BRADENTON – t's almost here -- the Desoto Heritage Seafood festival will be held in downtown Bradenton from April 5-7! Amid all the excitement is the first license free day on April 6. According to our contributing captain, catch and release night snook fishing in the ICW from Sarasota to Venice should be a good option next week. You should find trout, Spanish mackerel, blues, pompano and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay or in passes when the tide is moving. Look for reds around docks, in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or on shallow flats on sunny afternoons when the tide is high.
Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival April 5-7
- Old Main Street, downtown
- Bradenton, Florida
- Focus: The 73rd Annual Desoto Heritage Seafood Festival is a major attraction off the Manatee River with fresh seafood, artisans, live entertainment, and arts and entertainment.
Red tide bloom affecting manatees along southwest Florida coast
- A red-tide event in southwest Florida has claimed 174 manatees so far this year. Although results are preliminary, this is the highest number of red-tide-related deaths in a single calendar year on record.
- State and federal scientists are monitoring and responding to manatees affected by the ongoing red tide bloom along the southwest Florida coast.
- To help with these efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) ask the public to be on the lookout for manatees affected by red tide. Signs that a manatee is affected by red tide include a lack of coordination and stability in the water, muscle twitches or seizures and difficulty lifting its head to breathe.
- With help from citizens in the area, the FWC and partners have rescued 12 manatees suffering from the effects of red tide so far this year. The public is asked to report manatees showing the effects of red tide, and any other distressed or dead manatees, to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
- State and federal scientists are collecting and analyzing data aimed at better understanding the long-term impacts of this ongoing event on the manatee population and the impacts of other events including extreme cold snaps from 2009-2011. Manatees are listed as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
- Decades of conservation efforts by many partners have led to population increases, as shown in population models. The growth of the population, and the many conservation measures implemented by the state of Florida, led the Service to begin work on a proposed rule that would reclassify the manatee from Endangered to Threatened, which reflects the overall improved status.
Headed to the beach? Help biologists monitor spawning horseshoe crabs
- A ritual dating back millions of years takes place again this spring on Florida beaches. Spring marks horseshoe crabs’ mating season, and biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) want the public’s help identifying spawning sites.
- Beachgoers will likely have the best luck spotting mating horseshoe crabs around high tide, just before, during or after a new or full moon. The conditions around the new moon tonight and the full moon on March 27 will create ideal opportunities to view the spawning behavior of horseshoe crabs.
- Mating crabs “pair up,” with the smaller male on top of the larger female. Other male crabs may also be present around the couple. Beachgoers lucky enough to spot horseshoe crabs are asked to note how many they see and whether the horseshoe crabs are mating. If possible, the observer should also count how many horseshoe crabs are mating adults and how many are juveniles (4 inches wide or smaller).
- In addition, biologists ask observers to provide the date, time, location, habitat type and environmental conditions – such as tides and moon phase – when a sighting occurs.
- The FWC asks the public to report sightings through one of several options. Go toMyFWC.com/Contactand click on the “Submit a Horseshoe Crab Survey” link, then “Florida Horseshoe Crab Spawning Beach Survey.” You can also report findings via email athorseshoe@MyFWC.com or by phone at 866-252-9326.
A ridge of high pressure will remain north of the waters through Friday...then move east into the Atlantic for the weekend. A weak cold front will pass well north of the waters on Monday.
Northeast winds around 10 knots becoming northwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday nights will bring north winds around 10 knots becoming northeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/03/28 Thu 02:13 a.m. 1.66 H
2013/03/28 Thu 08:11 a.m. 0.52 L
2013/03/28 Thu 01:37 p.m. 2.12 H
2013/03/28 Thu 09:07 p.m. -0.24 L
Northeast winds around 10 knots becoming northwest in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Friday night will bring north winds around 10 knots becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/03/29 Fri 03:03 a.m. 1.53 H
2013/03/29 Fri 08:36 a.m. 0.67 L
2013/03/29 Fri 02:07 p.m. 2.26 H
2013/03/29 Fri 09:57 p.m. -0.32 L
Southeast winds around 10 knots becoming southwest around 5 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Saturday night will bring north winds around 5 knots becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.
2013/03/30 Sat 04:00 a.m. 1.37 H
2013/03/30 Sat 09:00 a.m. 0.8 L
2013/03/30 Sat 02:43 a.m. 2.34 H
2013/03/30 Sat 10:53 p.m. -0.34 L
Southeast winds around 10 knots becoming south in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Sunday night will bring south winds around 5 knots becoming southeast around 10 knots after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
2013/03/31 Sun 05:10 a.m. 1.21 H
2013/03/31 Sun 09:24 a.m. 0.92 L
2013/03/31 Sun 03:24 p.m. 2.36 H
2013/03/31 Sun 11:59 p.m. -0.3 L