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June, 2015 Commission Meeting

Time: 1:30 pm the first day, 8:30 am each day thereafter
Dates: June 23 - 25, 2015
Place: Hyatt Regency Sarasota
1000 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota, Florida 34236

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

1:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 23

  1. Meeting Opening
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  2. Special Recognition
  3. Budget Workshop Memo
  4. Strategic Discussion Follow-up
    1. Florida Panthers: Research, Management and Recovery Update and Policy Direction for Program Strategic Priorities – FWC staff will provide information on the Florida Panther Recovery Implementation Team and updates on current panther research and management activities. A draft agency policy paper will be presented for Commission discussion and to provide direction to staff for policy implementation. Panther Memo | Panther Position Paper MemoPresentation Version 2
    2. Imperiled Species Management Plan (ISMP) – FWC staff will present to the Commission a summary of changes made in the draft ISMP based on new scientific information and stakeholder input, request Commissioner concurrence with proposed changes to the species list, and highlight potential regulatory aspects of the ISMP. ISMP Memo | Biological Review Group Members | Presentation | Eastern Chipmunk | Draft Rules Summary | Stakeholder Comments
  5. Special Guest Speaker
  6. Commissioner Exchange
  7. Recess Tuesday’s Portion of the Meeting

    8:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 24, Reconvene

  8. Call to Order
  9. Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approve April 2015 Commission Meeting Minutes
    2. Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
    3. Approve Consent Agenda – Any item not approved as part of the consent agenda may be moved to the regular meeting agenda and would be considered prior to the open public comment section.
  10. Executive Director’s Report
  11. Items Requiring Action – Final Rules
    1. Rules for Limited Bear Hunting Season – Staff will present a suite of proposed final rules to establish a limited hunting season for black bears on public and private lands. Rules would include requirements related to permits, season, methods of take, bag limits, check stations, harvest quotas and other changes. The proposed rules would also revise specific area regulations on Commission managed hunting areas. 68A-1.004 | 68A-4.001 | 68A-4.004 | 68A-9.007 | 68A-12.002 | 68A-12.003 | 68A-12.004 | 68A-12.007 | 68A-13.0001 | 68A-13.004 | 68A-15.005 | 68A-15.062 | 68A-15.063 | 68A-15.064 | 68A-15.065 | 68A-17.005 | 68A-24.002 | Bear Hunting Rules Memo | Bear Hunting Information for WMAs | Rules for a Limited Bear Hunting Season
    2. Revisions to Bear Related Rules and Policies – Staff will seek approval of final revisions to rules prohibiting intentional feeding of bear, fox, coyote, and raccoon (68A-4.001) and rules addressing protection of the black bear and issuance of depredation permits (68A-4.009).  An agency policy paper on proposed comprehensive waste management practices and an accompanying resolution will also be presented. Presentation | Black Bear Resolution | Bear Rules and Policies Memo | Public Guidelines for Scaring Bears | Proposed Changes to Feeding Rule | Policies and Procedures | Proposed Changes to Conservation Rule | Conflict Reduction Through Improved Waste Management | Guidelines for Trained Security Personnel to Scare a Bear
    3. 68C-22.016 Pinellas County Manatee Protection Rule – Staff will seek final approval for rule amendments that establish new state manatee protection zones in portions of western Pinellas County. Manatee Memo | Pinellas County Maps | Rule Text | Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs | Presentation
  12. Item Requiring Action – Draft Rule – Proposed Black Bass Regulation Changes.  Draft rules will be presented to change statewide and specific length limits for black bass species.  The objectives of these proposed changes are to simplify rules, reduce the number of specialized regulations, shift harvest from quality-size bass to more abundant smaller sizes, improve bass populations, and better meet angler desires. 68A-20.005 | 68A-23.005 | Black Bass Memo | Presentation
  13. Staff Reports – Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations.  Staff will report on the current (2015-16) and future (2016-17 and beyond) migratory bird regulations setting process.  Also, staff will review and seek anticipated early season migratory bird hunting regulations for 2015-2016.  This includes hunting season and bag limits for dove, rail, gallinule, woodcock, Canada geese and special September duck seasons. Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations Memo | Presentation
  14. Staff Report – Legislative Issues Update Legislative Update Memo | End of Regular Session Report
  15. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  16. Commissioner Exchange
  17. Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting

    8:30 a.m., Thursday, June 25, Reconvene

  18. Call to Order
  19. Awards and Recognition
    1. Florida Guides Association (FGA) Annual Recognition Awards
      1. FGA/FWC Trained Eyes Coastwatcher Officer of the Year Award
      2. Captain Phil Chapman Conservation Award
    2. Chairman Rodney Barreto Employee of the Year Award
    3. Louise Ireland Humphrey Lifetime Achievement Award
  20. Joint South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) Report – Staff will report on actions taken by both Councils at their June 8-12 meetings in Key West.  Topics include: management of South Florida species, mackerel, red snapper, gag grouper, and various snapper grouper species. Memo | Joint Council Presentation
  21. Items Requiring Action
    1. Draft Rule – Barracuda. The Commission does not currently have any species-specific regulations for great barracuda.  However, in recent years stakeholders have expressed concern about the population status in south Florida.  Stakeholder consensus and some of the available data suggests there has been a localized decline in the Keys and southeast Florida.  Staff will recommend creation of a new rule chapter for barracuda that would include a series of regulatory measures that would only apply in south Florida, including a minimum size limit, maximum size limit, recreational bag limit, and commercial trip limit. Presentation | Barracuda Memo | Supplemental Information

      68B-60.002 Definitions (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would define barracuda as any fish of the species Sphyraena barracuda.

      68B-60.003 Size Limits (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would establish a slot limit in the form of a minimum size limit of 15 inches and a maximum size limit of 36 inches that would apply to both recreational and commercial fisheries.  These measures would only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.

      68B-60.004 Bag Limits (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would establish a daily recreational bag limit of two fish and a commercial daily trip limit of 20 fish.  These measures would only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.

    2. Special Lionfish Removal Opportunity – Staff will discuss a proposed special opportunity for lobster harvesters to also harvest lionfish during the two-day lobster sport season (mini season).  The proposal will allow individuals who harvest at least 10 lionfish per day to harvest one lobster per day over the bag limit during the two-day sport season.  If approved, this special opportunity could be implemented via Executive Order and would apply to the 2015 sport season only. Presentation | Lionfish Memo | Supplemental Information
  22. Staff Report – Marine Fish Management.  Staff will provide an overview of the Commission’s research and management of forage fish.  The presentation will review historical and ongoing research on forage fish species as well as relevant management tools and practices currently used to successfully manage these species in Florida. Forage Fish Memo | Presentation Forage Fish Resolution
  23. General Counsel Report
  24. Future Agenda Items
  25. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  26. Special Recognition
  27. Elections
  28. Commissioner Exchange
  29. Commission Administrative Matters
    The next Regular Commission Meeting is scheduled for September 2 – 3, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  30. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. Quail Enhancement Areas (QEA) Hunting Rule Changes (Final rules) – Staff presented these draft rule amendments at the April 2015 Commission Meeting. Hunting Rule Change Memo

    68A-15.062 – The proposed final rule amendment would modifying the process for establishing QEA quail hunting seasons on Jennings Forest Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

    68A-15.063 – The proposed final rule amendment would modifying the process for establishing QEA quail hunting seasons on Apalachicola and Blackwater WMAs.

    68A-15.065 - The proposed final rule amendment would modifying the process for establishing QEA quail hunting seasons on Three Lakes WMA.

  2. Stone Crab Trap Gear Specifications (Final rule) – Staff presented this draft rule at the April 2015 Commission Meeting. Presentation

    68B-13.008 Gear, Trap Construction, Commercial Trap Marking Requirements, Trap Working Regulations, Trap Transfer – The proposed final rule would modify trap construction requirements, including dimensions and entrance design, for the stone crab fishery in Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties to ensure the traps are designed to target stone crab.
     
  3. King Mackerel (Draft rule) – Staff will present a proposed draft rule that would modify commercial harvest regulations for king mackerel. Recently, the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fishery management councils modified commercial trip limits, fishing years, and transit provisions for commercial harvest of king mackerel in federal waters. The proposed draft rule would simplify rule language and clarify that commercial harvesters fishing in state waters must follow federal commercial fishing seasons and harvest limits for king mackerel. Additionally, the proposed draft rule would allow for king mackerel that was commercially harvested in open areas of state or federal waters to be transited through closed areas of state waters to be landed. These changes would reduce confusion and be consistent with regulations in federal waters. The proposed draft rule amendments would modify the Commission’s king mackerel rules as follows: King Mackerel Memo | Presentation | 68B-12 | 68B-30

    68B-12.0046 Commercial Fishing Season for King Mackerel in the Gulf-Atlantic Fishery; Commercial Season Segments, Vessel and Landing Limits – The proposed draft rule would set commercial vessel limits to match limits in federal waters and clarify that when federal waters are closed to commercial king mackerel harvest, state waters are also closed.  The proposed draft rule would also allow king mackerel that was commercially harvested in open areas of state or federal waters to be transited through closed areas of state waters under certain conditions.

    68B-30.003 Commercial Harvest Limits; Recreational Bag Limit; Gear Specifications. - The proposed draft rule would also allow king mackerel that was commercially harvested in open areas of state or federal waters to be transited through closed areas of state waters under certain conditions.

    68B-30.004 Commercial Season Closures (New title) – The proposed draft rule would clarify that when federal waters are closed to commercial king mackerel harvest, state waters are also closed.

    NOTE:  Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendment and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule amendment is 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.

  4. Federal Consistency – Gulf Greater Amberjack (Adoption of a Federal Standard) – The proposed rule amendment would increase the greater amberjack recreational minimum size limit from 30 inches fork length to 34 inches fork length within state waters of the Gulf of Mexico to achieve consistency between the Commission's greater amberjack rules and pending rules in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed rule would modify the Commission's reef fish rule as follows: Greater Amberjack Memo | Presentation

    68B-14.0035 (Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper.) – This section would be modified to specify a minimum size limit of 34 inches for greater amberjack recreationally harvested in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    If this 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 federal standards without further hearing.
     
  5. Mackerel Tournament Donation Permit – Currently FWC allows king and Spanish mackerel harvested in recreational fishing tournaments to be donated to wholesale dealers who may sell the fish and donate the money received from sale of the fish to a charity of the tournament's choosing.  Recent changes to federal rules for king and Spanish mackerel caught in federal waters off Florida only allow sale of such fish from state-permitted tournaments.  These proposed rules would create a mackerel tournament donation permit that allows current tournament practices to continue.  The proposed draft rule would also reference this permit in relevant marine fisheries rules. Mackerel Tournament Memo | Mackerel Tournament Rule Language | Presentation | Presentation Version 2

    68B-2.001 General Definitions – The proposed draft rule would define "monetary value" and "organized tournament."

    68B-2.010 Tournament Permits (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would create a permit to allow tournaments to donate tournament-caught mackerel to a properly-licensed wholesale dealer for a donation of the monetary value of the fish to the charity of the tournament's choice.

    68B-12.006 Other Prohibitions – The proposed draft rule would add a reference to the mackerel tournament donation permit in 68B-2.010, FAC.

    68B-23.006 Other Prohibitions – The proposed draft rule would add a reference to the mackerel tournament donation permit in 68B-2.010, FAC.

    68B-30.006 Other Prohibitions – The proposed draft rule would add a reference to the mackerel tournament donation permit in 68B-2.010, FAC.

    NOTE:  Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendment and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule amendment is 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.

  6. 68D-24.109 Withlacoochee River Boating Restricted Area – The proposed rule amendment would reduce the size of three boating restricted areas, increase one zone by approximately 200 feet to improve posting the regulations, and update maps to reflect changes in the restricted areas.  A public meeting was held prior to the Commission meeting.  Staff requests approval to advertise the proposed amendment and file it for adoption if no hearing is requested. Boating Restricted Areas Memo | Withlacoochee River proposed Rule | Presentation
  7. Approval of 2016 Commission Meeting Dates and Tentative Locations


FWC Facts:
Boaters who accidentally strike a manatee are urged to report it to the FWC. You may not be subject to prosecution if you were following any speed restrictions at the time.

Learn More at AskFWC