January 31, 2019 Sea Grant Notes
2020 EMBRACE THE GULF – The Fish
2020 YEAR OF THE TURTLE – The Snapping Turtles
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PRIVATE WELL WATER TESTED?
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
Vibrio in Our Local Area
Dr. Lisa Weidner; University of West Florida
Feb 20 – Downtown Public Library – 239 S. Spring Street
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.
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
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.
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
- FDOH is only monitoring Bayou Texar and Sanders Beach at this time
- Jan 21 Bayou Texar was sampled – GOOD
- View all data below
- 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)
- Last report was posted Jan 24 (FWC)
- Panhandle – not detected
- SW Florida – detected in Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties; FISH KILLS none; RESPIRATORY ISSUES none
- East Coast of FL – not detected
- No Fish Kills reported in January
- Report fish kills to FWC at – https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.
Marine Science Academy – Washington High School – Fish & Water Quality Data – updated
- 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.
- 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.
- 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|
|% OF SAMPLES||.25|
Health Advisory Frequency
|Body of Water||# of samples taken||# of advisories issued||% frequency of advisories|
Fish Kill Data provided by FWC
|Month||# of Fish Kills reported||# of Dead Fish reported||Cause|