Commission to meet Nov. 16-17 in Key Largo
Thursday, November 03, 2011
Media contact: (marine fisheries issues) Amanda Nalley, 850-487-0554;
(other issues) Susan Smith, 850-488-8843
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will
meet Nov. 16-17 in Key Largo to discuss a wide range of
fish-and-wildlife issues, from shark harvesting, to opportunities
and access for sportsmen, to gopher tortoise and other species
management, and anchoring and mooring.
Sessions start at 8:30 a.m. both days at the Key Largo Grande
Resort and Beach Club, 97000 South Overseas Highway, Key Largo. The
meetings are open to the public.
On Wednesday, Nov. 16, after stakeholders recognize FWC
employees for their special conservation efforts, staff will update
the Commission on the recent Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management
Council and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meetings held
in October and September, respectively.
Commissioners are expected to take final action on several
Division of Marine Fisheries Management issues, including adoption
of federal Gulf of Mexico grouper standards to achieve consistency
between the FWC's reef fish rule and proposed federal regulations
in the Gulf.
Increased fishing opportunities for the successfully managed red
drum and spotted seatrout species will be voted on by the
Commission. The Commission will consider increasing the red drum
recreational daily bag limit from one fish to two fish in the
northern regions of Florida, allowing year-round recreational
harvest of spotted seatrout and increasing the commercial harvest
season of spotted seatrout.
Commissioners will also take action on a proposed amendment that
would prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of four
species of shark: tiger shark and great, scalloped and smooth
Staff will share reports on the use of casitas - structures
placed on the sea floor that attract spiny lobster. Commissioners
earlier directed staff to conduct research on the effect of casitas
on the environment.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Superintendent Sean
Morton will address the FWC concerning the sanctuary's
comprehensive regulatory review.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, after recognizing the Prosecutor of the
Year, Commissioners will consider approval of a suite of proposed
rule changes that would provide greater public access and hunting
and freshwater fishing opportunities, both statewide and
area-specific. Statewide proposals deal with pen-raised quail and
gun-and-light hunting, for example. One area-specific draft rule
would allow internal combustion motors of up to 10 horsepower on
Lake Iamonia and Carr Lake in Leon County during the state's
regular waterfowl season.
Commissioners are expected to review and discuss a draft rule to
create manatee protection zones in Flagler County. They will also
consider revisions to gopher tortoise permitting guidelines that
will clarify the requirements for obtaining a "disturbed site
permit" and establish standards for relocating gopher tortoises to
Next, staff will update Commissioners on the anchoring and
mooring pilot program by presenting St. Augustine's proposed
The public may comment on items not on the agenda toward the end
of each meeting day.
Anyone requiring special accommodations to participate in the
meeting should advise the FWC at least five days prior to the Nov.
16 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.