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September, 2015 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.


8:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 2, 2015

  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 2015 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 considered prior to the open public comment section.
  3. Executive Director’s Report - Memo
  4. Special Guest Speaker
  5. Chairman’s Report
  6. Strategic Follow-Up
    1. Future of Fish and Wildlife Conservation – Staff will make presentations on efforts to address and manage adverse human-wildlife conflicts
      1. Pythons – Staff will update the Commission on the development of the 2016 Python Challenge, schedule to last one month starting in January, 2016. This update will include event dates and locations, rules, training and announcing the registration dates. - Memo | Presentation
      2. Waste Management Efforts – Staff will provide an update on efforts made since the Commission adopted a waste management resolution and policy paper regarding keeping human attractants secure from black bears in order to reduce bear conflicts and improve human safety. - Memo | Presentation
    2. Habitat Conservation and Management – Panther – Staff will seek direction on a draft position statement addressing Florida panther recovery, management and strategic priorities. - Position Statement | Memo | Presentation
  7. Items Requiring Action
    1. Bear Harvest Objectives – Staff will seek approval of bear harvest objectives for the 2015 bear hunting season for the East Panhandle Bear Management Unit (BMU), North BMU, Central BMU, and South BMU. - Memo | Presentation | Executive Order
    2. 2016 Budget Requests – Staff will present the FY 2016/2017 Proposed Legislative Budget Request information for approval. - Memo | Presentation | Budget Issues | Schedule VIIIB | Schedule VIIIC
    3. 2016 Legislative Requests – Staff will seek approval for the FY 2016/2017 Legislative Items. - Memo | Presentation | Summary
  8. Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida
    1. Update
    2. Mariana Jones Resolution
  9. Commissioner Exchange
  10. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  11. Recess Wednesday’s Portion of the Meeting

    8:30 a.m., Thursday, September 3, Reconvene

  12. Call to Order
  13. Awards and Recognition
    1. Prosecutor of the Year Award
    2. Florida Sportsmen’s Conservation Association Wildlife and Resource Management Award
    3. Lifesaving Award
  14. Habitat Conservation and Management – Everglades – Staff will update the Commission on developments in managing water levels and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration effort. - Memo | Presentation
  15. Staff Report – Lionfish – FWC held the first annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day on May 16, 2015. Staff will provide an update on the success of the outreach programs associated with this event, including the festival in Pensacola hosted by FWC and lionfish tournaments and removal efforts conducted by our partners and stakeholders throughout the state in conjunction with the event. - Memo | Presentation
  16. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) Report – Staff will report on actions from the GMFMC’s August 10 – 14 meeting in New Orleans, LA.  Topics include: red snapper, gag grouper, and king mackerel. - Memo | Presentation
  17. Items Requiring Action – 68D-24.020 Suwannee and Santa Fe River Boating Restricted Areas. The proposed rule amendment would remove flood zone restrictions on two remote stretches of the lower Suwannee River, divide the Santa Fe River into four independent flood zones, incorporate changes to federal gauge datum , and update maps to reflect changes in the restricted areas. Three public meetings were held prior to the Commission Meeting. - Memo Draft Rule | Presentation | Proposed Rule
    Staff requests approval to advertise the proposed amendment and file it for adoption if no additional hearing is requested. 
  18. Item Requiring Action – Final Rule – Great Barracuda. The Commission does not currently have any species-specific regulations for great barracuda. Staff will present a suite of proposed final rules that would establish conservation measures for great barracuda in South Florida. The proposed measures would be implemented in response to concerns about a localized decline of barracuda in the Keys and Southeast Florida. - Memo | Draft Rule | Presentation
    68B-60.002 Definitions (NEW) – The proposed final rule would define great barracuda as any fish of the species Sphyraena barracuda.  
    68B-60.003 Regional Size Limits (NEW) – The proposed final rule would establish a slot limit in the form of a minimum size limit of 15 inches and a maximum size limit of 36 inches that would apply to both recreational and commercial fisheries.  These measures would only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.
    68B-60.004 Regional Bag and Vessel Limits (NEW) – The proposed final rule would establish a daily recreational bag limit of two fish, a daily commercial trip limit of 20 fish, and a daily commercial vessel limit of 20 fish. These measures would only apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin counties.
  19. General Counsel Report
  20. Future Agenda Items
  21. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  22. Commissioner Exchange
  23. Commission Administrative Matters
    The next Regular Commission Meeting is scheduled for November 18 – 19, 2015 in Panama City, Florida, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  24. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

    1. Update on early season migratory bird hunting regulations (dove, rail, gallinule, woodcock, snipe, and special early waterfowl seasons), and review and approval of anticipated late season migratory bird hunting regulations (regular waterfowl and coot season and limited Canada goose season) for the 2015-2016 season. - Memo

    2. Agriculture Wildlife Best Management Practices (BMPs) for State Imperiled Species – In furtherance of the Commission’s November 2014 approval of amendment of Florida Administrative Code Rule 68A-27.007(2)(d)Permits and Authorizations for the Take of Florida Endangered and Threatened Species Commission staff have continued to work cooperatively with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, landowners, and other stakeholders to legislatively authorize, develop, and adopt BMPs to protect wildlife species. In June 2015, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services incorporated and adopted Agriculture Wildlife BMPs for State Imperiled Species in Chapter 5M-18 F.A.C. Staff is seeking approval to publish a Notice of Proposed Rule to add references to Chapter 5M-18 F.A.C. - Memo | Proposed Rule
      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 Stat
      utes, without further public hearing.  
    3. Final Rule Stone Crab Trap Gear Specifications – 68B-13.008 Gear, Trap Construction, Commercial Trap Marking Requirements, Trap Working Regulations, Trap Transfer – The proposed final rule would modify trap construction requirements for the stone crab fishery in Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties to ensure the traps are designed to target stone crab. Staff presented this draft rule at the April 2015 Commission Meeting. - Memo | Presentation | Proposed Rule
    4. Shrimp Closure Modification – Staff will present a draft rule amendment to modify the boundaries of the area off northeast Florida that is open to the commercial harvest of food shrimp during April and May. The majority of the state waters portion of the east coast shrimp bed is closed to commercial harvest of food shrimp during April and May, but there is an exception that allows harvest in the outer most portion of state waters off the St. Johns River mouth, where the fishery in federal waters also operates. The proposed minor modifications to the western boundary line for the allowable harvest area would make it easier for the shrimp fishery in the region to operate without negatively impacting the shrimp resource.
      68B-31.0156 Florida East Coast Shrimp Bed: Repeal of Section 370.156, Florida Statutes; Seasonal Food Shrimp Production Closure; Exception; Definition. – The proposed draft rule would expand the allowable fishing area slightly to make it simpler and more practical for the shrimp fleet to fish in the area. - 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. Repeal of 68A – 23.010 Disposition of Illegal Fishing Devices. Staff is proposing to repeal this rule in its entirety. Repeal of this rule will not have an impact on Law Enforcement’s authority to remove these fishing devices; they will continue to follow Florida statutes and General Order 16 for disposition. This is part of FWC’s continuing effort to review and repeal any unnecessary regulations. - Memo | Proposed Rule