BRADENTON -- As the weather cools, the FWCC warns boaters to be on the lookout for manatees. November 17 marks the start for closures for Apalachicola commercial oyster harvests. Becoming a commerical fisherman just got easier for veterans! There are tons of fishing related events on the forefront! This weekend, take the kids on a road trip to Charlotte Harbor for Mom and Tot aquatic adventures, or the sandsculpting festival in Fort Myers.
As weather cools, Florida manatees move to warmer waters
- Now that the weather outside is chilly, Florida manatees are migrating to warmer waters. They swim in search of a warm winter refuge such as freshwater springs or canals adjacent to power plant outflows.
- With many of the seasonal manatee protection zones going into effect on Nov. 15, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) cautions boaters to be vigilant about slowing down and watching out for manatees. In Broward County, some slow speed zones formerly active only on weekends are now in effect every day during the cold season. November is designated as Manatee Awareness Month because of this seasonal migration.
Weekend closures begin Nov. 17 for Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster harvesters
- When the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) finds that resources on monitored oyster bars cannot sustain a harvest of 300 bags of oysters per acre, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) regulations provide for the automatic weekend closure of the oyster harvest in Apalachicola Bay from Nov. 16 through May 31 each year.
- Apalachicola Bay includes all waters within St. George Sound, East Bay, Apalachicola Bay, St. Vincent Sound in Franklin County and Indian Lagoon in Gulf County. This change does not apply to active oyster leases or recreational harvest.
- The automatic closure was put in place in the mid-1980s after several hurricanes negatively impacted the bay. The closure, which acts as a method to limit harvest and give oysters time to recover from low population numbers, was successful in returning the oyster population to a sustainable harvest level.
Becoming commercial fishermen to get easier for Florida vets
- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will be honoring Florida’s heroes on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, by implementing changes to commercial licensing requirements. The changes will make it easier for Florida veterans and veterans with disabilities to enter the commercial fishing industry.
- Governor Rick Scott said, “We have a tremendous opportunity not only to give thanks to the men and women that served our nation so courageously, but also to provide them with more support so they can pursue careers in fishing here in Florida. This initiative will expand job opportunities for our veterans and get more folks involved in the commercial fishing industry, which is a win-win for Florida.”
- The Commission adopted the changes at its September meeting and made a formal announcement of the changes in a media event on Nov. 9.
- “I am excited to be extending this opportunity to the men and women who so bravely served our country,” said Commissioner Charles W. Roberts III. “Job creation and Florida’s economy are priorities for everyone, including the FWC. Our hope is that more of Florida’s veterans and veterans with disabilities, especially those who have recently returned from active duty, will be able to partake in the commercial seafood industry and benefit from this opportunity.”
- The changes will modify income requirements for many of Florida veterans seeking a commercial restricted species endorsement, which allows commercial harvesters to fish for and sell species that are
Swamp Heritage Festival Dec 1
- The Swamp Heritage Festival scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center (33000 E. Tamiami Trail Ochopee) shines a spotlight on the inhabitants of south Florida, whose rugged strength and pioneering spirit contributed to the shaping of today’s unique and diverse culture. Through living history demonstrations, informative presentations and exhibits, everyone can learn what daily life what like in such a remote, and at times, inhospitable place. These unique chapters in American history add to the wide and colorful tableau that comprises our shared past and present. Free admission; call 239-695-4758 for more information.
High pressure will settle across the Gulf and then move eastward through Saturday. On Sunday the next cold front will move south through the waters.
North winds around 15 knots diminishing to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a moderate chop. Thursday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
North winds around 10 knots...becoming northwest during the afternoon. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Friday night will bring northwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Northwest winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Saturday night will bring north winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop.
Northeast winds around 10 knots. Bay and inland waters a light chop. Sunday night will bring northeast winds around 10 knots then becoming east after midnight. Bay and inland waters a light chop.