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Sea Grant Notes – Jan 31, 2020

January 31, 2019                                   Sea Grant Notes

 

 

2020 EMBRACE THE GULF – The Fish

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/01/28/embrace-the-gulf-2020-fish/.

 

2020 YEAR OF THE TURTLE – The Snapping Turtles

https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/escambiaco/2020/01/24/2020-year-of-the-turtle-the-snapping-turtles/.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PRIVATE WELL WATER TESTED?

http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/nat/.

 

CHANGES IN SPOTTED SEATROUT RULES GO INTO EFFECT FEB 1

FWC announced rules changes for spotted seatrout effective Feb 1.

  • 1) Northwest Florida zone split into two new zones; Western Panhandle (Escambia Co. to Indian Pass in Gulf Co.) and Big Bend (Indian Pass in Gulf Co. to Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas Co.)
  • 2) Change in local bag limits; Western Panhandle (3 fish), Big Bend (5 fish)
  • 3) New slot size limit 15-19” total length
  • 4) ONE trout over 19” per vessel
  • 5) Seasonal closure for spotted seatrout in the new Western Panhandle zone beginning Feb 1.

Read more at https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/spotted-seatrout/.

 

COMING UP IN FEBRUARY

 

ESCAMBIA COUNTY MARINE ADVISORY MEETING

Feb 10 – 5:30 PM

Escambia County Central Office Complex

3363 West Park Place

 

CARPENTERS CREEK IMPROVEMENT PUBLIC MEETING

Washington High School Auditorium – 6:00 PM

6000 College Parkway

 

SCIENCE HOUR

Vibrio in Our Local Area

Dr. Lisa Weidner; University of West Florida

Feb 20 – Downtown Public Library – 239 S. Spring Street

6:00 PM

 

NATIONAL INVASIVE SPECIES AWARENESS WEEK

Feb 23-29.  Air Potato Bulb Collection Challenge – more details to come

 

SNOWBIRD TALKS – DIAMONDBACK TERRAPINS

Will be giving a presentation on this brackish water turtle at the Navarre Beach Visitors Center at Navarre Park – Hwy 98.

Feb 24

10:00 AM

 

NATURE TOURISM CONFERNECE

UF IFAS Extension is working with Florida State University / Panama City and Explore Northwest Florida to coordinate their first Northwest Florida Nature Tourism Summit in Panama City.

Feb 25, 2020

$20 registration

There will be speaker tracks for ecotourism business owners and those interested in getting started, as well as students and outdoor enthusiasts. UF IFAS Extension will have a booth on the Florida Master Naturalist Program and have offered to serve as speakers as they finalize their list.

Ecotourism Summit Registration Link: https://explore-nothwest-florida.yapsody.com/event/index/483466?ref=ebtn

More about Explore Northwest Florida: https://explorenwflorida.com/

 

WEED WRANGLE – COMMUNITY INVASIVE SPECIES REMOVAL WORKDAY

Feb 29 – Gulf Islands National Seashore / Naval Live Oaks – 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Removing beach vitex along the shoreline.  Contact Rick O’Connor at the Escambia County Extension Office for more information.

 

MANATEE WATCH

There was one report of a manatee in Bayou Texar over the holidays.

If you see a manatee, please contact:

FWC at 888-404-3922

Dauphin Island Sea Lab at 1-866-493-5803

And email me with location – thanks

 

Water Quality  

 

Health Advisories

  • FDOH is only monitoring Bayou Texar and Sanders Beach at this time
  • Jan 21 Bayou Texar was sampled – GOOD
  • View all data below

Rainfall

  • Rainfall collected weekly from East Hill (UF IFAS)
  • 2019 rainfall total in East Hill was 47.5”. Rainfall for airport was similar.
  • Jan (4.0)

Red Tide

  • Last report was posted Jan 24 (FWC)
  • Panhandlenot detected
  • SW Florida – detected in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties; FISH KILLS none; RESPIRATORY ISSUES none
  • East Coast of FL – not detected

Fish Kills

Marine Science Academy – Washington High School – Fish & Water Quality Data – updated

http://whs-ecsd-fl.schoolloop.com/MarineScienceAcademy.

 

 

Habitat Restoration

 

  • OCEAN HOUR Clean Ups Feb 1
  • Bay Bluffs on Scenic Highway at Summit Blvd
  • Chimney Park on Scenic Highway at Langley Ave

Clean Ups begin at 9:00 and supplies are provided

  • Living Shorelines

The best time to have a living shoreline planted is the fall and winter.  Contact me if interested in learning more.    

  • Seagrass Monitoring – training and dates TBA

 

Wildlife & Fisheries

 

  • FWC BEAR MANAGEMENT 2020 –
  • – Commissioners approved the updated Bear Management Plan, which reflects a comprehensive, science-based approach.
  • – FWC staff will continue to focus on reducing human-bear conflicts by promoting the use of bear-resistant trash cans and removing bears that pose a safety threat.
  • – There was no proposal to hunt, but it is an important tool in the toolbox for managing bear populations.
  • – FWC staff will continue to explore options on population management in the future, knowing bear hunting could be added to an agenda by an FWC chairman.
  • – FWC staff will continue education and outreach to the public in general and regarding human-bear conflict and population management.

 

Invasive Species

 

  • Beach Vitex
  • Weed Wrangle – we are planning a removal workday for Feb 29 – Gulf Islands National Seashore / Naval Live Oaks – 1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway – 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM – removing beach vitex – contact Rick O’Connor at the Escambia County Extension Office for more information.
  • – If you think you may have this plant on your property and want advice on how to manage. Email me.
  • Invasive Lionfish
  • 2020 Emerald Coast Open – pre-tournament is Feb 1 – May 13. Main tournament will be May 15-17.  Registration for this event is at emeraldcoast.com.
  • – LRAD (Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day) will be the weekend of May 15-17 at Destin Harbor.
  • – Lionfish have been found near Ft. Pickens inside the pass. If anyone diving this area, or anywhere within the bay, and finds lionfish – please contact us and let us know.
  • Regal Damselfish
  • – This is an invasive reef fish that has made its way to our area. We are currently developing an ID guide for this, and other potential invasive reef fish problems, for local divers.  More on this ASAP.
  • – If you find this fish on any of our reefs – please email me.
  • Brown (Cuban) Anole
  • – This is an invasive species that has become quite common near our coast lines. During the colder months these animals will gather under objects in the yard where they lower their heart and breathing rates awaiting spring.  This is a good time to remove them.

 

Seafood

 

  • Local Seafood in Peak Season for January
  • – Clams
  • – King Mackerel – safety issue with eating to much of this species; check website below
  • – Mullet
  • – Oysters
  • – Pompano
  • – Pink Shrimp
  • – Snapper – check state limits and accessibility; change frequently
  • – Spanish Mackerel
  • Seafood @ Your Fingertips – we will be offering this program in 2020; stay tuned for dates and locations
  • Seafood Safety Program – Escambia County Marine Advisory Committee meeting – Apr 13 – 5:30 PM – more information on topics coming.
  • Seafood Safety Guidelines – Escambia County Division of Marine Resources – https://www.myescambia.com/our-services/natural-resources-management/marine-resources/seafood-safety.

 

 

HEALTH ADVISORY DATA

Enterococcus bacteria count rubric for health advisories (Florida Department of Health)

 

GOOD             0-35 colonies/100ml of sample

MODERATE    36-70 colonies/100ml

POOR              71> colonies/100ml

 

Data provided by the Florida Department of Health’s Healthy Beaches Program

Month Water Body Good Moderate Poor Health Advisory Issued
Jan          
  Bayou Texar 2   1 1
  Sanders Beach 1      
TOTAL 4 3   1  
% OF SAMPLES         .25

Health Advisory Frequency

Body of Water # of samples taken # of advisories issued % frequency of advisories
Bayou Texar 3 1 .33
Sanders Beach 1 0 .00

 

Fish Kill Data provided by FWC

Month # of Fish Kills reported # of Dead Fish reported Cause
Jan 0 0