Friday, December 14, 2018

FWC Commission red snapper fishery update

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Media statement: FWC Commission red snapper fishery update
red snapper
At its December meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff to proceed with a proposal that would set the popular and economically important 2019 Gulf red snapper recreational season.

Under the current draft proposal, the Gulf season would be open June 11 through July 12, with a possible fall reopening if quota is available. This season would apply to those fishing from private recreational vessels in state and federal waters and to charter vessels that do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to fishing in state waters only. Staff will report back to the Commission at the February meeting for final review and approval of the 2019 Gulf red snapper recreational season.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

1 killed, 3 critically injured in accident at Cape San Blas

A 29 year old woman was killed and three other people were critically injured in a single vehicle accident on Cape San Blas Road early Thursday morning.

Chelsea Moore of Keithville, Louisiana died after the 2007 Buick Lacrosse in which she was a passenger went out of control and overturned into a pile of storm debris.

The Highway patrol said the Buick was heading south on Cape San Blas Road and was in the area of stump hole when the vehicle went off the roadway onto the sandy shoulder.

The driver over-corrected, putting the vehicle into a spin.

The car then overturned and collided with a pile of roadway debris.

Moore and another passenger, 28 year old Steven McCarty of Shreveport, Louisiana were thrown from the car.

Moore was pronounced dead at the scene; McCarty was airlifted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.

The driver, Koby Logan of Shreveport, and a 4th passenger, Jade Logan of Keithville, Louisiana were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital on The Gulf in Port St. Joe with critical injuries.

The highway patrol said the accident was not alcohol related though charges are pending the results of the investigation.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has approved draft changes for Shore-based Shark Fishing rules in Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has approved draft changes for Shore-based Shark Fishing rules in Florida.

Shark fishing from shore has raised some concerns because it attracts sharks to feed in areas that often have low visibility and are sometimes where people swim and surf.

There have been calls to restrict or ban shark fishing from beaches, piers and bridges, but the state won't go that far.

The draft rules include creating a mandatory, no-cost, annual shore-based shark fishing permit, prohibiting chumming when fishing for any species from the beach and prohibiting delaying the release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore.

Its hoped the changes will increase survival of released sharks, improve information gathering of the fishery and address some of the public safety concerns related to the fishery.

The commission will consider a final rule at their meeting in February.


Nearly a half a million dollars in U.S. currency and more than 34,000 oxycodone pills were discovered following a traffic stop near Wewahitchka on Wednesday.

Just before midnight Wednesday Gulf County Sheriff’s Deputies were running radar along Brian Setterich Road when a motorist in a blue Kia van passed the deputies driving 40 miles per hour in the posted 25 mile an hour zone.

In addition to the speed, the van also had a brake light out on the driver’s side.

Deputies attempted a traffic stop, but the van turned sped away on Highway 71 where it eventually drove onto the shoulder.

Once on the shoulder the driver opened the door of the van, jumped from the vehicle and ran into the

A foot pursuit ensued and deputies were able to detain the suspect.

When deputies approached the vehicle to look for some form of identification they noticed the smell of marijuana.

A search was conducted which led to over 470 thousand dollars in cash, neary 34 thousand oxycodone pills, almost 8 ounces of black tar heroin, 25 grams of crack cocaine, 21 grams of powdered cocaine, powdered cocaine weighing 20.8 grams and a fully loaded 9mm handgun with additional ammunition located beside the driver’s seat.

The approximate street value of all the illegal substances confiscated during this incident is $540,000.

The suspect, identified as 29 year old Storm Cinque Sims of Callaway was charged with possession
of a cocaine with intent to sell, trafficking in oxycodone, possession of heroin, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing and eluding, and driving with a suspended license.

Sims was transported and booked into the Gulf County jail where he is being held on a

$374,000 bond.

Volunteers Needed to Help with the 2019 Point in Time Count Homelessness Count MAKE EVERYONE COUNT

Each year, for over 18 years, the Big Bend area has conducted the annual Point in Time Count. This year, community leaders, agencies, advocates, and volunteers throughout the Big Bend are needed to partner with the Big Bend Continuum of Care to conduct this annual count across Leon, Gadsden, Wakulla, Taylor, Franklin, Jefferson, Liberty, and Madison counties. Data collected during the Point in Time count, mandated by HUD, helps the community understand the scope of homelessness and adopt data driven strategies to eradicate homelessness. Volunteers will hit the streets on the last week in January to interview residents experiencing homelessness. Volunteers are needed to serve as county leads, surveyors, headquarter assistants, and contributors.

There is a great need for donations. A $5 gift card (fast food or grocery) is given to survey participants along with personal hygiene items, knit gloves and hats, socks, and non-perishable snack items. Financial donations and/or in-kind donations of meals, snacks, and sodas, water and coffee are needed for our volunteers. Over 100 volunteers are expected to participate in the 2019 Point in Time count. Donations can be dropped off M-F from 9 am- 4 pm at the Big Bend CoC Office located at 2507 Callaway Rd. #102, Tallahassee, FL 32303.

Online volunteer registration is available at: Volunteers must be registered by 1/18/19, at noon.

For more information, please contact Johnna Coleman at 850-631-1647 or

The US Small Business Administration has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in Florida

 The US Small Business Administration has extended the deadline to apply for physical disaster damages in Florida.

The deadline is now Monday, December the 17th.

SBA can make loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profits affected by the storm.

In order to get an SBA loan you first have to register with FEMA and then you will be referred to the SBA.

Homeowners are eligible for loans up to 200 thousand dollars at interest rates as low as 2 percent while renters are eligible for 40 thousand dollar loans for damage to personal property like cars and furniture.

Businesses are eligible for loans of up to 2 million dollars for physical damage as well as 2 million dollars for economic damage from loss of income – those loans are at 3.7 percent.

Non-profit groups like churches can also borrow up to 2 million dollars at 2.5 percent.

If you would like to meet with someone from the SBA to find out more about the loans, there are representatives at the Gulf/Franklin Center in Port St. Joe.

The center is open from 9 am till 6 pm Monday through Saturday.

Franklin County is asking for the public's help in cracking down on unlicensed contractors working in the county

 Franklin County is asking for the public's help in cracking down on unlicensed contractors working in the county.

County administrator Michael Moron said that the county since Hurricane Michael the county has received a number of complaints of unlicensed contractor activity, but there is likely much more that is going unreported.

The County's building official has been traveling through some of the hardest hit areas of the county and has issued stop work orders when he finds non-permitted work going on.

Unfortunately he can't cover the whole county by himself and the county can't afford more inspectors, so they are asking for the public to help.

Reporting this activity is as simple as contacting the County’s Planning, Building, and Zoning office.

You can do that by calling 653-9783.

You can also go to the county's website at and use the “Report A Concern” link on the site.

Any reports that are made will be investigated by the county building official.

Florida DEP permit activity for Wakulla County

DEP Logo
Florida Department of
Environmental Protection

Bob Martinez Center
2600 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2400
Rick Scott

Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Lt. Governor

Noah Valenstein

Permitting Application Subscription Service

Subscriber email address:

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - ERP Modifications
Location Id: 297682
County: Wakulla
Application Number: 297682-007

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – December 12, 2018

NOAA Fish News
December 12, 2018


Bocaccio narrow
West Coast Groundfish Resurgence Brings New Fishing OpportunitiesThe successful rebuilding of several West Coast groundfish stocks that declined precipitously nearly three decades ago is now opening the way for increasing recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. NOAA Fisheries published a new rule this week that increases catch limits and eases fishing restrictions for many West Coast groundfish.

Atlantic HMS Tournament
New Requirement for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species TournamentsBeginning January 1, all Atlantic HMS tournaments will be required to submit catch summaries. HMS tournaments target swordfish, billfish, sharks, and/or tunas.

U.S.-Japan Bilateral
U.S.-Japan Bilateral Meeting Focuses on AquacultureSince 1971, NOAA Fisheries and the Japanese Fisheries Research and Education Agency have collaborated through the U.S.–Japan Natural Resources Aquaculture Panel. Using an annual meeting framework, the Panel allows scientists to share research results, new technology, and approaches to sustainable seafood farming.

Deep Sea Corals
Learn about Deep Sea Corals Through Story Maps
Most people are surprised to learn that deep sea corals exist, let alone that they inhabit the waters of every U.S. region. As NOAA continues to use emerging technologies to explore the deep ocean, scientists are discovering new coral colonies and species. View this collection of story maps to learn more about deep sea corals.

Restoration Story Map
$34.3 Million for NOAA Restoration Efforts in 2018
U.S. coastal and marine environments are a shared public resource. Damage assessment settlements aim to compensate the public for impacts to their natural resources. Working with industry, co-trustees, scientists, lawyers, economists, and communities, NOAA uses settlement funds to restore the environment after pollution. In 2018, $34.3 million went to restoration efforts.

Nancy Foster Habitat Award
Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award Winners
NOAA announced the 2018 winners of the prestigious NOAA Fisheries 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award. The awardees are Dr. Brandt Hennigsen, an environmental scientist and conservation leader focused on restoring Florida’s Tampa Bay, and Terry Williams, a tribal advocate and habitat conservation leader for Washington’s Puget Sound.

National Wetlands Award
Last Call for National Wetlands Award Nominations
Do you know someone deserving of special recognition for outstanding work toward the conservation and restoration of our wetlands? NOAA and our partners seek nominations for the 30th Annual National Wetlands Award through this Friday, December 14.

Hurricane Florence damage 2
Fishery Disaster Determinations for North CarolinaSecretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross determined under the Magnuson-Stevens Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act that a commercial fishery failure occurred in North Carolina due to a fishery resource disaster resulting from impacts of Hurricane Florence in September 2018. The determination will allow Congress to appropriate fishery disaster assistance to North Carolina. NOAA Fisheries looks forward to supporting recovery efforts.

West Coast

Idaho Steelhead Plan – Extended Comment Period
NOAA Fisheries will provide additional time for public comments on a state fishery management plan for Snake River steelhead in Idaho. Comments will still be accepted through tomorrow, December 13. The re-opened comment period will not delay a federal review of the fishery.

Pacific Islands

Vaccinating Hawaiian monk seal
Ten Ways We Can Help Monk Seals
NOAA Fisheries staff work hard to prevent and reduce threats to highly endangered Hawaiian monk seals. In fact, medical and rescue interventions have saved the lives of about one-third of the current Hawaiian monk seal population. Read examples of ways in which we help monk seals.


Ship Grounded on STX Reef
How NOAA Supports Post-Storm Coral Restoration
In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria grounded more than 1,000 ships on coral reefs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NOAA’s Restoration Center, with support from many federal, territorial, and nongovernmental partners, is working to re-attach or transplant broken pieces of coral or to bring them to nurseries for propagation.

Louisiana restoration plan pelicans
Draft Restoration Plan for Louisiana’s Queen Bess Island – Open for Public Comment
The Louisiana Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment released a Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan for restoring Louisiana’s Queen Bess Island. A public meeting about the draft plan will be held on January 3, and comments are due January 22.

Greater Atlantic

Chesapeake B-WET Grants
2019 Chesapeake B-WET Grant OpportunityNOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office released the details of the FY 2019 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program funding opportunity. Up to about $700,000 may be available to fund projects. Proposals are due February 20.

North Atlantic right whale
Watch Out for Whales Around Cape CodNOAA Fisheries established a voluntary vessel speed restriction zone to protect a group of six right whales sighted in Cape Cod Bay on December 11. This zone is in effect through December 26.


December 13
Last day of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.
December 13
ree Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshop in Ronkonkoma, New York.
December 13
Information sessions on the South Atlantic for-hire electronic reporting programin Manteo, North Carolina, and via webinar.
December 13
(Rescheduled) Public webinar on Florida’s Draft Restoration Plan I for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment.
December 17
Western Pacific Fishery Management Council interim meeting conducted by teleconference, 12–2 pm HST.
December 17–January 14
Three public hearings on a proposed chub mackerel amendment, hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
December 18 - January 17
Three informational webinars on federal for-hire electronic reporting in the South Atlantic, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
January 3
Public meeting on the Louisiana Trustees’ Draft Phase 2 Restoration Plan for Queen Bess Island.
January 7–17
Ten public hearings and one webinar on Draft Amendment 50: State Management of Recreational Red Snapper, hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.
January 10
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Boutte, Louisiana.
January 10 and 15
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in New Hampshire and Florida.


December 14
Nominations due for the 30thAnnual National Wetlands Awards.
January 14
Pre-proposals due for 2019 Community-Based Restoration Program funding.
February 4
Proposals due for 2019 Great Lakes Habitat Restoration Regional Partnership Grants.
February 20
Proposals due for 2019 Chesapeake Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grants.

Federal Register Actions

Visit for a list of only those actions open for public comment. Scroll search for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For a list of all daily actions, check the Federal Register online.

Corrections or technical questions should be sent to the FishNews Editor at