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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

  • FWC waives rules in response to red tide cleanup
    FWC waives rules in response to red tide cleanup -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) continues to monitor the red tide affecting southwest Florida.  Red tides are common along Florida’s Gulf coast, and fish populations have been resilient to the impact even after severe and prolonged red tide events.

    At Gov. Rick Scott’s direction, the FWC has mobilized all available resources to mitigate naturally occurring red tide, and executive director Eric Sutton has waived rules through an executive order to expedite the removal of dead fish – regardless of applicable bag, size, or possession limits or of season or area closures – from shoreline, inshore or nearshore areas in the following counties: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas.

    Please do not remove sawfish, marine turtles, manatees, dolphins or whales. Report sick, injured or dead sawfishes to 1-844-4SAWFISH (472-9347). Report sick, injured or dead marine turtles, manatees, dolphins and whales to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-3922. Currently, we have over 30 biologists on site responding to the event.  

    “Having lived in south Florida for many years, I know how impactful these naturally occurring red tide events can be to local communities,” said Eric Sutton, executive director of the FWC. “We are actively working with local authorities in the most impacted areas and stand ready to provide assistance to local communities.”

     Our research teams are assessing the impacts of the fish killed as a result of this event to inform potential management actions.

    The Florida Department of Health suggests using gloves and, if experiencing respiratory issues, a mask, when participating in removal efforts. To learn more about the health effects of red tide, visit FloridaHealth.gov/, scroll over “Environmental Health” in the top blue bar and select “Red Tide” under the subheading “Water.” All dead fish and marine life must be disposed in compliance with local safety, health and sanitation requirements.

    For specific details about FWC Executive Order 18-33, visit MyFWC.com/About and click on “Executive Orders.”

  • FWC to meet June 19-20 in Sarasota
    FWC to meet June 19-20 in Sarasota -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet June 19-20 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota, 1000 Boulevard of the Arts, Sarasota, FL 34236. Meetings 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 of the first day, June 19. 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 June 19-20 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 the conversation by using the #FWC2018 hashtag. Check the Florida Channel for possible live video coverage at TheFloridaChannel.org. External Website

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

  • FWC Chipola River video wins national award
    FWC Chipola River video wins national award -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) video, FLOW: the Chipola River Story External Website, received second place in the Association for Conservation Information’s “Video Long” award category. FLOW celebrates the charm of the Chipola River and the partnerships forged to protect it. The ACI’s annual awards contest recognizes excellence and promotes craft improvement through a national competition.

    FLOW features International Game Fish Association Female Angler of the Year, Meredith McCord, and tells the conservation story of the Chipola River. This video recognizes the dedicated efforts of individuals and organizations such as the FWC, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (part of the National Fish Habitat Partnership), Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The Chipola River is a spring-fed system in north Florida that features the only naturally reproducing population of shoal bass in the state. These bass are genetically unique and have a limited geographic range. Meredith McCord set line class world records for shoal bass and black crappie while filming FLOW, inspiring future conservation efforts.

    Two trailers for the video and the full-length video can be viewed on the TrophyCatch YouTube channel (YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida):

    For more information about the Chipola River, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing/Freshwater, click on “Sites & Forecasts,” and “Northwest Region.”

    View the entire list of ACI awards  External Website.

  • Gulf County bay scallop season opens Aug. 17
    Gulf County bay scallop season opens Aug. 17 -

    Starting Aug. 17, state waters off Gulf County, including St. Joseph Bay, will open to bay scallop harvest. This area will remain open through Sept. 30 and includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. See below for more on other areas open to harvest.

     Harvesting bay scallops is a fun outdoor activity in which the whole family can participate. It also brings an important economic boost to coastal areas in the open region.

    The bay scallop population in Gulf County’s St. Joseph Bay appears to be improving, but is not yet fully recovered from the impacts of a fall 2015 red tide event. Ongoing restoration efforts will continue through the season. In order to maximize the success of these efforts, swimming, boating, fishing and scalloping in the restoration area marked with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) buoys south of Black’s Island are prohibited during and after the scallop season.

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    For information on bay scallop regulations including daily bag limits, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

    Tell us what you think

    These season dates are for 2018 only. In late 2018 or early 2019, the FWC will set the 2019 seasons for Gulf and Pasco counties, consider continuing the 2018 regional season structure for the remaining portions of the open scallop harvest area in 2019, and will work toward creating a more permanent season structure for 2020 and beyond.

    As the 2018 season moves forward, share your comments on what you would like to see for a future season structure at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments. The FWC is very interested in understanding whether the public prefers regional differences in the season dates or a consistent season across the harvest area, as well as what season dates work best for various regions. Public feedback will be an important factor for determining whether further changes are needed when making a decision about the long-term season dates.

    Boater and scalloper safety

    Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device when in open water, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed. For more, visit MyFWC.com/Boating/Regulations and click on “Divers-down Warning Devices.” Always remember to properly stow divers-down devices when divers and snorkelers have exited the water.

    2018 season dates and boundaries

    • St. Joseph Bay and Gulf County: Aug. 17 – Sept. 30. This region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
    • Franklin County through northwest Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 – Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
    • The remaining portion of Taylor County and all of Dixie County (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): June 16 – Sept. 10. This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County.
    • Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 – Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County to the Hernando – Pasco county line.
    • Pasco County: A trial 10-day open season was held July 20-29.

    Citizen science

    Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

    Learn more about long-term abundance trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Molluscs,” “Bay Scallops” and “Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey.”

    Links to helpful materials

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  • Blue crab trap closure ending early; Aug. 20-29 trap closure also cancelled
    Blue crab trap closure ending early; Aug. 20-29 trap closure also cancelled -

    Recreational and commercial blue crab traps may be placed back in state waters (shore to 3 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways) from Brevard through Palm Beach counties starting Aug. 14.

    This closure started Aug. 10 and ended early because efforts to remove lost and abandoned traps in this region have been completed.

    The previously scheduled Aug. 20-29 closure for Nassau through Volusia counties has also been cancelled.

    These 10-day trap closures give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.

    Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.

    These closures are two of three regional, 10-day, blue crab trap closures that occur in 2018. There are six regional closures total: three in odd-numbered years on the west coast and three in even-numbered years on the east coast.

    crabClosure.png

    For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Trap & Debris”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap-retrieval coordinator, Pamela Gruver, at 850-487-0554.

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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