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Public invited to participate in Florida fox squirrel population study

Have you seen any fox squirrels? In Florida, the fox squirrel can be found in almost every county, but the distribution is patchy and not well understood. To better understand fox squirrel distribution, a new research project conducted by the University of Florida Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is asking people across the state to report their fox squirrel sightings. The fox squirrel, named for its fox–like tail, is a charismatic...

Florida lifetime sportsman license costs for youth reduced Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2014

On Nov. 13, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed an executive order authorizing the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to offer Lifetime Sportsman’s Licenses for Florida children and young adults at a greatly reduced cost. The license now costs up to $1000 but from Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2014, the price will be reduced to $500 for Florida residents who are 21-years-old and younger. The lifetime license covers saltwater and freshwater recreational fishing, hunting and most associated permits. Governor...

Saltwater and freshwater license-free fishing days offered this month

Governor Scott and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Floridians and visitors will be able to fish without a saltwater recreational fishing license on June 7 and 8 and freshwater recreational fishing license on June 14 and 15. These four license-free fishing days fall near National Fishing and Boating Week, a national celebration of fishing and boating, which started June 1 and runs through June 8. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s www.TakeMeFishing.org website is a place to...

FWC sets Gulf recreational red snapper season

Season set for May 24 – July 14 The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set the Gulf recreational red snapper season in state waters April 16 at a meeting near Tallahassee. The season will be a total of 52 days in 2014 and will start the Saturday before Memorial Day (May 24 this year) and remain open through July 14, closing July 15. Starting the season the Saturday before Memorial Day will provide recreational red snapper fishing through...

Marine Fisheries regulations and management workshop in Destin Feb. 25

Time: 6 – 8:30 p.m. The University of Florida Extension Service is hosting a Marine Fisheries workshop at the Destin Community Center on Feb. 25, 2014. The workshop is geared for recreation anglers, charter boat captains and crew, coastal and marine resource managers and educators. The workshop is free and open to the public. The Destin Community Center is located at 101 Stahlman Ave., Destin. The subjects to be addressed are: • Increase the understanding and communication with Gulf of...

FWC proposes 2014 Gulf recreational red snapper season

Proposed season May 24 – July 14 The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed 2014 Gulf recreational red snapper season dates in state waters. This proposed season will be brought back before the Commission for final approval at its April 15-17 meeting in Tallahassee. The 2014 proposed season, if approved in April, would be 52 days long, starting the Saturday before Memorial Day, (May 24 this year) and remaining open through July 14, closing July 15. The Commission...

FWC, partners release dozens of sea turtles rescued from cold in northwest Florida waters

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and several partners returned approximately 50 sea turtles to the wild Jan. 14, 2014 in the Gulf of Mexico off Cape San Blas after the animals were rescued from last week’s cold water temperatures. “It is very satisfying to be able to release these turtles following the exhaustive effort put in by rescuers last week,” said Dr. Allen Foley, FWC sea turtle biologist. “Our staff, partners and volunteers spent many hours braving...

FWC announces license-free fishing days Nov. 29 and 30

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced that Friday, Nov. 29 will be a license-free freshwater fishing day, and Saturday, November 30 will be a saltwater license-free fishing day. Governor Scott said, “License-free fishing days serve as a great opportunity for families to enjoy the incredible fishing opportunities that Florida has to offer. After the Thanksgiving holiday, families will be able to head to the water with their visiting guests and experience some of the best fishing in the world.” Florida’s...

Stone crab season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters

Get your claw crackers ready! Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. Florida’s recreational and commercial stone crab claw harvest season opens Oct. 15 in state and federal waters. To ensure this valuable resource is available for generations to come, take care when removing crab claws and follow all protective regulations for stone crab harvest. Claws may not be taken from egg-bearing stone crabs. Egg-bearing females are identifiable by the...

Florida Fish and Wildlife hosting exotic pet amnesty day at Gulfarium October 5

Opportunity for people to surrender their exotic pets free Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sat., Oct. 5, 2013 Location: Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park 1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE Fort Walton Beach, Fl 32548 More than 500 fish and wildlife nonnative species, also known as exotic species, have been observed in Florida. Not all nonnative species present a threat to native species, but some have become invasive by causing harm to native species, posing a threat to human health and...

FWC takes action on snapper, grouper

It’s official, Oct. 1-21 red snapper season is on! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today approved an Oct. 1-21 supplemental recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters for 2013 and eliminated a Feb. 1 – March 31 closure affecting several species of grouper in Gulf of Mexico state waters and a Nov. 1 – March 31 recreational season closure for vermilion snapper in Atlantic state waters. The elimination changes go into effect before the scheduled closures...

Tarpon, bonefish become catch-and-release only beginning Sept. 1

Two premier recreational fisheries will soon have new protections in place, a measure aimed at ensuring that tarpon and bonefish’s economic and fishing value remain for generations to come. Tarpon and bonefish become catch-and-release only fisheries beginning Sept. 1. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these proactive management measures at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland. The catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing values of bonefish and tarpon greatly...