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Marco Island Living presents the latest news and RSS feeds from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The FL Fish & Wildlife Commission handles the state regulations, licenses and permits for Florida Fresh- Water and Saltwater Fishing, Hunting and Trapping. Find the Florida Fish and Wildlife Department News below. Share Florida Fish and Wildlife comments. To feature your business, contact us.

State of Florida Fish & Wildlife News Feed

Southwest FL Fish & Wildlife News

  • Critical Wildlife Area signs go up in southwest Florida
    Critical Wildlife Area signs go up in southwest Florida -

    Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2E6Ehm2 External Website

    Myakka River CWA

    Myakka River CWA, Sarasota County.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is installing in-water markers around Critical Wildlife Areas in southwest Florida. Alafia Banks CWA in Hillsborough County, and Myakka River CWA and Roberts Bay CWA in Sarasota County, have new signs alerting boaters to the status of these islands.

    “These CWAs are a strategic conservation tool for many of Florida’s imperiled bird species,” said Michelle Van Deventer, CWA coordinator for the FWC.

    Each CWA supports significant numbers of nesting birds, including brown pelicans, great blue herons and great egrets, as well as state-threatened roseate spoonbills, reddish egrets and tricolored herons, and federally-listed wood storks.

    “The parent birds do all the work, building the nest, laying the eggs, incubating the embryos, feeding and protecting their young.  All we need to do is let them do it in peace. And that is what the buffer areas are designed to allow,” said Ann Paul of Audubon Florida.

    The locations of these CWAs are:

    • Alafia Banks CWA – Known locally as Bird Island and Sunken Island, this CWA is in Hillsborough Bay at the mouth of the Alafia River. The islands are owned by The Mosaic Company and Port Tampa Bay, and managed by Audubon Florida.  
    • Roberts Bay CWA – Also managed by Audubon Florida, these spoil islands are along the intracoastal waterway in Sarasota Bay, just south of Siesta Key’s north bridge.
    • Myakka River CWA – A mangrove island along the Wild and Scenic portion of the Myakka River in North Port, this site is managed by Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Park Service staff.

    Markers will be installed around the CWAs at distances ranging from 50 to 100 feet. Installation of these in-water markers will be completed by May 31.

    Myakka River CWA is closed seasonally, from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31, while the Alafia Banks and Roberts Bay CWAs are marked for year-round closure. People, vessels and pets are prohibited from entering CWAs during the closure period, and fishing is not allowed within posted areas. A violation of these prohibited activities is a second-degree misdemeanor and could result in law enforcement action ranging from a warning to a citation.

     The posting of these CWAs is a continuation of the FWC’s unprecedented conservation effort to protect vulnerable wildlife species in the state. In November 2016, the Commission approved a proposal to designate 13 new CWAs and improve five existing CWAs.

    To learn more about Florida’s CWAs, visit MyFWC.com/CWA.

  • Exotic Pet Amnesty Day set for May 19 in St. Petersburg
    Exotic Pet Amnesty Day set for May 19 in St. Petersburg -

    Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjxR9XZX External Website

    EPAD

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Friends of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve are holding an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event on Saturday, May 19, in St. Petersburg. People may surrender their exotic pets at the event, whether they are being kept legally or illegally, without penalty or cost. The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program offers a legal alternative to releasing exotic pets that owners can no longer keep and helps to reduce the number of nonnative species being introduced into the wild.

    This event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, 1101 Country Club Way S., St. Petersburg, FL 33705. Live animals will be on display and experts from the FWC will be on-site with information about caring for exotic pets, responsible pet ownership and potential ecological impacts of invasive species in Florida. The event is free but access to the Preserve trails is not included.

    Surrendered exotic pets will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and given a health exam by a veterinarian before being made available for adoption that same day to pre-registered, experienced individuals who can care for them. Animals that will be accepted for surrender include nonnative species of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates. Domestic animals, such as cats, dogs, pigs and chickens, will not be accepted.

    Animals will be made available for adoption after 2 p.m. Exotic pet adopters need to be experienced and must have already applied and been approved by the FWC. Potential adopters should bring their acceptance letters and any necessary permits with them. Becoming an adopter is free, but you are required to register a minimum of four days prior to the event to adopt an animal. Adopter applications can be found at MyFWC.com/Nonnatives by clicking on “How to become an FWC exotic pet adopter.”

    Exotic Pet Amnesty events are held around the state throughout the year. For additional information about Exotic Pet Amnesty Day, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnatives or call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681). Exotic pet owners who cannot attend this event may call this number year-round for assistance in finding a new home for their animal.

    For more information about adopting exotic pets, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnatives and click on “Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.”

Captain Phil DeVille Fishing Charters
Capt. Phil DeVille – 10,000 Islands Backwaters - Everglades National Park Fishing Tours, Port of the Islands, Naples, FL | 239-293-5480
Share Captain Phil's passion for the Ten Thousand Islands - Florida Everglades charter fishing trips. Fish for Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Snapper, Flounder and more from a 17' Mitzi Skiff Flats Boatfish. Over 15 varieties of edible fish and great sport fishing. Up to 189 species of birds may be seen in a single trip. View alligators, crocodiles, osprey, eagles, dolphin, and manatee.
Visit Capt. Phil DeVille's Website


Sunshine Fishing Charters Marco Island FL
Sunshine Tours and Charters, Rose Marina, 951 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island FL | 239-642-5415
Sunshine Tours offers the best in Offshore, Back Country and Near Coastal Fishing, Island Shelling and Sightseeing aboard one of our four fishing boats. Since 1984, Sunshine Tours has provide unsurpassed on-the-water experiences for locals and visitors alike. Shared and private fishing charters available.
Visit Website

Double R's Fishing and Tour Company
Double R's Fishing & Tours Co. - 25000 Tamiami Trail East - Port of the Islands, Naples, FL 34114-9602 | 239-642-9779
Experience some of the best charter fishing south Florida has to offer. Our captains have 30+ years of experience to help make your Naples / Marco Island fishing trip one to remember. Fishing in an estuary is a unique esperience! You'll fish for Snook, Red Snapper, Drum Tarpon, Trout, Tripletail, Shark, Grouper, or Pompano. These are just a few of the many species in the 10,000 Islands.
Visit Double R's Fishing


Outgoing Charters Captain Jesse Hill
Outgoing Charters - Captain Jesse Hill, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, Port of the Islands, FL | 239-825-6283
At Outgoing Charters the customer comes first. Whether it's family fun or hardcore fishing, Captain Jesse Hill is a 4th generation native guide who will cater to your specific wants and needs. Light tackle, back country fishing in Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands. Fish for redfish, snook and more. You'll enjoy a comfortable boat with quality gear. Captain Jesse's ultimate goal is to exceed your expectations.
Visit Capt. Jesse Hill Everglades Fishing

Everglades Fishing Captains | FL Fishing Charters

Southwest FL Fish & Wildlife Fishing News

  • Lionfish tournaments remove 15,000 lionfish, including 5 tagged Lionfish Challenge fish
    Lionfish tournaments remove 15,000 lionfish, including 5 tagged Lionfish Challenge fish -

    Lionfish Challenge Promotional Video (YouTube):https://youtu.be/Gmd25BbpLVw External Website

    Photos (Flickr): https://flic.kr/s/aHsmkZ5fhR External Website  

    Lionfish Harvested

    More than 15,000 lionfish were removed from Florida waters thanks to several tournaments held across the state focused on targeting the invasive species. Five of those fish were tagged previously by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff as part of the 2018 Lionfish Challenge, a removal incentive program that started May 19 on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day.

    “This is an amazing showing for the fourth annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day weekend and surrounding events,” said Jessica McCawley, director of FWC’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management. “Lionfish were removed via tournaments and the FWC’s incentive program, and the public got to learn first-hand about lionfish and what they can do to help at festivals like the one in Perdido Key held by the FWC and Coast Watch Alliance, as well as various other partners.”

    The Lionfish Challenge runs through Sept. 3. More than 200 people have already registered to participate in the statewide Challenge, which rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes for their lionfish removals, tagged or not. The tagged lionfish component is new this year and includes cash prizes up to $5,000. Lionfish were tagged at 50 public artificial reefs across the state. Harvesters who caught the five tagged fish this weekend took home cash prizes up to $2,500 and non-cash prizes as well. All five tagged fish were caught off Escambia County.

    Sign up and learn more today by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

    The FWC thanks all of the sponsors and organizations across the state that helped make this Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day event a success.

    Remember, lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into Florida waters or lands. To learn more about where to surrender an exotic pet for adoption, visit MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on “Nonnative Species” and “Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.”

    Statewide Lionfish Events Removal Totals:

    • 9,606 – Lionfish World Championship – Pensacola.
    • 4,056 – Lionfish World Championship Pre-Tournament – Pensacola.
    • 1,490 – Lion Tamer Tournament – Panama City Beach.
    • 231 – Florida Skin Divers Association Lionfish Calcutta – St. Petersburg.
    • Postponed – Sebastian Lionfish Tournament – Sebastian.

    Links

    Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing new Rep Your Water lionfish hats External Website at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

    Facebook

    Website

    Download Lionfish Challenge Promotional Video (Vimeo): https://bit.ly/2He4Wjq External Website

  • Don’t forget: 2018 Lionfish Festival is this weekend
    Don’t forget: 2018 Lionfish Festival is this weekend -

    Toolkit: ReefRangers.com/About/Festival External Website    

    Lionfish Festival Promo Video (YouTube): https://youtu.be/5Erl6iJMrv8 External Website 

    Lionfish Festival

    Photo by Avery Bristol.

    The 2018 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival is Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Celebrate Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (May 19) with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and partners.

    This year’s fourth annual event will be at a new location: the Flora-Bama Yacht Club and Ole River Grill in Perdido Key on the Florida/Alabama coastal border.

    Activities include fillet demonstrations, free lionfish tastings prepared by celebrity chefs, family-friendly games and activities, and more than 40 art, diving and conservation booths.

    New this year, a benefit concert by Little Texas External Website will take place on Sunday, May 20, at 5 p.m., presented by Coast Watch Alliance and Lionfish University.

    The event also coincides with the annual Lionfish World Championship Tournament, External Website hosted by Coast Watch Alliance.

    Double your chances at prizes and glory by signing up for the tournament and the 2018 Lionfish Challenge, an FWC lionfish removal incentive program that starts on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day. Thanks to this year’s Lionfish Challenge sponsors, if you find an FWC-tagged lionfish, you could possibly win up to $5,000. Harvesters who remove the most lionfish will be crowned the recreational Lionfish King/Queen and the Commercial Champion. Register today at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

    The Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival and the Lionfish World Championship Tournament are presented by sponsors Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Wind Creek Atmore and OWA (VisitOwa.com). External Website

    Statewide lionfish events

    Can’t make the festival and tournament in Perdido Key? Find an event near you External Website by clicking on “Lionfish Festival” at the top of ReefRangers.com and scrolling down. Statewide events include:

    • Lion Tamer Tournament – Panama City Beach.
    • Sebastian Lionfish Fest – Sebastian.
    • Florida Skin Divers Association’s Lionfish Calcutta – St. Petersburg.

    Look for other event updates at MyFWC.com/Lionfish by clicking on “Lionfish Derbies and Events.”

    Questions?

    Contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554.

    What is Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day?

    Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day (the first Saturday after Mother’s Day each year) raises awareness about lionfish; a nonnative, invasive species that has the potential to negatively impact native species and habitat.

    Thanks to the following 2018 Lionfish Challenge sponsors:

    • American Sportfishing Association.
    • Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A.
    • Boat Owners Association of The United States.
    • National Marine Manufacturers Association.
    • Coastal Conservation Association Florida.
    • Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc.
    • Dive Rite.
    • Narked Scuba.
    • Lionator Pole Spears.

    Links

    Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing new Rep Your Water lionfish hats External Website at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

    Facebook

    Website

    Photos (Flickr): https://flic.kr/s/aHskzMK2Lb%20 External Website    

    Lionfish Challenge Promo Video (YouTube): https://youtu.be/Gmd25BbpLVw External Website

    Download Lionfish Challenge Promo Video (Vimeo): https://bit.ly/2He4Wjq External Website

  • FWC reopens Area 3A North in the Everglades WMA complex
    FWC reopens Area 3A North in the Everglades WMA complex -

    Recent rains have raised water levels in the portion of the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area known as 3A North (north of Interstate 75 and west of U.S. 27), prompting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to reopen the area. In April, the area was closed due to low water levels. The dry conditions increased the threat of vehicle-ignited wildfires in the area.

    On Wednesday, May 16, Water Conservation Area 3A North within the Everglades WMA complex will once again be accessible by vehicle, airboat, all-terrain vehicle and other public access, pursuant to area rules.

    For updated closure and reopening information, visit MyFWC.com/Viewing and click on “Wildlife Management Areas” and then “Open/Closed Status.” If you have additional questions, call the FWC’s South Regional Office at 561-625-5122.

    To see the executive order, go to MyFWC.com/About and click on “Executive Orders.”

    To report a violation of this order, or any fish and wildlife law violation, call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Southwest FL Fish & Wildlife License & Permit News

  • FWC to meet April 25-26 in Fort Lauderdale
    FWC to meet April 25-26 in Fort Lauderdale -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet April 25-26 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North, 6650 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309. Both days are open to the public.

    The FWC is committed to providing opportunities for public input at each Commission meeting. As standard practice, the Commission welcomes public input regarding agenda items using the approved speaker registration process and time limits. To accommodate as much input as possible from those attending, the Chairman reserves the right to designate the amount of time given to each speaker, including time donation to other speakers.

    The meeting is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m., and the public will be provided opportunities to speak on agenda items each day. The Commission will also provide time for public comment on subjects not on the agenda at the end the first day, April 25. Those who wish to offer comments during this period will be asked to make sure their comments are not related to any agenda item.

    For the full April 25-26 agenda and links to background reports, go to MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings.” Those who cannot attend may follow coverage at Twitter.com/MyFWC External Website (@MyFWC) and join in the conversation by using the #FWC2018 hashtag. Check the Florida Channel for possible live video coverage at TheFloridaChannel.org. External Website

    Additionally, the Commission will be meeting separately for a marine fisheries management presentation at the same location on April 24 at 10 a.m. This session is open for public attendance, but there will not be time allotted for public comment. No regulatory decisions will be made.

  • FWC to meet Feb. 7-8 near Tallahassee
    FWC to meet Feb. 7-8 near Tallahassee -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet Feb. 7-8 at the Florida Public Safety Institute, 85 Academy Drive, Havana, FL 32333. The Institute is west of Midway on U.S. 90. Both sessions are open to the public.

    The FWC is committed to providing opportunity for public input at each Commission meeting. As standard practice, the Commission welcomes public input regarding agenda items using the approved speaker registration process and time limits. To accommodate as much input as possible from those attending, the Chairman reserves the right to designate the amount of time given to each speaker, including time donation to other speakers.

    The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m., and the public will be provided opportunities to speak on agenda items each day. The Commission will also provide time for public comment on subjects not on the agenda at the end of the first day, Feb. 7. Those who wish to offer comments during this period will be asked to make sure their comments are not related to any agenda item.

    For the full Feb. 7-8 agenda and links to background reports, go to MyFWC.com/Commission and select “Commission Meetings.” Those who cannot attend can follow coverage at Twitter.com/MyFWC External Website (@MyFWC) and join in the conversation by using the #FWC2017 hashtag. Check the Florida Channel for possible live video coverage at TheFloridaChannel.org. External Website

  • FWC Commissioners elect new chairman, vice chairman
    FWC Commissioners elect new chairman, vice chairman -

    At its meeting Dec. 7 in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) elected Bo Rivard, of Panama City, to serve as chairman, effective immediately.

    Rivard replaces Chairman Brian Yablonski, of Tallahassee. The term of chairman is one year.

    Rivard has served on the Commission since March 2013. He is a partner with Harrison, Rivard, Duncan & Buzzett in Panama City. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a law degree from Samford University.

    Rivard’s legal practice has been focused on representing both public and private clients in health care, land use, transportation, litigation and regulatory matters. He has served as outside counsel for numerous local governments and state agencies.

    Rivard is actively engaged in his community. He was chairman of Bay County Chamber of Commerce (2011) and has served on many other local boards. He and his wife, Nicole, have three children and live in Panama City.

    Robert Spottswood, of Key West, was elected vice chairman. Spottswood has served on the Commission since 2015. He is the chief executive officer of Spottswood Companies, Inc. He currently serves as a member of the Third District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission and recently served on the Governor’s Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding. Spottswood received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

    Spottswood replaces Vice Chairman Aliese P. “Liesa” Priddy, of Immokalee.

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