Commission Meeting

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April, 2013 Commission Meeting

Time: 8:30am
Dates: April 17 - 18, 2013
Place: Florida Public Safety Institute
Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy
85 Academy Drive
Havana, FL 32333

This meeting is open to the public

All interested individuals may speak at workshops or meetings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) within the guidelines established by the Commission.  To ensure the public's opportunity to be heard and the orderly conduct of the meeting, the Chairman reserves the right to establish a time for adjournment of the workshop or meeting, to limit the time for speakers, and to limit the time allotted for specific agenda items.

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Agenda items listed under headings other than “Items Requiring Action” may be re-ordered or moved by the Chairman to different days of the meeting to accommodate scheduling issues.

The meeting may include fact-finding field trips to Commission-managed areas or facilities; or to other areas to learn about management, and enforcement activities.

Typically, the Chairman may ask staff and the public to work through lunch on either day.  Please plan accordingly.

If any person decides to challenge any decision with respect to any matter considered at the meeting, he or she may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes testimony and evidence upon which the challenge is based.

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Agenda

8:30 a.m., Wednesday,  April 17

  1. Meeting Opening and Recognitions
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
    3. Award - Louise Ireland Humphrey Employee of the Year
  2. Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approve February, 2013 Commission Meeting Minutes
    2. Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
    3. Approve Consent Agenda
  3. Executive Director's Report - Will be presented on Thursday
  4. Items Requiring Action
    1. Final Rules
      1. Gulf of Mexico Recreational Red Snapper Season - The proposed final rule would modify the recreational open harvest season for red snapper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  Staff will update the Commission on other Gulf red snapper issues as needed.  The proposed final rule would modify the Commission’s reef fish rule as follows: Red Snapper Final Public Hearing Presentation | 68B-14.0038 Recreational Snapper Seasons
        1. 68B-14.0038 Recreational Snapper Seasons - The proposed final rule would modify the recreational harvest season for red snapper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico to begin June 1 and end July 14 (for a 44-day season). 
    2. Draft Rules
      1. Division 68B Rule Cleanup and Reorganization - The proposed draft rule amendments would consolidate existing marine fisheries gear definitions and standardize the format and rule language for a series of rule chapters addressing species-specific regulations, their intent, or the way they are enforced.  The intent is to clarify existing marine fisheries regulations and thus improve enforceability and public understanding.  Similar changes will be proposed for the remaining rule chapters in Division 68B during additional phases of the rule cleanup process.  In addition, the draft rule amendments would correct an error in the rule language for the restricted species license exemption created for veterans in November 2012. Division 68B Rule Cleanup Draft Rules Presentation | Draft Rule Language General Chapter
        1. 68B-4.002 Gear Definitions - The draft rule amendment would consolidate the definitions for fishing gears previously described elsewhere in Division 68B into the existing gear definitions rule and standardize how those gears and fishing practices are defined.
        2. Chapters 68B-15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 33, 36, 37, 41, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52 and 53 - The draft rule amendments to cleanup and reorganize species-specific regulations would apply to the following: Sturgeon, Queen Conch, Hard Clams, Bay Scallops, Cobia, Snook, Red Drum (Redfish), Southwest Florida Shells, Sponges, Sardines, Billfish and Swordfish, Black Drum, Spotted Seatrout, Dolphin and Wahoo, Weakfish, Flounder and Sheepshead, Tripletail, Jellyfish, Shad and River Herring, and Calico Scallops.
        3. 68B-2.006 Restricted Species Endorsement Provision - The draft rule amendment would correct an error in the rule language in order to clarify the circumstances under which a disabled veteran would be issued the restricted species endorsement.
      2. Division 68B General Provisions - The draft new rules would create a series of standard definitions and regulations that apply to harvest of all marine organisms.  These definitions and provisions would support the rule clean-up and reorganization process, further reduce confusion, and improve enforcement by creating more consistency in the management of marine fisheries and extending existing regulations that currently apply to many fisheries to the harvest of all marine organisms.
        1. 68B-2.001 General Definitions (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would standardize definitions commonly used in Division 68B.  The definitions in the proposed rule would apply across all marine fisheries regulations, unless otherwise specified in rule.
        2. 68B-2.002 Return of Marine Organisms to Water; Permissible Temporary Possession (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would explicitly allow temporary possession for the purposes of    determining the species and size or for photographing the catch.  It would also clarify that aside from that permissible temporary possession, any marine organism caught but not retained must be released immediately free, alive, and unharmed. 
        3. 68B-2.003 License Required for Harvest or Possession of a   Marine Organism Regulated (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would clearly state that a person fishing for marine organisms or possessing marine organisms while on the water must possess the appropriate recreational and commercial saltwater fishing license, unless they are exempt from the requirement. The rule would also reiterate that a restricted species endorsement is required for commercial harvest and sale of restricted species.
        4. 68B-2.004 Recreational and Commercial Harvest on the Same Trip (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would clarify that    simultaneous possession of both recreational and commercial bag limits of a single species by a single harvester or by multiple individuals fishing under a vessel SPL on any single trip is prohibited.
        5. 68B-2.005 Vessel Operator Responsibility (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would make a vessel operator responsible for ensuring that the persons aboard his or her vessel comply with   marine fisheries regulations.
        6. 68B-2.007 Prohibition of Possession, Transport, Purchase, or Sale of Illegally-Caught Marine Organisms (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would prohibit the possession, transport, purchase or sale of illegally-caught marine organisms.
        7. 68B-2.008 Trap Working Regulations (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would clarify that traps may not be placed in navigational channels.
        8. 68B-4.0025 Other Definitions - The draft rule amendment would move the definitions from this rule to the proposed General chapter under 68B-2.001 (General Definitions), eliminating the need   for this rule.
      3. Lionfish - The invasive lionfish has become established in Florida waters and poses a significant threat to Florida’s native marine species.  In an effort to aid in the eradication of the species, an Executive Order was issued on August 3, 2012, to be effective for one year.  The proposed draft rule would implement the items in the Executive Order in the Commission’s rule as follows: Lionfish Draft Rule Presentation
        1. 68B-5.006 Lionfish - The proposed draft rule would create a new subsection that eliminates the requirement for a recreational fishing license for fishing for lionfish provided harvest is only with the following gear: pole spear, Hawaiian sling, hand held net, or other spearing device specifically designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish.  In addition, the proposed draft rule would state that the harvest of lionfish with hook and line, or as bycatch in other legal gear is permissible for commercial and recreational licensed or license-exempt persons, that possession of more than 100 pounds of lionfish is not considered a commercial quantity, and that there is no limit for recreational or commercial harvest for lionfish.
      4. Tarpon and Bonefish - The proposed draft rule amendments would make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only species in recognition of the fact that their economic and fishing value as fishes caught and released greatly exceeds their value as food fish.  In order to accomplish this, the allowance for a tarpon bag limit would be eliminated and replaced with an allowance for possession of a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record.  The existing bonefish tournament exemption that allows registered tournament anglers to possess a bonefish for the purposes of transporting it to the tournament scale would also be eliminated. Tarpon and Bonefish Draft Rule Presentation
        1. Tarpon 
          1. 68B-32.001 Purpose and Intent (NEW) - The proposed draft rule amendment would create a new subsection in order to convey the intent to manage tarpon as a catch-and-release-only fishery with allowable harvest and possession limited to possession in pursuit of an IGFA record.
          2. 68B-32.003 Tarpon Tags: Required for Possession; Report; Annual Issuance; Taxidermy; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued Annually; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued to Professional Fishing Guides – The proposed draft rule amendment would extend Florida’s tarpon tag requirements to federal waters and limit the use of tarpon tags to tarpon harvested or possessed in pursuit of an IGFA record.  The draft rule amendment would also address possible changes to the tarpon tag program, such as changes to the reporting requirements.
          3. 68B-32.004 Bag Limit and Gear Restriction - The proposed draft rule amendment would eliminate the two tarpon bag limit and require that all tarpon be released immediately free, alive and unharmed.  Allowable possession of a tarpon within or without Florida waters, or elsewhere in the state, would be limited to anglers with the properly affixed tarpon tag who possess a tarpon in pursuit of an IGFA record.  Harvest or possession of tarpon in pursuit of an IGFA record would be limited to one tarpon per angler per day.  The draft rule amendment would also create a vessel limit of one tarpon per vessel and limit the allowable gears when targeting tarpon to hook and line only.  In addition, the proposed draft rule amendment would state the intent to allow for temporary possession of tarpon for purposes of photography or scientific sampling.  These regulations would apply in all state and federal waters off Florida.
          4. 68B-32.006 Sale Prohibited, Transport Regulated - The draft rule amendment would reduce the number of tarpon a person is allowed to transport or ship from two tarpon to one.
          5. 68B-32 - The draft rule amendment would reorganize and reformat the tarpon rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, FAC, during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
        2. Bonefish
          1. 68B-34.001 Purpose and Intent (NEW) - The draft rule amendment would create a new intent subsection in order to convey that bonefish will be managed as a catch-and-release-only fishery.
          2. 68B-34.002 Definitions - The definition of “Organized Tournament” would be removed from the bonefish rules.
          3. 68B-34.004 Temporary Possession of Bonefish – The reference to the exception to the possession restrictions for bonefish for tournament purposes would be removed.
          4. 68B-34.005 Bonefish Tournaments, Exceptions - This rule would be removed in order to eliminate the tournament exception to the catch-and-release-only bonefish regulations.
          5. 68B-34 - The draft rule amendment would reorganize and reformat the bonefish rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, F.A.C., during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
        3. Staff Report Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Gear Review and Discussion
          Discussion on gear types used for tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Pass.
    3. Proposed Repeal

      Collier County Local Ordinances (Local Laws, Special Acts of Local Application: Collier County) - The Collier County Board of Commissioners recently requested that the FWC repeal two Special Acts of Local Application for Collier County.  The first act prohibits the use of artificial light while spearing or gigging fish in salt waters of the county and the second act prohibits spearfishing in waters of the county.  These two acts were originally implemented by the Legislature in 1951 and 1955, respectively, and were subsequently adopted into rule of the Marine Fisheries Commission in 1983 and then into FWC rule in 1999.  The prohibition on spearfishing also appears in Florida Statutes (F.S.) which are referenced in the Commission’s Spearing rules (68B-20, Florida Administrative Code).  Staff would work with the Legislature to remove the prohibition from F.S.  In the meantime, the reference to F.S. would be removed from the Commissioner’s rule.  The County states these rules are antiquated, and not in the public’s best interest.  The repeal would also facilitate the removal of lionfish from Collier County waters by the use of spears.  With their repeal, spearing and the use of lights would fall under the same rules as currently apply statewide.  The proposed draft rule amendments would include: Collier County Spearfishing Ban Repeal Presentation

      1. 68B-3.002 (NEW) Repeal of Chapters 27473 and 30665, Collier County Special Acts - Rule section 68B-3.002 would be created to repeal Chapters 27473 and 30665 that are included in the FWC's Special Acts of Local Application:   Collier County.
      2. 68B-20.003 Spearing, Statewide Regulation; Prohibition against Powerheads, Bangsticks, and Rebreathers; Repeal of Certain Special Acts - The draft rule amendment would clearly state that spearfishing is allowed in state waters off Collier County.

      NOTE:  Staff is requesting Commission approval to notice this rule and file as soon as possible.  If the item is approved for both advertisement and filing, Commission staff will file the rule for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.

  5. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Update

    Staff will report on SAFMC actions from the March 4-8, 2013, Council meeting in St. Simon’s Island, GA.  Topics include dolphin, wahoo, Warsaw grouper, speckled hind, yellowtail snapper, other snapper grouper species, deepwater shrimp, Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, and data collection. South Atlantic Report Presentation

  6. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  7. Commissioner Exchange
  8. Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting


     8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 18, Reconvene
     

  9. Meeting Opening and Recognitions
    1. Shikar Safari Award
    2. Employee Introductions
    3. Retiree Recognition – Jim Brown
    4. Executive Director’s Report
  10. Items Requiring Action
    1. Final Rule - Private Lands Deer Management Permit Private Lands Deer Permit Program Presentation | Private Lands Deer Permit Program Summary | Proposed Deer Rule 68A-13.004 | Notice of Change 68A-13.004

      Notice:  Staff will be requesting changes to the proposed rule, as published, which would provide a “no-cost” option for management plans to be developed, require deer population surveys only when harvest recommendations exceed 1 antlerless or 1 antlered deer per 150 acres.  Also the required number of approved conservation/wildlife management practices conducted annually on the permitted property would be increased from 3 to 4.

    2. Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines - Staff will present changes to permitting guidelines and report on the stakeholder engagement process used to review those changes.  Staff is seeking approval of changes to the Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines. Permitting Guidelines revisions Presentation |Revisions Overview | Draft Revisions
  11. Boating Restricted Area Zones - Draft Rules
    1. 68D-24.006 and 68D-24.008 - Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Boating Restricted Areas - The proposed rule amendments will transfer the zones currently located in the Fort Lauderdale Boating Restricted Area Rule (68D-24.006) to the Broward County Rule (68D-24.008), repeal the Fort   Lauderdale Rule and transfer the authority or responsibility for marking the approved zones from the City and County to the FWC.  The Broward County Boating Restricted Area rule is also proposed to be amended by making minor increases to the footprint of five zones to match historical boundaries established by existing regulatory markers. Finally, the proposed rule amendments will update the maps and make minor technical changes to the order of the geographic descriptions and the restricted speed terminology. Fort Lauderdale and Broward Boating Restricted Areas Presentation | Broward Notice of Proposed Rule 68D-24.008 | Fort Lauderdale Notice of Proposed Rule 68D-24.006
    2. 68D-24.010 - Pinellas County Boating Restricted Areas - This proposed rule amendment would change the Pinellas County Boating Restricted Area Rule to expand several “channel only” boating safety zones to include the entire width of bridge spans within the Intracoastal Waterway.  In addition, the boating safety area surrounding the Memorial Causeway Bridge would be extended 715’ southwest of the bridge due to changes in maritime and bridge infrastructure. Changes proposed would also include extending existing zones to the actual location of the markers delineating those zones and removal of a county-wide 30 mph speed restriction within the right-of-way of the Intracoastal Waterway.  Finally, clarification of language, updating of maps and a removal of a responsibility for the County and City of Clearwater to mark the zones would also be a part of the amendment. Pinellas County Boating Restricted Areas Presentation | Pinellas County Restricted Areas Notice of Proposed Rule
  12. Staff Reports
    1. Legislative and Budget Report (Week 6) Session Report | Session Budget Report
    2. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network Update FYCCN Update Presentation
  13. Public Comments on Items Not on the Agenda
  14. Commissioner Exchange
  15. Commission Administrative Matters

    The Next Regular Commission meeting is scheduled June 18-20, 2013 in Lakeland, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.

  16. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. Approval of 2014 Commission Meeting Dates. Proposed Meeting Dates and Locations
  2. Atlantic Black Sea Bass (Notice of Change) - Staff is requesting permission to publish a Notice of Change to rule amendment language that was approved at the December 2012 Commission Meeting.  The rule amendment modified recreational and commercial harvest regulations in the Atlantic Ocean to achieve consistency between the Commission’s black sea bass regulations and federal regulations in Atlantic federal waters and would modified the Commission’s reef fish rule as follows.  Following the Commission meeting, technical concerns were raised by the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee, which have been resolved by the edits in the Notice of Change.  The proposed notice of change would amend the proposed final rule to add a date to the federal citations used. This will ensure that constituents know which version of the federal rules is being referenced.  Following the public notification period required by this Notice of Change, the rule would be filed for adoption. Notice of Change to Final Rule
    1. 68B-14.0045 Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag and Trip Limits - The approved rule would specify for a person to fish with black sea bass traps in the Atlantic Ocean, a valid federal South Atlantic black sea bass pot endorsement and a valid federal South Atlantic snapper grouper unlimited commercial permit must be issued to and possessed aboard the vessel.
    2. 68B-14.005 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear: Allowable Gear, Incidental Bycatch, Violation - The approved rule would specify that black sea bass traps fished in   the Atlantic Ocean must have a tag issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service attached and shall only be used north of 28°35.1’N latitude.  Trap specifications would also be modified in the Atlantic Ocean to be consistent with those for Atlantic federal waters.  Additionally, this proposed final rule would require black sea bass traps fished in the Atlantic Ocean to be removed from thewater at the end of each trip.
  3. Trap Pulling Petition Forms (Notice of Change) – Staff is requesting permission to publish a Notice of Change to rule amendment language that was approved at the December 2012 Commission Meeting.  The rule amendment updated the trap pulling petition forms for three trap fisheries: spiny lobster, blue crab, and stone crab.  These forms allow another person to transport, deploy, pull, or retrieve traps belonging to a commercial harvester in the event of an emergency.  Following the Commission meeting, technical concerns were raised by the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee, which have been resolved by the edits proposed in the Notice of Change. The proposed Notice of Change would amend the proposed final rule to clarify when the Commission has the authority to grant approval of the petition forms, clarify that there is a statute in aid of the Commission’s constitutional authority under which the rules are being amended, and fix small errors in the Notice of Proposed Rule.  Following the public notification period required by this Notice of Change, the rules would be filed for adoption.  The language for the Notice of Change is a part of the background documents for this meeting. Notice of Change for Trap Rules
    1. 68B-24.006 Gear: Traps, Buoys, Identification Requirements, Prohibited Devices – The approved rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL5030 for spiny lobster.
    2. 68B-45.004 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear – The approved rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL4590 for blue crab.
    3. 68B-13.008 Gear, Trap Construction, Commercial Trap Marking Requirements, Trap Working Regulations, Trap Transfer – The approved rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL3030 for stone crab.


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The oystercatcher is one of the largest and heaviest of Florida's shorebirds. It is striking in appearance: dark brown, black and white, with a bright red bill.

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