News Releases

FWC wraps up 2-day meeting near Tallahassee

News Release

Thursday, April 29, 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) tackled numerous important issues during its meeting Wednesday and Thursday at the Florida Public Safety Institute, northwest of Tallahassee.

The Commission approved draft rules that would move the current list of reptiles in the reptiles of concern category and reclassify them as conditional species. The proposed rules would ban personal possession of these reptiles. Final rule-approval will be considered in June.

Commissioners also approved several final rules for captive wildlife. One rule amendment requires Class I and II wildlife facilities to make their Critical Incident and Disaster Plans available for inspection by local emergency managers. Commissioners also decided that people shipping captive wildlife must use more detailed, informative shipping labels.  At the meeting in September, Commissioners will revisit issues regarding requirements for captive wildlife facilities meeting local building and zoning codes.

Final rule amendments were approved in state manatee-protection zones in Sarasota County, which increase the size of the speed-zone area. Commissioners also advanced draft rules for the FWC's approval process for local boating ordinances and uniform marker requirements. They approved technical corrections to the guidelines for two Boating and Waterways grant programs.

The Commission approved draft rules related to the taking of wildlife on airport property in emergency situations to ensure the safety of aircraft and human life.

On Thursday, April 29, the Commission approved a rule amendment that will make the recreational harvest season for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state waters consistent with this year's open season in Gulf federal waters.  This open harvest season will occur from June 1 through July 23 this year.

Commissioners also approved new rules that will 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.  These rules take effect July 1.

In addition, the Commission approved new rules that will 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.  These rules take effect July 1.

The FWC also approved a rule that will 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 sunrise.  This rule will take effect in early June.

In other marine fisheries action, the Commission reviewed and discussed several federal fisheries management issues.

The full agenda is available online, as are individual news releases on various issues, at

FWC Facts:
Bay scallops are bivalve molluscs occurring from New England through Texas. In Fla., they can be harvested in Gulf state waters from Hernando Co. to Mexico Beach Canal in Bay Co.

Learn More at AskFWC