FWC sets April 28-29 meeting near Tallahassee
Monday, April 12, 2010
Media contact: (inland issues) Patricia Behnke, 850-251-2130; (marine issues) Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) will meet April 28 and 29 at the Florida Public
Safety Institute northwest of Tallahassee. The Commission will
consider both inland and marine issues. The sessions will begin at
8:30 a.m. both days and are open to the public.
On Wednesday, April 28, the agenda will focus on
The Commission will discuss amnesty rules for
people relinquishing nonnative pets such as pythons. If approved,
this will codify the FWC's earlier executive order allowing license
holders to accept the unwanted snakes despite Florida
Administrative Code prohibitions against unpermitted owners buying,
selling or transferring these reptiles of concern.
Since FWC staff is requesting substantial changes
to the previously advertised amendment and considering a new
"conditional species status" that would eliminate these species as
pets, staff will recommend the Commission restart the rule-making
process with a final public hearing to be held at the June
Commissioners will consider several final rules for
captive wildlife. One rule would require new facilities housing
Class I, II or III wildlife to meet local building and zoning
codes. Another rule amendment would require Class I and II wildlife
facilities to make their Critical Incident and Disaster Plans
available for inspection by the local emergency manager. More
detailed captive wildlife shipping labels will also be
Commissioners also will finalize revisions to
allowable boat speeds in state manatee-protection zones in Sarasota
County. Revisions also include changes to the types of activities
that can be covered by permits issued for commercial fishing and
professional fishing guide activities.
Wednesday's session will include discussions of
draft rules for the FWC's approval process for local boating
ordinances and uniform marker requirements. Technical corrections
to the guidelines for two Boating and Waterways grant programs are
proposed for approval.
Staff will propose rules related to the taking of
wildlife on airport property when necessary to ensure the safety of
aircraft and human life.
New Florida statutes allow the Commission to issue
permits for visitors to engage in recreational activities other
than hunting on wildlife management areas, so staff will propose a
rule amendment delineating various visitor permit types, associated
fee structures and regulation changes for the WMAs.
Commissioners will hear updates on its Florida
Youth Conservation Centers Network, implementation of the FWC's
gopher tortoise management plan and the Northern bobwhite
On Thursday, April 29, the Commission will address
marine fisheries issues. The Commission will consider a
proposed rule amendment that would apply the same closed season for
the recreational harvest of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state
waters as this year's closed season in Gulf federal waters.
A final public hearing will be held on a proposed
rule that would include all species of bonefish found in Florida in
the FWC's bonefish management rules, extend current Florida
bonefish regulations into adjacent federal waters, and require that
bonefish be landed in a whole condition.
In addition, a final public hearing will be held on
a proposed rule that would maintain the current number of
commercial ballyhoo lampara net endorsements, allow all ballyhoo
endorsement holders to sell their endorsement to other commercial
fishers from July 1 - March 31 each year, limit any one entity from
holding more than two ballyhoo endorsements at any one time,
prohibit leasing of the endorsement, and allow only one endorsement
per saltwater products license and one saltwater products license
to be associated with a single endorsement.
Another final public hearing will be held on a
proposed rule that would allow oyster harvesters to stow hand tongs
on their vessels from sunset to sunrise so they can transit to
oyster bars before dawn and begin harvesting oysters at
The meeting will be held at the Florida Public
Safety Institute's Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, 215 Academy
Drive, Havana, about 15 miles northwest of Tallahassee, off U.S.
90. Go to http://academy.tcc.fl.edu for maps and
Anyone requiring special accommodations to
participate in the meeting should advise the FWC at least five days
prior to the April 28 meeting, contacting the FWC's Office of Human
Resources at 850-488-6411. If you are hearing- or
speech-impaired, contact the FWC using the Florida Relay Service at
800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (voice).
agenda is available online at MyFWC.com/Commission.