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Gulf County scallop season postponed due to naturally occurring algae bloom

Gulf County scallop season postponed due to naturally occurring algae bloom

 

 

News Release

Monday, July 24, 2017

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or Amanda.Nalley@MyFWC.com

As a precautionary measure due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish, the bay scallop harvest originally scheduled to begin on July 25th in Gulf County waters will be temporarily postponed. This postponement includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. This does not impact other areas currently open for a recreational harvest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working closely with partners on this postponement including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), which has also issued a precautionary closure for the harvest of clams, mussels and oysters in St. Joseph Bay. 

FWC staff is coordinating with the Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and FDACS and they will continue to provide support and assistance as necessary.  All agencies take all algal blooms seriously and will continue to respond quickly and effectively to ensure the health and safety of Floridians, visitors and our natural resources.

The scallop season is expected to be closed a minimum of two weeks. The FWC will conduct aggressive outreach efforts about the postponed season. The FWC and FDACS will continue sampling and testing scallops and other shellfish in the bay to determine when they are safe for consumption and will continue to work with the local community to determine options on the remainder of the season. More information will be issued once a season opening date has been determined and that date will be posted on the bay scallop page which can be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.” Reopenings of clam, mussel or oyster harvest will be listed on the FDACS website at http://shellfish.floridaaquaculture.com/seas/seas_centralgulf.htm.

In areas outside of Gulf County, the bay scallop season in state waters from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County to the Suwannee River in Dixie County is currently open to harvest and will close to harvest on Sept. 10. All other waters open to harvest (Pasco-Hernando county line to the Suwannee River and from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County) will close to harvest Sept. 25 (see map below).

This algae bloom does not harm scallops directly and shouldn’t cause scallop population declines. While scallops may appear healthy, they should not be consumed until FWC has issued a new statement opening the season. This algae bloom should not impact other recreational activities on St. Joseph bay. 

2017 Regional Bay Scallop Seasons

ABOUT PSEUDO-NITZSCHIA:

Pseudo-nitzschia Adobe PDF is a naturally occurring microscopic alga that in some cases can produce domoic acid, which can negatively impact marine mammals and seabirds and can cause Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) in humans if contaminated shellfish are consumed. Domoic acid has been confirmed in seawater and scallop samples from St. Joseph Bay. Domoic acid does not impact finfish, but they should be carefully cleaned prior to being eaten. The best way to protect yourself is to heed closure warnings and not consume shellfish in the closed areas.

If you are experiencing symptoms of ASP, contact your primary care provider. You may also want to contact the Florida Poison Control Hotline – 1-800-222-1222. For Department of Health questions, please call 850-245-4250.

  

           

AN/KM/MR/MFM

KR/LF/FWRI

 

Article can be found at http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2017/july/24/scallop-season-postponed/

Free Women's and Adult Saltwater Fishing Clinics coming up in Panama City Beach

Free Women's and Adult Saltwater Fishing Clinics coming up in Panama City Beach
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a Women's Saltwater Fishing Clinic in Panama City Beach on July 22 and an Adult Saltwater Fishing Clinic for both women and men 18 years or older on July 23.

The free, day-long clinics are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at St. Andrews State Park, 4607 State Park Lane, Panama City Beach.

Advance registration is required. To register or for more information, email Heather Sneed atHeather.Sneed@MyFWC.com, or call 850-487-0554.

Participants will take home a lifelong hobby and leave with a new appreciation for the marine environment. They will learn the basics of conservation stewardship, fishing ethics, angling skills, safety and the vulnerability of Florida's marine ecosystems in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

Lessons include knot tying, cast netting, rod and reel rigging, how to be a responsible marine resource steward, marine fish and habitat identification, catch-and-release techniques and more.

If conditions allow, participants will have the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills by fishing from shore or a pier. This event is a catch-and-release activity. All participants must have a valid recreational saltwater fishing license unless exempt. Saltwater fishing licenses can be purchased at your local tackle shop or online. Learn more by visiting MyFWC.com/License.

Fishing equipment and bait are provided during the clinic but participants are encouraged to bring their own gear.

Feds have added 39 days to Federal Red Snapper in Gulf Waters

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2017/06/department-commerce-announces-changes-2017-gulf-mexico-red-snapper

Posted at 4:02 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 14, 2017

For the first time in a decade, Federal authorities and the five Gulf States have agreed to align Federal and State private angler red snapper fishing seasons for the remainder of the summer, and the Department of Commerce has re-opened the 2017 private angler recreational season for 39 weekend days and holidays.  Majority Whip Scalise and other Members of Congress were instrumental in reaching this agreement.

“I’d like to offer my thoughts and prayers to Whip Scalise, his staff, the Capitol Police, and their families,” said Secretary Ross.  “Majority Whip Scalise and his staff have been incredibly helpful on this and a host of other issues, and I wish them and the other victims a speedy recovery.  Such a despicable act of violence has no place in our political discourse, and the Administration and Congress will continue to work together in service to the American people.”

The agreement reached between the Secretary of Commerce and the five Gulf States is a significant step forward in building a new Federal-State partnership in managing the Gulf of Mexico red snapper stock. This represents a commitment from the states to restore a shared vision of uniform management that will benefit the long term recovery of the red snapper stock while maximizing the economic benefits from recreational fishing in the Gulf region.

The new rule announced today will re-open the 2017 Federal recreational season for red snapper by the private angling component on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from June 16, 2017, through Labor Day, September 4, 2017. During this time, the season will be closed Monday through Thursday with the exception of July 3, July 4, and September 4. Correspondingly, the five Gulf States will bring their state red snapper water seasons into alignment with the Federal water season for the rest of the summer.

The Departments rule does not change the quota or season length for the federally permitted for-hire component of the recreational fishery or the commercial individual fishing quota program and the 2017 commercial quota.

Free Women’s Saltwater Fishing Clinic coming up on St. George Island

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

May 22, 2017

 

Suggested Tweet: FREE Women’s Saltwater #Fishing Clinic on St. George Island! @MyFWC: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/19c5fe8 #Florida

 

Free Women’s Saltwater Fishing Clinic coming up on St. George Island

 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting a Women’s Saltwater Fishing Clinic on St. George Island June 10.

 

The free, day-long clinic is from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the St. George Island State Park, 1900 E. Gulf Beach Drive.

 

Advance registration is required. To register or get more information, email Heather Sneed at Heather.Sneed@MyFWC.com, or call 850-487-0554.

 

Participants will take home a lifelong hobby and leave with a new appreciation for the marine environment. They will learn the basics of conservation stewardship, fishing ethics, angling skills, safety and the vulnerability of Florida’s marine ecosystems in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

 

Lessons include knot tying, cast netting, rod and reel rigging, how to be a responsible marine resource steward, marine fish and habitat identification, catch-and-release techniques and more.

 

If conditions allow, women will have the opportunity to practice their newly learned skills by fishing from shore. This event is a catch-and-release activity. All participants must have a valid recreational saltwater fishing license unless exempt. Saltwater fishing licenses can be purchased at your local tackle shop or online. Learn more by visiting MyFWC.com/License.

 

Fishing equipment and bait are provided during the clinic, but participants are encouraged to bring their own gear.

 

                                                 

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 By signing up for the Half Hitch newsletter, you'll stay informed about what's going on with outdoor activities around the Panhandle, and receive notification of special buys, seminars and tournament information. Your personal information will never be given, sold or in any other way transferred to any other party or used for any other purpose than providing Half Hitch with a means of communicating with you. We also honor your request to opt out at any time, however you will miss out on important fishing tips, information and specials. 

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