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December 2019 Commission Meeting

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) is committed to providing 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 a topic or speaker, including time donation to other speakers. With regard to public comment on items not on the agenda, the Commission will have a designated time period on the agenda at the end of day 1, December 11th. The deadline for registration to speak on items not on the agenda is 2:00 p.m. on December 11th. Those who wish to offer comments during this period will be asked to make sure their comments are not related to any agenda item.

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 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 the area, you may call the Bay County Chamber of Commerce at (850) 785-5206 or find additional details at https://panamacity.org/.

Anyone who is unable to participate in the meeting may submit comments in writing to Commissioners@MyFWC.com.

8:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 11th

  1. Call to Order
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance
  2. Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approve October 2019 Commission Meeting Minutes
    2. Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
    3. Approve Consent Agenda
      Details for all consent agenda items are listed at the end of this document. Any questions or concerns about a consent agenda item should be addressed to agency staff prior to the Commission meeting. Any item not approved as part of the consent agenda may be moved to the regular agenda at the discretion of the Chairman.
  3. Executive Directors Report
  4. Special Recognition – Lionfish Winners

    ANTICIPATED BREAK

  5. Staff Report – Bear Management Plan
    Staff is seeking approval of the draft update of the 2012 Bear Management Plan. The draft plan includes results from new research, updates on management activities, a new section on population management options, as well as other changes. The presentation to the Commission will provide an overview of the draft update as well as feedback received from stakeholder groups and the public.
    Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 3 hours.
    Summary Memo | Presentation | Florida Black Bear

    ANTICIPATED LUNCH

  6. Rule Requiring Action – Draft Rule – Proposed Rule Changes for Hunting 2020 – 2021
    Staff will present draft rule amendments to revise select statewide hunting regulations; specific area regulations on Wildlife Management Areas, Wildlife and Environmental Areas, and Miscellaneous Areas; and to conform hunting dates to calendar year date changes. Detailed proposed rule language is provided in background documents for this item.
    Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 1 hour.
    Summary Memo | Presentation | Hunting Rule Changes | 68A-12.002 | 68A-12.007 | 68A-15.006 | 68A-15.061 | 68A-15.062 | 68A-15.063 | 68A-15.064 | 68A-15.065 | 68A-17.005 |
  7. Staff Reports
    1. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Report. Staff will report on actions from the GMFMC’s October 21-24 meeting in Galveston, TX. Topics will include federal multi-day for-hire trips, greater amberjack, red grouper, and other reef fish discussions.
      Summary Memo | Presentation
    2. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Report. Staff will report on actions and discussions from the SAFMC's December 2–6 meeting in Wilmington, NC. Topics will include red snapper, dolphin, wahoo, and mackerel.
      Summary Memo
  8. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  9. Recess Wednesday’s portion of the meeting no later than 6:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m., Thursday, December 12th

  1. Call to Order
  2. Rules Requiring Action
    1. Draft Rule – Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper. Staff will provide an update on the 2019 recreational red snapper harvest season, request Commission direction on the 2020 season, and present proposed draft rules that would allow FWC to manage harvest of red snapper by private recreational anglers in Gulf federal waters.
      Summary Memo | Presentation | Handout
    2. Final Rule – Spotted Seatrout. Florida’s spotted seatrout fishery is currently managed in four geographic zones: Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, and Northeast. A stock assessment completed by FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute suggests that spotted seatrout are not meeting the Commission’s management target in some of these zones and that the population status is declining in all zones. At the October 2019 Commission meeting, the Commission approved a series of draft rules intended to improve both the fishery and angler satisfaction. Staff will present a final rule proposal that incorporates input heard at and since the draft rule hearing. Details of the proposed changes are provided in background documents for this item.
      Summary Memo | Presentation | Rule Language
    3. Draft Rule – Biscayne National Park Fishing Regulations. Staff will present proposed draft rules to implement fishing regulations for Biscayne National Park (BNP) relating to the Park’s Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The FMP was developed jointly by the FWC and the National Park Service and approved by the Commission. The FMP includes goals to increase the size and abundance of targeted fishery species in BNP by 20% and provide for habitat protection within the Park. Staff conducted public workshops in August and October to gather input on potential management options and received Commission feedback and direction on several of those management options at the October 2019 Commission meeting. Staff will present the public input received since the October Commission meeting and propose management changes to apply within BNP that are intended to accomplish the FMP goals.
      Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 2 hours.
      Summary Memo | Presentation | Draft Rule Language


    ANTICIPATED LUNCH

  3. Staff Report – Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS)
    Staff will provide a presentation and seek Commission direction on proposed regulatory changes for the FKNMS.
    Public comment on this agenda item will be limited to no more than 2 hours.
    Summary Memo
  4. Rule Requiring Action – ISMP Permitting Guidelines
    Staff will provide an overview and seek approval for Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines for 7 species: Lake Eustis pupfish, bluenose shiner, Sanibel Island rice rat, snowy egret, white ibis, pine barrens tree frog and short-tailed snake. Staff will also seek approval to publish three Notices of Proposed Rule to add references to these Species Conservation Measures and Permitting Guidelines into rules 68A-16.003, 68A-27.003, and 68A-26.002, F.A.C.
    Summary Memo | Presentation | Lake Eustis Pupfish | Sanibel Island Rice Rat | White Ibis and Snowy Egret | Pine Barrens Treefrog | Short-Tailed Snake | Bluenose Shiner | 68A-16.003 | 68A-26.002 | 68A-27.003
  5. Future Agenda Items
  6. Commissioner Exchange
  7. Adjournment
    The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for February 19 – 20, 2020 in Tallahassee, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.

Consent Agenda

  1. State Grant Program Routine Amendments to Subsection 11, 68-1.003, F.A.C. Staff will request approval to advertise proposed rule amendments for Rule 68-1.003, F.A.C. Changes include incorporation of newly updated Program Guidelines and new forms to be used by applicants. Revisions clarify new federal requirements on standard objectives as well as restrictions placed on distribution of funds by the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR 200).
    NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed rule amendments and file for adoption as soon as possible. If approved, Commission staff will file the rules for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes without further public hearing.
    Summary Memo | Guidelines | Application | Budget
  2. Astor Flood Zone Boating Restricted Area Amendment 68D – 24.018, F.A.C. In order to protect the public, an Idle Speed No Wake boating restricted area was created from shoreline to shoreline in the St. Johns River in Astor, Florida. This boating speed restriction only becomes effective at flood stage, which has changed. Historically, this boating restricted area had a flood stage restriction height at 2.8 feet, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently changed the flood stage from 2.8 feet to 2.3 feet. This amendment to Rule 68D-24.018 reflects NOAA’s change to the flood stage, meaning the Idle Speed No Wake restriction will apply at 2.3 feet rather than 2.8 feet.
    NOTE: If approved, staff propose to both advertise the proposed rule change and file for adoption as soon as possible as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.
    Summary Memo | 68D-24.018
  3. Licensing Proof of Residency Rule Amendment 61 – 1.012, F.A.C. In October 2019, the Commission approved a rule that clarified the methods applicants may use to demonstrate Florida residency when applying for Commission recreational licenses, permits, or authorizations.
    When staff moved to adopt these changes into the Rule, the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee (JAPC) provided comments that the Rule should include how military service members stationed in Florida, and the family members who reside with them, can provide proof of residency, in accordance with section 379.101(30), F.S. In addition to the other forms of proof already provided in the Rule, this rule amendment would allow these service members and their family members who reside with them to acquire resident recreational licenses, permits, or authorizations, by presenting Armed Services orders stationing the member in Florida. Such orders would have to be presented at a licensing subagent location or a Tax Collector’s office.
    Section 379.101(31), F.S. provides that resident aliens with documentation from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services evidencing permanent residency status in the United States who have also resided in Florida for at least a year also qualify for resident recreational licenses, permits, or authorizations. This rule amendment further provides that these resident aliens may acquire resident licenses, permits, or authorizations at a licensing subagent location or a Tax Collector’s office by providing documentation from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services evidencing permanent residency status in the United States as well as one valid form of documentation provided in the Rule, issued at least one year prior to application.
    NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed draft rule amendment via a Notice of Change to the previously filed Notice of Proposed Rule and to file for adoption as soon as possible. If the draft rule amendment is approved for both advertisement and final adoption, Commission staff will file the rule with these changes for adoption as allowed by Chapter 120, Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.
    Summary Memo | NOC