While I try hard to keep track of the more than 500 marine fish and invertebrates the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manages, I sometimes field calls about things I don’t deal with on a daily basis. Like when an angler wants to know about using barnacles as bait (yes, you can). Or, most recently, when a reporter wanted to know more about blue land crabs. Specifically, can she move them from behind her car when trying to leave for the day?
Blue crabs, I asked?
“No. Blue land crabs,” she replied.
Ah, yes. I’ve heard of these blue land crabs. While they are a commonly targeted species in south Florida, it is a rare day that I get a media call on the crabs.
Started last year, there is a movement afoot to "shop local" on Saturdays. For many, this is not a movement, but a way of life, and not just on Saturdays. In Florida, one local staple is the bait shop. A wealth of information can be found for those willing to ask and listen.
Forget the big box stores and the publicly traded behemoths; forget the gas station bait dispensers. Even if you are the type who catches your own bait, it's still a worthwhile visit. For transplants from the Midwest, the bait shop is a necessity.
Of course, for the uninitiated, the bait shop is the place to get what you need, find out what's biting on what, where, and when to go, what's in season, and all other fishing-related 411.
Florida has decided to allow people to spear or net lionfish without a saltwater fishing license, the latest move in the effort to control a foot-long invasive species that can suck smaller fish off a reef slicker than a vacuum cleaner on a TV ad.
While they’re nasty predators on native species, lionfish are very tasty on the plate, with firm white flesh that some people say is as good as grouper (although I don’t think that any fish matches those wonderful sea bass).
CCA Florida Needs Your Help To Prevent Severe Unwarranted Access Restrictions In Everglades National Park.
Everglades National Park released its Draft General Management Plan for public review and comment on February 27th. The Draft GMP public comment period is open through Sunday, May 12, 2013.
Undercover video shows thousands of pounds of dead fish, mostly red snapper, floating to the surface after one of the controversial demolitions in the Gulf—not only is it killing fish, but destroying their habitat forever.
Now that the weather outside is chilly, Florida manatees are migrating to warmer waters. They swim in search of a warm winter refuge such as freshwater springs or canals adjacent to power plant outflows.
An adult manatee may weigh 1,000 pounds or more but is susceptible to cold. Water temperatures dipping to 68 degrees or below can produce cold stress in these aquatic mammals, and even cause death.
Attention Divers! Boaters! Non-Divers! Nice People! Friends of the Anclote! Anclote Key needs you!
On Saturday, September 22nd from 1-5 pm, Gulfantatics Dive Club
http://www.narcosisscuba.com/about-us/gulfanatics (Narcosis Scuba/Tarpon Springs) is organizing it's latest Coastal Cleanup and Picnic.
Both land and water will be "cleaned" - including the island lake the island beach and the dive site on Anclote Key.
This is a great opportunity to "give back," get wet, and have fun.
The plan is to embark on the cleanup first, then enjoy lunch while we measure and log the debris.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced changes to the lionfish harvest. Harvesting invasive lionfish no longer will require a fishing license when using certain gear, and there is no recreational or commercial bag limit.
The FWC is taking these actions to encourage more Floridians and visitors to harvest lionfish.
Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) is circulating a letter to members of Congress and inviting them to join a call for a temporary moratorium on rig removals related to the Idle Iron Policy. A moratorium is needed to allow time to develop a thoughtful, rational process to evaluate those structures and keep as many as safely possible in the water. The deadline for your Congressmen to sign on in support of protecting that habitat is July 17.
CCA Florida is holding their first ever Garage Sale! They will be selling the majority of left over inventory from throughout the season at extremely discounted prices. Items to be included are art, fishing tackle, boating supplies, scratch and dent items and other CCA merchandise.