Monday, July 16, 2018

Recreational red snapper season closes July 21 in Gulf state and federal waters

If you haven’t made it out yet, the red snapper season for recreational anglers fishing from private vessels and for charter captains who do not have a federal reef fish permit is open through July 20, closing July 21. The federal season for for-hire operations with federal reef fish permits is open through July 21, closing July 22.
Share your real-time catch data with us by downloading and using the iAngler Gulf Red Snapper app for private anglers or the iAngler Gulf Red Snapper Charter app if you are a charter operation. These new smartphone apps were designed specifically for voluntary reporting of red snapper catch information and are available via your phone’s app store.
Don’t forget to add Gulf Reef Fish Angler on your license (includes those that are exempt) before you go fishing for reef fish from a private recreational boat in Gulf state and federal waters (excluding Monroe County). You can get this printed on your license at no cost at or by visiting any location where you can purchase a license.
For-hire operations that do not have a federal reef fish permit are limited to state waters only for red snapper fishing and must have State Gulf Reef Fish Charter on their license to target red snapper and other reef fish in Gulf state waters (excluding Monroe County). This can be done at no cost at a local tax collector’s office.
To learn more about the 40-day recreational red snapper season in Gulf state and federal waters, including season size and bag limits, visit
Federal fishery managers are expected to announce an Atlantic red snapper season for federal waters soon. Learn more at

Paddy to be released in Port St Joe on Tuesday, July 17th 2018

Paddy, a juvenile green sea turtle will be released into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, July 17th 2018 promptly at 8:00 am central/9:00 am eastern. The release will take place at 9435 West Highway 98 Port St Joe, FL 32456 across from the Lookout Lounge. Gulf World Marine Institute will send a vehicle ahead. Please look for the Institute car. The sea turtle was rescued on March 19th near the south end of St. Joe Beach by a member of the Gulf County and East Bay Sea Turtle Patrol.

The animal had a compression fracture and mild swelling around the left eye. This trauma was from an unknown cause. Paddy was brought to Gulf World Marine Institute for a full wellness check and wound treatment. Initially the sea turtle was thin and not eating on its own. Over time the animal began to successfully forage and dive. The animal has gained weight and still has visibility in both eyes. Paddy has been medically cleared and deemed releasable by Florida Fish
and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The public is invited and encourage to attend this wonderful event.

*This event is weather depending.

Agenda for July 17th Franklin County Commission meeting

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Gov. Scott Takes Executive Action to Protect Access to Beaches

Signs Executive Order Calling on Counties to Not Limit Access to Beaches

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today issued Executive Order 18-202, which urges Florida counties to protect public beach access and directs the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to support these efforts. The executive order specifically calls on counties to not limit access to beaches. In March, Governor Scott signed HB 631, sponsored by Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) and Representative Katie Edwards-Walpole (D-Sunrise), which passed the Florida Legislature with an overwhelming, bipartisan majority. 
Governor Scott said, “Florida is home to the world’s best beaches, and every Floridian and visitor has the right to fully enjoy our state’s natural resources. Florida beaches belong to all of us, and people from across the world visit Florida because of them – and we are going to keep it that way.
"Last session, HB631 was passed with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, the legislation has now created considerable confusion and some have even interpreted it as restricting beach access. I’m committed to keeping our beaches open to the public and this executive order makes this commitment clear.
“Today, I am ordering the Department of Environmental Protection to do everything in their power to advocate to keep our beaches open and public. Also, I am putting a moratorium on any new state regulation that could inhibit public beach access and also urging local government officials to take similar steps to protect Floridians access to the beach. Government’s job is to help solve problems, and in Florida, when there is an issue or confusion surrounding legislation, we take action to address it. Florida is the most beautiful state in the nation.  We have hundreds of miles of pristine coastline and we are known for having the best beaches across the world. We absolutely cannot do anything that changes that.”

The Executive Order takes the following action to Protect Public Beach Access:

1.   The Governor’s executive order imposes a moratorium on executive state agencies adopting any rule or restriction to inhibit the public’s access to Florida’s beaches, unless there is a clear risk to public safety;
2.   The Governor directs the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to serve as an advocate for the public’s right to public beach access. This includes establishing an online reporting tool so Floridians with concerns about beach access can provide input. DEP will compile this input and submit a report to the Florida Legislature and the Governor before the next legislative session. DEP will also serve as a liaison to local governments to ensure the public’s right to access the beach is protected;
3.   The Governor urges all local government entities to not adopt any rule or ordinance that would restrict or eliminate the public’s access to Florida’s beaches.  He is calling on every county in Florida to not take any action that limits access to beaches; and
4.   The Governor urges State Attorneys in Florida to protect Floridians constitutional right to access the beach.


Lila is an adorable 3 month old Black Mouth Cur pup. She is a social, playful lovebug looking for her forever home. The Humane Society is at capacity and we really need people to come forward to adopt so we can continue intaking pets in need. Please come to the shelter to meet Lila and all the other wonderful pets we are housing at this time.

We are always looking for people willing to bring one of our
animals into their home to be fostered for various needs. Anytime you can spare would be greatly appreciated.

Call Karen at 670-8417 for more details or visit the Franklin County Humane Society at 244 State Road 65 in Eastpoint. You may logon to the website at to see more of our adoptable pets.

Draft Agenda Outline for July 16th Wakulla County Commission meeting

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Florida DEP permit activity for Gulf 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 - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Project Name: DCB BUILDERS LLC LOT 2 & 3
Location Id: 366489
Location Name: DCB BUILDERS, LLC LOTS 2 & 3
County: Gulf
Application Number: 366489-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District Branch ( Panama City ) permitting office in Panama City at (850) 872-4375
Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Location Id: 366501
County: Gulf
Application Number: 366501-001

For further information, please contact the Northwest District permitting office in Pensacola at (850) 595-8300
Permit: Water - Individual With No Conceptual Approval Permit
Location Id: 366488
County: Gulf
Application Number: 366488-001

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Two more derelict vessels to be removed from local waterways

Franklin County Commissioners have signed an agreement to remove a derelict shrimp boat from the Apalachicola River and and one from the St. Marks River.

One of the shrimp boats is in Tucker Creek off the St. Marks River and the other near the west bank of the Apalachicola River, which actually places it in Gulf County.

Franklin County had to get Gulf County’s approval to allow the removal.

Morgan Marine Salvage and Recovery out of Freeport, Florida was selected to remove the vessels.

Over the past few years Franklin county has received state money to remove nearly 20 derelict vessels, which are not only safety and navigational hazards but can also dump pollutants like gasoline and diesel fuel into the water.

4 Eastpoint residents file suit against Wildland Services for damages from wildfire

 Four Eastpoint residents whose home and belongings were destroyed during a wildfire in Eastpoint on June 24th have filed suit against the company that started the fire.

Melanie Cooper, William Hathaway, Natasha Vinson, and Phillip Vinson have filed a lawsuit against Wildland Services Incorporated in Leon County.

The suit was filed Wednesday in Leon County.

Wildland Services conducted a controlled burn near Eastpoint on June 18th.

On June the 24th, the fire reignited and quickly spread into a residential neighborhood burning more than 800 acres and destroying 36 homes.

A state investigation found that the fire was caused by the controlled burn and not by lightning or other means.

Natasha and Philip Vincent owned a home at 706 Wilderness Road in Eastpoint which was destroyed in the blaze.

Melanie Cooper and and William Hathaway were tenants there and all of their belongings were destroyed

A dog belonging to Melanie Cooper also died in the fire.

The suit claims that the company is liable for not taking precautions and says the company should have kept bulldozers and people on site to eliminate the risk of the fire getting out of control.

The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and compensation in excess of 15 thousand dollars.

Franklin County commissioners have approved their designees to the Value Adjustment Board

County commissioners have approved their designees to the Value Adjustment Board.

The Value Adjustment Board hears petitions from taxpayers regarding their ad valorem tax assessments and homestead issues.

By law the board is made up of two county commissioners, one school board member, one local property owner and local business owner.

This month, county commissioners named commissioners Noah Lockley and William Massey to the board.

The property owner member will be Donny Gay who also served last year.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Florida Department of Agriculture has issued a emergency closure of the oyster harvesting areas north of the Apalachicola Bridge after a damaged sewer line was discovered in the area

 The Florida Department of Agriculture has issued a emergency closure of the oyster harvesting areas north of the Apalachicola Bridge after a damaged sewer line was discovered in the area.

Area 1652, which is the conditionally approved summer north area of the bay, was already closed to oyster harvesting through the summer because of a lack of oysters in the area.

On Tuesday, however, the area was closed on an emergency basis because of a broken sewer line at the Sportsman's Lodge.

The problem was fixed as soon as it was discovered, and no water samples were taken to see if there was actually sewage in the water.

The Department of Agriculture said it will have to test meat samples from oysters in the area to make sure they are clean before the emergency closure can be ended.

Even after the emergency closure is lifted the area will remain off limits to oyster harvesters for the remainder of the summer season due to lack of oysters.

Local science students attend Unmanned Systems STEM Summer Challenge

Five local students joined students from 3 other area schools to take part in a three-day, Unmanned Systems STEM Summer Challenge at Gulf Coast State College in June.
The program allowed 9th and 10th grade students from Gulf and Franklin counties learn more about drones and the growing number of jobs associated with unmanned and autonomous systems.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University provided the high-tech learning opportunity at no cost to participating students through a partnership with the Panhandle Area  Educational Consortium.
Gulf Coast State College provided space, faculty and technical support.
During the event, student teams designed, constructed, and flew a hovercraft and coded terrestrial and aerial vehicles to navigate through obstacle courses to conduct autonomous “missions.”
On the final day of the challenge, students tested their skills by maneuvering the systems during a series of competitions.
Students were accompanied to the event by FCS Science Teacher, Lucinda Mathews.

The state of Florida is looking for input from fishermen who like to fish for sharks from the shore

The state of Florida is looking for input from fishermen who like to fish for sharks from the shore.

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 may not go that far.

They are now considering new rules to govern the fishery – including a specific permit for land-based shark-fishing with requirements on when and how the fishing can take place.

There will be a number of workshops on the issue over the next month – the closest workshop to our area will be held at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City on August the 6th.

The workshop will be held at 6 PM Central time

If you can’t attend an in-person workshop, you can submit comments online by at

NOAA Fisheries FishNews – July 11, 2018

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NOAA Fish News
July 11, 2018


Habitat Month part2Habitat Month Banner Shortened
NOAA Fisheries Celebrates Habitat Month
This July, dig into Habitat Month and learn how healthy habitat depends on the power of partnerships.
Power of Partnerships sq
The Power of Partnerships
Our habitat conservation efforts are collaborative and use sound science in support of sustaining fisheries and recovering protected species.

Coastal Summit sq
Coastal Restoration SummitNOAA is teaming up with Restore America’s Estuaries and the Coastal States Organization to co-host the National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and Management in December.

GulfCorps sq
GulfCorps Completes First Year of Conservation Work 
NOAA and partners have completed a successful first year of GulfCorps, the first-ever region-wide youth conservation corps program across the Gulf Coast.

Detroit River sq
Revitalizing the Detroit River’s Ecosystem NOAA’s Great Lakes partnership with the Friends of the Detroit River is helping the area become an international icon of hope for habitat.

Historical depth data sq
Historical Maps Accurately Identify Fish Habitat
Researchers compared modern and historical depth data in the Eastern and Central Gulf of Alaska nearshore areas that are potentially important fish habitat.
MRIP Revised Estimates story
NOAA Fisheries Releases Revised MRIP Recreational Catch and Effort Estimates
NOAA Fisheries released revised Marine Recreational Information Program catch estimates (1981-2017) as part of our recent transition from the old household telephone survey to the new, mail-based Fishing Effort Survey. We will host two public webinars to provide an overview and answer questions on July 13 and 18.

SK Grants 2018 edit
$9 Million for 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants
NOAA Fisheries announced recommendations to fund 38 projects at almost $9 million under the 2018 Saltonstall-Kennedy Competitive Grants Program. For more than 40 years, NOAA has awarded grants through this program to projects around the country aimed at supporting resilient and sustainable fisheries.

Shellfish aquaculture
New Report on Shellfish Aquaculture Permitting
NOAA Fisheries has a long history of supporting shellfish aquaculture development. A new report reviews 22 federal, state, and local shellfish aquaculture permitting systems and makes recommendations to improve permitting efficiencies.

Oceans Symposium
Symposium Recap: Climate Change and Oceans
In a recent leadership message, NOAA’s Chief Science Advisor Dr. Cisco Werner discusses NOAA Fisheries’ efforts to help businesses, communities, and nations sustain fish stocks and other marine resources in a changing world. In June, NOAA hosted scientists from 51 nations for the 4th International Symposium on the Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans.

NOAA Ship Ronald Brown
U.S.-India Summit on Harmful Algal Blooms
During World Oceans Month in June 2018, scientists from the United States and India met in Goa, India, to address the issues facing our changing ocean ecosystems and share responses. Jointly operated ocean observing systems have allowed for global advances in understanding phenomena such as harmful algal blooms.

Atlantic bluefin tuna illustration border2
Atlantic Bluefin and Albacore Regulations – Open for Public Comment
By August 6, please submit your comments on modifications to the baseline quotas and subquotas for U.S. bluefin tuna and U.S. northern albacore. The action would also modify the Atlantic tuna size limit regulations for tunas damaged by shark bites. A public hearing will be held via webinar on July 17.

Final Rule to Revise Atlantic Shark Closures
NOAA Fisheries announced a final rule to revise the regulations related to closures of the Atlantic commercial shark fisheries.


Cod Study
Science Blog: Young Cod Provide Clues about Future Populations
This summer, researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center will conduct a series of studies to learn more about Pacific cod born in the Gulf of Alaska in 2018. Studying the survival and behavior of these juvenile fish throughout the year will give us clues to the health of future Pacific cod populations.

Saildrone update
Science Blog: Saildrones Head to the Arctic
At the end of June, four Saildrones left Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and headed north, embarking on a 700-nautical-mile trip to the Bering Strait, Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas, and Arctic Ocean. Researchers from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center are using two of these ocean-going robots to measure the abundance of Arctic cod in Alaska.

West Coast

White abalone
Why You Should Care about White Abalone
Learn more about white abalone, one of NOAA Fisheries’ eight Species in the Spotlight. At first glance, white abalone may just look like a colorful rock. In fact, it’s an endangered marine snail with a rich history.

Whale informational sign
Organizations Rally for Orca Awareness Month
The governors of Oregon and Washington declared June to be Orca Awareness Month. Although the whales are identified with Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, recent research has revealed that orcas spend their winters as far south as the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pacific Islands

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette
NOAA Tracks Cetaceans in the Mariana Archipelago
This month, NOAA scientists will depart Guam on board NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette to conduct the Mariana Archipelago Cetacean Survey. Researchers will use acoustic recorders to track whales and dolphins in the offshore areas and compare their populations to recent nearshore counts.

Honu Count
NOAA Invites Citizen Scientists to Honu Count 2018
NOAA invites citizen scientists of Hawaii to help us count returning green sea turtles by reporting all encounters with turtles with numbers written on their shells. During last year’s “Honu Count” (“honu” is Hawaiian for sea turtle), volunteers provided 70 reports.


DWH Outreach workshop
Attend a Community Outreach Workshop on Restoration Planning
The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees will host a two-part education and outreach workshop on July 18. The Trustees, which include NOAA, encourage community members and organizations familiar with Gulf restoration, as well as those who want to learn more or get involved, to attend.

Gulf of Mexico coral reef
Gulf of Mexico Coral Habitat Protections – Extended Comment Deadline
By July 20 (formerly July 5), please submit your comments on a draft environmental impact statement for Amendment 9 to the Gulf of Mexico Coral and Coral Reef Resources fishery management plan. The proposed action would establish 22 new habitat areas of particular concern in the Gulf of Mexico—15 with fishing regulations and seven without.

Lionfish on length board
Lionfish Exempted Permit – Open for  Comment
By August 1, please submit your comments on an application for an exempted fishing permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The applicant proposes to test various modifications of wire spiny lobster traps in their effectiveness at capturing invasive lionfish.

Louisiana draft restoration plan
Notice of Intent to Draft Louisiana Restoration Plan
The Louisiana Trustee Implementation Group for the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment has begun drafting the second-phase plan for six previously identified restoration projects. The public will have the opportunity to comment on proposed plans before the Trustees release any final restoration plan.

Greater Atlantic

Two Right Whales
Watch Out for Whales South of Nantucket
NOAA Fisheries established a voluntary vessel speed restriction zone to protect a group of four right whalessighted two nautical miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts. This zone is in effect through July 15. Mandatory speed restrictions are also in effect in the Great South Channel through July 31.

NJ Special Mgmt Zones
Management at New Jersey Artificial Reef Sites
NOAA Fisheries announced a file rule to designate 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites as special management zones. The action will allow only handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing in these areas year-round. These changes are designed to minimize gear conflicts at the reef sites.

Winter skate illustration v2
Northeast Skate Complex – Open for Comment
By August 6, please submit your comments on proposed modifications to the Northeast Skate Complex fishery management plan. NOAA Fisheries proposes catch and landing limits for the 2018-2019 fishing season, as well as Skate Framework 5, which includes measures to provide additional flexibility to fishermen.

Offshore wind
Councils Launch Northeast Offshore Wind Page
The New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Councils have jointly launched a new webpage to serve as a one-stop-shot for information about offshore wind development activities in the Northeast Region. The Councils worked closely with NOAA Fisheries to create a resource for fishermen interested in better understanding the impacts of offshore wind development on commercial and recreational fisheries.


July 10-16
Four public scoping hearingsin three Atlantic coastal states and via webinar on the bluefish allocation amendment.
July 12
Webinar on how to apply for 2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.
July 13 and 18
Two public webinars on MRIP revised recreational catch estimates.
July 15
Free Atlantic Shark Identification workshop in Wilmington, North Carolina.
July 17
Public hearing via webinar on the proposed rule for Atlantic bluefin tuna and northern albacore quotas and regulations.
July 18
Gulf of Mexico Restoration Planning Community Outreach Workshop in Gulfport, Mississippi.
July 19
Annual public meeting of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustee Councilin Long Beach, Mississippi.
July 23
Informational webinar on federal for-hire permit holders, hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
July 23
Free Protected Species Safe Handling, Identification, and Release workshops in Ocean City, Maryland.
July 25
Public information session on the U.N. Intergovernmental Conference on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction
Those interested in attending should contact


July 23
Pre-proposals due for FY 2019 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grants.
July 23
Submissions due for 2018 NOAA Habitat Photo Contest.
July 27
(Extended Deadline) Nominations due for the 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Habitat Conservation Award.

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