Florida FWC Meeting June 13 thru 14

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet at the Radisson Suite Hotel Oceanfront in Melbourne June 13-14. The hotel is at 3101 N. Highway A1A.

The June 13 (Wednesday) agenda includes final action on proposed rules concerning FWC-managed lands and bonding requirements for exhibition of potentially dangerous animals and venomous reptiles.

Other issues on Wednesday’s agenda include review of a proposal to change the imperiled species listing status of the peregrine falcon and an overview of the imperiled species management plan process. Commissioners also will review details of the pending reclassifications of manatees, gopher tortoises and Panama City crayfish.

Final action on reclassifying those three species may take place during the FWC’s September meeting in St. Petersburg.

Also on Wednesday, Commissioners will consider a policy to end entombment of gopher tortoises and review proposed changes to alligator management efforts.

Land-acquisition proposals up for review on Wednesday’s agenda include the Nature Conservancy’s Davidson Ranch parcel as a mitigation park, the Nature Conservancy’s donation of the Janet Butterfield Brooks Preserve as a mitigation park and two donated Nature Conservancy parcels as additions to Chinsegut.

Commissioners also will consider temporary delegation of authority to the FWC’s executive director to approve acquisition agreements exceeding $250,000.

On Thursday, the FWC will hold a final public hearing on proposed rule amendments for snook that would lower the daily recreational bag limit from two fish to one on Florida’s Atlantic Coast and change the current 27-34 inches total length snook slot limit to 28-32 inches in Atlantic waters and 28-33 inches in Gulf, Everglades National Park and Monroe County waters. The proposed rule would add the first half of December and all of February to the closed harvest season in Gulf, Everglades and Monroe County waters and allow snook anglers to carry more than one cast net aboard a vessel.

Commissioners also will consider proposed rules that would let licensed trap fishers designate people to recover and possess their traps when the governor and FWC declare an emergency and exempt local, state or federal officials from having to get FWC approval before removing traps, derelict traps and trap debris from areas where trapping is prohibited.

In addition, the Commission will consider a proposed rule amendment that would allow recreational fishers to use fold-up blue crab traps with square sides.

In other marine fisheries action, the FWC will hear updates on issues and proposed rules for red drum and spiny lobster, discuss federal fisheries management issues, and conduct a final review of the vision document for the future of saltwater fishing in Florida.

The meeting will convene at 8:30 a.m. both days.

FWC meetings are open to the public, and anyone requiring special assistance to participate can make arrangements by calling Cindy Hoffman at (850) 488-6411 at least five days in advance. Hearing- or speech-impaired persons can arrange assistance by calling (850) 488-9542.

The meeting agenda is available online at MyFWC.com/commission/2007/Jun07/index.html.