Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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 […]

FWC battling coral reef disease

FWC battling coral reef disease

Coral reefs in the Florida Reef Tract in the southern part of the state, which happens to be one of the largest reef systems in the world, are being impacted greatly by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. The disease is caused by bacteria and can be transmitted through direct contact and water circulation. Read the […]

Griffin sets state record for flathead catfish catch

Griffin sets state record for flathead catfish catch

A Santa Rosa County resident recently set a state record for a flathead catfish. Marvin Griffin caught the fish in the Yellow River on a rod and reel using live bait. The catfish checked in at 69.3 pounds, measuring 47 inches long and featuring a girth of 34.25 inches.   Read the full article in […]

Della Ratta enjoys teaching others about fishing

Della Ratta enjoys teaching others about fishing

Pete Della Ratta grew up on the Gulf Coast but didn’t get heavily involved in fishing until he was in high school. “Growing up here, my parents didn’t fish too much. The first time I saw my father with a rod and reel was with my daughter. For my kids to see their grandfather fishing, […]

New shore-based shark fishing requirements take effect

New shore-based shark fishing requirements take effect

Anyone interested in fishing for sharks must be aware of the new requirements that went into effect July 1. There is now a mandatory, no-cost annual shore-based shark fishing permit and educational course for shore-based anglers.   Read the full article in the July 4 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options […]

Bear spotted near recreation center in HBTS

Bear spotted near recreation center in HBTS

Holley by the Sea has put out a warning that there have been two reported sightings of a bear visiting the pool deck of the HBTS Recreation Center within the last week. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has been called and an FWC officer visited the recreation center. The bear had moved on […]

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of danger when it comes to alligators

Out of sight doesn’t mean out of danger when it comes to alligators

In early June a young girl was attacked by an alligator in Leon County. She and her grandfather had gotten out of the water for a snack and spotted an alligator in the lake in which they’d just been swimming. They waited 30 minutes or so before re-entering the water.   Read the full article […]

R3 Program focuses on sustaining popularity of fishing

R3 Program focuses on sustaining popularity of fishing

Fishing is a big deal in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to make sure that angling continues to be a staple in the Sunshine State for years to come.   Read the full article in the May 30 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click […]

Permit application process open for alligator hunt

Permit application process open for alligator hunt

Alligator hunting season begins in August and runs through November. The time to apply for a hunting permit is now. Permits aren’t guaranteed as the drawing is done through a lottery system.   Read the full article in the May 23 issue of Navarre Press. Visit navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or click here […]

Funding cut for BearWise program

Funding cut for BearWise program

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is looking in a different direction after funding for the BearWise program was cut out of the new state budget for the fiscal year that begins in July. Consideration had been made by state lawmakers to earmark $500,000 for BearWise, a program that provides bear-resistant garbage containers to […]

FWC clinics provide opportunity to learn to fish

FWC clinics provide opportunity to learn to fish

For more than 20 years, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has held Saltwater Fishing Clinics throughout the state. The FWC held its latest clinic last week at Community Maritime Park along the bayfront in Pensacola. Read the full article in the April 18 issue of Navarre Press. Visit https://navarrepress.com/subscribe/ to view subscription options […]

FWC stresses the importance of being safe while on the water

FWC stresses the importance of being safe while on the water

Boating season will be in full swing soon enough. Keeping safety in mind while on the water can make the experience an enjoyable one. One of the big talking points for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when it comes to promoting boating safety is the Wear It Florida campaign. Read the full article […]

Navarre Park revised price tag: $4.9 million

Navarre Park revised price tag: $4.9 million

Renovation of Navarre Park is set to begin in June, and the cost of updated plans for the roughly 4.7 acres has dropped from more than $7 million to $4.9 million. Paring down the project was part of District 4 County Commissioner Dave Piech’s campaign for election. Read the full article in the April 4 […]

Turtle center getting new vehicle to aid conservation

Turtle center getting new vehicle to aid conservation

National conservation organization Turtleman Foundation has awarded a $6,500 grant to the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center (NBSTCC) to purchase a new all-terrain vehicle. The center will use the UTV (utility task vehicle) in its conservation efforts for sea turtle nesting surveys, sea turtle strandings, research and education, said Animal Care Team member Alex […]

Shark tagging vital tool in conservation efforts

Shark tagging vital tool in conservation efforts

A great white shark was caught off the Navarre Beach Pier a few weeks ago. It was 10 feet long, weighed 650 pounds and took nearly an hour to reel in. While it’s not unheard of to catch a great white in the Gulf of Mexico, it’s not common either. Read the full article in […]

Looking ahead to start of spring turkey hunting season

Looking ahead to start of spring turkey hunting season

Spring turkey hunting season begins in less than two weeks, and this will be the last one in which the shooting hours won’t be extended. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved extended shooting hours on wildlife management areas at its meeting in February. Read the full article in the March 7 issue […]

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