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September, 2016 Commission Meeting

Time: 8:30am
Dates: September 8 - 9, 2016
Place: World Golf Village Renaissance Resort
500 South Legacy Trail
St. Augustine, Florida 32092

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.

For information on lodging and restaurants in the area, you may call the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce at (904) 829-5681, or visit their website External Website.

 

Agenda

8:30 a.m., Thursday, September 8

  1. Call to Order
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
  2. Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approve June 2016 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 placed elsewhere on the agenda at the discretion of the Chairman.
  3. Executive Director’s Report
  4. Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida Update
    Foundation staff will present an update on the current status of Foundation activities.  As a part of this, they will also present the Rodney Barreto Employee of the Year and Louise Ireland Humphrey Lifetime Achievement Awards.
  5. Retirement Recognitions
  6. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Report
    Staff will provide a preview of actions and discussions scheduled for the SAFMC’s September 12-16 meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Topics include hogfish, red snapper, quota allocations for dolphin and yellowtail snapper, and limited-entry for the for-hire fleet. - Summary Memo
  7. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) Report
    Staff will report on actions from the GMFMC’s June 20-24 meeting in Clearwater, FL and August 15-19 meeting in New Orleans, LA.  Topics include: red snapper, hogfish, gray triggerfish and king mackerel.  - Summary Memo
  8. Items Requiring Action – Final Rules
    1. Red Drum – At the June 2016 Commission meeting, the Commission approved a draft rule reducing the daily bag limit for red drum in the Northwest management zone from 2 to 1 fish per person per day.  This bag limit reduction was implemented from May 1 – November 1, 2016, through an Executive Order.  The proposed final rule would implement this change as a long-term management measure. Draft Rule Language

      68B-22.005 Bag and Vessel Limits; Sale Prohibited – The proposed final rule would reduce the daily bag limit in the Northwest red drum management zone from two fish per person per day to one fish per person per day.  The Northwest red drum management zone includes all state waters from the Florida-Alabama border to a line due west of the western point of the Fred Howard Park Causeway just south of the Pasco-Pinellas county line. - Summary Memo | Presentation

    2. Mutton Snapper – Based on the most recent mutton snapper stock assessment, the South Atlantic and Gulf councils are proposing to reduce federal harvest quotas.  Staff will present proposed final rules for mutton snapper harvest that would increase the recreational, commercial, importation, and sale minimum size limits; reduce the recreational bag limit; and modify commercial trip limits in state waters.  Staff will also report on the results of public workshops about these rules.  These final rules are intended to keep harvest below the proposed federal quotas and address stakeholder concerns about this fishery.  The proposed final rules would modify the Commission’s reef fish rule as follows:

      68B-14.0035 Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper – The proposed rule would increase the recreational and commercial minimum size limit for mutton snapper from 16 inches to 18 inches in all state waters.

      68B-14.00355 Size Limits for Importation and Sale – The proposed rule would increase the minimum size limit for importation and sale of mutton snapper from 16 inches to 18 inches.

      68B-14.0036 Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption – The proposed rule would reduce the recreational bag limit for mutton snapper from 10 fish per person to 3 fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit in all state waters.

      68B-14.0045 Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag and Trip Limits – The proposed rule would replace the May through June commercial harvest limit of 10 fish per person per day in all state waters during the spawning season with a three-fish per person per day limit applicable from April through June in Atlantic state waters.  The proposed rule would also establish a 500-pound commercial trip limit for the remainder of the harvest season (July – March) in Atlantic state waters. - Summary Memo | Presentation | Draft Rule

  9. Staff Report – Lobster Bully Net Fishery
    Stakeholders have expressed concerns about increased participation in the bully net fishery for spiny lobster.  Participants in the commercial bully net fishery have requested the Commission consider implementing an endorsement program and other regulatory measures to manage growth of the bully net fishery and its impacts on the greater commercial fishery for lobster.  Staff will present a brief overview of the lobster fishery and series of potential management actions that could be used to address these concerns. Summary Memo | Presentation
  10. Item Requiring Action – Legislative Budget Requests
    Staff will seek approval for the FY 2017/2018 Legislative Budget Requests. -Summary Memo | Legislative Budget Requests | Budget Issues | Potential Reductions | Potential Budget Redirects
  11. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  12. Commissioner Exchange
  13. Recess Thursday’s Portion of the Meeting

    8:30 a.m., Friday, September 9
     

  14. Call to Order
  15. Awards and Recognition
    1. Hunter Safety Instructor of the Year Award
    2. Law Enforcement Investigator of the Year Award
    3. Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award
  16. Items Requiring Action
    1. Draft Rules - Venomous Reptile Regulations.  Staff will present draft rules related to Venomous Reptile regulations which will address concerns for public safety and Florida’s ecological well-being.- Summary Memo | Presentation | Captive Wildlife Definitions | Rule Changes
    2. Staff Report - Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA’s).  Staff will present an update on the public outreach efforts to date and provide draft recommendations for proposed new CWA’s and modifications of existing CWA’s.  Staff will also outline the process for gathering additional public input and finalizing the recommendations. - Summary Memo | Presentation
  17. Strategic Follow-Up – Expanding Participation in Conservation
    Staff will present an update on the recent and current activities regarding the Expanding Participation in Conservation Strategic Initiative and an update on the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network. - Summary Memo | Presentation
  18. General Counsel Report
  19. Future Agenda Items
  20. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  21. Commissioner Exchange
  22. Commission Administrative Matters
    The next Regular Commission Meeting is scheduled for November 16 - 17, 2016 in St. Petersburg, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  23. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. Federal Consistency – Atlantic Black Sea Bass – The proposed rule amendment would modify the current Atlantic recreational black sea bass bag limit and Atlantic commercial black sea bass trap marking requirements to be consistent with recent changes approved for adjacent Atlantic federal waters.

    68B-14.0036 Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption – This section would be modified to increase the recreational bag limit for black sea bass from five to seven fish per person per day in Atlantic state waters.

    68B-14.005 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear: Allowable Gear, Incidental Bycatch, Violation – This section would be modified to add buoy line marking requirements for black sea bass traps in Atlantic state waters that would be consistent with proposed line marking requirements in adjacent Atlantic federal waters.

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

    Summary Memo | Presentation | Draft Rule

  2. Draft Rule – St. Lucie County Special Acts Repeal – The FWC recently received a resolution from St. Lucie County requesting that a series of Special Acts of Local Application under FWC authority that apply in their county be repealed.  These Special Acts were originally enacted by the Legislature between 1919 and 1957, prior to the development of statewide fisheries management under the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) and FWC.  They are now under the full authority of FWC, and thus can be modified or repealed.  Staff agree with the County that the conservation goals of these Special Acts would continue to be accomplished under more recently adopted, modern statewide fishing regulations.  The repeal of these old, localized laws would streamline fishing regulations by allowing more current statewide regulations already in effect to apply in their place. Repeal

    68B-3.0XX Repeal of Chapters 8187, 11118, 31234, and 57-1791, St. Lucie County Special Acts of Local Application (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would repeal the following series of outdated and/or redundant saltwater fishing regulations.

    Chapter 8187 (1919) – The proposed draft rule would repeal the prohibition on the use of haul seines and drag nets in all waters of St. Lucie County, and the prohibition on sale or transportation of fish harvested with these gears.  Repealing this act will allow the use of haul seines within waters of St. Lucie County, as long as these nets comply with statewide net regulations.

    Chapter 11118 (1925) The proposed draft rule would repeal the prohibition on the use of seines, gill nets, or any other kind of net in the canals of St. Lucie County and the prohibition on the use of any net or trap within 100 yards of any dock, bridge, or pier in St. Lucie County.  Repealing this act will allow the use of otherwise legal nets and traps within waters of St. Lucie County in a manner consistent with current statewide net and trap gear regulations.

    Chapter 31234 (1955) – The proposed draft rule would repeal the prohibition on use of all nets within the waters of Faber Cove within St. Lucie County.  Repealing this act will allow the use of legal nets, including cast nets and legal seines, within waters of Faber Cove in a manner consistent with current statewide net gear regulations.

    Chapter 57-1791 The proposed draft rule would repeal the prohibition on spearing and skin diving within 1,000 feet of Faber Cove and within 1,000 feet of, or between the two bridges that cross the Indian River Lagoon in Fort Pierce.  The proposed draft rule would repeal the prohibition on sale of speared fish in St. Lucie County.  Repealing this act will allow spearfishing within this area in a manner consistent with statewide spearfishing regulations and allow the sale of saltwater products in St. Lucie County that were harvested by spearfishing or gigging.

    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.

    Summary Memo

  3. Draft Rule – Commercial Saltwater License Forms – FWC provides a variety of forms to be used by commercial fishermen when requesting agency action or when providing the agency with information. Some of these forms are outdated. Updating them will streamline processing of fisher requests. The proposed draft rules would create updated versions of some forms related to commercial harvest of saltwater products using trap gear:

    68B-13.010 Stone Crab Trap Limitation Program – Provide updated forms to be used by commercial stone crab fishermen when requesting replacement tags for their stone crab traps and when requesting transfer of ownership of their stone crab trap certificates to another fisher.

    68E-18.005 Transfer of Certificates – Provide an updated form to be used by commercial lobster fishermen when requesting to transfer ownership of their lobster trap certificates to another fisher.

    68B-2.006 Restricted Species Endorsement – Provide an updated form to be used by commercial fishermen for purposes of exemption to the income requirement for a restricted species endorsement on the basis of total and permanent disability.

    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.

    Summary Memo | Stone Crab Transfer Form(Standard) | Stone Crab Transfer Form (Immediate Family) | Lobster Trap Transfer Form (Standard) | Lobster Trap Transfer Form (Immediate Family) | Physician Statement | All Forms

  4. Draft Rule – Atlantic Gray Triggerfish – In November 2015, the Commission temporarily lowered the minimum size limit from 14 to 12 inches and set the recreational bag limit at 10 fish for gray triggerfish harvest in Atlantic state waters via an Executive Order.  These changes were made in response to public feedback indicating that the 14-inch minimum size limit was appropriate for Atlantic federal but not state waters.  The Commission intended to revisit gray triggerfish regulations following the completion of the 2016 Atlantic gray triggerfish stock assessment.  Because the Executive Order will expire Oct. 31, 2016, the Commission will consider whether to continue the 12-inch minimum size limit and 10-fish recreational bag limit in Atlantic state waters.  The proposed draft rules would modify the Commission’s reef fish rules as follows:

    68B-14.0035 Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper –The proposed rule would set the recreational and commercial minimum size limit for gray triggerfish harvested in the Atlantic Ocean at 12 inches fork length in all state waters.

    68B-14.00355 Size Limits for Importation and Sale – The proposed rule would decrease the minimum size limit for importation and sale of gray triggerfish from 14 inches to 12 inches fork length.

    68B-14.0036 Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption – The proposed rule would set the bag limit for gray triggerfish harvested recreationally in the Atlantic Ocean at 10 fish per person per day.

    Summary Memo | Presentation

    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.

     

  5. Draft Rule – Gear Regulations clean-up

    Staff will present a draft rule amendment to modify outdated rule language in Rules 68B-3, 68B-4, and 68B-25, FAC, and a variety of Special Acts of Local Application to update outdated references to the Marine Fisheries Commission, and to amend or delete outdated regulations that appear to authorize the use of net gear that is prohibited by Article X, Section 16 of the Florida Constitution or that reference penalties for the use of illegal net gear that have since been superseded by Legislative statutory changes.  The proposed changes will reduce confusion within the fishery and improve the clarity of the Florida’s statewide gear regulations.

    68B-3.028 Repeal and Readoption of Portions of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties Special Acts. – The proposed draft rule amendment would delete provisions that appear to allow the use of certain net gear that is prohibited by Article X Section 16 of the Florida Constitution, and will update an outdated reference to the Marine Fisheries Commission by changing it to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    68B-3.031 Repeal and Readoption of Portions of Chapter 21365, Laws of Florida (1941), Manatee County Special Act. – The proposed draft rule amendment would delete a provision that appears to allow the use of net gear that is prohibited by Article X Section 16 of the Florida Constitution.

    68B-3.032 Repeal of Portions of Chapter 71-770, Laws of Florida (1971), Martin County Special Act. – The proposed draft rule amendment would clarify that minnow seines shall not exceed 500 square feet in mesh area to be consistent with Article X Section 16 of the Florida Constitution.

    68B-4.014 Southwest Florida Purse Seine Restrictions: Gear Specifications; Area Limitation; Local Law Repeals. – The proposed draft rule amendment would delete provisions that appear to allow the use of certain net gear that is prohibited by Article X Section 16 of the Florida Constitution.

    68B-25.003 Old Tampa Bay: Repeal of Local Laws; Prohibition of Certain Gear. – The proposed draft rule amendment would delete a provision that appears to allow the use of net gear that is prohibited by Article X Section 16 of the Florida Constitution

    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.

    Summary Memo | Presentation | Gear Regulations Cleanup | Rule Language

  6. ISMP Rules – Staff requests approval to publish a Notice of Proposed Rule (NPR) for rules 68A-16.003 and 68A-27.003. Final action for each of these rule changes is scheduled for November 2016. Summary Memo | Presentation | Summary

  7. Marine Turtle Permit Rule, 68E-1, NOC – Staff requests approval to publish a NOC based on changes in response to comments submitted by the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC). Staff propose amending the language in the draft rule and guidance document to modify or delete language to improve clarity, add specific language to the handbook for materials incorporated by reference as required by FAC Rule 1-1.013 and remove or revise references to technical documents that are not being incorporated by reference.

    Summary Memo

 



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While most reptiles have three-chambered hearts, the heart of alligators, and all crocodilians, has 4 chambers – a trait shared with mammals and birds.

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