Proposed Rule Development – Hunting and Fishing Regulations

FWC staff have evaluated a proposed change to a specific rule related to hunting regulations in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area.  These changes are limited to hunting with the use of dogs (described below).  Public comments are being requested at this time.  A summary of all written and electronic comments received will be made available to the Commissioners.  All comments on these drafts must be submitted no later than 5 pm on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Over the years, many changes have been made to the regulations on Blackwater WMA to address issues relating to the illegal trespass of hunting dogs onto private property.  Although these changes have made a difference, problems persist.  In an effort to further reduce conflicts without reducing hunting opportunity, the FWC is proposing the rule below.
FWC Commissioners will consider the proposed rule change for final adoption at their September 10-19, 2014, meeting in the Kissimmee area. The results of this public input process will be presented to them.

NOTE:  The proposed rule below was modified on May 28th.  If you commented on this rule prior to this date, please read the proposal again and let us know your comments on the revised proposal.

The Proposed rule change follows:

(4) Blackwater WMA – (f) General Regulations.

The proposed rule would require that all dogs used for pursuing or hunting deer, fox or coyote in that portion of the dog hunt area east of Belandville Road be monitored and equipped with a functioning Global Positioning System (GPS) or telemetry device (e.g., collar) with behavior correction capability.  If approved, this rule would be in effect for the 2014-15 hunting season, however, the behavior correction component of this rule would not take effect until July 1, 2016.  This would give individuals who do not already use this technology additional time to acquire the required equipment and train dogs as necessary.

FWC Facts:
Vessel operators must make a reasonable effort to stay at least 300 feet from divers-down flags on open waters.

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