Loggerhead Sea Turtle Saved By Florida Officer

Loggerhead Sea Turtle Saved By Florida Officer

Over the weekend, a 150 lb loggerhead sea turtle was saved by an off-duty marine resources enforcement officer.  Liz Lyne, 20-year veteran of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, was boating with some friends when she noticed a sea turtle entangled in a fishing trap line. She was able to cut the line so the turtle could safely swim away. Without human intervention, this lucky sea turtle likely would have died. That wasn’t the first time Lyne was involved with a sea turtle rescue. She had previously assisted with rescues twice before. Loggerhead sea turtles are considered threatened and are protected by state and federal laws. If you see a sea turtle in need of rescue, contact The Turtle Hospital in Marathon at (305) 743-2552 or the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) at 888-404-FWCC (3922). ...
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New Law: Florida Anchoring Bill

New Law: Florida Anchoring Bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill aimed to address the continuing vessel anchoring challenges facing some Florida counties while balancing the needs of responsible vessel operators. Boat Owners Association of the U.S. supports the legislation that protects active cruisers in Florida,giving them critical access to important shoreside services and amenities while also addressing continued challenges with at-risk vessels that anchor on a long-term basis. Rep. Wyman Duggan, R-Jacksonville, and Sen. Tina Polski, D-Palm Beach, both sponsored and gave passage to this bill.  Florida S.B. 1946 allows counties to establish anchorage limitation areas adjacent to urban areas that have a combination of significant boat traffic, narrow waterways and residential docking facilities. Counties are permitted to set up anchorages that give active cruisers or any vessel operator access to high-demand harborage for a reasonable amount of time – up to 45 consecutive days in a six month period. This legislation hopes to reduce the challenges Florida has experienced with derelict and abandoned...
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Summer Boating Safety: South Florida Authorities Sound The Alarm

Summer Boating Safety: South Florida Authorities Sound The Alarm

In light of South Florida reopening, more boats have been out on the water. Unfortunately, this typically leads to a rise in boating accidents. With the 4th of July right around the corner, the Broward Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol is sounding the maritime alarm with a two-week operation that began on Monday. BSO Marine Patrol units are out on the Intracoastal Waterway, and their goal is to educate boaters about boating safety.  For the first week of the patrol, education and enforcement will be top priority. The second phase of the operation will include increased enforcement. In addition, marine patrols from Fort Lauderdale, Lighthouse Point, and Hillsborough Beach will be checking for life jackets, fire extinguishers, and other safety items. Tickets will be issued for speeding boats or those violating no-wake zones. Broward County is ranked 11th in vessel accidents in Florida, and they want to do better. Boaters are encouraged to take boating safety courses, which are offered by the U.S....
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Shark Sighting Safety Tips

Shark Sighting Safety Tips

A Florida man who was swimming near a fishing line 40 yards from the shore was recently bit by a shark near Santa Rosa Beach.  According to a news release, the man had visible wounds to the upper body and chest area and was taken to a local hospital. Fortunately, he’s expected to recover.  Firefighters believe the shark was heading for the fishing line and confused the man for bait. The shark is believed to be seven to eight feet long. The fire district flew double red flags to warn other swimmers in the area of the shark’s presence. This story brings to light the very real issue of swimming safely when sharks are lurking underwater. Wondering what to do if you spot a shark while swimming in the ocean? Here are some tips that could save your life. Stay calm. Most sharks are harmless, so just try to breathe. Also, if you start to flail around, you'll appear more like prey.Get out of...
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Florida Fishing Pier Finder Launched By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Florida Fishing Pier Finder Launched By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

If you’re looking for a place to fish from land, check out the new Florida Fishing Pier Finder, an interactive map that allows anglers to find public fishing piers, jetties, and bridges. If possible, skip your phone and view the map on a computer or tablet.  This app was created through funding from the federal Sport Fish Restoration program, which collects taxes from fishing and motorboat purchases to fund projects that enhance fishing opportunities.  In order to find the perfect fishing spot, visit MyFWC.com/PierFinder to search by location and what type of place you’re specifically looking for. There are several bridges and piers around Florida that allow anglers to catch a variety of species, which isn’t always easy when you’re stuck on land. Some of these structures extend into the Gulf of Mexico, and others extend into the Atlantic Ocean.  This unique platform is super helpful for anglers who want diverse fishing opportunities but might not be familiar with an area. Florida is...
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5 Amazing Fly Fishing Destinations In South Florida

5 Amazing Fly Fishing Destinations In South Florida

If you’re looking for a gorgeous place to relax, South Florida is the perfect spot. And if you’re looking to go fly fishing? Even better! Keep reading to learn about five awesome fly fishing destinations you should visit in South Florida.  1. NaplesNaples is great for angling enthusiasts and fly fishing. It’s also home to more than ten miles of the best beaches in North America! Some fish you can find here are the snook, redfish, pompano, permit, Spanish Mackerel, and trout.  2. Boca GrandeLocated on Gasparilla Island, right near the Gulf Coast, Boca Grande is a great destination for regular fishing and fly fishing. Some fish that are often caught are pompano and snooks.  3. Palm BeachPalm Beach is located on the Atlantic Ocean, which makes it a great spot for both inshore and offshore fish. Snooks and Spanish Mackerel are popular. You can also catch sailfish, swordfish, snapper, and grouper. If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’ll also enjoy seeing manatees, sea...
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Stay Safe On The Water This Memorial Day Weekend!

Stay Safe On The Water This Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend in South Florida is one of the busiest weekends on the water for boaters. Because of this, it’s extremely important to keep boating safety in mind. Here are some quick boating safety tips that will ensure you and your loved ones have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.  1. Everyone needs a life jacket.Yes, everyone! Make sure you have enough life jackets to accommodate everyone on your boat. Over 80% of drownings are the result of not wearing a life jacket. You never know when an emergency situation will occur, so it’s wise to be prepared.  2. File a float plan, or tell someone where you’re going.This is something you should do each time you take your boat out. That way, the Coast Guard, along with local law enforcement, will have the ability to start a search quickly if something goes awry.  3. Have a designated sober skipper.Drinking while boating is a huge problem in Florida, so it’s important to designate...
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Lakeland Boating Safety Course: June 12-13

Lakeland Boating Safety Course: June 12-13

If you’re thinking about taking a boating course this summer, we have a great option for you in Lakeland! On June 12th and 13th, America’s Boating Club Lakeland will present America’s Boating Course in two half day increments. Lakeland is about an hour and a half from Palmetto. What will the class teach?The class will teach the basics of safe boating in eight hours of classroom instruction. This will fulfill the requirements for the Florida Boater ID Card, which is necessary to operate a powerboat of 10 or more horsepower in Florida.  When will the class be held?Check in will begin at 7:45am on June 12th and will run from 1am to 1pm on both June 12th and June 13th. There will be a 60-question multiple choice exam at the end of Sunday’s class. Preregistration is required.  Where will the class be held?Old Salt Marine, 1918 U.S. 98 North, in Lakeland.  How much does it cost?$50 per person.  How can I register/learn more?Contact America’s Boating Club...
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Florida Advances Possibility Of Fishing Goliath Groups Again

Florida Advances Possibility Of Fishing Goliath Groups Again

Are you ready to start fishing? Goliath groupers faced extinction three decades ago due to water pollution and overfishing, but the door has now opened for fishermen to catch and kill them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission created a new regulation proposal that would allow for 100 goliath groupers to be caught and kept alive each year within a four year span. As part of this proposal, a lottery would be enacted that gives a limited amount of fisherman the chance to pay $300 for a weekly license to catch and kill one goliath. The money from the permit sales will go towards funding research.  Though this is a step in the right direction for fishermen, it might not be approved for several years as marine biologists are hesitant about the proposed measure. The goliath grouper, a 400-800 pound fish, has left scientists with many questions regarding how the species has recovered over the last 30 years. ...
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Weekend Trip: Pole Boating In The Everglades

Weekend Trip: Pole Boating In The Everglades

If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend, consider pole boating in the Everglades! The Florida Everglades are a beautiful sight to behold, and they’re brimming with life. Touring these waters with a pole boat can give you a major advantage. Pole boats are quieter and less likely to scare off critters.  Jack Shealy has been a pole boat guide in the Everglades for about 15 years. His family has been hunting, trapping, and fishing on pole boats for almost 40 years along the Ochopee prairie. He’s a certified Florida glades-man.  The first glades-man in the area used pole boats to navigate swamp waters, which allowed them to barter and trade goods.  Glades-man culture still has roots in the area today. Taking a pole boat tour will give you a fascinating glimpse into the life of the men and women who first settled along the swamps. Shealy will give you an up-close and personal look at the environment and the history....
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