Gulf County Bay Scallop Season Remains Postponed

Gulf County Bay Scallop Season-Opening Remains Postponed.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued the following news release this morning.

“The bay scallop season off Gulf County remains postponed due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay. The season postponement will continue until scallop samples test safe for human consumption.

Any updates on the status of this fishery will be posted on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) bay scallop web page, which can be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

Florida Red Tide Report, Statewide Karenia Brevis Concentrations, 11-2-15
Florida Red Tide Report, Statewide Karenia Brevis Concentrations, 11-2-15

The bay scallop season postponement includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

All other areas currently open for bay scallop recreational harvest remain unaffected, including the popular scalloping areas of St. Marks, Steinhatchee and Crystal River.

This algae bloom should not impact other recreational activities on St. Joseph Bay.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services had also issued a closure for the harvest of all clams (including pen shells), mussels and oysters in St. Joseph Bay.  For information on reopenings of clam, mussel or oyster harvest, visit the FDACS website at FreshFromFlorida.com and search “Shellfish Harvesting Area Information” in the search bar at the top right, select the search result with the same name, then click on “open/close status.”

FWC staff will continue working with other state agencies and the local community as this season closure progresses.

ABOUT PSEUDO-NITZSCHIA:

Pseudo-nitzschia, the organism responsible for the bloom and delayed opening of the season, 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 in humans if contaminated shellfish, including mussels, oysters, clams, and scallops, are consumed. ASP can cause both gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea and upset stomach, as well as neurological issues such as short-term memory loss. Domoic acid has been confirmed in seawater and scallop samples from St. Joseph Bay. Domoic acid does not impact finfish directly, but fish should be rinsed well, filleted and skinned prior to being eaten. The best way to protect yourself is to heed closure warnings and not consume shellfish from 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 at 800-222-1222. For Department of Health questions, call 850-245-4250.

Florida Fishing Report: Red Tide Status, 8-18-17

Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-18-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.
Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-18-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Status: Friday, August  18, 2017

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Direct From Homeowners.FWC released the Red Tide Status Report this week.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission red tide bulletin at 2:32 PM 8/18/2017.

Red Tide Status (August 18, 2017)

The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was not detected in samples collected throughout Florida this week.

We continue to receive reports of a multi-species fish kill in Old Tampa Bay. Low dissolved oxygen associated with a bloom of the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense is likely the cause of this fish kill. Organisms affected include Lizardfish, Pufferfish, Flounder, Catfish, Trout, Blue Crabs, Snook, Mullet, Eels, and Stingrays.

Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Websitepredict net offshore movement of surface waters and southern, onshore movement of subsurface waters from Pinellas to Lee counties over the next three days.”

For more information, please see FWC.

Key for Results

Description Karenia breviscells/liter Possible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT – BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures >  5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills, and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000 As above plus discoloration

 

Naples Fishing Report, Friday, August 18, 2017

Snook, Friday, August 18, 2017, Naples Fishing Report & Charters.
Snook, Friday, August 18, 2017, Naples Fishing Report & Charters.

Naples Fishing Report: Snook.

VacationHomeRental.org. No VRBO Booking Fees. Free To Renters. $99 Annually To HomeOwners.Naples Fishing Report, Friday, August 18, 2017, Florida Fishing Report – Naples: Snook, catch & release!  Latest Algal Bloom & Water Quality / Lake Okeechobee Update and Red Tide Report.  We’re mostly focused on Naples fishing the channels, grass flats, passes, oyster bars, mangroves and near shore fishing in Naples, but we also give updates on Naples deep sea fishing.

We’re big advocates of catch and release, particularly for snook, but pretty much for most species.  Only take what you are going to eat, and a lot of fish are better off as sport fish, even if they are in season.  Our motto is let ‘em get bigger and catch ‘em again!

Please see our SanibelCaptivaFort MyersSeashell & Shelling and Cuban Fishing sites for charter photos from our other captains, additional fishing and shelling reports, and musings on fishing in Cuba one of these days!

Please try our pilot Sanibel & Captiva News site or Sanibel & Captiva Events Calendar to see what else is happening Sanibel & Captiva islands!

We’re just getting started in Naples, but we’re looking forward to reporting on Naples fishing!

Naples Fishing Report, Friday, July 14, 2017, Florida Fishing Report – Naples: Blacktip Sharks, catch & release!   if you are a local Naples fishing guide/captain and would like to submit photos and reports, please let us know.  Daily Naples fishing reports. All are welcome.  You can reach us @ FloridaFishingCharterReport@gmail.com.

The Naples-Marco Island area has terrific beaches and beach fishing!  The beaches stretch along the Gulf of Mexico for about 10 miles and include Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Clam Pass Beach Park, Naples Municipal Beach & Fishing Pier (Naples Pier), Vanderbilt Beach, North Gulfshore Boulevard Beach, and Lowdermilk Beach Park.  Naples beaches are often ranked in the top 5-10 beaches in America!

There are also a number of both small and very large reserves in and nearby Naples-Marco Island.  They include Corkscrew Swamp SanctuaryEverglades National ParkBig Cypress National PreserveFlorida Panther National Wildlife RefugeTen Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Picayune Strand State Forest.

Like much of southwest Florida, Naples has barrier islands which mean great fishing!  The breadth of the natural ecosystem near Naples is immense and can’t be fully described in this short post.  Marco Island is the most well-known, but Marco Island spills south into the Ten Thousand Islands and unbelievably good fishing!

Other islands include Keywaydin Island, which is the longest unbridged island in southwest Florida and has a lot of natural habitats, and Kice Island and Cape Romano, which are very remote!

We’re just getting started in Naples, but we’re looking forward to reporting on Naples fishing!

If you are a local fishing guide/captain and would like to submit photos and reports, please let us know.  All are welcome.  You can reach us @ FloridaFishingCharterReport@gmail.com.

Florida Fishing Report: Red Tide Status, 8-11-17

Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-11-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.
Florida Red Tide Status Map, 8-11-17, Courtesy Of FWC, Florida Red Tide Report.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Red Tide Status: Friday, August  11, 2017

CaptivaRentals.org: Avoid VRBO Fees. Rent Direct From Homeowners.FWC released the Red Tide Status Report this week.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission red tide bulletin at 3:47 PM 8/11/2017.

Red Tide Status (August 11, 2017)

The Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was present in Southwest and Northwest Florida.

Over the past week, Karenia brevis was observed at background to very low concentrations in four samples collected from Pinellas County and background concentrations in one sample collected from Franklin County.

Additional samples collected statewide did not contain K. brevis.

Forecasts for Southwest Florida by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red TidesExternal Websitepredict net southern onshore movement of surface and subsurface waters from Pinellas to Lee counties over the next three days.”

For more information, please see FWC.

Key for Results

Description Karenia breviscells/liter Possible Effects (K. brevis only)
NOT PRESENT – BACKGROUND background levels of 1,000 cells or less None anticipated
VERY LOW >1,000 to 10,000 Possible respiratory irritation; shellfish harvesting closures >  5,000 cells/L
LOW >10,000 to 100,000 Respiratory irritation, possible fish kills, and bloom chlorophyll probably detected by satellites at upper limits
MEDIUM >100,000 to 1,000,000 Respiratory irritation and probable fish kills
HIGH >1,000,000 As above plus discoloration

 

New Hogfish Conservation Measures & Boundaries

New Hogfish Conservation Measures & Boundaries. A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24.
New Hogfish Conservation Measures & Boundaries. A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24.

New Hogfish Conservation Measures and Boundaries Effective August 24, 2017.

VacationHomeRental.org. No VRBO Booking Fees. Free To Renters. $99 Annually To HomeOwners.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued the flowing news release regarding Florida Hogfish this afternoon.

“A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24. State changes were approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its November 2016 meeting.

Hogfish is overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Florida Keys and east Florida. Federal law requires the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to end overfishing immediately and implement a 10-year rebuilding plan.

Because most hogfish off the Keys and east Florida are taken in Florida state waters, consistency with regulations approved in Atlantic federal waters is necessary to rebuild the stock.

New Hogfish Conservation Measures & Boundaries. A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24.
New Hogfish Conservation Measures & Boundaries. A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24.

The new management boundary between the Keys/east Florida and Gulf stocks will be at 25 degrees 9 minutes north latitude (a line due west of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida). Starting Aug. 24, hogfish north of Cape Sable will be managed as Gulf hogfish, and hogfish south of that line, around the tip of Florida and up the Atlantic coast, will be managed as Atlantic hogfish. Prior to this change, the boundary for hogfish was a line following U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys. This new management boundary line is closer to where Gulf and Atlantic hogfish stocks naturally separate as determined by a recent genetic study.

Hogfish, 3-14-14, Miami Fishing Report & Charters, #Miami.
Hogfish, 3-14-14, Miami Fishing Report & Charters, #Miami.

Other approved conservation changes effective Aug. 24 include:

  • Lowering the Atlantic recreational daily bag limit from five to one fish per harvester.
  • Setting an Atlantic recreational harvest season of May 1 through Oct. 31.
  • Increasing the Atlantic recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length.
  • Increasing the Gulf recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 14 inches fork length.
  • Setting the minimum importation and sale size limit to 14 inches fork length statewide.
Naples Fishing, Hogfish, Friday, 12-4-15, Naples Fishing Report & Charters ~ #Naples.
Naples Fishing, Hogfish, Friday, 12-4-15, Naples Fishing Report & Charters ~ #Naples.

The size limit increase and the recreational season will allow Atlantic hogfish more opportunities to spawn before entering the fishery and, along with a bag limit change, will help rebuild the Keys/east Florida hogfish population to sustainable levels.

The size limit change for Gulf state waters is also consistent with regulations for federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf stock is healthy, but stakeholders requested an increase in the minimum size limit as a conservation measure to give hogfish additional spawning opportunities.”

Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Hogfish” for more.