On June 11 through 13 the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet in Lakeland to discuss several important issues that will affect fishing for tarpon in waters surrounding Boca Grande.
The meeting will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3839 Don Emerson Drive, Lakeland.
While it may be a bit of a drive, if you have any thoughts on any of the subjects listed below, which as listed now appear to all be scheduled for discussion on the first day of the meeting, please try to attend.
All interested individuals may speak at workshops or meetings of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Commission) within the guidelines established by the Commission. To ensure the public’s opportunity to be heard and the orderly conduct of the meeting, the Chairman reserves the right to establish a time for adjournment of the workshop or meeting, to limit the time for speakers, and to limit the time allotted for specific agenda items.
Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this meeting should notify the agency at least five calendar days before the meeting by calling 850-488-6411. Contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or 800-955-8770 (voice) if you are hearing or speech impaired.
Agenda items listed under headings other than “Rules” may be moved by the Chairman to different days of the meeting to accommodate scheduling problems.
The meeting may include fact-finding field trips to Commission-managed areas or facilities; or to other areas to learn about management, and enforcement activities.
Typically, the Chairman may ask staff and the public to work through lunch on either day. Please plan accordingly.
View More images >>If any person decides to challenge any decision with respect to any matter considered at the meeting, he or she may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes testimony and evidence upon which the challenge is based.
Agenda1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 11 Meeting OpeningCall to OrderInvocation and Pledge of Allegiance to the FlagThe Rodney Barreto Conservation AwardRecognitions - Employee IntroductionAdministrative MattersReview and Approve April 17-18, 2013 Commission Meeting MinutesApprove Regular Meeting AgendaApprove Consent AgendaExecutive Director’s ReportBudget WorkshopFWC Budget Workshop - The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of the State of Florida Legislative Budget Process and the budgetary framework of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This session is intended to be informal and allow for an open question/answer exchange between Commissioners and staff.The Budget ProcessRevenue SourcesThe Annual Operating BudgetPublic CommentRecess Tuesday’s Portion of the Meeting8:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 12, 2013 Reconvene Meeting Opening and RecognitionsFlorida Guides Association Annual Recognition AwardsTrained Eyes Coastwatcher Officer of the Year AwardCaptain Phil Chapman Conservation Award Items Requiring Action - Marine FisheriesDraft Rule
Boca Grande Pass Tarpon Fishing Gear - The proposed draft rule would address the Commission’s definition of snagging in Chapter 68B-32, Tarpon. The proposed draft rule would also consider prohibiting gear rigged with a weight attached to the bottom of the hook in order to reduce snagging of tarpon in Boca Grande Pass.
68B-32.002 Definitions - The proposed draft rule would enhance the definition in the tarpon chapter of “snagging” or “snatch hooking.”
68B-4.018 Boca Grande Pass Gear Restrictions - The proposed draft rule would prohibit the use and possession of gear rigged with a weight attached to the bottom of the hook in Boca Grande Pass.
Tarpon and Bonefish - The proposed final rules would make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only. To accomplish this, the allowance for a tarpon bag limit would be eliminated and replaced with an allowance for possession of a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. In addition, all tarpon regulations will be extended into adjacent federal waters. The existing bonefish tournament exemption that allows registered tournament anglers to possess a bonefish for the purposes of transporting it to the tournament scale would also be eliminated.
68B-32.001 Purpose and Intent (NEW) - The proposed final rule would create a new subsection in order to convey the intent to manage tarpon as a catch-and-release-only fishery with allowable harvest and possession limited to possession in pursuit of an IGFA record.
68B-32.003 Tarpon Tags: Required for Possession; Report; Annual Issuance; Taxidermy; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued Annually; Limitation on Number of Tags Issued to Professional Fishing Guides – The proposed final rule would extend Florida’s tarpon tag requirements to federal waters and limit the use of tarpon tags to tarpon harvested or possessed in pursuit of an IGFA record. The final rule would also eliminate reporting requirements and limit the number of tags that an individual can purchase to one per year.
68B-32.004 Bag Limit and Gear Restriction - The proposed final rule would eliminate the two tarpon bag limit and require that all tarpon be released without doing unnecessary harm and at the site of capture. Allowable possession of a tarpon within or without Florida waters, or elsewhere in the state, would be limited to anglers with the properly affixed tarpon tag who possess a tarpon in pursuit of an IGFA record.
The final rule would also create a vessel limit of one tarpon per vessel and limit the allowable gears when targeting tarpon to hook and line only. In addition, the proposed final rule would state the intent to allow for temporary possession of tarpon for purposes of photography, measurement of length and girth, or scientific sampling, and any tarpon temporarily possessed would be required to be kept completely in the water if greater than 40 inches fork length.
These regulations would apply in all state and federal waters off Florida.
68B-32.006 Sale Prohibited, Transport Regulated - The final rule would reduce the number of tarpon a person is allowed to transport or ship from two tarpon to one.
68B-32 - The final rule would reorganize and reformat the tarpon rule chapter to conform to the style developed for Division 68B, F.A.C., during the marine fisheries rule cleanup process.
Information provided by the FWC.
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