee Waterway or other Navigational interests may be obtained by accessing the Jacksonville District web site.
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FWC UPDATE — Notes on Openings, Closings, Rule Changes

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 this update:

April meeting mentioned here has been set for 6th & 7th (public welcome) at Florida Public Safety Institute, Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, 215 Academy Drive, Havana (near Tallahassee). Visit MyFWC.com/Commission to see full agenda.

ATLANTIC VERMILION SNAPPER OPEN AS OF APRIL 1 ...  after a 4 month close, Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554.

GULF GROUPER . Recreational harvest for shallow-water groupers in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters off Florida, except in all waters of Monroe county, has opened as of April 1. Recreational harvest of gag grouper is still prohibited in Gulf federal waters off Florida (beyond nine nautical miles from shore.)  Further changes on these rules and AMBERJACK are planned for the April meeting. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554.

SPINEY LOBSTER Harvest Season closes as of April 1. The regular season will reopen on August6.; special 2-317 sport season will be July 27 & 28.

As included in last update ...

FWC SEEKS INPUT ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO RED DRUM RULES. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554. Final hearing is scheduled for April.

BONEFISH catch-and-release-only rules have been proposed and a final public hearing will be held on those in April. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554.

GROUPER HARVEST closed January 1 in Atlantic and Monroe County waters. Go to MyFWC.com/Rules (Click on "Fishing - Saltwater") or call 850-487-0554.

GULF GAG GROUPER recreational harvest in federal waters closed Jan. 1 for 6 months. Further changes on these rules and AMBERJACK are planned for the April meeting. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554.

SPOTTED SEATROUT season reopened Jan. 1 in Southern Florida areas. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554,

ATLANTIC SNOOK HARVEST closed December 15; catch and release still okay. Go to FWC Web Site or call 850-487-0554.

More information on all of this at FWC Web Site."

Plans on Broward County Manatee Protection will be addressed at meetings in April or June. Go to MyFWC.com/Manatee for more on that.

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REPAIRS for FLORIDA BRIDGES

ATLANTIC ICW -

TOLOMATO RIVER TO PALM SHORES — A. MAX BREWER BRIDGE, Mile 878.9, Titusville. Being replaced with a high-level fixed bridge. This work will continue through April 2011.

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