BRADENTON – Local law enforcement agencies will be out in force over the July Fourth holiday weekend to make sure boaters are adhering to safety laws. The first tropical storm of the season, Arthur, could create storm conditions over the next few days as it moves north along the East Coast. The Manatee County Sheriff's released stats incurred during Operation Dry Water, a national effort designed to decrease the number of boaters operating vessels while under the influence.
MCSO releases ‘Operation Dry Water’ results
- Law enforcement agencies around the state and country are participating in “Operation Dry Water” June 27-29. This nationwide, public education effort is designed to prevent alcohol-related accidents and fatalities. FWC officers, along with local law enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard, will be on the lookout for boating under the influence (BUI) violations.
- The Manatee County Sheri'ff's Office arrested one man on BUI, charges,issued nine safety violation citations, and gave out countless warnings.
- “Alcohol- and drug-related boating accidents are preventable,” said Capt. Tom Shipp of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Boating and Waterways Section. “Even one death is too many. We want all boaters to enjoy the freedom to get out on the water and the opportunity to do it safely.”
- Last year, nine people died from boating accidents related to alcohol and drug use in Florida. That represents 15 percent of the state’s boating fatalities for 2013.
Gag grouper recreational harvest opening in most Gulf waters, closing in 4-county region
- Gag grouper will open for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters and all Gulf federal waters July 1. The same day, the season will close in state waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
- The gag grouper recreational harvest season in Gulf of Mexico state waters, not including Franklin, Jefferson, Wakulla and Taylor counties, will remain open through Dec. 3, closing Dec. 4.
FWC moves to simplify saltwater rules in 3 counties
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a measure at its June 18 meeting in Fort Myers that will remove several outdated or redundant localized regulations in Gilchrist, Indian River and Manatee counties. These changes will go into effect as soon as possible.
- The FWC has been working to streamline and clarify saltwater fishing rules since 2009 as part of a marine fisheries rule clean-up process. This includes reviewing existing localized rules known as Special Acts of Local Application and working with county governments to remove them if warranted. Many Special Acts were put in place before the Marine Fisheries Commission, one of the FWC’s predecessor agencies, was created, and are now no longer necessary due to more current, statewide fishing management.
- The governments from all three counties have been working with the FWC on these changes. The FWC will be working with other counties in the future to help streamline and reduce regulations throughout the state, increasing transparency and consistency while standardizing FWC saltwater fishing management and making it easier for fishermen to access and participate in Florida fishing. The repeal of the Special Acts for these three counties is not expected to have any negative effects on Florida’s fisheries.
- In Manatee County, seven Special Acts are slated to be removed, including ones that limit the types of gear that can be used within the waters of the county, set aggregate bag limits for saltwater fish on the Manatee River, and authorize Manatee County to regulate the harvest of finfish within the county. Current statewide regulations now address the use of gear and give the FWC the authority to regulate the harvest of saltwater fish. Repealing these conflicting and redundant rules will help clarify and simplify regulations in Manatee County.
- To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and “Commission Meetings.”
West to southwest flow will setup as Hurricane Arthur moves north northeast off the southeast U.S. Today through Friday. Over the weekend and into early next week the surface ridge axis will move north with a more south to southeast flow becoming established. Winds will remain 15 knots or less with seas less than 4 feet through the period...but locally higher winds and seas will be possible in and near any thunderstorm activity.
Southwest winds around 10 knots increasing to 10 to 15 knots by afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light to moderate chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Thursday night will bring southwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Isolated showers and thunderstorms in the evening...then scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms after midnight.
2014/07/03 Thu 05:40 AM 1.76 H
2014/07/03 Thu 11:45 AM 1.0 L
2014/07/03 Thu 04:53 PM 1.84 H
West winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered thunderstorms. Friday night will bring southwest winds around 5 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth.
2014/07/04 Fri 12:14 AM 0.43 L
2014/07/04 Fri 06:17 AM 1.87 H
2014/07/04 Fri 12:59 PM 0.9 L
2014/07/04 Fri 05:59 PM 1.63 H
South winds around 5 knots becoming west around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered mainly afternoon thunderstorms. Saturday night will bring southeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.
2014/07/05 Sat 12:52 AM 0.6 L
2014/07/05 Sat 06:57 AM 1.99 H
2014/07/05 Sat 02:18 PM 0.76 L
2014/07/05 Sat 07:23 PM 1.45 H
Southeast winds 5 to 10 knots becoming southwest around 10 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Scattered mainly afternoon thunderstorms. Sunday night will bring southeast winds 5 to 10 knots. Bay and inland waters smooth. Scattered thunderstorms in the evening.
2014/07/06 Sun 01:33 AM 0.78 L
2014/07/06 Sun 07:41 AM 2.11 H
2014/07/06 Sun 03:34 PM 0.57 L
2014/07/06 Sun 09:04 PM 1.34 H