Sunday, November 23, 2014

NOAA Fisheries Approves Final Rule to Modify Catch Limits for Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic

header
  
Below is a Southeast Fishery Bulletin recently distributed from NOAA Fisheries Service. To see the complete list of Fishery Bulletins visit the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishery_bulletins/index.html

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN 
(Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic)
   
FB14-088      
Karla Gore, or Karla.Gore@noaa.gov
727/824-5305, FAX 727/824-5308 
       
November 20, 2014         


NOAA Fisheries Approves Final Rule to Modify Catch Limits for Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico and 
South Atlantic
  
NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to implement Framework Amendment 1 to the Fishery Management Plan for Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Region. The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014 (79 FR 44369) and the comment period ended on September 2, 2014. The final rule for Framework Amendment 1 published in the Federal Register (79 FR 69058) on November 20, 2014, and will be effective on December 22, 2014.

Recent stock assessments for Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic migratory groups of Spanish mackerel indicate the stocks are healthy. A review of the assessments by the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council's Scientific and Statistical Committees indicate catch levels can be modified.

The final rule increases the combined commercial and recreational catch limit for Spanish mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico from 5.15 million pounds to 12.7 million pounds in 2014-2015, and then to 11.8 million pounds in 2015-2016, and 11.3 million pounds in 2016-2017 and subsequent years.


In the South Atlantic, the rule increases the catch limit for Spanish mackerel from 5.69 million pounds to 6.063 million pounds; with 3.330 million pounds (55%) allocated to the commercial sector and 2.727 million pounds (45%) allocated to the recreational sector.

Addresses
Framework Amendment 1 may be obtained from:
More Information
For more information on Framework Amendment 1, please click on this link to the Frequently Asked Questions found at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_sa/cmp/2014/framework_am1/index.html.
About 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.

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Public Information Officer


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NOAA Seeks Comments on a Proposed Rule to Add Red Snapper Recreational Accountability Measures


header
  
Below is a Southeast Fishery Bulletin recently distributed from NOAA Fisheries Service. To see the complete list of Fishery Bulletins visit the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishery_bulletins/index.html

SOUTHEAST FISHERY BULLETIN 
(Gulf of Mexico)
 
FB14-089
Peter Hood
727-824-5305      

November 21, 2014     
  
NOAA Seeks Comments on a Proposed Rule to Add Red Snapper Recreational Accountability Measures

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would add long-term recreational accountability measures for red snapper. Accountability measures are measures taken to prevent the harvest from exceeding the quota.

The proposed rule published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2014, with the comment period ending December 22, 2014.

The proposed rule would establish two accountability measures to either mitigate or correct for an annual harvest overage. The first accountability measure would establish a recreational annual catch target. The annual catch target would be 20 percent less than the recreational quota. Projected recreational seasons would be based on the annual catch target rather than the quota. This measure is expected to reduce the probability of exceeding the quota in any given year from 50 percent to 15 percent.

The second accountability measure would be an overage adjustment to apply as long as the population is considered overfished (population is too low). In the event the recreational quota is exceeded, the recreational quota would be reduced in the year following the overage by the amount of the overage. This quota reduction could be modified if the best scientific information available determines that a greater, lesser, or no overage adjustment is necessary. Under this measure, the recreational annual catch target would be set at 20 percent below the adjusted quota.

Similar recreational red snapper accountability measures were put in place for the 2014 recreational red snapper season through an emergency rule following the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Guindon v. Pritzker, (Mar. 26, 2014). The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) requested NOAA Fisheries implement the emergency rule to address the court decision and set the recreational red snapper annual catch target at 20 percent less than the recreational quota. By using the annual catch target rather than the quota to project the season length, the probability of exceeding the quota was reduced.

However, the emergency rule only applied to the 2014 fishing season and does not address the long-term need for further accountability measures identified by the Court. Therefore, the Council requested NOAA Fisheries, through a framework action, to implement a long-term accountability measures and is the basis for this proposed rule.

Request for Comments
NOAA Fisheries must receive comments on this proposed rule no later than December 22, 2014. We will address all comments specifically directed to the framework action or the proposed rule in the final rule. You may obtain electronic copies of the proposed rule and the amendment from the NOAA Fisheries Web site:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2014/rs_am_framework/index.html or the e-Rulemaking Portal: www.regulation.gov.

How to Submit Comments
You may submit comments on this document, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0120, by any of the following methods:

Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0120, click the "Comment Now!" icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

Mail: Submit written comments to Peter Hood, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.


Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NOAA Fisheries. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing onwww.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NOAA Fisheries will accept anonymous comments (enter "N/A" in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
About 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.

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Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
Public Information Officer


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SENATOR MONTFORD RECOGNIZED BY FLORIDA LIBRARIES






TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Library Association presented Senator Montford with the legislative award for 2014, recognizing and thanking him for his outstanding support. Senator Bill Montford has been a longtime supporter of libraries.



This year with the help of his colleagues in the Senate, aid to public libraries was increased by $5 million dollars. Franklin County received an increase of $17,625 for their local libraries. Senator Montford was instrumental in ensuring this money was awarded and said, “This money will be vital in supporting the efforts of libraries to increase technology infrastructure and offer services to the communities that rely on them.”



Senator Bill Montford often experienced the support libraries provide in his years as a high school Principal and Superintendent of Schools. This translated into his service as State Senator. “I know firsthand that families and students rely on the public library for a place to learn, study and grow. Rural areas benefit especially from access to a library and I am proud to support their continued efforts” said Senator Montford.







Senator Bill Montford



Senator Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) represents the Florida Senate’s third district, which includes the following counties: Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla. Senator Montford was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and served as Minority Whip in 2010 and Democratic Policy Chair in 2012. He serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Vice Chair of the K-20 Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and Vice Chair of the K-20 Education Committee.


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FWC looks to increase hunting opportunity, from a new WMA to expanded turkey-hunting hours

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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FWC looks to increase hunting opportunity, from a new WMA to expanded turkey-hunting hours

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at its meeting Nov. 21 in Key Largo, advanced rule-amendment proposals increasing hunting opportunities by directing staff to advertise them in the Florida Administrative Register. These proposals will then be considered for final adoption and voted on at the Commission’s February meeting in Jacksonville. If passed, they would take effect during next (2015-2016) hunting season.
One proposal would establish a new public hunting area in northwest Florida called Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The 4,017-acre tract in Santa Rosa County would offer archery, general gun, muzzleloading gun and spring turkey hunts by quota permit, and a walk-in small-game hunting season.
Another proposal would extend shooting hours during spring turkey season on 16 public hunting areas. Those areas are Box-R, Joe Budd and L. Kirk Edwards in the FWC’s Northwest Region; Andrews and Big Bend’s Snipe Island Unit in the North Central Region; Caravelle Ranch, Guana River, Half Moon, Salt Lake, Three Lakes Prairie Lakes Unit and Triple N Ranch in the Northeast Region; Chassahowitzka and Hilochee in the Southwest Region; and Dinner Island Ranch, Fisheating Creek and J.W. Corbett in the South Region.
Currently, legal spring turkey shooting hours on these areas are from a half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. If passed, the shooting hours would be extended to sunset. This proposed change is designed to give FWC staff an opportunity to monitor the effects of longer hunting days and use the information to potentially make future recommendations, if warranted.
Other proposals would add more hunting opportunity to 23 WMAs by adding hunt types, hunting days, making additional species legal to take, increasing methods of take and increasing quota permit numbers.



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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chef Justin Timineri Shares “Fresh From Florida” Thanksgiving Recipes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Gillespie
November 21, 2014
Twitter: @FDACSNews

Chef Justin Timineri Shares “Fresh From Florida” Thanksgiving Recipes

“Fresh From Florida” Seafood, Fruits and Vegetables are Great Picks for Any Holiday Menu

Tallahassee, FL – To help get your Thanksgiving menu ready for next week, Florida Chef Justin Timineri share several recipes for Floridians to incorporate into their holiday traditions. These recipes feature delicious seafood harvested from Florida’s coastal waters, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Look for the products with the “Fresh From Florida” label at your local grocery store. 

“Nothing completes a Thanksgiving meal like our Fresh From Florida products,” Chef Justin said. “This time of year, you can find cucumber, squash, tomatoes and many more products grown and harvested right here in Florida, and don’t forget our delicious seafood.”

Florida Shrimp with Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese


Florida Snapper with Citrus Sauce



Sunshine Sweet Potatoes
Florida Squash and Tomato GratinPan-Roasted Florida Vegetables

To find out what Florida crops are in season, browse for more recipes or learn about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com.

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FWC Law Enforcement Weekly Report 11/14 - 11/20/2014

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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FWC
Division of Law Enforcement
 FWC logo and law enforcement badge
Weekly Report
November 14 – November 20, 2014

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



NORTHWEST REGION

BAY COUNTY

Officer N. Basford was checking park passes at the entrance to St. Andrews State Park and made contact with three subjects in a vehicle entering the park. She could smell the odor of burnt cannabis emanating from the interior of the vehicle. She asked the operator if there was anything in the vehicle she should know about, advising the operator that she could smell the cannabis. The operator produced a glass smoking pipe with residue in it. Officer Basford searched the vehicle and found no other drugs. The operator was issued a notice to appear for drug paraphernalia.

Officer Palmer received a complaint concerning a deer that had been taken illegally from a private lease.  Officer Palmer responded and found footprints (two sets of tennis shoes) and evidence of something being dragged out.  Lieutenant Chesser arrived to assist and a gentleman at a nearby trailer was asked if he had seen anybody leaving the lease or if he had heard any gunshots the previous day.  The man said he had heard a few shots he thought were from a small caliber rifle and later saw two teenagers exit the woods down the road.  A small neighborhood was located adjacent to the lease and Lieutenant Chesser and Officer Palmer began checking the area for any clues.  One trailer was located and an individual was asked if he knew anything about the incident.  He confessed to killing a deer. The deer meat was located and antlers were seized.  The violators had been squirrel hunting when they jumped the deer, shot it, and drug it back to their home.  Citations for trespassing and illegal method of take were issued due to it being archery season.

JACKSON COUNTY

Officer Forehand was on patrol in the early morning hours when he observed four subjects each using a handheld light out in a cultivated peanut field searching the area as if looking for something. Officer Forehand conducted surveillance on the subjects for a short time thinking they may be attempting to recover illegally harvested game and trespassing. After some time, the subjects returned to their vehicle and began to exit the field at which time Officer Forehand made contact with them. It was discovered that the subjects were trespassing in the cultivated field in an attempt to locate arrowheads and other artifacts. A search of their vehicle revealed four separate bags containing flint and other artifacts, several baggies containing methamphetamine, two glass smoking pipes and one metal smoking pipe, all containing methamphetamine residue. Two of the subjects were booked into the Jackson County Jail for possession of methamphetamines and drug paraphernalia. Trespass charges are pending.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Jones was on patrol in a closed area of the Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA). While driving a remote dirt road, he encountered two hunters who were armed with long guns during archery only season.  Both subjects fled on foot.  Officer Jones, who was alone at the time, captured one suspect.  The 33‑year‑old male was charged with hunting in a closed area, using a firearm during archery season, interference with an FWC officer, as well as license violations.  Eglin Range Patrol also suspended the suspect’s Eglin permit for three years.  Officers Barnard, Rockwell, and K-9 Officer Pineda responded and assisted.

Officers Lewis and Ramos were on forest patrol in Blackwater River State Forest when they observed a bonfire and keg party in a clay pit.  Officer Lewis found three subjects attempting to hide a keg in the woods surrounding the clay pit.  While the officers were issuing citations to the partygoers, a vehicle drove into the clay pit in an attempt to join the party, not knowing the officers were there. The officers issued four misdemeanor citations for possession of alcoholic beverages by a person under 21 years of age and four citations for operating a vehicle off the established road in a state forest.




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Apalachicola National Forest temporarily closes sections of the motorized trail system

USDA FOREST SERVICE NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Date: November 22, 2014
Contact:  Susan Blake, 850-523-8500
Website: www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida 
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NFinFlorida






Apalachicola National Forest temporarily closes sections of the motorized trail system

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Effective immediately, the Apalachicola National Forest is closing approximately nine miles of the designated motorcycle trail system to motorized vehicles as well as foot traffic as a safety precaution during the Talquin Timber Sale operations. 

These temporary closures include all trails east of Aenon Church Road or Forest Road 370 and northeast of the Florida Gas Line. In addition, the following motorcycle trails will be affected: 12, 12A, 12B and 12C.  The remaining 47 miles of designated motorcycle trails will remain open. 

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but ask the public to respect and obey all trail closures during this time for their own safety,” said Recreation Manager Chandra Roberts. 

Motorized trails can be accessed from either the Silver Lake or Springhill trailheads with the applicable recreation fee per operator. Forest visitors are encouraged to go the National Forests in Florida webpage at www.fs.fed.us/r8/florida for the latest forest updates, rules and regulations. Persons entering the temporary closed trails may be ticketed or cited.

For more details pertaining to these closures contact the Wakulla Ranger District at (850) 926-3561.


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Florida DEP permit activity for Franklin County

logo.jpg
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
BOB MARTINEZ CENTER
2600 BLAIRSTONE ROAD
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA 32399-2400
RICK SCOTT
GOVERNOR

CARLOS LOPEZ-CANTERA
LT. GOVERNOR

HERSCHEL T. VINYARD JR.
SECRETARY


Permitting Application Subscription Service


Subscriber email address: manager@oysterradio.com

  Profile Name: Oyster Radio

Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Project Name: SHORELINF STABIZATION
Location Id: 299655
Location Name: 2522 HWY 98 WEST/REPAIR DRAINAGE DITCH AND SHORLEINE EROSION
County: Franklin
Application Number: 299655-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District Branch ( Panama City ) permitting office in Panama City at (850) 872-4375


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Friday, November 21, 2014

Florida unemployment statistics for October, 2014




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Florida cutting daily bag limit for red grouper

Fishermen will be allowed fewer red grouper under a rule approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission this week.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved lowering the red grouper recreational bag limit from four to two fish per person in Gulf of Mexico state waters, excluding Monroe County.

The Commission hopes that the change will mean an increase in the length of the recreational red grouper season in federal waters, which closed early this year because the recreational catch limit was exceeded in 2013.

A two-fish bag limit was initially requested by Florida fishermen and for-hire captains to help maximize fishing opportunities for red grouper, especially during late fall.

The change would also make state regulations consistent with similar pending regulations in Gulf federal waters.


Assuming the two-fish bag limit is finalized in federal waters, the state change will go into effect beginning January 1st.


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FWC signs executive order allowing the use of firearms with noise suppressors for taking certain game






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Energy Neighbor Fund can help pay your power bill

This holiday season will be tough on many families in Florida as they struggle due to the challenging economy and poor oyster stocks.
But there is a way you can help through Duke Energy’s “Energy Neighbor Fund.”
The Energy Neighbor Fund helps low-income people and families pay their home energy bills throughout the year, regardless of the fuel source.
Funds are distributed locally through social service agencies, community action groups or United Way organizations.
This month, Duke Energy customers will receive bill inserts describing the Energy Neighbor Fund and how to make a donation.
Donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Duke Energy Foundation.
The Florida program began in 1988; in 2013, more than 5,000 Florida customers were helped by the Fund.
Duke Energy and its customers donated more than $460,000 to the cause last year.
http://www.duke-energy.com/community/programs/progress-energy-energy-assistance.asp

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Franklin county signs agreement with Big Bend Crime Stoppers

County commissioners agreed this week to put their support behind the “Big Bend Crime Stoppers” organization by allowing it to represent Franklin County when it is seeking grants through the state Attorney General’s Crime Stopper Trust Fund.
The Crime Stoppers group provides a way for people to report information anonymously to help law enforcement solve crimes.
The group has been in existence since 1984 and represents 7 counties including Liberty and Wakulla counties.
It is primarily funded through a trust fund through the State Attorney General’s office but it needs a letter of agreement from each county in order to access the funds on behalf of each county.

County commissioners said they were more than happy to support the motion especially since it was recommended by the Franklin County sheriff’s department.



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Massey named chairman of Franklin County Commission

Franklin County’s newly elected commissioners were sworn into office on Tuesday.

Cheryl Sanders, who has represented District 2 since 1998 and Smokey Parrish who has represented District 4 since 2006 both won re-election this year.

They are still required to take the official oath of office after every election.

The swearing in was done by County Judge Van Russell.

Commissioners Cheryl Sanders broke down in tears during the swearing in – afterward she thanked God, her family, and the people of Franklin county for her re-election.

She said that in her 20 years of being in office she has never gone through an election like this last one where people forget what this government is all about.

She said she would continue to work to serve all of the people of the county.

After the swearing in, the county commission voted to name District 5 Commissioner William Massey to the chairman’s position.

Massey has served as vice chairman for the past year.

Commissioner Smokey Parrish was named vice-chairman.



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Agenda and Commissioners packet for November 25th Gulf County Commission meeting







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