FWC meeting set for Feb. 17-18 in Apalachicola
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Media contact: (inland issues) Henry Cabbage, 850-488-8843 (marine issues) Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) will convene its next meeting at the Franklin
County Courthouse in Apalachicola Feb. 17-18. The meeting will come
to order at 8:30 a.m. both days, with numerous high-profile issues
dominating the agenda.
Wednesday's (Feb. 17) agenda includes an update on
the fox or coyote enclosure permit process. The update will brief
the Commissioners on the history and results of recent FWC
investigations into the operation of enclosures where hunters
pursue foxes or coyotes with dogs. Staff will present regulation
options for those facilities.
Final action on proposals to revamp deer hunting
zones and dates to align them with the rut - the period when
hunters have the highest success rate - is on the Wednesday agenda,
Commissioners also will consider proposed rules to
clarify regulation of nuisance wildlife and nonnative wildlife. In
addition, Wednesday's agenda includes final approval of hunting and
fishing regulations on public lands and creating a special two-day
youth turkey hunt for supervised children, under age 16.
Also on Wednesday, Commissioners will hear a staff
progress report and legislative updates on reptiles of concern. The
Commission will consider a draft rule furthering efforts with
reptiles of concern. The draft rule extends amnesty for turning
over reptiles of concern to licensed individuals and incorporates
changes to the permanent identification of the animals.
In addition, Commissioners will consider a series
of captive wildlife draft rules regarding hobbyists, Critical
Incident/Disaster plans, and required labeling of all wildlife
shipments. Staff also will present a draft rule updating the
process by which counties notify the FWC regarding local zoning and
building codes for proposed facilities housing Class I or Class II
Thursday's agenda will include a staff report
regarding several technical problems in the FWC's licensing system.
Commissioners will consider options to improve customer
Another staff report will focus on an initiative to
establish youth conservation centers around the state to offer
children opportunities to connect with hunting, fishing and other
outdoor recreational activities.
Also on Thursday, the Commission will hold final
public hearings on proposed rules that would prohibit all harvest
of lemon sharks from Florida waters and extend the expiration date
of the moratorium on new spiny lobster commercial dive permits from
July 1, 2010, until July 1, 2015.
In addition, Commissioners will consider a proposed
draft rule that would include all species of bonefish found in
Florida in FWC's bonefish management rules, extend Florida bonefish
regulations into adjacent federal waters, and require that bonefish
be landed in a whole condition.
The FWC will also consider a proposed draft rule
- apply Florida's weakfish management rules only in state waters
of Nassau and Duval counties north of the Buckman Bridge on the St.
- provide that all weakfish-like fish (including weakfish, sand
seatrout, and their hybrids) would be considered weakfish in this
- reduce the daily recreational bag limit for weakfish from four
fish to one fish; and
- establish a commercial weakfish harvest limit of 100 pounds per
vessel per day or trip, whichever is longer, in the weakfish
Another proposed draft rule for Commission
- allow all ballyhoo endorsement holders to sell their
endorsement to other commercial fishers from July 1 to March 31
- limit any one entity from holding more than two ballyhoo
endorsements at any one time,
- prohibit leasing of the endorsement, and
- allow only one endorsement per saltwater products license and
one saltwater products license to be associated with a single
In other marine fisheries action, the Commission
will review and discuss Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean red
snapper and other federal fishery management issues.