SECTION A

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.

THREE SITES SELECTED FOR ANCHORING & MOORING PROGRAM

At a late-February meeting in Apalachicola, the FWC named the first three of five planned sites for the anchoring and mooring pilot program. Monroe County (the Florida Keys), and the cities of Sarasota and St. Petersburg have been chosen; the two remaining must be on Florida's East Coast.

Major Jack Daugherty, leader of the FWC's Boating & Waterways section explained that it is hoped that "... the project promotes safe public access to Florida's waters, protects the marine environment and deters improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels." It is expected that the two remaining sites (and perhaps a third) will be chosen and announced in April; the deadline for the choice is July 1.

Refer to ABOUT ANCHORING in What's Happening (page 4 in the new FCD print version) for more on the project.

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FWC Database to help reduce derelict vessels

Check out more on that in last update or at MyFWC.com/boating.

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ATLANTIC VERMILION SNAPPER & SOUTHERN FLORIDA SPOTTED SEATROUT SEASONS ...
... ARE CLOSED, as of November 1, in state and federal waters. Go to the FWC Web site.or call 850-487-0554.

New for this update:

North Florida SPOTTED SEATROUT re-opens March 1. Go to the FWC Web site.or call 850-487-0554.

This notice received too late for our February update, GULF GROUPER SPORT SEASON closed February 1, remains closed through March 31, in all Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters off Florida except in all waters of Monroe County. This includes all shallow-water groupers (gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind). For more, go to the FWC Web site.or call 850-487-0554

FWC SEEKS INPUT ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO RED DRUM RULES. Go to the 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 the FWC Web site.or call 850-487-0554

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

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

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

More information on all of this go to the FWC Web site.or call 850-487-0554

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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BOOT KEY HARBOR BRIDGE DEMOLITION HAS BEEN COMPLETED!

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