FWC set to meet Sept. 7-9 in Naples
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Media contact: (marine fisheries issues) Aaron Podey, 850-487-0554;
(other issues) Susan Smith, 850-488-8843
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will
meet Sept. 7-9 in Naples to discuss a wide range of
Sessions start at 8:30 a.m. all three days at the Naples Grande,
475 Seagate Drive, Naples. They are open to the public.
On Wednesday, Sept. 7, after recognizing FWC employees and
stakeholders for their special conservation efforts, Commissioners
are expected to take final action amending the Broward County
manatee protection rule.
They also will hear staff reports on progress with the Florida
Youth Conservation Centers Network, the status of Florida panthers,
the Boating Improvement Grants program, revision to the FWC's State
Wildlife Action Plan and the future of hunting in the state.
Commissioners also will receive, from National Park Service staff,
an update on the National Park Service's effort to develop a hunt
plan for Big Cypress National Preserve.
On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Commissioners will hold a final public
hearing on a series of proposed rule amendments to the FWC's marine
life (aquarium species) rule. The proposed rules would extend state
regulations governing the harvest of aquarium species into federal
waters adjacent to state waters. For octocorals, they would create
an annual quota and adopt the federal areas currently closed to
harvest by the NOAA Fisheries Service.
The FWC will discuss a draft rule for spotted seatrout that
would allow year-round recreational fishing by removing the current
February closure in the northern management area and the
November-December closure in the southern area. The draft rule
would also increase the commercial harvest season from three to
five months, adding the months of September and October in the
northeast, southeast and southwest management areas and moving the
open season to September through January in the northwest area.
The FWC also will discuss a draft rule for sharks that would
prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of smooth,
scalloped and great hammerheads and tiger sharks. Part of the
discussion will include creating an angler-education campaign on
safe shark-handling techniques.
In other marine fisheries action, Commissioners will review and
discuss draft rule amendments to remove two rules regarding
spearing and using underwater lights in Charlotte County. If the
two rules are repealed, spearing and the use of lights would be
subject to existing statewide rules. Commissioners also will
discuss a change to the king mackerel landing rules in Collier
County. The South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fishery management
councils will update the FWC on issues in their waters.
Staff will report to Commissioners about Gulf sturgeon in the
Suwannee River and how the FWC is working to minimize
The session Friday, Sept. 9, concerns budget and legislative
Toward the end of each meeting day, the public can comment on
items not on the agenda.
Anyone requiring special accommodations to participate in the
meeting should advise the FWC at least five days prior to the Sept.
7 meeting by contacting the FWC's Office of Human Resources at
850-488-6411. If you are hearing or speech-impaired, contact the
FWC using the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or
To see the
full agenda, go to MyFWC.com/Commission.