2012 Commission Meetings

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February, 2012 Commission Meeting

Time: 1:00pm, February 7; 8:30am, February 8-9
Dates: February 7 - 9, 2012
Place: Florida Public Safety Institute Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy 215 Academy Drive Havana, FL 32333 (850) 201-7964

This meeting is open to the public

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) is committed to providing ample opportunity for public input at each Commission meeting. As standard practice, the Commission will welcome public input regarding agenda items using the approved speaker registration process and time limits. To accommodate as much input as possible from those attending, the Chairman reserves the right to designate the amount of time given to each speaker, including time donation to other speakers. 

With regard to public comment on subjects that are not on the agenda, the Commission will have time on the agenda during one day of each meeting. Those who wish to offer comments during this period will be asked to make sure their comments are not related to any agenda item. The day for comment regarding items not on the agenda will be identified when the agenda is posted.

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

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.

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

1:00 pm, Tuesday, February 7, 2012

  1. Meeting Opening
    1. Call to order
    2. Invocation and Pledge Allegiance to the Flag
  2. Administrative Matters
    1. Adoption of Meeting Agenda
  3. Marine Fisheries Stock Assessment Workshop - The sole purpose of this workshop is to provide the Commissioners a forum to discuss and exchange ideas about state and federal marine fisheries stock assessment processes and how it relates to marine fisheries management.  The Commission will not be taking action on specific regulatory issues. (Co-management Table of Species) (Glossary)
    1. Types of fishery data - Review and discussion of the types of data that are used in the assessment process. (Types Of Fisheries Data Presentation)
    2. Fisheries management framework - Review and discussion of the concept that stock assessments are conducted to measure the status of a stock relative to management reference points (e.g. SPR and MSY). (Fisheries Management Framework Presentation)
    3. Structure of stock assessments - Review and discussion of the conceptual structure and function of a stock assessment including data, population model and assessment procedure. (Structure of Stock Assessments Presentation)
    4. Types of stock assessments - Review and discussion of how stock assessments range from simple to complex including the data requirements and outputs. (Types of Stock Assessments Presentation)
    5. How uncertainty is incorporated in stock assessments - Review and discussion of how stock assessments provide results as probabilities and how that should be considered when making management decisions. (Incorporating Uncertainty in Stock Assessments Presentation)
    6. From assessment to management changes - Review and discussion of how the assessment information can be translated into management recommendation. (Assessment to Management Presentation)
  4. Public Comment
  5. Commissioner Exchange
  6. Recess Tuesday's Portion of the Meeting

     
    8:30 a.m. Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Reconvene
     

  7. Meeting Opening - Recognitions
    1. Introduction of Commission Employees
  8. Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approval of November 16-17, 2011 Commission Meeting Minutes
  9. Executive Director's Report (Executive Director's Report)
  10. Items Requiring Action - Marine Fisheries
    1. Approval of Consent Agenda
    2. Final Rules
      1. Gulf of Mexico Gag 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 Gag 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, statewide.
        3. 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.

          If the proposed rule is approved , Commission staff would file the rule as allowed by the noticing requirements of 120.54(6) Florida Statutes, which provides a process for adoption of a rule identical to a federal regulation without further hearing.
           
      2. King Mackerel - The FWC received a request from southwest Florida commercial fishers to allow legally harvested king mackerel to be landed in Collier County when the state waters off Collier County are closed to harvest. Our current rules create a hardship to commercial fishers that fish in legally open waters off Monroe County but usually sell their catch to wholesale dealers in Collier County, a few miles from the open harvest area. The proposed draft rule would modify the Commission's rule for the Gulf-Atlantic king mackerel fishery as follows: (King Mackerel Presentation)
        1. 68B-12.0046 Commercial Fishing Season for King Mackerel in the Gulf- Atlantic Fishery; Commercial Season Segments, Vessel and Landing Limits - The proposed rule would allow the landing of commercially caught king mackerel in Collier County when caught in adjacent waters that are open to harvest from April 1 until July 1 while Collier county waters are closed. Such landing would only be allowed for commercial license holders that hold the federal king mackerel permit and when the transit of the king mackerel is direct and continuous through the closed area to the place of landing.
    3. Draft Rules
      1. Oysters - The harvest of oysters is jointly managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. DACS recently developed a rule that shortens the time fishermen are allowed on the water per day. The proposed draft rule would modify the Commission's oyster rules to allow more days open to harvest oysters: (Oysters Presentation)
        1. 68B-27.017 Apalachicola Bay Oyster Harvesting Restrictions -The proposed draft rule amendment would allow the harvest of oysters seven days a week in Apalachicola Bay.
      2. Tampa Bay Commercial Shrimp Permit Transferability - The FWC received a request from Tampa Bay Commercial shrimp permit holders to allow the transfer of their shrimp permits to other commercial shrimp harvesters. Staff evaluated the request and does not have any objection to the remaining four permits being transferrable. The proposed draft rule would modify the Commission's shrimp rule as follows: (Shrimp Presentation)
        1. 68B-31.019 Regulation of Shrimp Fishing in Tampa Bay; License  Requirements - The proposed draft rule amendment would allow Tampa Bay commercial food shrimp production permit holders to transfer their permits, which are currently non-transferable. The proposed draft rule would also amend certain rule language for clarity.

          NOTE:  Staff is requesting Commission approval to notice these rules (1 and 2), and file as soon as possible. If the items are approved for both advertisement and filing, Commission staff will file the rules for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without additional public hearing.

      3. Roundscale Spearfish - Staff will propose the following rule amendments to address recent changes to the federal regulations for harvest of billfish in Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico federal waters: (Roundscale Spearfish Presentation)
        1. 68B-33.003 Marlin and Sailfish Possession Limits; Prohibition of Harvest for Spearfish; Prohibition of Sale; Exception; Gear Restrictions - The proposed draft rule amendment would allow roundscale spearfish to be harvested under the aggregate bag limit for marlin and sailfish.  It would also be amended to include roundscale spearfish in the possession limit exceptions for taxidermists mounting the fish for the harvester and for wholesale and retail seafood businesses and restaurants for the limited purpose of smoking the fish for the harvester.
        2. 68B-33.004 Size Limits - The proposed draft rule amendment would create a size limit of 66" lower jaw fork length for roundscale spearfish.
    4. Council Reports
      1. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) - Staff will report on GMFMC actions from their January 30 - February 3, 2012 meeting in Mobile, AL. (Gulf Council Report Presentation)
      2. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) - Staff will report on SAFMC actions from their December 5-9, 2011 meeting in Raleigh, NC, including lobster, black sea bass, red grouper, wreckfish, golden tilefish, and mackerel. (South Atlantic Council Report Presentation)
  11. Staff Report
    1. A review of some federal fishery management tools - Staff will provide a review and discussion about three management tools that are currently being discussed at the federal Council level: catch shares, sector separation and limited access privilege programs (LAPPs). The status of programs that have already been implemented and programs that are currently under discussion for federal waters will be presented. (Review of Catch Shares Presentation)
  12. Items Requiring Action - Boating
    1. Draft Rules
      1. 68D-24.144 - Monroe County Boating Restricted Areas - This proposed rule amendment would change the Monroe County Boating Restricted Area Rule to create a Slow Speed Minimum Wake Zone for boating safety purposes on the Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of the US 1 bridge over Jewfish Creek. The zone is proposed to extend 300' north of the bridge fender system to 800' south of the bridge fender system. A public meeting was held in Key Largo on December 13, 2011. Staff is requesting approval to file a Notice of Proposed Rule in the Florida Administrative Weekly. (Notice of Proposed Rule 68D-24.144)
      2. 68D-24.164 - Volusia County Boating Restricted Areas - This proposed rule amendment would change the Volusia County Boating Restricted Area Rule to create a Slow Speed Minimum Wake Zone for boating safety purposes on the Intracoastal Waterway in the vicinity of Highbridge Road Bridge and Boat Ramp. The zone is proposed to extend 300' north of the bridge fender system to 300' south of the Highbridge Road Boat Ramp. A public meeting was held in Ormond Beach on December 14, 2011. Staff is requesting approval to file a Notice of Proposed Rule in the Florida Administrative Weekly. (Notice of Proposed Rule 68D-24.164)

        NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to notice both of these rules and file as soon as possible. If these items are approved for both advertisement and filing, Commission staff will file the rules for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without additional public hearing.

  13. Staff Report

    Legislative and Budget Update

  14. Public Comments on Items Not on the Agenda
  15. Commissioner Exchange
  16. Recess Wednesday's Portion of the Meeting

     
    8:30 a.m., Thursday February 9, Reconvene
     

  17. Meeting Opening and Recognitions
    1. Shikar-Safari Officer of the Year Award
    2. Special Introduction
  18.  Items Requiring Action - Hunting and Fishing; Florida's Listed Species
    1. Final Rules
      1. Major Proposed Rule Changes for 2012-2013 - The proposed rules would revise specific area regulations on Commission managed hunting and freshwater fishing areas and amend or clarify rules to better manage hunting, fishing and public use regarding wildlife and freshwater fish. (Major Proposed Rule Changes) (68A-09.004) (68A-15.004) (68A-15.061) (68A-15.063) (68A-15.064) (68A-17.005)

        1. NOTICE:  Staff will be requesting several amendments to the above proposed rules as presented at the November Commission meeting. Please refer to the background materials for details.
           
        2. The following two items are proposed to be included when the rule amendments discussed in this item are filed for adoption. If approved, a Notice of Change will be published formally advising the public.
        3. 68A-15.004, General Regulations Relating to Wildlife Management Areas - The proposed rule amendment would allow the Executive Director to authorize, by executive order, special recreational opportunities, including the take of fish and wildlife, for disabled military veterans and service members to be administered by the Florida Forest Service on those wildlife management areas where the Florida Forest Service is the lead land manager. 
        4. 68A-15.063, Specific Regulations for Wildlife Management Areas-Northwest Region (NEW) - The proposed rules would establish area specific hunting opportunities for Beaverdam Creek Wildlife Management Area. This is a property near Bristol, Florida, owned by the Northwest Florida Water Management District.
    2. Draft Management Plan and Associated Rules (Black Bear Management Plan Presentation)
      1. Draft Black Bear Management Plan - Staff will present a summary of the recent public workshops held, discuss comments received, and seek Commissioners direction on completion of the plan.
      2. Draft Rules - Staff will seek approval to advertise proposed draft rules and take additional public comment.
        1. 68A-4.009, Florida Black Bear Rule - The proposed new rule would prohibit the take of black bears unless authorized by Commission permit, and would direct Commission staff to provide technical assistance to land owners and regulatory agencies in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts to bears. 
        2. 68A-27.003, Florida's Listed Species - The proposed rule amendment would remove the black bear from the list of State-designated Threatened Species.
  19. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  20. Commissioner Exchange
  21. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. Final Rule 68-1.003(9) Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Grants Program - Staff proposes to amend this rule by updating the Florida Boating Improvement Program  Guidelines dated January 2010 to improve and increase efficiency in the grant review and submittal process. These changes were initially approved at the September 7 Commission meeting. Additional amendments are proposed to the section regulating the Derelict Vessel Removal Grant Program to improve and increase the efficiency for processing derelict vessel removal grants. (68-1.003 Proposed Rule Change)
  2. Establishment Order for Beaverdam Creek Wildlife Management Area - The proposed order establishes the Beaverdam Creek WMA in Liberty County comprising approximately 1,317 acres. (Establishment of Beaverdam Creek WMA)
  3. Free Fishing Days for 2012 - As provided by 379.354, Florida Statutes, staff proposes to provide four free fishing days for 2012 for taking fish for noncommercial purposes. No recreational license or permit or payment of license or permit fee would be required to fish on these days. The two freshwater days would be April 7 and June 9. The two saltwater days would be June 2 and September 1. The June days occur during National Fishing and Boating Week, a national celebration coordinated by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. (Free Fishing Days Presentation)
    1. 68A-5.006 Designation of Free-Freshwater Fishing Weekend; License Requirements and Regulation Compliance - would be modified to designate the first Saturday of April and the second Saturday in June as free freshwater fishing days.
    2. An Executive Order would be issued to designate June 9 and September 1, 2012 as free saltwater fishing days.
  4. Renumbering of 68-5.004, F.A.C. - Staff is requesting permission to advertise a proposed move of rule 68A-5.004 F.A.C. General Regulations Relating to Licenses, Permits and other Authorizations to 68-1.010 F.A.C. This move would make it clear that the subject matter of this rule, license issuance and revocation, applies across all divisions of Title 68, F.A.C. Brief, clarifying edits that do not significantly change the substance of the rule will be made.  Staff also requests permission to update all other rules in 68A that cite to 68A-5.004 F.A.C. in order to correctly reference the new citation.


FWC Facts:
A law enforcement officer may stop any vessel to check for compliance with boating safety equipment requirements.

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