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December 2012 Commission Meeting

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8:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 5

    1. Meeting Opening
      1. Call to Order
      2. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
      3. Employee Introduction
      4. Retirement Recognition – Dennis David
    2. Administrative Matters
      1. Review and Approve September 5-6, 2012 Commission Meeting Minutes
      2. Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
      3. Approve Consent Agenda
    3. Executive Director’s Report
    4. Items Requiring Action
      1. Fishery Management Council Updates
        1. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) – Staff will report on GMFMC actions from the October 29 – November 1, 2012, meeting in Gulfport, MS.  Topics include: gray triggerfish, grouper seasons, red snapper and vermilion snapper.  Staff will also present a draft rule with options for modifying the recreational harvest season for gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico for 2013. Gulf Council Report | Gulf Council Report Version 2
          1. Draft Rule  68B-14.0039 Recreational Grouper Seasons – The proposed rule amendment would modify the recreational open harvest season for gag grouper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, except in all waters of Monroe County, for 2013.
        2. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) – Staff will report on SAFMC actions from the September 10-14, 2012, Council meeting in Charleston, SC and update the Commission on anticipated actions at the December 3-7, 2012, meeting in Wilmington, NC. Topics include:  red snapper, yellowtail snapper, Warsaw grouper, speckled hind, mackerel, cobia, Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, and golden crab. South Atlantic Council Report | South Atlantic Council Report Version 2
        3. Final Rule
          1. Atlantic Black Sea Bass -The proposed final rule would modify recreational and commercial harvest regulations in the Atlantic Ocean to achieve consistency between the Commission’s black sea bass regulations and federal regulations in Atlantic federal waters.  Consistent regulations in state waters would contribute to the federal rebuilding plan and reduce the likelihood of catch exceeding federal annual catch limits.  The proposed final rule would modify the Commission’s reef fish rule as follows: Presentation
            1. 68B-14.0035 Size Limits: Amberjacks, Black Sea Bass, Gray Triggerfish, Grouper, Hogfish, Red Porgy, Snapper – The proposed final rule would set the minimum size limits for black sea bass harvested from the Atlantic Ocean recreationally at 13 inches total length and commercially at 11 inches total length.
            2. 68B-14.0036 Recreational Bag Limits: Snapper, Grouper, Hogfish, Black Sea Bass, Red Porgy, Amberjacks, Tilefish, Exception, Wholesale/Retail Purchase Exemption – The proposed final rule would reduce the recreational bag and possession limit for black sea bass for the Atlantic Ocean to five fish per person per day.
            3. 68B-14.0045 Commercial Harvest Requirements; Licenses, Season Closures, Bag and Trip Limits – The proposed final rule would specify for a person to fish with black sea bass traps in the Atlantic Ocean, a valid federal South Atlantic black sea bass pot endorsement and a valid federal South Atlantic snapper grouper unlimited commercial permit must be issued to and possessed aboard the vessel.
            4. 68B-14.005 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear: Allowable Gear, Incidental Bycatch, Violation – The proposed final rule would specify that black sea bass traps fished in the Atlantic Ocean must have a tag issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service attached and shall only be used north of 28°35.1’N latitude.  Trap specifications would also be modified in the Atlantic Ocean to be consistent with those for Atlantic federal waters.  Additionally, this proposed final rule would require black sea bass traps fished in the Atlantic Ocean to be removed from the water at the end of each trip.
        4. Draft Rule
          1. Saltwater Game fish and Sport fish Designation – The draft rule would create saltwater game fish and sport fish designations for the Commission’s rules.  Creating such designations would increase the status for some premier fish species found in Florida waters.  The draft rule will include components of each designation and a discussion of species that could be included as a game fish or a sport fish. Draft Rule Presentation
            1. 68B-2.010 – Game Fish and Sport Fish Designation  The proposed draft rule would create a new subsection that states the intent of the designations, which is to conserve premier recreational fish species in Florida and enhance the marketing capacity for Florida’s recreational fishing opportunities.  The proposed draft rule would create a saltwater game fish designation, the components of which would be no commercial harvest or possession, no sale or purchase, hook and line only, and zero bag limit for the captain and crew of for-hire vessels.  The proposed draft rule would also create an elite designation for saltwater sport fish, the components of which would be no harvest or possession recreationally or commercially, no purchase or sale, and when targeting, only hook and line gear.
    5. Staff Reports
      1. Flounder Fishery Status Update - Review and Discussion of the 2012 Florida Flounder Fishery Status Update  Flounder Fishery Status
      2. Apalachicola Bay Issues – Discuss the status of the oyster population in Apalachicola Bay  Apalachicola Bay Issues | Apalachicola Bay Issues Version 2
    6. Items Requiring Action – Boating
      1. Anchoring and Mooring Pilot Program Ordinance – Stuart/Martin County.
        Staff will present a review of a proposed ordinance regulating the anchoring or mooring of non-live-aboard vessels outside the marked boundaries of public mooring fields in Stuart/Martin County.  Commission approval is necessary before the ordinance can be enforced. Presentation | Background Report 1 | Background Report 2 | Exhibit A | Exhibit B | Exhibit C | Exhibit D
      2. 68D-24.011 - Okeechobee Waterway Boating Restricted Areas 
        This proposed rule amendment would change the Okeechobee Waterway Boating Restricted Area Rule to expand an existing boating safety zone in the vicinity of the Clewiston Lock to provide adequate protection. Also in this rule, the Commission is proposing to correct a discrepancy in the direction referenced for the north boundary of the Palm City Bridge Boating Restricted Area in Martin County. The change to the Palm City Bridge section of this rule will not affect the zone boundary or the way it is currently marked. A public input meeting was held on September 19, 2012 in Clewiston to discuss proposed changes to the Okeechobee Waterway Rule. Staff is requesting approval to file a Notice of Proposed Rule in the Florida Administrative Weekly. Staff will hold another public meeting, if requested, in accordance with 120.54 (3) Florida Statutes. Presentation
    7. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
    8. Commissioner Exchange
    9. Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting

      8:30 a.m., Thursday, December 6, Reconvene

    10. Meeting Opening
      1. Call to Order
      2. Special Recognition - FWC's Outstanding Prosecutor Award
    11. Items Requiring Action
      1. Draft Rules 
        Proposed Rule Changes for Hunting and Freshwater Fishing for 2013-2014 - The proposed rules would revise specific area regulations on Commission managed hunting and freshwater fishing areas and amend or clarify rules to better manage hunting, fishing and public use regarding wildlife and freshwater fish.  A complete list of the rules can be viewed in background materials for this item. 68A-01004 | 68A-09004 | 68A-12002 68A-13004 68A-15004 | 68A-15006 68A-15061 68A-15062 68A-15063 68A-15064 68A-15065 68A-17004 68A-17005 | Proposed Hunting Rules | Public Comment Summary | Additional Public Comment
      2. 68A-15.005 Quota Permits; Antlerless Deer Permits; Special-Opportunity Permits - The proposed rule amendment would allow for a different guest to obtain a guest permit on different days of a single hunt, while continuing to limit the permit holder to one guest per day; allow unused permits to be returned electronically 10 days prior to the hunt in order to receive reinstatement of preference points for those permits obtained through the use of preference points; allow returned permits to be reissued on a weekly basis; and delete sunset provisions prohibiting transferability of quota permits and allowing for guest permits as provided by this rule. Draft Rule | Quota Permits Draft Rule
    12. Staff Reports
      1. Statewide Alligator Harvest Program Report Presentation
      2. Imperiled Species Updates 
        1. Imperiled Species Conceptual Framework - Imperiled species management is highly complex, a general framework for the allocation of FWC resources can be placed into three categories: 1) state listed species, 2) federally listed species, and 3) the interface between federal and state agencies.  Each of these categories can be further divided into three states: a) evaluation/listing process; b) planning; and c) management implementation.  Staff will present this framework to the Commission including a discussion on how items being presented at Commission meetings fit into it. Presentation
        2. Imperiled Species Management Planning Update and Approach - In September 2010, the Commission approved revisions to rules relating to Endangered and Threatened Species (Ch. 68A-27, F.A.C.). Staff has worked since then to conduct biological status reviews for state-threatened species and initiated management planning for 60 species that do not have either a drafted or approved management plan. Staff will present an update to the Commission on the modified approach to the management planning process. Presentation
      3. 2013 Automatic Fee Increases – Staff is seeking Commission direction regarding a report to the Legislature on Automatic fee increases to vessel registration fees and recreational license fees scheduled to take place July 1, 2013. Presentation
      4. FWC Annual Work Plan for Commission Meeting Items Presentation
      5. Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network (FYCCN) – Update
    13. Public Comments on Items Not on the Agenda
    14. Commissioner Exchange
    15. Commission Administrative Matters
      The Next Regular Commission meeting is scheduled February 13-14, 2013 in Orlando, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
    16. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

    1. Changes in Fish Management Areas – (Draft Rules) Baymeadows and Lake Rachel Final Rule
      1. 68A-20.005 (t) – Specific Fish Management Area Regulations - Baymeadows Fish Management Area is a 15 acre lake that will be a positive addition to the North Central Regional Fish Management system of intensively managed lakes in Duval County. The proposed rules in conjunction with habitat improvements, fish feeders and aeration will provide quality angling opportunities that are consistent with Duval County managed lakes. The addition of Baymeadows FMA will continue to strengthen the partnership with the City of Jacksonville. Baymeadows Support
      2. 68A-20.005 (k) – Specific Fish Management Area Regulations - Lake Rachel - The proposed rule change addresses the repeal of the FWC rules for Lake Rachel. The 100 acre lake on private property in Madison County was made available for public fishing via Lease Agreement.  Due to small size, low fishery productivity and limited strategies available to provide or improve quality of fishing experiences, the FMA is being disestablished.  Aquatic vegetation control efforts which were successful in allowing navigation did not increase angler utilization or quality fishing. Lake Rachel Original Letters
    2. 68D-24.018 - St. Johns River Boating Restricted Areas (Draft Rule) —This proposed rule amendment would change the St. Johns River Boating Restricted Area Rule to correct a minor discrepancy in the direction referenced for the Mullet Lake Park Flood Zone located in Seminole and Volusia counties. This correction will not affect the zone boundary as it is currently enforced during flooding conditions. 68D-24.018 | St. Johns River Map
    3. 68D-24.143 - Martin County Boating Restricted Areas (Draft Rule) —This proposed rule amendment would change the Martin County Boating Restricted Area Rule to   correct a minor discrepancy in the direction referenced for the north boundary of the boating restricted area currently in effect at the NE Ocean Boulevard Bridge. This correction will not affect the zone boundary or layout as it is currently marked. 68D-24.143 | Martin County Map
    4. Trap Pulling Petition Forms – (Draft Rule)– The draft rule would update the trap pulling petition forms for three trap fisheries: spiny lobster, blue crab, and stone crab.  These forms allow another person to transport, deploy, pull, or retrieve traps belonging to a commercial harvester.  The updates would include requiring a Notary signature on each form and instructions for calling FWC Dispatch each day another person is pulling traps according to the form. Trap Pulling Petition Draft Rule
      1. 68B-24.006 Gear: Traps, Buoys, Identification Requirements, Prohibited Devices – The draft rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL5030 for spiny lobster.
      2. 68B-45.004 Regulation and Prohibition of Certain Harvesting Gear – This draft rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL4590 for blue crab.
      3. 68B-13.008 Gear, Trap Construction, Commercial Trap Marking Requirements, Trap Working Regulations, Trap Transfer – This draft rule would update Commission Form DMF-SL3030 for stone crab.
    5. 68A-9.012. Taking of Wildlife on Airport Property – Staff proposes to revise this rule to clarify that eggs as well animals may be taken as provided for in the rule, and that the rule applies to airports with a military bird/animal aircraft strike hazard plan as well as airports with a FAA approved wildlife hazard management plan.  The revision also adds a provision that wildlife nests may be destroyed when wildlife and eggs are no longer present.  Clarifications were requested by staff and airport personnel/consultants as they gained experience in applying the rule.  Stakeholders reviewed the amended rule and had no concerns. 68A-9.012
      NOTE: Staff is requesting approval to notice draft rules in items 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and file as soon as possible.  If approved for advertisement and filing, Commission staff will file the rules for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes with no additional public hearings.
    6. 68A-13.003, Hunting Regulations for Ducks, Geese and Coots – The proposed final rule increases the scaup daily bag limit from two to four. 68A-13.003
    7. 68-1.010, General Regulations Relating to Licenses, Permits, and other Authorizations - (Notice of Change)  -- Staff is requesting permission to publish a Notice of Change to rule amendment language that was approved at the February 2012 Commission Meeting.  The rule amendment moved rule 68A-5.004 F.A.C., General Regulations Relating to Licenses, Permits and other Authorizations to 68-1.010 F.A.C.  This move would make it clear that the subject matter of this rule, license issuance and revocation, applies across all divisions of Title 68, F.A.C. Brief, clarifying edits that do not significantly change the substance of the rule were also proposed.  Staff also requested permission to update all other rules in 68A that cite to 68A-5.004 F.A.C. in order to correctly reference the new citation. Following the Commission meeting, technical concerns were raised by the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee, which have been resolved by the edits in the notice of change. Of particular concern to the Committee was the use of the terms “may” and “shall”.  Following the public notification period required by this Notice of Change, the rule would be filed for adoption. 68-1.010
    8. Gopher Tortoise Agreement – FWC staff and the Mosaic Company have developed a long-term agreement to conserve gopher tortoises on Mosaic properties in Florida.  Given the large size and distinct nature of Mosaic’s operations, staff is seeking Commission approval of the agreement. Gopher Tortoise Mosaic AgreementMemorandum of Agreement Regarding Gopher Tortoises on Mosaic Land