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November, 2011 Commission Meeting

Time: 8:30am each day
Dates: November 16 - 17, 2011
Place: Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club 97000 South Overseas Highway Key Largo, FL 33037

This meeting is open to the public

All interested individuals may speak at workshops or meetings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) within the guidelines established by the Commission.  To ensure the public's opportunity to be heard and the orderly conduct of the meeting, the Chairman reserves the right to establish a time for adjournment of the workshop or meeting, to limit the time for speakers, and to limit the time allotted for specific agenda items.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting should notify the agency at least five calendar days before the meeting by calling 850-488-6411.  Contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (voice) if you are hearing or speech impaired.

Agenda items listed under headings other than “Items Requiring Action” may be re-ordered or moved by the Chairman to different days of the meeting to accommodate scheduling issues.

The meeting may include fact-finding field trips to Commission-managed areas or facilities; or to other areas to learn about management, and enforcement activities.

Typically, the Chairman may ask staff and the public to work through lunch on either day.  Please plan accordingly.

If any person decides to challenge any decision with respect to any matter considered at the meeting, he or she may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes testimony and evidence upon which the challenge is based.

Agenda

8:30 a.m., Wednesday, November 16

  1. Meeting opening and recognitions
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
    3. Recognitions - Florida Guides Association (FGA) - Captain Phil Chapman Conservation Award - Captain Pat Kelly
    4. Recognition of FWC Law Enforcement staff by Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association - Bill Kelly, Executive Director
    5. Introduction of Commission Employees
    6. Florida Youth Conservation Center Network Funding Challenge
  2. Administrative matters
    1. Adoption of Meeting Agenda
    2. Review and Approval of September 7-9, 2011 Commission Meeting Minutes (Draft September Meeting Minutes)
  3. Executive Director's Report
  4. Items requiring action
    1. Fishery Management Council Updates
      1. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) - Staff will report on GMFMC actions from their October 24-28, 2011 meeting in New Orleans, LA. (Gulf Council Report Presentation)
      2. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) - Staff will report on SAFMC actions from their September 12-16, 2011 meeting in Charleston, SC. (South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Report Presentation)
    2. Final Rule
      1. Gulf of Mexico Grouper - Adoption of Federal Standard - The following rule amendments are proposed to achieve consistency between the Commission's reef fish rule and proposed federal regulations in Gulf of Mexico federal waters: (Gulf Grouper Presentation)
        1. 68B-14.0035, Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper - The proposed rule would reduce the minimum size limit for gag harvested commercially from the Gulf of Mexico, except from all waters of Monroe County, to 22 inches total length.
        2. 68B-14.00355, Size Limits for Importation and Sale - The proposed rule would reduce the minimum size limit for gag for purposes of sale, purchase, or exchange from 24 inches to 22 inches total length.
        3. 68B-14.0036, Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption - The proposed rule amendment would increase the recreational bag limit for red grouper harvested recreationally from the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, to four fish. If the federal annual catch limit for recreational red grouper harvest is exceeded, the bag limit for red grouper would be reduced the following fishing season by one fish. If the federal annual catch limit for recreational red grouper harvest is exceeded again in a subsequent year, the bag limit would revert to the current two-fish per person bag limit.
        4. 68B-14.0039, Recreational Grouper Seasons - The proposed rule amendment would set the recreational open harvest season for gag grouper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, to July 1 through October 31 each year. Recreational harvest would be prohibited January 1 through June 30 and November 1 through December 31 each year.
      2. Red Drum - A recent stock assessment indicates that red drum in north Florida are exceeding the Commission's management goal. The proposed final rule amendments would modify the Commission's rule for the red drum fishery as follows: (Red Drum Presentation)
        1. 68B-22.002, Definitions - The proposed rule would create three regions for red drum management in Florida, dividing the state into northwest, northeast, and south regions.
        2. 68B-22.005, Bag and Possession Limits; Sale Prohibited - The proposed rule would increase the bag limit from one to two fish in the northeast and northwest regions of the state. The proposed rule would also establish vessel and off-water possession limits and modify the transport limit
      3. Spotted Seatrout - A recent stock assessment indicates that spotted seatrout are exceeding the Commission's management goal in all regions. The proposed rule amendments would modify the Commission's rule for spotted seatrout as follows: (Spotted Seatrout Presentation)
        1. 68B-37.002, Definitions - The proposed final rule would replace the definition for "South" with definitions for "Southeast" and "Southwest."
        2. 68B-37.003, Size Limits - The proposed final rule would clarify that the size limits for spotted seatrout apply in federal waters.
        3. 68B-37.004, Regional Bag Limits; Closed Seasons - The proposed final rule would eliminate the recreational closed months in all regions.
          Note:  Staff will be requesting approval to publish a notice of change that would increase the recreational bag limit in the Northeast region to 6 fish.
        4. 68B-37.005, Commercial Season and Daily Harvest Limit - The proposed final rule would extend the commercial season to be open from three months to five months in all regions: June - October in northeast and southwest, May - September in southeast, and September - January in northwest. The proposed final rule would also allow the sale of spotted seatrout year round, require that spotted seatrout be landed and have the first point of sale only in an open region, and would create a vessel limit of 150 fish with at least two licensed fishermen on board.
          Note: Staff will be requesting approval to publish a notice of change that would increase the commercial harvesting season in the Northeast by one month making it June-November.
        5. 68B-37.006, Gear Specifications and Prohibited Gear; Bycatch Allowance - Staff will be requesting approval of a proposed final rule amendment that would create a bycatch allowance of 75 fish  for commercial fishermen using a beach or haul seine.  Note: Staff will be requesting approval to publish a notice of change for this amendment .
      4. Sharks - The proposed rule would prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks, and tiger sharks from state waters of Florida. The proposed rule amendments would modify the Commission's rule for sharks as follows: (Sharks Presentation)
        1. 68B-44.002 Definitions - The proposed draft rule would remove great, scalloped, and smooth hammerhead sharks, and tiger sharks from the definition of large coastal species that can be harvested in state waters of Florida.
        2. 68B-44.008 Prohibited Species; Prohibition of Harvest, Landing, and Sale - The proposed draft rule would prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks, and tiger sharks from state waters of Florida.
  5. Staff reports
    1. Lobster - FWRI was directed to conduct research on the effects of casitas on the environment and the lobster fishery in December of 2006. This report will discuss the findings of their research. Staff will discuss management direction and brief the Commission on the current federal issues in lobster management. (Spiny Lobster Presentation)
  6. Other reports
    1. Briefing on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary comprehensive regulatory review by Superintendent Sean Morton (Condition Report Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary)
  7. Public comments on items not on the agenda
  8. Commissioner exchange
  9. Recess Wednesday's portion of the meeting

     

    8:30 a.m. Thursday, November 17, Reconvene

     

  10. Meeting opening and recognitions
    1. Call to order
    2. Recognitions - Presentation of Prosecutor of the year Award
  11. Administrative matters
    1. Approval of Consent Agenda (attached)
  12. Items requiring action
    1. Draft Rules
      1. Proposed Rule Changes for Hunting and Freshwater Fishing for 2012-2013 - The proposed rules would revise specific area regulations on Commission managed hunting and freshwater fishing areas; create a minimum 10-inch total length requirement for black crappie on Lake Griffin, and amend or clarify rules to better manage hunting, fishing and public use regarding wildlife and freshwater fish. ( Black Crappie Draft Rule Proposal for Lake Griffin Presentation)(Draft Rule 68A-04.002) (Draft Rule 68A-04.008) (Draft Rule 68A-09.004) (Draft Rule 68A-11.003) (Draft Rule 68A-12.008) (Draft Rule 68A-13.003) (Draft Rule 68A-15.004) (Draft Rule 68A-15.006) (Draft Rule 68A-15.061) (Draft Rule 68A-15.062) (Draft Rule 68A-15.063) (Draft Rule 68A-15.064) (Draft Rule 68A-15.065) (Draft Rule 68A-17.004) (Draft Rule 68A-17.005) (Draft Rule 68A-20.004 and .005) (Draft Rule 68A-20.004) (Draft Rule 68A-23.002) (Draft Rule 68A-24.002) (Draft Rule 68A-26.002) ( Major Proposed Rule Changes Hunting and Fishing) ( Public Comment Summary on Draft Hunting and Fishing Rules) ( Public Comment Summary on Proposed Hunting and Fishing Rules Update)
      2. 68C-22.028, Flagler County (New) - Flagler County Manatee Protection - Review and discussion of staff recommendations for a state manatee protection rule for Flagler County. (Flagler County Manatee Protection Presentation)
    2. Other Approvals
      1. Approval of Changes to Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines - Staff will present changes to permitting guidelines and report on the stakeholder engagement process used to review those changes. (Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines) (Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines Presentation) (Gopher Tortoise Permitting Guidelines Addendum)
      2. Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Ordinance - staff will present a review of the City of St. Augustine proposed ordinance regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields. Approval from the Commission is necessary before the ordinance could be enforced. (FS-327-4105) (St. Augustine Ordinance) ( St. Augustine Ordinance Anchoring and Mooring Presentation)
  13. Staff reports
    1. Agency Work Plan for Commission Meetings ( Commissioners' Workplan FY2012-13 Presentation)
    2. Annual performance report on the changes to Florida's 2009-2010 Quota Hunt System (Quota Update Presentation)
  14. Public comments for items not on the agenda
  15. Commissioner exchange
  16. Commission administrative metters
    1. The next regular Commission meeting is scheduled February 8-9, 2012, Tallahassee, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  17. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. 68A-13.008, F. A.C., Hunting Regulations for Migratory Birds Other than Ducks and Coots - The proposed rule adds 15 days to the end of the wood cock season increasing the season from 30 to 45 days. (woodcock Season - 68A-13.008)
  2. Consideration of the addition of 13.3 acres (115 parcels) bordering the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Florida Forever acquisition list.  Monroe County, 76 lots currently owned by Monroe County Land Authority (totaling 8.69 acres) and 39 lots currently owned by Monroe County Board of County Commissioners (totaling 4.6 acres), is donating these lots on Little Torch Key to the State. DSL is requesting that we manage these lots as part of the Florida Keys WEA and share in the closing costs of this donation. In order for us to expend Florida Forever funds on closing costs, we need to have these parcels on our Florida Forever acquisition list. (Florida Forever - Additions) (Florida Forever - Maps) (Florida Forever - Parcel List)
  3. 68A-31.001, F..A.C., Regulations Related to Commission Managed Shooting Ranges - The proposed rule adds the Knight Trail Park Pistol and Rifle Range, Escambia County Archery Park and the shooting ranges of the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center, Ocala Conservation Center and Everglades Conservation Center to the list of Commission-Managed Shooting Ranges. (Shooting Range Establishment Order) (Shooting Range Rule - 68A-31.001)
  4. Approval to publish results of enhanced biennial review. - Changes to Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, require that the Commission publish results of a biennial review of existing rules on the agency web site. This year (2011) staff completed a review of all rules which are based solely on statutory authority. The rule review will be open for public comment through June 1, 2012. The review includes determining the nature of the rule (revenue or data collection), any economic impacts of the rule that would trigger legislative review, and any rules (or parts of) that are proposed to be repealed. The review will be posted by December 1, 2011.
  5. Approval to begin work on a review of the Florida Statutes related to alligator management. -- Staff would begin developing proposals and gathering public input, with a goal of having revisions to recommend for consideration for the 2014 Legislative Session.  The purpose would be to identify and address statute content that might be more appropriate in rule, examine long-term issues regarding alligator marketing funding, and review the program's licensing structure relative to recreational and commercial interests.  Because of the complex stakeholder aspect of this issue, staff expects the endeavor to span approximately an 18-month period, culminating in language for the 2014 Legislative Session.  Consequently, staff would bring the resulting final proposal for Commission consideration at the September 2013 Commission meeting.


FWC Facts:
The orange blossom is the official state flower of Florida. Its blossoms are used in tea and bakery products, and bees use the blossom to make most of Florida's honey.

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