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September, 2014 Commission Meeting

Time: 8:30am
Dates: September 10 - 11, 2014
Place: Embassy Suites Orlando - Lake Buena Vista South
4955 Kyngs Heath Road
Kissimmee, Florida 34746

This meeting is open to the public

All interested individuals may speak at workshops or meetings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) within the guidelines established by the Commission.  To ensure the public's opportunity to be heard and the orderly conduct of the meeting, the Chairman reserves the right to establish a time for adjournment of the workshop or meeting, to limit the time for speakers, and to limit the time allotted for specific agenda items.

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 meeting may include fact-finding field trips to Commission-managed areas or facilities; or to other areas to learn about management, and enforcement activities.

Typically, the Chairman may ask staff and the public to work through lunch on either day.  Please plan accordingly.

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.

Agenda

8:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 10

  1. Meeting Opening and Recognitions
    1. Call to Order
    2. Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
    3. Prosecutor of the Year Award
    4. Presentation of Resolution Establishing the Lovett E. Williams, Jr. Wildlife Research Laboratory
  2.  Administrative Matters
    1. Review and Approve June 2014 Commission Meeting Minutes
    2. Approve Regular Meeting Agenda
    3. Approve Consent Agenda
  3. Executive Reports
    1. Executive Director’s Report
    2. Chairman’s Report
  4. Strategic Initiative Overview – Running the Business
  5. Items Requiring Action
    1. 2015 Budget Requests
      Budget Request Presentation | Budget RequestsPotential Budget Redirects Schedule VIIIBPotential Budget Redirects Schedule VIIICTrust Funds Status
    2. 2015 Legislative Requests
      Life Jacket Proposal | Restricted Species Proposal | Tarpon Tag Proposal | Proposal Summary | Proposals Presentation
    3. Agency Workplan
    4. Draft Rules
      1. Proposed Rule Amendments for Taking Game and Alligators. Suppressors and Alligator Form v2  Presentation
        1. 68A-12.002 General Methods of Taking Game; Prohibitions – The proposed rule would remove the prohibition on the use of noise-suppressed (i.e., silencer-equipped) rifles and pistols for taking deer, gray squirrels, rabbits, wild turkeys, quail, and crows. Draft Rule
        2. 68A-25.032 Regulations Governing the Establishment of Alligator Management Programs - The proposed rule would modify the Private Lands Alligator Management Program Application form to require that the landowner/landowner’s representative signature be notarized. Draft Rule | Draft 1000PW Form
      2. Wildlife Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Agriculture – Chapter 68A-27.007(2)(d). This draft rule requires that Commission staff 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 by November 2014. Staff will provide an update on the progress made to develop and adopt wildlife BMPs for agriculture. Several draft rule amendments will also be proposed. Presentation | Proposed Rule
    5. Final Rules
      1. 68A-15.063 Specific Regulations for Wildlife Management Areas – Northwest Region. Blackwater WMA – The proposed rule would require that all dogs used to pursue or take deer, fox or coyote must be equipped and monitored with electronic tracking and control devices in that portion of the dog hunt area east of Belandville Road.  Presentation | Proposed Rule
  6. Staff  Reports
    1. General Counsel’s Report
    2. Red Tide Update
      Presentation
    3. Florida Youth Conservation Center Network (FYCCN) Update – Staff will provide an update on youth conservation center network construction projects, review the summer camp program and report on a youth advisory council meeting.  Presentation
    4. Social Media – Staff will present information on the efforts currently underway at the agency related to Social Media as an outreach tool.
      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, September 11, Reconvene

  10. Call to Order
  11. Final Rule – 11.68A-15-064 Specific Regulations for Wildlife Management Areas – South Region. Big Cypress WMA – The proposed final rule would implement hunting on Addition Lands consistent with the Final Hunting Management Plan/Environmental Assessment for the Big Cypress National Preserve. Presentation | Proposed Rule | Notice
  12. Staff Report - Goliath Grouper. Staff will provide information on the biology and status of goliath grouper.  Results from a University of Florida study of stakeholder views of goliath grouper will also be presented
    Presentation
  13. Items Requiring Action
    1. Council Reports
      1. Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) Update – Staff will report on actions taken by the GMFMC at its June 23-27 and August 25-29 meetings, and actions anticipated to be taken at its October 20-24 meeting in Mobile, AL. Staff will also present public input received at FWC Gulf recreational red snapper management workshops held in July and August.
        Summary
      2. South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) Update – Staff will report on SAFMC actions anticipated for the upcoming SAFMC meeting on September 15-19 in Charleston, SC. Topics include: various snapper grouper species, dolphin, wahoo, and mackerel. Presentation
    2. Draft Rule –
      1. American Eel Regulations. Staff will present a proposed draft rule to establish bag limits on recreational harvest and size limits on the recreational and commercial harvest of American eels.  A 2012 benchmark stock assessment indicating the American eel population in U.S. waters is depleted. The stock has declined in recent decades and the prevalence of significant downward trends in multiple surveys across the coast is cause for concern. Causes of decline are likely due to a combination of factors including historical overfishing, habitat loss, food web alterations, predation, turbine mortality, environmental changes, toxins and contaminants, and disease.  These proposed rules would be consistent with the management rules being adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. There would be additional rule amendments to update the current language related to issuance of the commercial harvest permit and incorporate the most recent version of the application form. 68A-23.005 (6)(e) Bag Limits, Length Limits, Open Season: Freshwater Fish (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would require eels to be a minimum of 9 inches to be harvested recreationally or commercially and establish a recreational bag limit of twenty five (25) American eel per angler per day.
        Draft Rule
        68A-23.025 (2) Regulations Governing the Taking and Possession of Alligator Gar, Eels and Freshwater Mussels - The proposed draft rule amendments would incorporate the revised application form. Conditions on issuance would be listed in the rule.
        Presentation | Draft Rule

        NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed rule and amendments and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule and amendments are approved for both advertisement and final adoption, Commission staff will file the rule and amendments for adoption as allowed by s. 120.54(3) Florida Statutes, without further public hearing.

      2. Shellfish- Commercial Shellfish Harvest.  In order to comply with Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference guidelines, the proposed draft rules will require commercial oyster and clam harvesters to complete an annual training course offered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services outlining proper harvest, handling, and transportation practices for shellfish and to obtain a no-cost Shellfish Harvest endorsement in association with their Saltwater Products License (SPL) before harvesting or possessing shellfish for commercial purposes or selling shellfish.  SPL applicants who demonstrate completion of the appropriate course will qualify to receive or renew the Shellfish Harvest endorsement.
        68B-2.003 Shellfish Harvest Training Requirement (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would require commercial hard clam and oyster harvesters to complete an annual training course outlining proper harvest, handling, and transportation practices for oysters or hard clams and obtain a no-cost Shellfish Harvest endorsement in association with their Saltwater Products License (SPL) before harvesting or possessing oysters or hard clams for commercial purposes or selling oysters or hard clams.
        68B-17.009 License Requirements for Commercial Harvest (NEW) – The proposed draft rule would reference the shellfish harvest training requirements and Shellfish Harvest endorsement required in the newly created 68B-2.003, FAC.
        68B-27.018 Statewide Harvesting Restrictions – The proposed draft rule amendment would reference the shellfish harvest training requirements and Shellfish Harvest endorsement required in the newly created 68B-2.003, FAC.
        Presentation | Draft Rule

        NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed rule and file for adoption as soon as possible. If the rule 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.

  14. Future Agenda Items
  15. Public Comment on Items Not on the Agenda
  16. Commissioner Exchange
  17. Commission Administrative Matters
    The next Regular Commission Meeting is scheduled for November 19 - 20, 2014, in Key Largo, commencing at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  18. Adjournment

Consent Agenda

  1. Draft Rule- Lionfish – Lionfish are invasive marine species that pose a threat to native marine species and ecosystems.  The FWC recently adopted rules that facilitate removal of existing lionfish and prohibit any further importation of live lionfish.  The proposed draft rules would limit opportunities for release of additional lionfish by prohibiting intentional breeding of lionfish and the retention and cultivation of lionfish eggs.
    68B-5.006 Lionfish
    – The proposed rule would prohibit the harvest and possession of lionfish eggs and larvae for any purpose other than destruction.  The proposed rule would also reference a permitting system that would allow for aquaculture of lionfish for research purposes as detailed in 68-5.005.
    68-5.005 Lionfish – The proposed rule would prohibit the aquaculture of lionfish in Florida by prohibiting attempts to breed lionfish in captivity or to possess lionfish eggs and larvae for any purpose other than destruction or properly authorized research activities.  The proposed rule would also create a mechanism to permit research activities involving the breeding and cultivation of lionfish for the purposes of researching population control measures or minimizing lionfish impacts on Florida ecosystems.
    Draft Rule

    NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendments 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.

    Presentation

  2. Draft Rule Bay Scallops – The recreational bay scallop season is an important economic driver for coastal communities in the big bend and eastern panhandle regions.  The open season established in rule runs from July 1 – September 24, annually, but the FWC has opened the season the Saturday before July 1 by Executive Order in recent years to provide additional weekend harvest opportunities.  The proposed draft rule would modify the recreational bay scallop season in rule to begin the Saturday before July 1, unless July 1 falls on Saturday.  In years when July 1 falls on a Saturday, the opening date would remain July 1.
    68B-18.005 Closed Seasons for Harvest of Bay Scallops
    – The proposed draft rule amendment would modify the recreational bay scallop season in the portions of Florida Waters that are open to the harvest of bay scallops to begin the Saturday before July 1, unless July 1 falls on Saturday, in which case the opening date would remain July 1.

    NOTE: Staff is requesting Commission approval to advertise the proposed amendments 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.

    Presentation | Draft Rule

  3. 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 2014-2015 season.  Background Report

 



FWC Facts:
Manatees have heavy bones that help them to submerge easily while grazing. They can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes at a time.

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