Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Bear scratches man’s chest in Gulf Breeze

Bear scratches man’s chest in Gulf Breeze

Late in the evening of March 4, a resident of Santa Rosa County was scratched by a bear at his home near the City of Gulf Breeze according to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) press release. The man was on his porch when a bear approached and scratched him on the chest […]

FWC sets 2020 red snapper season

FWC sets 2020 red snapper season

The 2020 season for red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico will take place June 11-July 25. There is the possibility of a fall season depending on if the quota of 1,913,451 pounds is not exceeded during the summer season. In 2019, an additional eight days were added in the fall. The summer season […]

Popular spring turkey season begins in March

Popular spring turkey season begins in March

Spring turkey season is just around the corner, and it tends to be the most popular one. It is scheduled to kick off outside the wildlife management area system March 21 and run through April 26 for most of the state. However, the portion of Florida that is south of State Road 70 will see […]

Cane toads remain prevalent invasive species in Florida

Cane toads remain prevalent invasive species in Florida

Cane toads aren’t native to Florida but have been in the state for quite some time, first introduced here in the 1930s to control agricultural pests. Pet trade escapes and releases in the 1950s and 1960s have created the current population. The invasive species, which is native to extreme southern Texas and Central and South […]

Efforts being made to revive oyster population

Efforts being made to revive oyster population

Oyster populations are falling off across the United States, and in Florida, until recent years, 90% of the state’s oyster harvest came from Apalachicola Bay. Pensacola Bay is feeling the effect of the oyster shortage, too. Since 2001 when the harvest peaked at 60,000 pounds, most coming from waters in Santa Rosa County, the decline […]

Fishing, hunting highlight agenda items for FWC

Fishing, hunting highlight agenda items for FWC

When the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets later this month in Tallahassee, several items involving fishing will be on the agenda. That includes setting a recreational season for red snapper in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The proposed season is June 11 through July 25, a total of 45 days, which […]

Audubon seeks help with rooftop nesters

Audubon seeks help with rooftop nesters

Local Audubon officials are seeking assistance from the public to prepare for rooftop nesting season. Human impacts to the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico have made it harder for endangered least terns and threatened black skimmers to find flat, sandy space to lay their eggs and raise their chicks. Read the full article in […]

Tread Lightly Campaign promotes responsible outdoor use

Tread Lightly Campaign promotes responsible outdoor use

The Tread Lightly Campaign – a national initiative — continues to be one that pushes to strike a balance between the need of people to enjoy outdoor recreation while maintaining healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. Hunting is a big focal point of the initiative, particularly in wildlife management areas, and Tammy […]

Changes set to go into effect for spotted seatrout

Changes set to go into effect for spotted seatrout

Several changes are on the horizon for spotted seatrout, starting Feb. 1. The changes include a closure to spotted seatrout harvest in the new Western Panhandle management zone. Spotted seatrout are one of Florida’s most popular inshore fisheries. Read the full article in the Jan. 30 issue of Navarre Press.Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options.Click […]

Bear Management Plan approved by FWC

Bear Management Plan approved by FWC

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the updated Bear Management Plan for the state in December. The plan takes a comprehensive, science-based approach to managing bears in Florida. No proposal was made to open up a bear hunt, but that possibility does remain in the toolbox for managing bear populations. Read the […]

FWC set to approve red snapper season next month

FWC set to approve red snapper season next month

Recreational red snapper season isn’t too far off. And a new season is set to be approved in February. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is recommending a continuous 45-day season that kicks off June 11 and runs through July 25. “Our staff estimates that the harvest can stay open through July 25 […]

Zoo “shell-abrates” conservation with grant award

Zoo “shell-abrates” conservation with grant award

As part of their global wildlife conservation efforts, the Gulf Breeze Zoo recently awarded a 2019 Zoofari Parks Conservation Grant of $5,000 to help protect a threatened species closer to home. The University of West Florida’s (UWF) biology department team will use the grant to protect local Gopher tortoises. Project manager Dr. Phil Darby is […]

Budget recommendations set to benefit FWC conservation efforts

Budget recommendations set to benefit FWC conservation efforts

Budget recommendations are in place for the 2020-21 fiscal year in the state of Florida and several are set up to benefit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and its environmental initiatives. More than $20 million is recommended to be dedicated to a wide range of initiatives, including $9.9 million to combat invasive species […]

UWF researcher tracking reef fish health in gulf using eDNA

UWF researcher tracking reef fish health in gulf using eDNA

University of West Florida (UWF) professor Alexis Janosik has already brought a species of fish back from suspected extinction through her research. Now, she’s taking on the entire reef fish population of the Gulf of Mexico. Janosik, a professor in the UWF Department of Biology, will participate in a gulf wide, multiyear study of reef […]

Manatees are on the move in the winter months

Manatees are on the move in the winter months

Manatees are now on the move to warmer water as winter settles in, making this a good time to educate people about the popular aquatic animal. “Manatee Awareness Month is a great opportunity to educate the public about manatee conservation at a critical time of the year,” said Jamie Rager, a representative for the Florida […]

Fall tends to lead to more interactions with bears

Fall tends to lead to more interactions with bears

This is the time of the year when the likelihood of a bear being hit by a vehicle rises. Last month, two bears were struck on Highway 87, including a nearly 500-pound male in the Holley area. The other bear killed was a 40-pound cub just north of Holley. They are unfortunate incidents but not […]

FWC working to keep Florida free of deer disease

FWC working to keep Florida free of deer disease

In nearly two decades since the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began its Chronic Wasting Disease surveillance in the state, more than 13,000 deer—including animals killed by a hunter or vehicle, as well as those that died from an illness– have been tested for CWD. The results have come back negative every time.   […]

FWC sets sights on updating bear management plan

FWC sets sights on updating bear management plan

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is set to update its Florida Black Bear Management Plan, which has been in place in since 2012. The updates, which include new data, an expansion of the Bear Management Unit Profiles and a new section on population management techniques, have been in the works for some time […]

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

Tourism council backs dog park on sound, not Gulf

County commissioners tossed the ball of creating a dog beach to the Tourist Development Council for its input Oct. 3, but conflicting public opinions have made the topic a hot potato. Current law prohibits dogs on all public beaches. Creation of a beach area allowing dogs was originally proposed in August to be located along the […]

State opens short fall season for red snapper

State opens short fall season for red snapper

Good news has arrived for anglers craving extra days of fishing for red snapper. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this month that six additional days have been added to the season in the Gulf of Mexico. Open to private recreational anglers and for-hire operations, the following dates are open for red snapper fishing: Oct. 12-13, […]

Navarre dog beach on pause

Navarre dog beach on pause

Efforts to open a section of Navarre Beach to dogs will likely be delayed by another month following the Board of County Commissioners meeting Monday. An ordinance currently prohibits dogs on both the sound-side and Gulf-side beaches in Navarre, but an amended ordinance set for public hearing Thursday would create a designated dog walking area […]

Turtle monitors report mixed results

Turtle monitors report mixed results

Digging up the nest of an endangered sea turtle is illegal, with the risk of up to $125,000 in fines and even federal prison time. But that is exactly what Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Patrollers were doing the evening of Aug. 20. It’s OK for them. They have a permit and a job to do: […]

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County advances Navarre dog beach plan

County commissioners moved forward Monday with a proposal to allow dogs on a portion of Navarre Beach’s Santa Rosa Sound coastline. Under the proposed ordinance, owners would pay an annual fee of $30 to allow their dogs on a stretch of the beach near the water tower on White Sands Boulevard between 4 p.m. and […]

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

Gulf Breeze bear trap removed

In keeping with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) policy, a bear trap has been removed from the area of Gulf Breeze where a pet dog was attacked and killed. FWC Regional Public Information Director Bekah Nelson said the initial incident occurred July 28 shortly after 10 p.m. Residents of Vestavia Way reported that […]

New rules in place for deer harvest

New rules in place for deer harvest

The reporting system for deer harvest during the new season has changed. All hunters, including those under the age of 16, must now log their harvested deer prior to moving it from where it was located. Hunters must also report the harvested deer within 24 hours.   Read the full article in the Aug. 8 […]

Turtle heroes pull “Mac” from the surf

Turtle heroes pull “Mac” from the surf

Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center named four new Sea Turtle Heroes July 20 thanks to the rescue effort that likely saved the life of a loggerhead sea turtle along Navarre Beach. Kevin Wiethe said he and some friends were setting up their canopy on the beach for the day when they spotted something in […]

Learning to mitigate your risks

Learning to mitigate your risks

We live in the most beautiful place in Florida, along the coast’s most beautiful beach. It is paradise. We are also fortunate to live among some pretty spectacular wildlife. The list includes bald eagles, ospreys, deer, coyotes, bears, sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, sharks and so many other species. Nearly every day we see a video […]

Bear kills pet dog in Gulf Breeze

Bear kills pet dog in Gulf Breeze

A black bear killed a dog in a backyard in Gulf Breeze Sunday according to a statement from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) released to Monday. According to the statement, shortly after 10 p.m., FWC dispatch was notified of an incident involving a black bear and a dog in Gulf Breeze. An adult […]

One nest added, two more lost

One nest added, two more lost

Despite continued impacts from people, Navarre Beach has added another sea turtle nest to its count after a loggerhead made the trek up the beach July 16. That brings this year’s total so far to eight.     Read the full article in the July 25 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription […]

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Bears close Navarre Park for a nap

Friday two bears were caught napping in a pine tree in Navarre Park. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), along with the Santa Rosa Sheriff’s Office, closed Navarre Park for the safety of visitors. According to FWC’s website, the black bear is the only species of bear in Florida. Bears are solitary by nature […]

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