Monday, November 30, 2015

Today is the last day of hurricane season

Today is the last official day of the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season, and Florida made it through another year without taking a direct hit.
In fact this was the 10th year in a row that Florida made it without a hurricane making landfall.
This is the longest stretch Florida has gone without a hurricane – the previous record was between 1980 and 1984.
The last hurricane to make landfall in Florida was Wilma on October 24th, 2005.
Since that time, the state has been hit by eight tropical storms.
This was a relatively slow season with 11 named storms and four hurricanes two of which were Category 3 or stronger.

An average season includes 12 named tropical storms and over 6 hurricanes.

FWC's Fishing in the Know

December 2015


FWC's Fishing in the Know

Division of Marine Fisheries Management Monthly Newsletter

spotted seatrout
Lily Naylor caught this spotted seatrout off Port St. Joe. Her brother, Peyton, helps celebrate.
Submit your photos by emailing them

Commission Meeting – Panama City

Action: Marine Fisheries items discussed Nov. 18-19
Information:  The FWC Commission discussed several marine fisheries management items Nov. 18-19 at its meeting in Panama City including:
Regulatory action:
  • Greater amberjack – Gulf: Closed recreational season Nov. 21 through Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Gray triggerfish – Atlantic: Effective Nov. 21, size limit changed from 14” fork length to 12” fork length and a recreational bag limit set to 10 fish per person per day.
Draft rules on:
  • Dwarf seahorse (coming back in February for a final public hearing): Creating additional conservation measures including:
  • changing the recreational bag limit to 5 seahorses total, no matter the species;
  • establishing a commercial trip limit of 200 dwarf seahorses;
  • establishing a commercial quota of 25,000 dwarf seahorses per year; and
  • prohibiting harvest north of Anclote Key State Park Lighthouse on the Gulf coast and north of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on the Atlantic coast.
Discussions on:
  • Federal fishery management updates
  • Innovations in Marine Fisheries Management – An update on a survey and workshops held over the summer to gather public input on marine fisheries management.
  • Red snapper regional management – Potential Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council action to manage certain aspects of the recreational red snapper fishery on a regional (potentially state-by-state) basis.
  • Mutton snapper - Staff presented a summary of stakeholder concerns about mutton snapper regulations and potential management changes for the recreational and commercial mutton snapper fisheries for Commission discussion. Workshops will be  held in February 2016.
Links for more information:
News Releases []
Agenda []


Action: Gulf season closes Dec. 1; Atlantic closes Dec. 15
Information: The recreational harvest season for snook closes:
  • Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and will remain closed through Feb. 29, 2016, reopening to harvest March 1, 2016.
  • Dec. 15 in Atlantic state and federal waters including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River and will remain closed through Jan. 31, 2016, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2016.Snook can continue to be caught and released during the closed season.

Links for more information:
Snook []

Snook Symposium

Action: Save the Date
Information: Join us for a day-long public discussion about snook management and research in Florida, including the results of the soon-to-be-released 2015 stock assessment, population recovery following the 2010 cold kill, and opportunities for improving snook management. More information to come. Registration opening soon. Check the website regularly.

Gag Grouper

Action: Gulf seasonal closures
Information: Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.
State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1-through-Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded from the July 1-through-Dec. 3season because it is included in the Atlantic rules for gag grouper.
Links for more information:
Gulf Grouper []


  • Commission Meeting
  • Snook – Gulf and Atlantic
  • Snook Symposium
  • Gag – Gulf



State waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf and from shore to 3 nautical miles in the Atlantic.  
Dec. 1 –
Dec. 4 –
Dec. 15 –
Jan. 1 –
Jan. 16-25 –

Rosemary White celebrates the season with snook fishing!



 Get the Marine Fisheries Monthly via email at by clicking on “Sign up for updates ”



~Learn the science behind using a living shoreline vs. a harden shoreline ~

APALACHICOLA – The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) will host a workshop on Living Shorelines on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015, 2:00-4:30 pm. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the Northwest Florida Aquatic Preserves Office in Pensacola. Zach Schang, the Living Shoreline Program Manager will talk about living shorelines vs. harden shorelines. He will discuss how to evaluate a shoreline by considering the physical factors such as wave energy, prevailing wind and wave direction, vegetation, and soil type. He will also present living shoreline methods, materials, permitting, and share success stories of local living shorelines. We will also look at types of plants to plant and visit a local living shoreline.

Coastal erosion is a natural process. It is caused by currents, wave action, wind, storms and even boat wakes. The traditional use of harden methods like seawalls and rip rap can often increase coastal erosion in neighboring properties and remove the ability of the shoreline to carry out natural processes. Alternatively, living shorelines use plants, sand, and limited use of oyster shells or rock to provide shoreline protection and maintain valuable habitat that stabilizes the shoreline, protects the surrounding riparian and intertidal environment, increases water quality via filtration of upland run-off, and creates habitat for aquatic and terrestrial species.
The lecture is free and registration is suggested. For more information please contact Anita Grove at 850-670-7708 or
WHAT:    Living Shorelines
WHEN:    Wednesday, December 9th
                  2:00-4:00 pm
WHERE:   108 Island Drive
                       Eastpoint, Florida 32328
       *For this class please park on the east side of the building off Millender Street

Gag grouper recreational harvest closes in most Gulf waters in early December

Gag grouper will close for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state waters Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. All Gulf federal waters will close Dec. 3, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 2.
State waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties were open from April 1 through June 30 and were not open during the July 1 through Dec. 3 season. Monroe County is also excluded from the July 1 through Dec. 3 season because it follows Atlantic rules for gag grouper.
The FWC manages marine fish from the shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
To learn more, visit and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Gulf Grouper.”

Franklin County Commission meets tomorrow

                The Franklin County commission meets Tuesday morning in Apalachicola.
The Commission has a relatively full agenda this week that includes a resolution of recognition presentation for Robert Rickards.
The county will also open proposals from companies interested in providing geographic information system mapping in Franklin County and the county will hold a public hearing to adopt a schedule for local capital improvement projects.
County commissioners will also hear updates from the Eastpoint medical center, Weems Memorial Hospital and the airport in Apalachicola.
You can see the full agenda posted on-line at and on the Oyster Radio facebook page.

The meeting is open to the public – it begins at 9 AM at the Franklin County courthouse Annex in Apalachicola.


Sheriff Mike Harrison announces the arrest of Kenneth N. Rogers (45). Rogers was arrested after the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) received a call regarding a residential alarm in the 1000 block of Cape San Blas Road. 

Deputy G. Desrosier responded to the location at 11:43am on Saturday, November 28th. Once on scene, the residential alarm continued to sound and damaged to a portion of the porch roof was found. As Deputy Desrosier approached the residence, he observed Rogers inside the home plundering through the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator. Deputy M. Layfield arrived to back up Deputy Desrosier and Rogers was subsequently arrested.

During the investigation, deputies found the drawers and medicine cabinet rummaged through in a bathroom. Deputies developed probable cause to believe Rogers armed himself with a kitchen knife during the burglary. Damage to a portion of the floor and ceiling of the home was located, which was the result of Rogers accidently locking himself in a room and unable to get out. At the time of his arrest he appeared to be preparing to shower.

Rogers was charged with Burglary of a Structure while Armed and Criminal Mischief. He was transported to the Gulf County Detention Facility where he is currently held on a $16,000 bond.

Only minor injuries after truck overturns in Eastpoint

An Apalachicola man received minor injuries after a truck he was driving overturned in Eastpoint just east of Highway 65.
19 year old Lloyd Smith was treated at Weems Memorial Hospital after the truck overturned just after 2 o’clock Saturday afternoon.
According to the Highway Patrol, Smith was heading west in commercial truck, a 2006 Chevrolet Model C8500.
The truck was all over the road before overturning – first on the north shoulder of Highway 98, then in the eastbound lane for nearly 130 feet.
The truck then crossed back into the westbound lane and then back into the eastbound lane.
The truck then drove on the south shoulder of Highway 98 before turning clockwise and overturning onto its left side.
It slid for over 125 feet before coming to final rest in the eastbound lane of Highway 98 facing north.
The Highway patrol said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Smith was charged with operating a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license, and careless driving.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Snook harvest seasonal closure in Gulf starts Dec. 1

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.)
For immediate release: Nov. 25, 2015Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

Snook harvest seasonal closure in Gulf starts Dec. 1
The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and will remain closed through Feb. 29, 2016, reopening to harvest March 1, 2016. Snook can continue to be caught and released during the closed season.
This and other regular season closures are designed to help conserve the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather. Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, will close Dec. 15 this year through Jan. 31, 2016, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2016.
Visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing” and “Recreational Regulations” for more information on snook.
Interested in snook research and management? Attend the 2016 Snook Symposium Jan. 13 in Orlando. Learn more about how to register at

Friday, November 27, 2015

Carrabelle Area Chamber of Commerce November 27th E-Newsletter

Find out what your Christmas lights will cost you this year

If you want to know what your Christmas lights are going to cost you in electricity before you hang them, Duke Energy might be able to help with an on-line lighting energy calculator.  
If you go to Duke energy’s website, they have a calculator where you can identify the type of lights you’re using, the number of 100-bulb strands and how many hours the lights will be used per day to estimate the energy cost per day and per month.
The site also offers energy-then efficient tips and options.
For example, six 100-bulb sets of large, incandescent bulbs plugged in six hours every evening can add as much as $80 to a monthly power bill but if you use LED bulbs your power bill only goes up by about $7.
Using mini-LED bulbs would increase a monthly power bill by only $1.

You can see the energy calculator at

Commercial fishing or king mackerel closes at noon on Saturday

NOAA Fisheries will close the Florida west coast northern subzone of the Gulf of Mexico to commercial fishing for king mackerel beginning at noon on Saturday.

The area is located in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico east of the Alabama/Florida state line to the Lee/Collier County line.

Officials say the closure is necessary because the commercial quota of 179 thousand pounds will be reached by then.

Florida is expected to close adjoining state waters at the same time.

The closure will remain in effect until the end of the fishing year, which is June 30th, 2016.

Saturday is a saltwater license-free fishing day in Florida

            You won’t need a license to go saltwater fishing on Saturday. 

November the 28th is a saltwater license-free fishing day in Florida.

That means residents and visitors can experience Florida’s saltwater fishing opportunities first hand without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license. 

All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions still apply.

The license free fishing day is part of the eight total license-free fishing days the state offers each year.

Liberty County Correctional Officer accused of accepting payments to smuggle cigarettes

A Liberty County corrections officer is accused of accepting illegal payoffs and smuggling cigarettes into the state prison in Bristol.
Rashad Ford was arrested on Wednesday by the Florida Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General.
He was charged with introduction of contraband into a state correctional institution and five counts of unlawful compensation by a public official.
According to an arrest affidavit, Ford was wired money through Western Union at least 5 times to smuggle cigarettes into the facility.

The name of who sent the money and the amounts that were sent were not released.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"The Pianist" coming to Camp Gordon Johnston

Gulf Council to convene Mackerel Advisory Panel

Meeting Notice
November 10, 2015  
Gulf Council to Convene its Coastal Migratory Pelagics Advisory Panel
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will hold a meeting of its Coastal Migratory Pelagics Advisory Panel, Monday, November 30, 2015. The meeting is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be held at the Hilton Tampa Airport Westshore Hotel, 2225 N. Lois Avenue, in Tampa, Florida.  
The Advisory Panel is scheduled to review a public hearing draft of Mackerel Amendment 26, which considers Gulf and Atlantic king mackerel reallocation, the stock boundary, and sale provisions. The Panel will develop recommendations for the Council to consider during its January meeting.

Under "Other Business" the Advisory Panel will review Modifications to Electronic Seafood Dealer Reporting.

The meeting is open to the public and meeting materials will be posted on the Council's file server - You can also access the file server by visiting the Council's website and clicking on the File Server link in the quick links box on the lower left.  The username and password are both "gulfguest".  Click on "Library Folder", then "Mackerel AP Meeting -November 30 ,2015."
The meeting will be broadcast live over the internet. To register, visit
About the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is one of eight regional Fishery Management Councils established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The Council prepares fishery management plans, which are designed to manage fishery resources within the 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.
Submit comments and stay updated on fishery issues:
Check it out! Go to and click on the thermometer in the middle of the page. From there you can read up on all the pending actions, watch the video presentations, read comments, and submit your own. All comments submitted through the online form are automatically posted on our web site for Council review. Other comments are manually posted every couple of days. 

There is also a thermometer for each issue that lets you know where the Council is in the process for that particular amendment, whether it's the scoping phase, final action, or implementation.
You can also find information on our Facebook page, blog, and YouTube channel.
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