FL Fish & Wildlife Commission Fishing Report

FWCThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission works to protect, safe and preserve Florida fish. The FL fishing photos and the latest Florida Fishing News is presented as a public service from Naples Marco Living. Thank you for supporting the fishing and wildlife conservation efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Contact us for information about featuring your business in Naples Marco Living.

  • FWC Chipola River video wins national award
    FWC Chipola River video wins national award -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) video, FLOW: the Chipola River Story External Website, received second place in the Association for Conservation Information’s “Video Long” award category. FLOW celebrates the charm of the Chipola River and the partnerships forged to protect it. The ACI’s annual awards contest recognizes excellence and promotes craft improvement through a national competition.

    FLOW features International Game Fish Association Female Angler of the Year, Meredith McCord, and tells the conservation story of the Chipola River. This video recognizes the dedicated efforts of individuals and organizations such as the FWC, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (part of the National Fish Habitat Partnership), Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The Chipola River is a spring-fed system in north Florida that features the only naturally reproducing population of shoal bass in the state. These bass are genetically unique and have a limited geographic range. Meredith McCord set line class world records for shoal bass and black crappie while filming FLOW, inspiring future conservation efforts.

    Two trailers for the video and the full-length video can be viewed on the TrophyCatch YouTube channel (YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida):

    For more information about the Chipola River, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing/Freshwater, click on “Sites & Forecasts,” and “Northwest Region.”

    View the entire list of ACI awards  External Website.

Double R's Fishing and Tour Company
Double R's Fishing & Tours Co. - 25000 Tamiami Trail East - Port of the Islands, Naples, FL 34114-9602 | 239-642-9779
Experience some of the best charter fishing south Florida has to offer. Our captains have 30+ years of experience to help make your Naples / Marco Island fishing trip one to remember. Fishing in an estuary is a unique esperience! You'll fish for Snook, Red Snapper, Drum Tarpon, Trout, Tripletail, Shark, Grouper, or Pompano. These are just a few of the many species in the 10,000 Islands.
Visit Double R's Fishing Tours Website


Captain Phil DeVille Fishing Charters
Capt. Phil DeVille – 10,000 Islands Backwaters - Everglades National Park Fishing Tours, Port of the Islands, Naples, FL | 239-293-5480
Share Captain Phil's passion for the Ten Thousand Islands - Florida Everglades charter fishing trips. Fish for Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Snapper, Flounder and more from a 17' Mitzi Skiff Flats Boatfish. Over 15 varieties of edible fish and great sport fishing. Up to 189 species of birds may be seen in a single trip. View alligators, crocodiles, osprey, eagles, dolphin, and manatee.
View Captain Phil DeVille's Website


Sunshine Fishing Charters Marco Island FL
Sunshine Tours and Charters, Rose Marina, 951 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island FL | 239-642-5415
Sunshine Tours offers the best in Offshore, Back Country and Near Coastal Fishing, Island Shelling and Sightseeing aboard one of our four fishing boats. Since 1984, Sunshine Tours has provide unsurpassed on-the-water experiences for locals and visitors alike. Shared and private fishing charters available.
Visit Sunshine Fishing Charters Website
Outgoing Charters Captain Jesse Hill
Outgoing Charters - Captain Jesse Hill, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, Port of the Islands, FL | 239-825-6283
At Outgoing Charters the customer comes first. Whether it's family fun or hardcore fishing, Captain Jesse Hill is a 4th generation native guide who will cater to your specific wants and needs. Light tackle, back country fishing in Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands. Fish for redfish, snook and more. You'll enjoy a comfortable boat with quality gear. Captain Jesse's ultimate goal is to exceed your expectations.
Visit Outgoing Charters Everglades Fishing Website

  • FWC Chipola River video wins national award
    FWC Chipola River video wins national award -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) video, FLOW: the Chipola River Story External Website, received second place in the Association for Conservation Information’s “Video Long” award category. FLOW celebrates the charm of the Chipola River and the partnerships forged to protect it. The ACI’s annual awards contest recognizes excellence and promotes craft improvement through a national competition.

    FLOW features International Game Fish Association Female Angler of the Year, Meredith McCord, and tells the conservation story of the Chipola River. This video recognizes the dedicated efforts of individuals and organizations such as the FWC, Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (part of the National Fish Habitat Partnership), Trout Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The Chipola River is a spring-fed system in north Florida that features the only naturally reproducing population of shoal bass in the state. These bass are genetically unique and have a limited geographic range. Meredith McCord set line class world records for shoal bass and black crappie while filming FLOW, inspiring future conservation efforts.

    Two trailers for the video and the full-length video can be viewed on the TrophyCatch YouTube channel (YouTube.com/TrophyCatchFlorida):

    For more information about the Chipola River, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing/Freshwater, click on “Sites & Forecasts,” and “Northwest Region.”

    View the entire list of ACI awards  External Website.

  • Gulf County bay scallop season opens Aug. 17
    Gulf County bay scallop season opens Aug. 17 -

    Starting Aug. 17, state waters off Gulf County, including St. Joseph Bay, will open to bay scallop harvest. This area will remain open through Sept. 30 and includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. See below for more on other areas open to harvest.

     Harvesting bay scallops is a fun outdoor activity in which the whole family can participate. It also brings an important economic boost to coastal areas in the open region.

    The bay scallop population in Gulf County’s St. Joseph Bay appears to be improving, but is not yet fully recovered from the impacts of a fall 2015 red tide event. Ongoing restoration efforts will continue through the season. In order to maximize the success of these efforts, swimming, boating, fishing and scalloping in the restoration area marked with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) buoys south of Black’s Island are prohibited during and after the scallop season.

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    For information on bay scallop regulations including daily bag limits, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

    Tell us what you think

    These season dates are for 2018 only. In late 2018 or early 2019, the FWC will set the 2019 seasons for Gulf and Pasco counties, consider continuing the 2018 regional season structure for the remaining portions of the open scallop harvest area in 2019, and will work toward creating a more permanent season structure for 2020 and beyond.

    As the 2018 season moves forward, share your comments on what you would like to see for a future season structure at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments. The FWC is very interested in understanding whether the public prefers regional differences in the season dates or a consistent season across the harvest area, as well as what season dates work best for various regions. Public feedback will be an important factor for determining whether further changes are needed when making a decision about the long-term season dates.

    Boater and scalloper safety

    Be safe when diving for scallops. Stay within 300 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device when in open water, and within 100 feet of a properly displayed divers-down flag or device if on a river, inlet or navigation channel. Boat operators traveling within 300 feet of a divers-down flag or device in open water or within 100 feet of one on a river, inlet or navigational channel must slow to idle speed. For more, visit MyFWC.com/Boating/Regulations and click on “Divers-down Warning Devices.” Always remember to properly stow divers-down devices when divers and snorkelers have exited the water.

    2018 season dates and boundaries

    • St. Joseph Bay and Gulf County: Aug. 17 – Sept. 30. This region includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County to the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.
    • Franklin County through northwest Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 – Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
    • The remaining portion of Taylor County and all of Dixie County (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): June 16 – Sept. 10. This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County.
    • Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 – Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County to the Hernando – Pasco county line.
    • Pasco County: A trial 10-day open season was held July 20-29.

    Citizen science

    Done for the day? Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvested scallops, how many they collected and how long it took to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

    Learn more about long-term abundance trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Molluscs,” “Bay Scallops” and “Bay Scallop Season and Abundance Survey.”

    Links to helpful materials

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  • Blue crab trap closure ending early; Aug. 20-29 trap closure also cancelled
    Blue crab trap closure ending early; Aug. 20-29 trap closure also cancelled -

    Recreational and commercial blue crab traps may be placed back in state waters (shore to 3 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways) from Brevard through Palm Beach counties starting Aug. 14.

    This closure started Aug. 10 and ended early because efforts to remove lost and abandoned traps in this region have been completed.

    The previously scheduled Aug. 20-29 closure for Nassau through Volusia counties has also been cancelled.

    These 10-day trap closures give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.

    Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.

    These closures are two of three regional, 10-day, blue crab trap closures that occur in 2018. There are six regional closures total: three in odd-numbered years on the west coast and three in even-numbered years on the east coast.

    crabClosure.png

    For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Trap & Debris”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap-retrieval coordinator, Pamela Gruver, at 850-487-0554.

  • We need your input – East coast workshops on shore-based shark fishing start next week
    We need your input – East coast workshops on shore-based shark fishing start next week -

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering public input on shore-based shark fishing. Share your thoughts on the future management of this fishery by attending a public workshop.

    Workshops start at 6 p.m. local time:

    • Aug. 20: South Daytona, Piggotte Community Center, Reception Hall Room, 504 Big Tree Road.
    • Aug. 21: Jacksonville, Jacksonville University, J. Henry Gooding Building – Gooding Auditorium, 2800 University Blvd. N.
    • Aug. 27: Melbourne (UPDATED VENUE), Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, 200 Rialto Place.
    • Aug. 28: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Department of Planning, Zoning & Building – The Vista Center, 2300 N. Jog Road.
    • Aug. 29: Miami, Miami City Hall – Commission Main Chambers, 3500 Pan American Drive.
    • Aug. 30: Key Colony Beach, City Hall, 600 W. Ocean Drive.

    If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, submit comments online or view an advance copy of the presentation by visiting MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments. Staff is working on a virtual workshop that should be available online in the near future. Additional details and updates to these meetings will be posted at MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Rulemaking” and “Workshops.”)

    Previous in-person workshops were held in the following cities: Bradenton, Fort Myers, Panama City and Pensacola.

  • Lake Piney Z named a Top Mom-Approved Place to Fish and Boat
    Lake Piney Z named a Top Mom-Approved Place to Fish and Boat -

    PineyZ-FMA.jpg

    After six weeks of nationwide voting, Tallahassee’s Lake Piney Z Fish Management Area was awarded fourth place in the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s contest to rank the Top 10 Mom-Approved Places to Fish and Boat in the nation. It was recognized for its vibrant fishery, wildlife-viewing opportunities, paddle trails, boat ramps, bike/walking trails, playground and family-friendly amenities.

    Lake Piney Z FMA was selected from a list of locations in all 50 states – a list made for moms and by moms. More than 30,000 votes were cast nationwide in this contest.

    “We could not be happier that Lake Piney Z FMA was recognized as fourth on RBFF’s list of the Top 10 Mom-Approved Places to Fish and Boat in the nation,” said Jon Fury, interim director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. “The lake offers impeccable opportunties for Florida’s residents and guests to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities right in the heart of the state’s capital city.”

    Lake Piney Z is a 193-acre lake in Leon County that is a part of the Lafayette Chain of Lakes. In 1996, Lake Piney Z was pumped dry, exposing the lake bottom for the first time in half a century. Accumulated muck was removed and shaped into five spoil islands and six earthen "fishing fingers" where anglers can fish from multiple locations without a watercraft. The lake was stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish, and native vegetation was planted along the northwestern shore to provide cover for smaller fish. FWC staff have also installed fish attractors (sunken brush piles) near the “fishing fingers” to concentrate sportfish for bank anglers, offering an increased chance of success.

    The lake is managed by the FWC as a Fish Management Area in cooperation with the city of Tallahassee and Leon County. Current fishing regulations for Piney Z can be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing/Freshwater by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and then “Northwest” in the Table of Contents.

    A Fish Management Area is a pond, lake or other body of water established for the management of freshwater fish as a cooperative effort with the local county. The FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries manages about 80 water bodies throughout the state that are designated as Fish Management Areas. For more information about Lake Piney Z, email Katie Woodside at Katie.Woodside@MyFWC.com.   

    The complete list of the Top 10 Mom-Approved Places to Fish and Boat can be found at TakeMeFishing.org. RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources.

  • Lionfish Challenge 2018 – 1 month to go – Aug. 8 update
    Lionfish Challenge 2018 – 1 month to go – Aug. 8 update -

    The Lionfish Challenge has less than a month to go (last day to submit is Labor Day, Sept. 3), but there is still plenty of time to earn prizes or find an FWC-tagged lionfish, worth up to $5,000. To learn more about where our tagged lionfish can be found, keep reading.

    Numbers Update

    As of this week:

    • 678 people have registered.
    • 137 people have submitted lionfish (119 recreational, 18 commercial).
    • 14,602 lionfish removed.
    • 54 tagged lionfish removed (six in the Atlantic and 48 in the Gulf).

    Recent Tagged Lionfish Winners

    • Aug. 4, Franklin County: Grayson Shepard of Apalachicola, GoPro Hero5 Camera.
    • July 20, Bay County: Marcus Dabai of Panama City, $500.

    Tagged Lionfish

    Our harvesters are doing great, but there are still tagged lionfish to be found on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Find your tagged lionfish (worth up to $5,000) today off one of these counties: Bay, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Pinellas, St. Johns and Volusia.

    Upcoming Raffle Drawing

    • Final drawing is Aug. 22.
    • All qualified participants (submission of 25 lionfish or 25 pounds for commercial) will be entered into drawing. Prizes include 4-foot JBL pole spear from Florida Underwater Sports, Dive Rite surface marker tube, Lionator pole spear prize pack, Enriched Air Diver Class from Narked Scuba, Color-Dive Lenses from Customatic Optics, Lion Lifts from Toothless Life and YETI tumblers.

    Background

    The Lionfish Challenge rewards lionfish harvesters with prizes for their lionfish removals, tagged or not. The tagged lionfish component is new this year and includes cash prizes up to $5,000. Lionfish were tagged at 50 public artificial reefs across the state between the depths of 80-120 feet.

    Sign up and learn more today by visiting MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

    Links

    Support Florida lionfish control programs by purchasing our new Rep Your Water lionfish hats at Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.

    Facebook

    Website

    Download Lionfish Challenge promotional video (Vimeo): https://bit.ly/2He4Wjq

  • East coast blue crab trap closures start Aug. 10
    East coast blue crab trap closures start Aug. 10 -

    Recreational and commercial blue crab traps must be removed from certain state waters on the east coast of Florida prior to Aug. 10, the first day of two 10-day trap closures occurring this month.

    Blue crab traps may not be in state waters (shore to 3 nautical miles, including intracoastal waterways) in Brevard through Palm Beach counties from Aug. 10-19, and from all state waters from the Georgia-Florida line through Volusia County Aug. 20-29. All waters of the St. Johns River system are excluded in both of these closures.

    These closures will give groups authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) the opportunity to identify and retrieve lost and abandoned blue crab traps from the water.

    Closures may be reduced in duration if it is determined that the number of lost and abandoned traps in the region will take less time to remove.

    Until the trap season reopens, blue crabs may be harvested with other gear, such as dip nets and fold-up traps. Blue crab harvesters may also use standard blue crab traps during the closure if the traps are attached to a dock or other private property.

    Lost and abandoned blue crab traps are a problem in the blue crab fishery because they can continue to trap crabs and fish when left in the water. They can also be unsightly in the marine environment, damage sensitive habitats and pose navigational hazards to boaters on the water.

    These closures are two of three regional, 10-day, blue crab trap closures that occur in 2018. There are six regional closures total: three in odd-numbered years on the west coast and three in even-numbered years on the east coast.

    crabClosure.png

    For more information regarding the FWC’s trap-retrieval program, blue crab trap closure dates, regulations and cleanup events, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing (click on “Saltwater Fishing,” then “Trap & Debris”). For additional information, contact the FWC’s trap-retrieval coordinator, Pamela Gruver, at 850-487-0554.

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