Walton County fishing report for Feb. 10

sheepsheadFishing is good

Bay: Redfish and sheepshead through the roof!

River: Crappie being caught in area ponds.

Hunting: Deer in full rut right now.

Click here for fishing forecast

Bay and river report brought to you by Copeland’s. “Where the locals shop and the tourists are welcome.”

Click here to find out more about Copeland’s.
Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop
17290 U.S. Hwy. 331 S
Freeport, Florida 32439

(850) 835-4277
Store hours:
Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat.: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun.: Closed

Posted in Fishing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Beekeeping in the Panhandle short course offered in March

 The UF/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team is pleased to offer a Beekeeping Short-Course in March 2016. These classes will be offered via interactive video conferencing. Classes will be taught by state and nationally recognized experts.

  • Classes are Monday evenings from 6-8 pm Central Time
  • Each presentation will be followed by an interactive question & answer period.
  • Registration for all three classes is $15 per person, or $25 for a family and covers course materials and light refreshments. Deadline to register is Friday, March 4, 2016. Call the Walton County Extension Office at 850-892-8172 for more information.

Monday March 7: Introduction to Beekeeping –Tomas Bustamante, UF/IFAS Bee Lab Apiarist

Monday March 14: Bee Nutrition-What bees need to Thrive – David Westervelt, FDACS Chief, Bureau of Apiary Inspection

Bee Botany-Identify the Plants and Flowers Bees Visit – Laurence Cutts, retired FDACS Inspector and Professional Beekeeper

Monday March 21: Apiary Pests & Bee Diseases – Identification and Management – Dr. Bill Kern, UF/IFAS Entomologist

Posted in Home/Garden | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cultural Arts Alliance Valentine Tour of Homes Feb. 13 -14

vermillionwayValentine’s weekend typically means romantic dinners and flowers for most, but for South Walton residents and visitors alike, it signals the highly anticipated annual Valentine Tour of Homes presented by the Cultural Arts Alliance (CAA) of Walton County. The tour is known for showcasing stunning interiors, architecturally acclaimed homes and picturesque settings bringing inspiration to tour goers’ winter weekend at the beach.

This annual event will open the doors to six gorgeously designed South Walton homes to participants on Saturday, Feb.13 from 10 a.m. – 4 pm and Sunday, Feb. 14 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

This year’s tour includes two magnificent gulf-front estates, a newly renovated Point Washington cottage, a state-of-the-art Seaside stunner and two water-front beauties in WaterColor.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event, valid for the entire weekend with one entry per house.  Tickets can be purchased online at culturalartsalliance.com and locally at Smith’s Antiques in Destin, Fusion Art Glass in Grand Boulevard, the Bayou Arts Center in Santa Rosa Beach, Sundog Books in Seaside, and Hidden Lantern Gallery in Rosemary Beach.  Tickets will also be available for purchase at each of the homes throughout the weekend.

2016 Homes on Tour:
Home #1
77 S. Green Turtle Lane, Rosemary Beach
Home #2241 Red Cedar Way, WaterColor
Home #345 Vermillion Way, WaterColor
Home #4392 Forest Street, Seaside
Home #521 Days Lane, Point Washington
Home #632 White Cliffs Crest, Village of White Cliffs, Blue Mountain Beach

For more information about the Valentine Tour of Homes and the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, call 850-622-5970 or visit www.culturalartsalliance.com.  To volunteer, please contact Renee McCalmont at [email protected].  Volunteers receive a complimentary ticket.

Posted in Home/Garden | Tagged | Leave a comment

Information from the Florida Mosquito Control Association on Zika Virus

walton-county-logoZika is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. The virus has recently spread to the Americas. Symptoms of infection are usually mild, but severe complications including serious birth defects and various neurological and autoimmune complications can result from infection with the virus. Currently, there are no vaccines or medications available to prevent infection. Avoiding mosquito bites is the best defense against Zika virus infection.

What is Zika?

Zika is a virus related to dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, and West Nile viruses that was discovered in 1947 in Africa. It is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda (zika means “overgrown” in Lugandan), where the virus was first recovered from a sentinel rhesus monkey that was being used in a yellow fever research project; the agent was eventually described as Zika virus in 1952. It was first isolated from a human in Nigeria in 1954.

Where can Zika virus be found?

Until 2007, Zika was a relatively obscure virus, confined to a narrow zone around the equator in Africa and parts of Asia. In Africa, it was known mostly from forest monkeys, but subsequent work indicates that humans were often infected but not diagnosed with the virus. In 2007, a disease outbreak on the Yap Islands in Micronesia, at first believed to be dengue or Chikungunya, turned out to be caused by the Zika virus. Later, outbreaks of Zika occurred in Polynesia, Easter Island, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.

In 2015 a large outbreak started in Bahia, Brazil and spread throughout South and Central America and the Caribbean. Large outbreaks of the disease have been reported from many countries in the area including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and probably others that have not yet reported accurate statistics. In the continental United States, travel-related cases of the disease have been reported from several states, including Florida.

How is the virus transmitted?
Zika is an arthropod borne virus (arbovirus) principally transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. In the Americas, the principal vector is the yellow fever mosquito, Ae. aegypti, but the Asian Tiger Mosquito Ae. albopictus, is a potential vector as well. These mosquitoes live in close association with humans, and occur in numerous types of water-holding containers such as buckets, plastic containers, discarded tires and other items often found around human dwellings. They do not live in ditches, marshes, or other large bodies of water. The Zika virus can be frequently transmitted from mother to fetus, and there is one documented case of the virus being transmitted sexually.

What are the symptoms of Zika virus infection?
About 1 in 5 persons infected with the virus develops symptoms, which are considered “mild”. Primary symptoms include headaches, skin rash, fever, pink eye, general malaise, and muscle/joint pain. Little is known about potential long term neurological effects of infection with Zika. Symptoms develop from two to 10 days after exposure and last approximately from 2 days to a week.

The fact that a large proportion of those infected are asymptomatic means that the daily routine of these infected persons will not be interrupted by the infection, potentially exposing them to mosquito bites and serving as a source for mosquito infection that can further spread the virus. The virus is usually present in the blood of an infected person for a few days during which a mosquito may acquire the infection by bite.

There is more unknown than known about complications resulting from Zika virus infection. For this reason alone, infection with the virus should be taken very seriously, and appropriate precautions should be taken to avoid infection. Zika virus infection in pregnant women can result in serious, even lethal consequences for the fetus. During the current Zika pandemic, a very high incidence of babies born with abnormally small heads and significant brain damage, a condition known as microcephaly, is being documented in mothers that were infected with the virus during pregnancy. Various health organizations, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend that pregnant women avoid travel to destinations where Zika is found. As with other viral infections, there also appears to be a connection between Zika infection and development of Guillain—Barré syndrome, a condition where the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.

What is the treatment?

There is no specific treatment for Zika virus infection. Given that the primary symptoms, if any, are usually mild, only supportive treatment (rest, fluids, and medications such as acetaminophen for fever and pain) are recommended. Patients should not take aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs until dengue has been ruled out because these drugs may aggravate bleeding associated with some forms of dengue.

How can I avoid infection with Zika virus?

As with other mosquito-transmitted pathogens, prevention involves limiting exposure to mosquito bites. The most important preventive action is personal protection, which means using protective clothing (e.g., long pants and sleeves) and an approved mosquito repellent, preferably one containing DEET. Because the mosquitoes that transmit the virus can reproduce in a variety of water holding containers, eliminating such potential mosquito developmental sites from the home is also important.

While the Florida Mosquito Control Association is not a response agency, our members include professionals in mosquito control, public health, academia, industry, and government who work with mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. We will share information provided from our members as new information comes to light.

FMCA Website: http://floridamosquito.org/Home/
Florida Department of Health: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus/
Mosquito Information Website: http://mosquito.ifas.ufl.edu/
Locate your local mosquito control district webpage here:
Florida Resident’s Guide to Mosquito Control: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1045

Posted in Environment | Tagged | Leave a comment

Walton County fishing report for Feb. 3

sheepsheadFishing is good

Bay: Sheepshead being caught along the bridge.

River: Lots of crappie minnows being sold, that will tell you!


Click here for fishing forecast

Bay and river report brought to you by Copeland’s. “Where the locals shop and the tourists are welcome.”

Click here to find out more about Copeland’s.
Copeland’s Gun and Tackle Shop
17290 U.S. Hwy. 331 S
Freeport, Florida 32439

(850) 835-4277
Store hours:
Mon. – Fri.: 6 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Sat.: 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sun.: Closed

Posted in Fishing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Farm safety camp for kids in DeFuniak Springs Feb. 15

UFextensionJoin the Extension Office for a fun filled day on Mon., Feb. 15 for youth ages 8-18 to learn about farm and home safety. (Children under the age of 8 are welcome, but must be accompanied by a parent). The event will be held from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Walton County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 83, DeFuniak Springs. Early drop off  7 a.m., Late pick up 4:30 p.m.

The Extension Office is also looking for teens or adults to volunteer and help with this event, please call us at 850-892-8172 for more information. Teens will receive community service hours for helping with this Day Camp.

Farm Safety Day is an interactive day camp designed to educate youth on various safety topics; from those working with large animals – to beyond the farm gate with basic 1st aid tips that can be used in everyday life. Kids will rotate stations to participate in all workshops offered. This program will benefit the entire community as it benefits more than just farm safety.

Classes include:
First Aid
ATV Safety
Smoke Trailer
Boating Safety
Tractor Safety
Crash Simulation
Large Animal Safety
Fire Extinguisher Training
Snake Identification
4-H Motion Commotion – Distracted Driving

Cost is $5 per child and includes lunch, t-shirt, classes, and a goody bag. Participation is limited to the first 150 applicants. Registration deadline is Feb. 5.
Applications available by visiting our website at:

For More Information Contact: Jena Brooks, 850-892-8172
[email protected]

Posted in Home/Garden | Leave a comment

Agritourism and Ecotourism Business Development Conference in Pensacola Feb. 18-19

ecotourismThe University of Florida (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension Escambia and Santa Rosa counties and Naturally EscaRosa are pleased to announce that the 2016 Gulf Coast Agritourism & Ecotourism Business Development Conference will be held at the Gulf Power Building (One Energy Place) in Pensacola, Florida February 18-19, 2016.

The conference will be an exciting blend of informational sessions and hands on activities. It will provide important information for new business startups as well as long established companies in Agritourism and Ecotourism.

Registration is only $25 and can be completed online here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-agritourism-ecotourism-business-development-conference-tickets-19956571643

Topics include:

  • Economic Impacts of Ecotourism and Agritourism in the Area
  • Enhancing Rural Tourism in MS/LA with Collaboration and Regional Planning
  • Southern Style Hospitality
  • Small Farms Communications
  • Experimental Station for Tourism – Long Acres Ranch
  • Capitalizing on sustainable tourism for economic and community benefits

 U-pick operations, fresh produce markets, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, etc. or ecological (paddling, camping, fishing, etc.) are encouraged to attend.

For more information on the 2016 Gulf Coast Agritourism & Ecotourism Business Development Conference, contact Chris Verlinde (850) 623-3868 or Carrie Stevenson (850) 475-5230

Posted in Environment | Tagged | Leave a comment