BRADENTON -- Recreational harvest of snook in all Atlantic waters closed December 14, and will remain closed until the end of August. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has created a long-term survival plan for 60 species. Sarasota based Capt. Rick Grassett recommends looking for redfish in potholes and on the edges of bars when the tide is low or higher on shallow grass flats at the top of the tide. Anglers can also find trout, bluefish and more on deep grass flats of Sarasota Bay. Tripletail should remain a good option in the coastal Gulf.
December brings closure of snook season in Atlantic state, federal waters
- The recreational harvest of snook will close in all Atlantic waters, including the inland waters of Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, beginning Dec. 15, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 14. The season will reopen in the Atlantic’s state and federal waters Feb. 1, 2013.
- Snook season is currently closed in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters, and will remain closed through Aug. 31, 2013, to give the fish time to fully rebound from severe cold weather in 2010 that killed many snook.
- The extended Gulf harvest closure will help protect snook populations this winter, when they are most vulnerable to cold weather, and give snook added protection during next spring and summer’s spawning months.
- Anglers may still catch and release snook during the harvest closure, and the FWC encourages everyone to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release.
- Snook regulations, including a bag limit of one fish per person, per day and a slot limit of no less than 28 inches and no more than 32 inches, apply to snook harvested in both state and federal waters off Florida. No one may possess any snook caught during snook closed seasons.
- For more information regarding the management of snook in Florida, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”
FWC defines new conservation model for 60 species
- To achieve long-term survival for 60 imperiled wildlife species, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) discussed a new conservation model at its meeting today in Apalachicola.
- Creating the Imperiled Species Management Plan will define measurable objectives and actions to manage and conserve these animals to keep them part of Florida’s wildlife forever.
- Staff updated Commissioners on how they will integrate broad conservation strategies with specific actions for each wildlife species. The Imperiled Species Management Plan will include habitat conservation; wildlife management; measurable objectives (including timeframes); possible incentives, potential rule recommendations; and consideration of economic, ecological and social impacts.
- “This approach is smart thinking,” said FWC Chairman Kenneth Wright.
- Typically, the FWC has developed and implemented separate management plans for individual species such as the bald eagle, Florida black bear, gopher tortoise and Florida manatee. With the Imperiled Species Management Plan, the FWC will retain that focus while recognizing the efficiency of developing integrated strategies that positively affect multiple species, for example those sharing a seaside marsh or upland scrub habitat.
- Opportunities for input from stakeholders and the public will be sought as components of the Imperiled Species Management Plan begin to be rolled out in draft form in 2013.
- “By identifying both the common elements and specific actions needed to promote survival of 60 species, Florida can achieve broad long-term conservation success for wildlife such as the little blue heron, Eastern chipmunk and Florida sandhill crane,” said Laura Barrett, the FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan Coordinator.
- “The Imperiled Species Management Plan will give stakeholders and the public a broad conservation vision of what the FWC plans to achieve for 60 species that have been listed as state-threatened or species of special concern,” Barrett said.
- The FWC adopted a new conservation model in September 2010 to evaluate the status of species listed as state-threatened or species of special concern. The Commission-approved process first called for developing a Biological Status Review (BSR) for each species. The BSRs, independently reviewed by outside scientists and the public, reported on what was happening to each species, and made a recommendation on whether the species met criteria to:
Remain or become listed as threatened;
- Remain a species of special concern until further data could be gathered; or
- Be removed from the list of state-threatened species.
- The BSRs and their listing recommendations are available at MyFWC.com/ImperiledSpecies.
Winds and seas in the coastal and outer waters will continue at Small Craft Advisory levels as the front exits tonight...with cautionary criteria in Tampa Bay. High pressure will build back into the region for Thursday and Friday with winds and seas subsiding. Next system nears the area for the weekend.
Northwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Thursday night will bring north winds around 5 knots then becoming northeast after midnight. Bay and inland waters smooth.
East winds around 10 knots then becoming southeast in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Friday night will bring southeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. A slight chance of showers in the evening... then a chance of showers after midnight.
South winds around 15 knots then becoming west in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. A chance of thunderstorms. Saturday night will bring northeast winds around 15 knots then becoming north after midnight. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop.
North winds around 15 knots. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Sunday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.