April 2016 Commission Meeting
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 Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce at (561) 746-7111, or visit their website.
8:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2016
- Call to Order
- Call to Order
- Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
- Administrative Matters
- Review and Approve February 2016 Commission Meeting Minutes
- Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
- 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.
- Awards and Recognition
- Law Enforcement Prosecutor of the Year Award
- Law Enforcement Employee Retirement Recognition
- Executive Director’s Report
- Item Requiring Action – Final Rule – Gulf Red Snapper Memo | Presentation
Staff will present the proposed 2016 recreational red snapper season for Gulf state waters, a progress report on Florida’s Gulf Reef Fish Survey, and address red snapper issues discussed at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The proposed rule would modify the Commission's reef fish rule to set the Gulf recreational red snapper season as follows:
68B-14.0038 Recreational Snapper Seasons – The recreational harvest season for Gulf red snapper would first open for Saturdays and Sundays in May starting May 7. The season would then open continuously beginning the Saturday before Memorial Day through July 10. Finally, the season would reopen for Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays in September and October including Labor Day. This would result in a 78-day season for 2016.
- Council Reports
- Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) Report. Staff will report on actions from the GMFMC's April 4-8 meeting in Austin, TX. No discussion of red snapper will be provided during this item as it will be considered as a part of the final rule agenda item. Topics include: red grouper, mackerel, gray triggerfish, yellowtail snapper, and data collection. Memo
- South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Report. Staff will report on actions from the SAFMC's March 7-11 meeting in Jekyll Island, GA. Topics include: various snapper grouper species and quota allocations for dolphin and yellowtail snapper. Memo | Presentation
- Staff Reports
- Lionfish Removal Outreach and Reward Program. Staff will review the outcomes of the special lionfish removal opportunity offered during the 2015 two-day lobster sport season (mini season) and discuss opportunities for expanding the program in 2016. The 2015 opportunity allowed individuals who harvested at least 10 lionfish per day during the sport season to harvest one lobster per day over the bag limit during the two-day sport season. Staff will present a series of options for expanding the opportunity in 2016 in order to encourage additional participation in lionfish removal and encourage additional public involvement in this statewide effort. Memo | Presentation
- Red Drum Stakeholder Engagement. Staff will present an update on the innovative methods being used to gather stakeholder input on the status of the red drum fishery in the Northwest and Northeast management zones and the information received to date. Memo | Presentation
- Items Requiring Action – Draft Rule - 68E-1, Marine Turtle Permits.
Staff will present proposed amendments to the rule under which the agency issues marine turtle permits for individuals, firms and corporations involved in educational, conservation and research activities with threatened and endangered marine turtles. Memo | Presentation | Rule and Guidelines
- Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
- Commissioner Exchange
- Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting
8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 14, Reconvene
- Call to Order
- Awards and Recognition -Florida Sportsmen’s Conservation Association (FSCA) Wildlife Resource Management Award
- Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida Update
- Staff Report – Venomous Reptiles
Staff will present an update on efforts to evaluate existing regulations on possession of venomous reptiles and results of recent interactions with stakeholders. Staff will also present a range of options regarding possession and permitting for venomous reptiles. Based on Commission direction, staff will continue to work with permit holders and the public and return with proposed rule changes at the June 2016 Commission meeting. Memo | Presentation
- Strategic Follow-Up
- Conflict Wildlife. Staff will present information on important invasive and native species human-wildlife conflict management issues, including a summary of the recent 2016 Python ChallengeTM. Memo | Presentation
- Imperiled Species Management Plan. Staff will present a brief history of the listing process for imperiled species in Florida with an emphasis on recent revisions and the development of the Imperiled Species Management Plan. Memo | Presentation
- Staff Reports
- Bird Island Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) Update. Staff will provide an update on the CWA which was approved in June of 2014. Memo | Presentation
- Securing a New Model of Non-game Wildlife Conservation Funding. Staff will present a briefing on The Blue Ribbon Panel on Sustaining America’s Diverse Fish & Wildlife Resources – a recent ongoing national effort to garner ideas and support to create a new and equitable funding system for non-game wildlife conservation. Memo | Presentation
- General Counsel Report
- Future Agenda Items
- Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
- Commissioner Exchange
- Commission Administrative Matters
The next Regular Commission Meeting is scheduled for June 21 – 23, 2016 in Apalachicola, commencing at 1:30 p.m. on day one and 8:30 a.m. each day thereafter.
- Review and approval of migratory bird hunting regulations (dove, rail, gallinule, woodcock, snipe, special early waterfowl, regular waterfowl and coot, and limited Canada goose seasons) for the 2016-2017 season. Staff is seeking approval to publish a Notice of Proposed Rule for Rule 68A-13.003, F.A.C. to decrease the bag limit for eiders and long-tailed ducks from 6 to 4 to conform to federal frameworks. Memo | Summary | 68A-13.003
NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed rule 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.
- 68C-22.028 Flagler County Manatee Protection Rule. Review and approval for a rule amendment that establishes a new state manatee protection zone in Flagler County. Additional zone requested by Flagler County. Memo | 68C-22.028 Flagler County Zones
- Reef Fish Species Removed from Federal Management (Draft Rule) – The proposed rule amendments would address state rules for several reef fish species that are not federally managed or are pending removal from federal management. These rules would remove federal commercial requirements from state rule for species that are not federally managed, apply state rules in adjacent federal waters for several reef fish species that are not managed in adjacent federal waters, and remove tiger grouper from state management. The proposed rules would modify the Commission’s reef fish rule as follows:
- 68B-14.001 (Purpose and Intent, Designation as Restricted Species.) - This section would be modified to add language that applies state rules in adjacent federal waters for several reef fish species not managed in federal waters. Tiger grouper would be removed from the list of restricted species.
- 68B-14.0035 (Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper.) – This section would be modified to specify that size limits listed in this section for dog snapper, mahogany snapper, and schoolmaster snapper apply in both state and 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 add language that applies state rules for snapper and grouper aggregate bag limits in adjacent federal waters. New language would be added to clarify that for red snapper, only fish harvested from state waters would be included in the snapper aggregate bag limit.
- 68B-14.0039 Recreational Grouper Seasons. – This section would be modified to remove tiger grouper from the list of species included in the January 1 through April 30 recreational grouper closure that occurs each year in state waters of the Atlantic.
- 68B-14.0045 Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag and Trip Limits. – This section would be modified to remove the requirement for commercial harvesters to possess a South Atlantic snapper-grouper permit if fishing for wenchman, black snapper, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, and schoolmaster. This section would also be modified to remove the requirement for commercial harvesters to possess a federal commercial Gulf reef fish permit if fishing for misty grouper, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, black snapper, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, and schoolmaster. This section would also be modified to remove the requirement for commercial harvesters to possess a federal Gulf IFQ vessel account if fishing for red hind, rock hind, misty grouper, blackline tilefish, and anchor tilefish. Finally, this section would be modified to remove tiger grouper from the list of species included in the January 1 through April 30 commercial grouper closure that occurs each year in state waters of the Atlantic.
- Request that the Commission delegate approval of acquisition agreements less than $500,000.00 to the Executive Director, in consultation with the Chairman, and also provide the Executive Director a temporary Delegation of Authority to grant final approval of Acquisition Agreements exceeding $500,000.00 in value, in consultation with the Chairman, until the September 2016 Commission Meeting. Memo
- Request approval to advertise amendments to the Derelict Vessel Removal Grants Rule, Chapter 68-1.003(7) Florida Administrative Code (FAC) which will update the rule to conform to current standards for issuing grants and provide guidelines for this program. Memo
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.
NOTE: Staff will be requesting an amendment to the agenda to delay this item (Consent 5) until a future Commission meeting.