News Releases

FWC set to meet Sept. 7-9 in Naples

News Release

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Media contact: (marine fisheries issues) Aaron Podey, 850-487-0554;
(other issues) Susan Smith, 850-488-8843

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet Sept. 7-9 in Naples to discuss a wide range of fish-and-wildlife issues.

Sessions start at 8:30 a.m. all three days at the Naples Grande, 475 Seagate Drive, Naples. They are open to the public.

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, after recognizing FWC employees and stakeholders for their special conservation efforts, Commissioners are expected to take final action amending the Broward County manatee protection rule.

They also will hear staff reports on progress with the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, the status of Florida panthers, the Boating Improvement Grants program, revision to the FWC's State Wildlife Action Plan and the future of hunting in the state. Commissioners also will receive, from National Park Service staff, an update on the National Park Service's effort to develop a hunt plan for Big Cypress National Preserve.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Commissioners will hold a final public hearing on a series of proposed rule amendments to the FWC's marine life (aquarium species) rule. The proposed rules would extend state regulations governing the harvest of aquarium species into federal waters adjacent to state waters. For octocorals, they would create an annual quota and adopt the federal areas currently closed to harvest by the NOAA Fisheries Service.

The FWC will discuss a draft rule for spotted seatrout that would allow year-round recreational fishing by removing the current February closure in the northern management area and the November-December closure in the southern area. The draft rule would also increase the commercial harvest season from three to five months, adding the months of September and October in the northeast, southeast and southwest management areas and moving the open season to September through January in the northwest area.

The FWC also will discuss a draft rule for sharks that would prohibit the recreational and commercial harvest of smooth, scalloped and great hammerheads and tiger sharks. Part of the discussion will include creating an angler-education campaign on safe shark-handling techniques.

In other marine fisheries action, Commissioners will review and discuss draft rule amendments to remove two rules regarding spearing and using underwater lights in Charlotte County. If the two rules are repealed, spearing and the use of lights would be subject to existing statewide rules. Commissioners also will discuss a change to the king mackerel landing rules in Collier County. The South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fishery management councils will update the FWC on issues in their waters.

Staff will report to Commissioners about Gulf sturgeon in the Suwannee River and how the FWC is working to minimize sturgeon-boater accidents.

The session Friday, Sept. 9, concerns budget and legislative matters.

Toward the end of each meeting day, the public can comment on items not on the agenda. 

Anyone requiring special accommodations to participate in the meeting should advise the FWC at least five days prior to the Sept. 7 meeting by 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).

To see the full agenda, go to

FWC Facts:
While native to South America, peacock bass have been stocked in South Florida canals and have become a very popular game fish.

Learn More at AskFWC