FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Aaron Keller
Commissioner Adam Putnam Announces Saltwater Fishing Trip for Florida’s Wounded Veterans
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – More than 1.5 million veterans call Florida home, and Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam is honoring veterans who were wounded during service through Operation Outdoor Freedom. This program provides unique recreational opportunities throughout Florida to wounded veterans. Wounded veterans can register online nowfor a fishing trip on near Pine Island, Florida. Space is limited and registration closes on .
“While we can never repay our wounded veterans who have selflessly served and sacrificed in order to protect our freedom, we can help honor them by providing recreational opportunities to enjoy Florida’s great outdoors,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Since the program’s creation in 2011, Operation Outdoor Freedom has hosted numerous events on Florida’s state forests, private ranches, timber lands and waterways. In total, more than 1,500 wounded veterans have participated in outdoor activities like guided alligator hunts, deer and hog hunts; quail and turkey hunts; freshwater fishing and canoeing. For some of the wounded veterans who participated, it was the first opportunity to get outdoors since returning home from duty.
Participants must have a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or greater from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or be a Purple Heart recipient.
Areas of Florida State Forests dedicated to this effort are fully equipped to accommodate the needs of wounded veterans, providing a unique opportunity for recreation and rehabilitation. All funding for the hunts is generated through private donations. Veterans participate at no charge. For more information on Operation Outdoor Freedom, go to OperationOutdoorFreedom.com.
For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visitFreshFromFlorida.com.
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Division of Law Enforcement
April 17, 2015 thru April 23, 2015
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week;
however, it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
Officers Price, Brady, and N. Basford worked a detail targeting commercial personal watercraft vendors on Panama City Beach. One vendor did not have the required insurance and required signage posted. A citation was issued for the insurance violation and a written warning given for the signage.
As Officer Price pulled over to check a fisherman in a canoe, the fisher said, “I don’t know if this fish is legal, I don’t have a measuring device.” In the bottom of the canoe was a 33 inch redfish and in a cooler a 30 inch redfish was found. Citations were issued for the oversized fish.
Officer Manning investigated and found a local seafood restaurant was acquiring cobia for the menu without having the proper licensing. The person supplying the fish did not have a commercial license and the restaurant did not have a wholesale license. Officer Manning issued a criminal citation for the violations.
Officer Kinney concluded an investigation of armed trespass and theft that occurred in January. The initial complaint was filed for someone trespassing onto private property, killing two hogs in a trap, taking them, and stealing an SD card from a game camera. The case went cold, but with the location of a witness, Officer Kinney was able to gain information that resulted in warrants being filed and a suspect being arrested for armed trespass and two counts of theft.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Jones conducted a fishery inspection of a vehicle as the occupants prepared to leave after fishing at the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier. The inspection revealed three persons in possession of seven king mackerel. The bag limit is two fish per person per day. Officer Jones issued a citation for possession of over the bag limit.
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For immediate release:
Contact: Tony Young, 850-488-7867
Apply now for alligator hunt permits
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is now accepting applications for a chance to participate in this year’s recreational alligator hunting season.
For the Phase I random drawing, applications will be accepted through . Approximately 5,700 alligator harvest permits will be available.
During Phase I, each person can submit one no-cost application with choices of up to 20 hunt areas and periods. To apply, a person must be at least 18 years of age by . A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area. Only one application per person will be accepted.
Hunters can submit applications at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing licenses) and at License.MyFWC.com.
The drawing will be held shortly after the end of the application period, and results can be checked by logging in to License.MyFWC.com. Successful applicants must pay for their permit at the locations listed above or online by the end of , or the permit will be made available to others for Phase II.
Any permits remaining after will be offered during the Phase II random drawing. Applications for Phase II will be accepted beginning . Those who were awarded a permit during Phase I may not apply during Phase II, even if the awarded permit was not purchased. Applicants in Phase II are limited to one permit.
Successful applicants must submit payment for an alligator trapping license and two alligator harvest tags, or provide proof of a valid alligator trapping license (must be valid through ) and pay the fee for two harvest tags. No other hunting licenses are required.
The cost for the resident alligator trapping license and accompanying alligator harvest tags is $271.50, and nonresidents pay $1,021.50. The cost for each additional alligator hunting permit is $61.50, regardless of residency. All fees are nonrefundable, and tags and permits are nontransferable.
An alligator trapping agent license is also available for $51.50, which allows the license holder to assist permitted trappers in taking alligators.
The alligator hunting season will run 11 consecutive weeks from .
To educate participants on the how-to’s and rules and regulations of the hunts, the FWC offers free training and orientation sessions, which are held at various locations throughout the state. Permit recipients are not required to attend, but the FWC strongly encourages first-time participants to go. These courses will be offered in July and August, and permit holders will be mailed permit packages with listing dates and locations.
For more information about these alligator hunts, visit MyFWC.com/Alligator.