June, 2013 Commission Meeting
||1:00 p.m. June 11, 8:30 a.m. June 12-13 each day
||June 11 - 13, 2013|
||Hilton Garden Inn Lakeland|
3839 Don Emerson Drive
Lakeland, FL 33811
This meeting is
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 "Rules" may be moved by the Chairman to different days of the meeting to accommodate scheduling problems.
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.
1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 11
- Meeting Opening
- Call to Order
- Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
- Recognitions - Employee Introduction
- Administrative Matters
- Review and Approve April 17-18, 2013 Commission Meeting Minutes April Meeting Minutes
- Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
- Approve Consent Agenda
- Executive Director’s Report
- Budget Workshop
FWC Budget Workshop - The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of the State of Florida Legislative Budget Process and the budgetary framework of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This session is intended to be informal and allow for an open question/answer exchange between Commissioners and staff. Presentation | FWC Budget FY 13-14
- The Budget Process
- Revenue Sources
- The Annual Operating Budget
- Public Comment
- Recess Tuesday’s Portion of the Meeting
8:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Reconvene
- Meeting Opening and Recognitions
- Florida Guides Association Annual Recognition Awards
- Trained Eyes Coastwatcher Officer of the Year Award
- Captain Phil Chapman Conservation Award
- Items Requiring Action - Marine Fisheries
- Draft Rule
- Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Fishing Gear - The proposed draft rule would address the Commission’s definition of snagging in Chapter 68B-32, Tarpon. The proposed draft rule would also consider prohibiting gear rigged with a weight attached to the bottom of the hook in order to reduce snagging of tarpon in Boca Grande Pass. Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Gear Draft Rule Presentation
- 68B-32.002 Definitions - The proposed draft rule would enhance the definition in the tarpon chapter of “snagging” or “snatch hooking.”
- 68B-4.018 Boca Grande Pass Gear Restrictions - The proposed draft rule would prohibit the use and possession of gear rigged with a weight attached to the bottom of the hook in Boca Grande Pass.
- Final Rules
- Tarpon and Bonefish - The proposed final rules would make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only. To accomplish this, the allowance for a tarpon bag limit would be eliminated and replaced with an allowance for possession of a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. In addition, all tarpon regulations will be extended into adjacent federal waters. The existing bonefish tournament exemption that allows registered tournament anglers to possess a bonefish for the purposes of transporting it to the tournament scale would also be eliminated. Tarpon and Bonefish Presentation | Tarpon and Bonefish Presentation Update
- 68B-32.001 Purpose and Intent (NEW) - The proposed final rule would create a new subsection in order to convey the intent to manage tarpon as a catch-and-release-only fishery with allowable harvest and possession limited to possession in pursuit of an IGFA record.
- 68B-32.003 Tarpon Tags: Required for Possession; Report; Annual Issuance; Taxidermy; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued Annually; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued to Professional Fishing Guides – The proposed final rule would extend Florida’s tarpon tag requirements to federal waters and limit the use of tarpon tags to tarpon harvested or possessed in pursuit of an IGFA record. The final rule would also eliminate reporting requirements and limit the number of tags that an individual can purchase to one per year. NEW: Staff is requesting permission to publish a Notice of Change to create a placeholder for this rule to house any future possible regulations.
- 68B-32.004 Bag Limit and Gear Restriction - The proposed final rule would eliminate the two tarpon bag limit and require that all tarpon be released without doing unnecessary harm and at the site of capture. Allowable possession of a tarpon within or without Florida waters, or elsewhere in the state, would be limited to anglers with the properly affixed tarpon tag who possess a tarpon in pursuit of an IGFA record. The final rule would also create a vessel limit of one tarpon per vessel and limit the allowable gears when targeting tarpon to hook and line only. In addition, the proposed final rule would state the intent to allow for temporary possession of tarpon for purposes of photography, measurement of length and girth, or scientific sampling, and any tarpon temporarily possessed would be required to be kept completely in the water if greater than 40 inches fork length. These regulations would apply in all state and federal waters off Florida.
- 68B-32.006 Sale Prohibited, Transport Regulated - The final rule would reduce the number of tarpon a person is allowed to transport or ship from two tarpon to one.
- 68B-32 - The final rule would reorganize and reformat the tarpon rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, F.A.C., during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
NOTE: Staff will be requesting an amendment to publish Notices of Change to eliminate reporting requirements for anglers who use a tarpon tag, change the tarpon tag issue year to a calendar year, create placeholders, update the tarpon tag form, and prohibit the use of a multiple hook in conjunction with live or dead natural bait to harvest or attempt to harvest bonefish and tarpon.
- 68B-34.001 Purpose and Intent (NEW) - The final rule would create a new intent subsection in order to convey that bonefish will be managed as a catch-and-release-only fishery.
- 68B-34.002 Definitions -The definition of “Organized Tournament” would be removed from the bonefish rules.
- 68B-34.004 Temporary Possession of Bonefish - The reference to the exception to the possession restrictions for bonefish for tournament purposes would be removed.
- 68B-34.005 Bonefish Tournaments, Exceptions - This rule would be removed in order to eliminate the tournament exception to the catch-and-release-only bonefish regulations.
- 68B-34 - The final rule would reorganize and reformat the bonefish rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, F.A.C., during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
- Division 68B General Provisions - The proposed new rules would create a series of regulations that apply to harvest of all marine organisms. These provisions would support the rule cleanup and reorganization process, further reduce confusion, and improve enforcement by creating more consistency in the management of marine fisheries and extending existing regulations that currently apply to many fisheries to the harvest of all marine organisms. 68B Rule Cleanup and Reorganization Final Public Hearing Presentation | 68B Rule Cleanup and Reorganization Final Public Hearing Presentation Update
68B-2.001 General Definitions (NEW)
- The proposed final rule, in part, would clarify that for purposes of enforcing marine fisheries size limits; bag, vessel, and possession limits; seasons; and requirements that certain species be landed in the whole condition, “florida waters” would include any potential fishing site, such as the shore, a dock, pier, jetty or bridge, and any parking area adjacent to a potential fishing site. The proposed final rules would also standardize some definitions commonly used in Division 68B. The definitions would apply across all marine fisheries regulations, unless otherwise specified in rule.
NOTE: Staff will be requesting an amendment to publish a Notice of Change to withdraw the proposed change to the definition of “Florida waters” and retain the current definition.
- 68B-2.002 Return of Marine Organisms to Water; Permissible Temporary Possession (NEW) - The proposed final rules would explicitly allow temporary possession for the purposes of determining the species and size or for photographing the catch, unless the current rules prohibit all possession of a particular species statewide. They would also clarify that aside from that permissible temporary possession, any marine finfish or regulated marine invertebrate caught but not retained must be released immediately without being unnecessarily harmed.
- 68B-2.004 Recreational and Commercial Harvest on the Same Trip (NEW) - The proposed final rule would clarify that simultaneous possession of both recreational and commercial bag limits of the same species by a single harvester or by multiple individuals fishing on the same vessel on any single trip is prohibited.
- 68B-2.005 Vessel Operator Responsibility (NEW) - The proposed final rule would make a vessel operator responsible for ensuring that the persons aboard the vessel comply with marine fisheries regulations.
NOTE: Staff will be requesting an amendment to remove this proposed rule from consideration at this time.
- 68B-2.008 Trap Working Regulations (NEW) - The proposed final rule would clarify that traps may not be placed in navigational channels.
- Staff Reports
- Review and Discussion of the 2013 Florida Snook Status Update – The 2013 Florida snook status update includes data through 2012 for both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts relative to the extreme cold temperature event that occurred in 2010. Staff’s report will consider the Executive Order for catch and release only fishing of snook on the Gulf coast that expires August 31, 2013. Snook Stock Presentation
- Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) – Staff will report on GMFMC actions from their April 15-18, 2013, meeting in Gulfport, MS and update the Commission on anticipated discussions and actions at their upcoming meeting in Pensacola on June 17-21. Topics include: red snapper, mackerel, cobia, red drum, and data collection. Gulf Council Report Presentation | Gulf Council Report Presentation Update
- Discussion of response to Council letter proposing Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper Harvest.
- Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
- Commissioner Exchange
- Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting
8:30 a.m., Thursday, June 13, Reconvene
- Meeting Opening and Recognitions
- Recognition of High School State Champion Fishing Team and Youth Angler.
- Youth Hunting Program Landowner of the Year Award.
- Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year
- Special Recognition
- Retiree Recognition – Greg Holder
- Items Requiring Action
- Draft Rules
- 68A-4.0051 Importation of Deer, Elk and Other Wildlife Species in the Family of Cervidae- The proposed draft rules would prohibit the importation of live cervids (deer) to prevent Chronic Wasting Disease from entering Florida. Importation of Captive Cervids (Deer) Draft Rule Presentation | CWD Fact Sheet
NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendments and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule amendments are approved for both advertisement and final adoption, Commission staff will file the rule for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.)
- Alligator Management Program - The proposed draft rules would make changes to the Commission’s Alligator Farming Program and Private Lands Alligator Management Program. Draft Rules Presentation | Draft Rule 68A-25.004 | Draft Rule 68A-25.004 Update | Annual Report Form | Draft Rule 68A-25.032 | Application Form | Application Form Update
- 68A-25.004 Regulations Governing the Operation of Alligator Farms - The proposed rule would require alligator farm permittees to be at least 18 years old; require they make records available upon request; clarify farm fencing requirements and the minimum space requirements for alligator pens; and modify the Alligator Farm Annual Report form.
- 68A-25.032 Regulations Governing the Establishment of Alligator Management Programs - The proposed rule would allow the capture and release of alligators on the same permitted property only if non-injurious capture methods are used, and modify the Private Lands Alligator Management Program Application form.
- 68A-23.012 Special Regulations on Lake Okeechobee - The purpose of the proposed rule change is to reduce user conflicts and confusing language in rule for the haul seine program on Lake Okeechobee. The proposed rule will extend the northern boundary for haul seines, adjust the boundary in an area of conflict, allow earlier times for setting of haul seine nets, and remove outdated and redundant rule language. The proposed rule will reduce user conflicts and enhance enforcement of Freshwater Fisheries Management rules. Lake Okeechobee Fisheries Presentation | Haul Seine Explanation | Haul Seine Draft
- 68A-27.007 Permits and Authorizations for the Take of Florida Endangered and Threatened Species - Staff will provide an update on imperiled species management planning that includes the species action plan progress and integrated conservation strategies development. Planning has also included the involvement of FWC staff working with landowners engaged in agriculture and staff of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to develop wildlife best management practices (BMPs). The original timeframe for completing the BMPs will expire in November 2013. We are requesting an additional one year to finalize the details associated with administering the wildlife BMP program, including adoption of the BMPs into rule. Permits and Authorizations for the Take of Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Presentation
- Staff Report
Gulf of Mexico Restoration Funding Update Presentation
- Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
- Commissioner Exchange
- Commission Administrative Matters
Election of Commission Chairman and Vice Chairman
The Next Regular Commission meeting is scheduled September 4-6, 2013 in Pensacola, commencing at 1:00 p.m. on September 4, and 8:30 a.m. each day thereafter.
- Review and approval of anticipated early season migratory bird hunting regulations for 2012-2013. This includes hunting season and bag limits for dove, rail, gallinule, woodcock, snipe, Canada geese, and special September duck seasons. Early Migratory Bird Season Report
- Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area, Stairsteps Unit – Review and approval of an Executive Order establishing the deer hunting regulations for the area. Staff Recommendation | Draft Executive Order
- Wildlife Management Area Actions
- 3A Disestablishment Orders – The proposed orders would disestablish the Relay WMA in Marion County, and the Twelve Mile Swamp WMA in St. John’s County. Relay WMA Report | 12-Mile Swamp WMA Report
- 68A-15.065 - Specific Regulations for Wildlife Management Areas – Northeast Region - Review of draft rule to disestablish and repeal the Relay and Twelve Mile Swamp WMAs and allow the take of bobcat and otter on Herky Huffman / Bull Creek WMA. 68A-15.065
- 68A-9.004- Permits for Hunting or Other Recreational Use on Wildlife Management Areas- Review of draft rule to eliminate the recreational use permits for Relay and Twelve Mile Swamp WMAs. 68A-09.004
NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendments and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule amendments are approved for both advertisement and final adoption, Commission staff will file the rule for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.
- Lionfish - The invasive lionfish have become established in Florida waters and pose a significant threat to Florida’s native marine species. In an effort to mitigate the effects of this species, an Executive Order was issued on August 3, 2012, to be effective for one year. The proposed final rule would implement the items in the Executive Order in the Commission’s rule as follows: Presentation | 68B-05.006
- 68B-5.006 Lionfish - The proposed final rule would create a new subsection that eliminates the requirement for a recreational fishing license for fishing for lionfish provided harvest is only with the following gear: hand held net, pole spear, Hawaiian sling, or other spearing device specifically designed and marketed exclusively for lionfish. In addition, the proposed final rule would state that the harvest of lionfish with hook and line or as bycatch in other legal gear is permissible for commercial and recreational licensed or license-exempt persons, that possession for more than 100 pounds of lionfish is not considered a commercial quantity, and that there is no limit for recreational or commercial harvest for lionfish.
- Bluefish - The proposed final rule would update the Commission’s bluefish rule by removing outdated provisions; clarifying that the size limit, landed in whole condition requirement, and recreational bag limit extend into federal waters; and reformatting the rule to conform to the new style developed under the FWC’s 68B rule cleanup process (presented for Commission consideration at this meeting under the rule cleanup and reorganization agenda item). When the rule was updated in 1995 following the adoption of the Net Limitation Amendment, an allowance for the use of gear which is illegal in state waters was inadvertently left in. The rule also includes an outdated commercial quota implemented under the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (MAFMC) Fishery Management Plan for the Bluefish Fishery (FMP), which was written in cooperation with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. The current quota is updated annually, while the rule references a static quota set in 1995. The proposed final rule would also clarify that bluefish regulations extend into federal waters: 68B-43.001 | Presentation
- 68B-43.003 Size Limit; Bluefish to be Landed in Whole Condition - The proposed final rule would clarify that the size limit and requirement that bluefish be landed in whole condition extend into federal waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
- 68B-43.004 Bag Limits - The proposed final rule would clarify that the recreational bag limit extends into federal waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
- 68B-43.005 East Coast Commercial Harvest: Daily Vessel Harvest and Possession Limit/Season Harvest Limit; Gear Specifications - The proposed final rule would remove outdated gear specifications that are inconsistent with statewide gear regulations and the Florida Constitution. The reference to the outdated 877,000-pound quota would also be updated to allow the commercial harvest of bluefish in Florida Atlantic waters and adjacent federal waters until the yearly quota provided by the MAFMC is reached.
- Chapter 68B-43 - The proposed final rule would reorganize and reformat the bluefish rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, F.A.C., during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
- Division 68B Rule Cleanup, Reorganization, and General Provisions - The proposed final rules would consolidate existing marine fisheries gear definitions and standardize the format and rule language for a series of rule chapters addressing species-specific regulations, creating consistency in the language and the organization of each chapter. None of these amendments would result in substantive changes to the existing regulations, their intent, or the way they are enforced. The intent is to clarify existing marine fisheries regulations and thus improve enforceability and public understanding. Similar changes will be proposed for the remaining rule chapters in Division 68B during additional phases of the rule cleanup process. In addition, the final rule amendments would correct an error in the rule language for the restricted species license exemption created for veterans in November 2012. Presentation
- 68B-2.003 License Required for Harvest or Possession of a Marine Organism Regulated (NEW) - The proposed final rule would clearly state that a person fishing for marine organisms or possessing marine organisms while on the water must possess the appropriate recreational and commercial saltwater fishing license, unless they are exempt from the requirement. The rule would also reiterate that a restricted species endorsement is required for commercial harvest and sale of restricted species.
- 68B-2.007 Prohibition of Possession, Transport, Purchase, or Sale of Illegally- Caught Marine Organisms (NEW) - The proposed final rule would prohibit the possession, transport, purchase or sale of illegally-caught marine organisms.
- 68B-4.002 Gear Definitions - The proposed final rules would consolidate the definitions for fishing gears previously described elsewhere in Division 68B into the existing gear definitions rule and standardize how those gears and fishing practices are defined.
- 68B-4.0025 Other Definitions - The proposed final rule would move the definitions from this rule to the proposed General chapter under 68B-2.001 (General Definitions), eliminating the need for this rule.
- 68B-2.006 Restricted Species Endorsement Provision - The proposed final rule would correct an error in the rule language in order to clarify the circumstances under which a disabled veteran would be issued the restricted species endorsement.
- Chapters 68B-15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29, 33, 36, 37, 41, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52 and 53 - The proposed final rules would cleanup and reorganize species-specific regulations for the following: Sturgeon, Queen Conch, Hard Clams, Bay Scallops, Cobia, Snook, Red Drum (Redfish), Southwest Florida Shells, Sponges, Sardines, Billfish and Swordfish, Black Drum, Spotted Seatrout, Dolphin and Wahoo, Weakfish, Flounder and Sheepshead, Tripletail, Jellyfish, Shad and River Herring, and Calico Scallops.
NOTE: Staff will be requesting an amendment to remove the proposed changes to the Red Drum (Red Fish) rule 68B-22 from consideration at this time.
- 68B-15, 22, 32, 33, 34, 36, 41, 47, 51, 52, and 53 - Proposed final rules would be created as placeholders in the Florida Administrative Code in order to allow the Commission to reuse some of the rule numbers vacated by the reorganization process, should relevant future rulemaking become necessary.
- 68B-19, 22, 32, 33, 57, and 58 - Staff is also seeking approval to publish a series of notices of change to address technical issues raised during a review of the proposed rules by the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee.
- 68B-57, 58, and 59 (NEW) - The proposed final rules would relocate the reformatted, standardized regulations for wahoo, swordfish, and sheepshead to new species chapters in Division 68B, separate from chapters addressing regulations for other, unrelated species..
- 68A-23.005 Bag Limits, Length Limits, Open Season: Freshwater Fish - Lake Jackson is a 4,000 acre lake located in northwest Leon County that has been historically known for trophy black bass. The proposed rule change will allow harvest of abundant smaller black bass, while at the same time protecting larger female bass and therefore continuing to manage Lake Jackson as a trophy largemouth bass fishery. A 2011 angler attitude survey of 419 Lake Jackson bass anglers indicated that ninety-six (96) percent preferred changing the regulation to some form of a maximum size limit ranging from 15-17 inches. The new regulation would consist of a five (5) fish daily bag limit for black bass only one of which may be over 16 inches in total length. Lake Jackson Black Bass Harvest Amendment
- 68A-23.002 General Methods of Taking Freshwater Fish - Current FWC regulations allow taking of nongame freshwater fish during non-daylight hours with a light and by bow and arrow and gigs. Current FWC regulations also allow taking of nongame freshwater fish during daylight hours by manually operated spears, gigs, snatch hooks, crossbow or bow and arrow. The proposed change in rule 68A-23.002(3) will allow use of crossbows to take non-game freshwater fish at night with a light throughout the state unless otherwise specified. The proposed rule change would increase recreational opportunities and should not have any impacts on freshwater fisheries, fish populations or ecology of freshwater resources. Crossbow Fishing at Night with Light
- 68D-24.006 and 68D-24.008 - Fort Lauderdale and Broward County Boating Restricted Areas- The proposed rule amendments will transfer the zones currently located in the Fort Lauderdale Boating Restricted Area Rule (68D-24.006) to the Broward County Rule (68D-24.008), repeal the Fort Lauderdale Rule and transfer the authority or responsibility for marking the approved zones from the City and County to the FWC. The Broward County Boating Restricted Area rule is also proposed to be amended by making minor increases to the footprint of five (5) zones to match historical boundaries established by existing regulatory markers. Finally, the proposed rule amendments will update the maps and make minor technical changes to the order of the geographic descriptions and the restricted speed terminology. Staff is requesting approval to file the rule for final adoption with the Department of State. Broward/Fort Lauderdale Final Rule
- 68D-24.010- Pinellas County Boating Restricted Areas - The proposed rule extends one (1) zone and widens five (5) zones in the Florida Intracoastal Waterway in Pinellas County. It changes rule language to reflect an increased footprint of two zones to match historical boundaries established by existing regulatory markers, removes the 30 MPH ICW channel-only restriction, adds exclusionary language for shoreline to shoreline zones and splits zone descriptions into multiple paragraphs for clarity. The amendment also updates the rule maps and removes the responsibility of Pinellas County and the City of Clearwater to mark the zones. Staff is requesting approval to file the rule for final adoption with the Department of State. Pinellas County Final Rule
- 68A-15.006 Regulations Related to Miscellaneous Areas - The proposed rule amendment would adjust season dates to conform to calendar year changes and revise specific area regulations on Babcock Ranch Preserve to change the bag limit for deer from one antlered and one antlerless per quota permit to two deer per quota permit during archery, family and the general gun for mobility-impaired hunts; change the bag limit for deer from one antlered deer per quota permit to one antlered deer per person, but no more than two per quota permit during muzzleloading gun and general gun hunts; and change the bag limit for turkey from one turkey per quota permit to one gobbler (or bearded turkey) per person, but no more than two per quota permit during spring turkey hunts. 68A-15.006