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Gulf County bay scallop season to open Sept. 23

Suggested Tweet: Gulf County #scallop season to open Sept. 23. @MyFWC: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/1b85a4d #Florida 

The Gulf County bay scallop season will open to harvest Sept. 23. The 2017 season was postponed earlier this year due to a naturally occurring algae bloom (Pseudo-nitzschia) in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish. Recent samples have indicated that the scallops in St. Joseph Bay are safe for human consumption and meet FDA requirements for opening harvest in the bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will continue testing of the bay.

The 2017 season will be open for 16 days, with the last day of harvest being Oct. 8 and closing Oct. 9. This season opening includes all state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. All other regulations apply, including a daily bag limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

The scallop population in Gulf County is also still recovering from a 2015 red tide.  Restoration efforts are underway in the southeast area of the bay south of Black’s Island. Swimming, boating, fishing or scalloping in the restoration area marked with FWC buoys is prohibited. The recent Pseudo-nitzschia algal bloom is not expected to impact the scallop population.

The bay scallop season for Gulf County was originally scheduled to open July 25 and close Sept. 10.

For updates and more information on bay scallops, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

In areas outside of Gulf County, waters from the Pasco-Hernando County line to the Suwannee River and from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County will close to harvest Sept. 25. The bay scallop season in state waters from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County to the Suwannee River in Dixie County closed Sept. 10.

Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information.

Learn more about long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Molluscs,” “Bay Scallops” and “Season.”  

Reminder: 2017 bay scallop season closure starts Sept. 25

The 2017 recreational bay scallop season will close Sept. 25 in all state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the Suwannee River Alligator Pass Daybeacon 4 in Levy County, and from north and west of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County.

For updates and more information on bay scallops, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

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New generation of hunters is emerging

On behalf of all of us at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), we continue to keep Floridians and visitors who were affected by Hurricane Irma in our thoughts and prayers. The FWC and its land management partners are working hard to address storm impacts to our wildlife management areas so these public lands are available for recreation while balancing the need for public safety. For information about the status of our WMAs, visit MyFWC.com. This list is updated as new information is received, so check back regularly.

There’s a new kind of hunter afield these days creating a new trend. Young urbanites, many of them millennials, are taking up bowhunting. According to an article External Website published by the Archery Trade Association, these young people are motivated by healthy lifestyles, organic food and the ever-growing farm/field-to-table movement.

During archery season, in addition to taking a legal buck, you are allowed to take antlerless deer, which greatly increases your chances of putting quality meat in the freezer.

Millennial hunters care about fitness, red meat and doing their own thing. Bowhunting is booming with this new generation of hunter, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. Because hunting with a bow requires more tracking, these young fitness-minded people are picking it up.

Today, teen girls are being inspired to take up archery and bowhunting because of movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Brave,” and are motivated by a generation of women who are dedicated to the outdoors, fitness and wellness.

Whatever might draw you to pick up a bow, bowhunting takes practice, the ability to judge distance, and stealth when it comes to movement and covering your scent. To help you get ready, the FWC manages several archery and shooting ranges across the state. Information on these ranges is at MyFWC.com/Ranges. Also, the FWC offers a bowhunter education course and some classes are still available this fall. You can register and get more information about this course at MyFWC.com/HunterSafety. You can get more information about how to begin hunting at MyFWC.com/NewHunter.

Bow season and the rut – best times to hunt

Besides hunting the rut, early bow seasons provide a great opportunity to take a mature whitetail and are among the best times to do so. In northwest Florida, it’s even better because bucks are still hangin’ out in their bachelor groups. Historically, during September the rut is in full swing southeast and west of Lake Okeechobee, and in the counties of Dixie, Levy, Nassau, Duval and St. Johns, so you really have an advantage when hunting there. Find out when the deer rut where you hunt by checking out the FWC’s updated rut map at MyFWC.com/Deer.

If you’re stealthy enough and have done your preseason homework, you have a good chance of having a nice one come within shooting range of your bowhunting setup. Early in the season, before deer are subjected to significant hunting pressure, they are more active during daylight hours. Once gun season hits, though, you might not see that big ’un again for the rest of the year, except for maybe a trail cam pic taken in the middle of the night.

Season dates by zone

Hunting season always starts first in Zone A in south Florida.

The boundary line between zones A and C begins at the Gulf of Mexico and runs northeast through Charlotte Harbor and up the Peace River until it intersects with State Road 70. The line then follows S.R. 70, running east until it meets U.S. 441 north of Lake Okeechobee. It then follows U.S. 441 south, where it proceeds around the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. The line then turns off U.S. 441 and onto S.R. 80 and runs just a few miles before turning east and following County Road 880, running just a few miles before joining back up with U.S. 98/441/S.R. 80/Southern Boulevard until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. Archery and crossbow seasons south of that line started July 29 in Zone A.

This year, archery and crossbow seasons in Zone B start Oct. 14. Zone B’s northern boundary line is S.R. 50, the eastern border is U.S. 441 and the Kissimmee Waterway, the southern boundary is S.R. 60 and the western boundary is Interstate 75.

The line that divides zones C and D begins at U.S. 27 at the Florida-Georgia state line (in Gadsden County) and runs south on U.S. 27 until it meets S.R. 61 in Tallahassee. From there, it follows S.R. 61, running south until it hits U.S. 319. There, the line follows U.S. 319, continuing south to U.S. 98; it then runs east along U.S. 98 until it gets to the Wakulla River, where the river becomes the line, heading south until it meets the St. Marks River and continues going downriver until it meets the Gulf.

If you hunt west of that line, you’re in Zone D, where archery and crossbow seasons begin on Oct. 21 this year. In Zone C (east of that line), archery and crossbow seasons opened Sept. 16.

License and permit requirements

Before you go, you need to make sure your license and required permits are up-to-date. To hunt during archery season, you’ll need a Florida hunting license and an archery permit. During crossbow season, you’ll need a hunting license and crossbow permit. If you’re a Florida resident, an annual hunting license costs $17. Nonresidents have the choice of paying $46.50 for a 10-day license or $151.50 for 12 months. Archery and crossbow permits are $5 each, and all deer hunters must have the $5 deer permit. 

Anyone planning on hunting one of Florida’s many wildlife management areas must purchase a management area permit for $26.50. And don’t forget to study up on the rules and regulations for the area you wish to hunt. You can download these brochures from MyFWC.com/Hunting under “WMA Brochures.” Many of these WMAs require a quota permit to hunt during archery season, but there are several that don’t require one to hunt some or all of their archery season. Those WMAs not requiring a quota permit can be found at MyFWC.com/Hunting. Hurricane Irma impacted some WMAs resulting in area closures. Information about the open/closed status of WMAs can be found at MyFWC.com.

You can obtain all the licenses and permits you’ll need at a county tax collector’s office, any retail outlet that sells hunting and fishing supplies, by calling 888-HUNT-FLORIDA or at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. External Website

But if you’re 15 years old or younger, 65 or older or have a resident persons with disabilities hunting and fishing certificate, you’re exempt from needing any of these licenses and permits.

Legal to take

During archery season and that part of crossbow season that runs concurrent with archery, you can take legal-to-take bucks (as defined by the regulations within the deer management unit you’re hunting in) and antlerless deer, which are does and bucks with less than 5-inch antlers. You may never take spotted fawns. After archery ends, during the remaining portion of the crossbow season, you may only take legal-to-take bucks according to the specific DMU antler rules. The daily bag limit on deer is two. Bag limits for deer on WMAs can differ, so check the specifics of the area before you hunt.

You can hunt wild hogs on private lands year-round with no bag or size limits. On most WMAs, there’s also no bag or size limits, and hogs are legal to take during most hunting seasons except spring turkey. But on a few WMAs, bag and size limits do apply so, to be certain, check the brochure for the specific area.

In addition to hunting big game, it’s also legal to shoot gobblers and bearded turkeys during archery and crossbow seasons, assuming you have a turkey permit ($10 for residents, $125 for nonresidents) or are exempt from the permit requirement. You can take two turkeys in a single day on private lands, but the two-bird combined fall-season limit still applies. The daily bag is still one on WMAs, however, on many of them you may take hen turkeys during the archery season. It’s against the law to hunt turkeys in Holmes County in the fall, and it’s illegal to shoot them while they’re on the roost, over bait, when you’re within 100 yards of a game-feeding station when bait is present or with the aid of recorded turkey calls.

If you’re quite the sharpshooter, gray squirrel and quail are two other game species legal to take during archery and crossbow seasons. There’s a daily bag limit of 12 for each.

Additional regulations you need to know

If you’re hunting during the archery season, you may hunt only with a bow and you must have the archery permit. During crossbow season, you may use either a crossbow or bow, but you must have the crossbow permit. On WMAs, only hunters with a persons with disabilities crossbow permit are allowed to use crossbows during archery season. All bows must have a minimum draw weight of 35 pounds, and hand-held releases are permitted. For hunting deer, hogs and turkeys, broadheads must have at least two sharpened edges with a minimum width of 7/8 inch.

As far as legal shooting hours go, you’re allowed to let your arrow or bolt fly between a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset. Except for turkeys, you’re permitted to take resident game over feeding stations on private property. It’s against the law to use bait on WMAs.

You can’t use dogs to hunt deer or turkeys, but you can use bird dogs if you’re quail hunting. However, you are allowed to use a dog on a leash to help you trail any wounded game.

Take the pledge to involve someone in hunting or fishing and enter to win

National Hunting and Fishing Day, an annual celebration of hunters and anglers, features a new twist this year. Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day, is asking hunters and anglers to participate in the new NHF Day Challenge External Website by taking someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience in America’s conservation capital from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium. Step up to the challenge by visiting NHFDay.org External Website or by calling 417-225-1162.

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day by pledging to create a new conservationist

Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: http://bit.ly/2xaY944 External Website

For many residents of Florida, time spent hunting and fishing are treasured moments. Hunting and fishing bring friends and family together and provide one of the most immersive outdoor experiences you can have. To encourage people to share their love of the outdoors, the focus of this year’s National Hunting and Fishing Day, External Website celebrated Saturday, Sept. 23, is to challenge every hunter and angler to take someone with them on their next outdoor adventure.

“Not only do hunting and fishing allow you to connect with nature on a profound level, those who take part in these activities also contribute to conservation,” said Nick Wiley, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Executive Director. “Every time someone buys a firearm, ammunition, archery equipment or fishing tackle, they are contributing to science-based fish and wildlife management through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program. This program brings funding from the sporting arms, archery and fishing industries and from sportsmen and women back to state wildlife management agencies like the FWC. This support, in addition to hunting and fishing license fees, is critical for conserving fish and wildlife.” 

Involve others in the outdoors between now and Sept. 23 by pledging to take someone hunting, fishing or target shooting. By taking the pledge External Website at NHFDay.org, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package for two or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience at the famous Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

"If you are a sportsman, sportswoman or an angler, you can make a difference and support National Hunting and Fishing Day by becoming a mentor," said Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for NHF Day. "Mentoring is critical to ensure our outdoor tradition lives on through future generations. Make the commitment to take someone outdoors and show them why you value hunting, fishing and target shooting."

This is a great time of year to introduce a friend, family member or co-worker to the outdoors, and FWC offers several resources on MyFWC.com and GoOutdoorsFlorida.com External Website to help you get started:

If you’d like to take someone hunting or fishing but don’t know where to go, consider Florida’s wildlife management area system. At nearly 6 million acres, Florida’s WMA system is one of the largest in the country and offers a variety of #WMAzing destinations. Hurricane Irma impacted some WMAs resulting in area closures. However, the FWC and its land management partners are working hard to address storm impacts so these public lands are available for recreation while balancing the need for public safety. Information about the open/closed status of WMAs can be found at MyFWC.com. This list is updated as new information is received, so check back regularly.  

This year, Florida’s WMA system is celebrating 75 years of conservation success. For more information, go to MyFWC.com/WMA75. Learn more about our great natural treasures and download WMA regulations brochures at MyFWC.com by clicking on “Hunting” then “WMA Brochures.”

FWC certifies new state record jaguar guapote

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fisheries biologists certified a new state record jaguar guapote, weighing 2.78 pounds and measuring 16.7 inches long, caught by 14-year-old angler Jerry Martin from Miami. Martin was thrilled to catch his jaguar guapote in the Snapper Creek Canal (C-2) with live bait.

jerry martin with jaguar guapote

14-year-old angler Jerry Martin with his new state record jaguar guapote, weighing 2.78 pounds and measuring 16.7 inches long.

“When I caught it, I freaked out,” said Martin. “I was excited because I knew it could be a state record.”

Martin has never targeted jaguar guapote before, instead fishing most often for largemouth bass and peacock bass.

“It was an accident to catch the state record jaguar [guapote], but now I’m planning to start fishing for more records,” he said.

Jaguar guapote are primarily known to exist in the urban canal systems of southeast Florida, ranging as far north as West Palm Beach. The species was first reported in 1992 from a photograph of two specimens caught in a farm pond near Miami Canal. The jaguar guapote was made eligible for state record status in 2012, and this is the first confirmed record for this species.

Jaguar guapote is one of 34 nonnative freshwater fish species that have become established in Florida. The FWC strongly encourages anglers to catch, keep and eat nonnative fish (except legally-introduced peacock bass and triploid grass carp), as many nonnative fishes provide excellent table fare. In addition, releasing fish from aquariums or moving them between water systems is illegal and could produce detrimental effects.

To properly certify a new Florida state record, an FWC biologist must identify the fish species and witness its weighing on a certified scale. Anglers can check the current state records External Website at BigCatchFlorida.com by clicking on “State Record,” and should notify the nearest FWC regional office if they believe they have caught a record fish. Contact information for FWC regional offices can be found at MyFWC.com/Contact by clicking on “Contact Regional Offices.”

The FWC recognizes other memorable freshwater catches through its Big Catch program, External Website which provides certificates commemorating trophy catches of 33 different freshwater species. Largemouth bass catches are recognized by the TrophyCatch program, External Website which is a citizen-science program that partners with industry leaders, such as Bass Pro Shops, to offer rewards for the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier.

FWC releases new videos to help Florida residents avoid conflicts with bears

Bear videos available at:https://vimeo.com/album/3605088 External Website
Photos available on the FWC’s Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/gp/myfwcmedia/0FpB7w External Website

As part of ongoing efforts to reduce conflicts with bears, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is releasing two new videos in the “Living with Florida Black Bears” series. These videos are designed to help educate the public about how to safely coexist with bears in Florida.

The “Bear Behavior” video describes how a person should react if they encounter a bear in the wild, such as speaking in an assertive voice and backing away slowly. Bears are generally not aggressive toward people, but an encounter may become dangerous if a bear feels concerned or threatened. Knowing how to interpret bear behavior can help people react appropriately when they have a close encounter with a bear.

The “Scare the Bear” video illustrates how residents can reduce conflicts with bears that may come onto their property. Bears are driven by their need for food and powerful sense of smell, which often leads them into neighborhoods and areas with readily accessible food sources. While properly securing garbage and other attractants is critical, scaring bears away from neighborhoods is also important because it can reinforce their natural fear of people. A bear that has been frightened by people is less likely to stay in areas where people are present, which reduces the risk to public safety.

“The No. 1 cause of conflict with bears is unsecured trash and other attractants, such as pet food, barbecue grills and birdseed,” said Dave Telesco, who leads the FWC’s Bear Management Program. “As bears spend more time in neighborhoods, they begin to lose their natural fear of people, which can lead to dangerous encounters. These videos highlight steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of both bears and humans.”

The new videos are being added to the existing “Living with Florida Black Bears” series, which already includes the following videos:

  • How to Make Your Wildlife Feeders Bear-Resistant
  • How FWC Conducts Bear Population Estimates
  • A Day in the Life of a Florida Black Bear
  • How to Protect Livestock and Pets from Bears
  • Cause for a Call
  • BearWise Communities

The FWC plans to release more bear-related videos in the coming months. These videos help educate the public about black bears in a quick and convenient format.

The entire “Living with Florida Black Bears” video series can be viewed at  MyFWC.com/Bear in the “Brochures & Other Materials” section.

In addition to educational efforts, the FWC is inviting local governments to apply for BearWise funding for their communities. The FWC will focus on providing financial assistance to local governments with BearWise ordinances in place, which require residents and businesses to keep their garbage secure from bears.A total of $515,000 will be available to offset the costs for communities to use bear-resistant equipment to secure their garbage and help reduce conflicts with bears.

To learn how to become BearWise, visit MyFWC.com/Bear and click on “BearWise Communities” on the left side of the page.

Who will be the next Lionfish Challenge winners? Find out Sept. 9

There’s still time to remove lionfish and win prizes by participating in the 2017 Lionfish Challenge. The statewide lionfish removal incentive program will come to a close Sept. 4. The winners, also known as the Lionfish King/Queen (recreational category) and the Commercial Champion, will be crowned at the Lionfish Safari in St. Petersburg at 4 p.m. Sept. 9. Join Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) staff along with Lionfish Safari organizer Reef Monitoring, as we celebrate these amazing lionfish hunters at the North Straub Park, 400 Bay Shore Drive NE.

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Scott Noyes of Sarasota County used his ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Unit to collect these lionfish for the Lionfish Challenge. Photo courtesy of Scott Noyes.

Competition is fierce. The 100 recreational and commercial participants have removed more than 12,300 lionfish so far (just over 6,000 recreationally and just under 6,000 commercially) and have received prizes ranging from T-shirts, tumblers and heat packs to ZombieStickz Lionfish Eliminator and Neritic pole spears, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium gift bags and ZooKeeper Lionfish Containment Units. Lionfish Challenge winners will be given a custom-made FishBone Design trophy and a No Shoes Reefs limited edition Engel 85 cooler.

Julie Cage Lionfish

Julie Cage of Volusia County submitted her 25 qualifying lionfish June 16. Photo courtesy of Julie Cage.

The FWC’s Lionfish Challenge started on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day, May 20.

To enter, participants register online at MyFWC.com/Lionfish and submit their harvest of 25 lionfish (or 25 pounds commercially).

The more lionfish you enter, the more prizes you will receive.

Planson Lionfish

Debbie Planson of Volusia County submitted her 25 qualifying lionfish July 2. Photo courtesy of Debbie Planson.

Think you have what it takes to be crowned the next Lionfish King/Queen or Commercial Champion? Sign up and learn more today at MyFWC.com/Lionfish.

Learn more about the Lionfish Safari External Website at ReefMonitoring.org by scrolling over “Event Page” and clicking on “Lionfish Safari.”

Also, be sure to check out the new and improved Reef Rangers website at ReefRangers.com, External Website which will be launched Sept. 5.

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This year’s Lionfish Challenge shirt.

Facebook

Website

Photos

(Flickr) http://bit.ly/2usiJsJ External Website  

FWC conducts aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will conduct aquatic plant control on Lake Rousseau from Sept. 5 through Sept. 15, weather permitting. Lake Rousseau is part of the Withlacoochee River and is in parts of Citrus, Levy and Marion counties west of Dunnellon.

Invasive hydrilla will be treated only in boat trails, but water lettuce and water hyacinth will be treated throughout the lake.

Boat trails requiring hydrilla treatment to maintain navigation include County Trail A, Shoreline Trail south of County Trail B, Hamic Estates Trail and Silver Lake Trail.

Biologists anticipate treating about 121 acres of hydrilla and 40 acres of water lettuce and water hyacinth with herbicides approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“There will be no restrictions on recreational activities, such as fishing or swimming, during the treatment period,” said Bruce Jaggers, an FWC invasive plant management biologist.  “Any edible fish caught that are legal to keep may be consumed.”  

There is a seven-day restriction for using water from treated areas for drinking or for animal consumption. However, there are no restrictions for other uses of treated water such as irrigating turf, ornamental plants and crops.

Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant spread easily by boats throughout Florida’s lakes and rivers. While recreational anglers and waterfowl hunters may see some benefits from hydrilla, there are other potential impacts to consider including negative impacts to beneficial native habitat, navigation, flood control, potable and irrigation water supplies, recreation and the aesthetic qualities of lakes. The FWC strives to balance these needs while managing hydrilla.

Go to MyFWC.com/WildlifeHabitats and click on “Invasive Plants” to find out more about invasive plant management, including “Frequently Asked Questions.”

For more information, contact Bruce Jaggers at 352-726-8622.

Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster conservation changes remain in effect for upcoming season

Several oyster conservation measures implemented previously will continue this winter season, Sept. 1 through May 31, 2018. These changes are effective in all of Apalachicola Bay, including all waters of Indian Lagoon in Gulf County.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) began implementing conservation measures in the fall of 2014 in an effort to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster population recover from the effects of low river flow. Apalachicola Bay oyster populations have significantly declined in recent years due to lack of sufficient fresh water flows in the Apalachicola River.

The FWC will continue to assess the health of the bay.

Changes are effective Sept. 1 through May 31, 2018 and include:

  • The daily commercial harvest and possession limit is three bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets.)
  • The daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit is 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day).
  • Commercial and recreational oyster harvest is closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Portions of the areas known as areas 1612 and 1622 are closed south of Sheepshead Bayou.

All other harvest regulations remain in effect.

To learn more about commercial oyster harvest, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing, click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Commercial” and “Oyster.”

Oyster conservation measures implemented in St. Andrews Bay

In an effort to conserve oyster resources in St. Andrews Bay and allocate the resource throughout the season while still maintaining harvest opportunities, several conservation measures will soon be implemented.

These changes affect all state waters of St. Andrews Bay in Bay County.

Commercial harvest will open Sept. 1 and remain open through June 30, 2018. The season is normally closed July 1 through Sept. 30.

During the open season, commecial harvesters are limited to five bags per person or a total of 10 bags of oyster per vessel. A bag is equivalent to 60 pounds (or 10 gallons). This change does not apply to active oyster leases.

Also, from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, 2017, commercial harvest is closed Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

All other regulations remain in effect. 

Learn more about commercial oyster harvest at MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Commercial” and “Oyster.”

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