No red tide detected in Indian River

No Karenia brevis, the Florida red-tide organism, was detected this week in water samples collected from the Indian River Lagoon (Brevard and Indian River counties) nor were there any evidence of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, detected this week in water samples collected alongshore between Pinellas and Monroe counties. Offshore samples collected north of the Florida Keys also contained no K. brevis.

We all felt the effects of the first northeast blow of the 2008 fall season.

This should improve the dolphin and sailfish fishing substantially especially as the number of cold fronts continues to rise. In the interim we have to contend with kingfish and little tunny. Bottom fishing continues to be excellent.

The larger amberjack are back on the big wreck once more. In the surf, mullet still abound in the surf, which attracts such predators as red drum, black tip sharks, tarpon and kingfish. In the inlet, tarpon, large and very large red drum (redfish), and some snook are being taken or released. In the rivers, the snook bite is producing many undersized fish, which while initially disheartening, is good for the future, if properly released. To release a fish properly one should not pick it up by the mouth and let it dangle vertically. Fish are accustomed to living horizontally and holding them vertically can produce injuries to the internal organs, which can be fatal. To properly release a fish you should leave it in the water using a lip latch device and remove the hook with the other hand. Then release the fish by opening the latch.

If you wish to photograph the fish prior to release, use the same lip latch technique with one hand and with the other hand freshly wet support the fish horizontally with your hand directly in front of the anal fin. In the lagoon both trout and redfish are responding well to live baits. Try casting a live bait into a school of mullet and get ready for a hit. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at its last meeting in Jacksonville from Sept. 17 -19, honored Officer Brett Gill with the FWC Division of law Enforcement’s Medal of Valor with Lifesaving Award for rescuing a woman from a burning vehicle at Lake Butler on July 18. The vehicle exploded moments after the office pulled the victim to safety, the victim survived. Col. Julie Jones said that the officer’s action were above and beyond the call of duty.

Additionally the FWC adopted a resolution a[[lauding wildlife biologist Adam Warwick for his valor in rescuing a 375-pound bear from drowning in the Gulf of Mexico after a tranquilizer dart began to take effect on the animal on June 24. The resolution stated “…the dedication and courageous actions by Adam Warwick reflect great credit on this agency and its personnel.” Jennifer Hobgood, Florida director of the Humane Society, presented Adam Warwick with the Circle of Compassion Award to “commend a selfless act of compassion”. The FWC also recognized CCA-Florida and expressed appreciation for their donation of fish-measuring devices for use by the FWC officers to ensure compliance with size limits. Ted Forsgren, executive director of CCA-Florida and its State Chairman, Mark Carter, accepted the honors.

The FWC is encouraging hunters to take precautions when dressing and harvesting wild hogs. Wild hogs are not originally native to Florida but are now native to all 67 counties and like any wild animal can carry parasites and disease – some of which are transmittable to humans. One such disease of concern is swine brucellosis.

The FWC advises hunters handling wild hog carcasses to take the following steps to prevent exposure to this bacterial disease: & middot; -- avoid eating, drinking, or using tobacco when field dressing or handling carcasses · -- Use latex gloves or rubber gloves when handling the carcass or raw meat · -- Avoid direct contact with blood, reproductive organs and fecal matter. Wearing long sleeves, eye protection and covering any open wounds or lesions will help provide protection. · -- Clean and disinfect knives, cleaning area, clothing, and any other exposed surfaces when finished. · -- Wash hands frequently with both soap and water. When cooking wild hog, as with any wild game, care in handling is an important part of disease prevention. And the meat should be cooked to 170 degrees.

Swine Brucellosis is not transmitted through partially cooked meat. It is further advised hat hunters not to be overly concerned about swine brucellosis but they should practice these good-hygiene, safety precautions hen field-dressing wild hogs. In humans, brucellosis is called undulant fever and can be transmitted if a hunter cuts himself while field dressing a wild hog or was exposed to the animal’s blood or bodily fluids. Symptoms include a recurring fever, hills, night sweats, weakness, headaches, back pain, swollen joints, weight loss and loss of appetite. If these symptoms appear after exposure, a hunter should go to a medical doctor.

The FWC passed a rule that sets new limits for the harvest of fresh water turtles. The new rule limits the daily harvest to five turtles a day, but those with a commercial license are allowed to harvest 20 Florida soft-shelled turtles daily. The new rules were passed to protect freshwater turtle populations during a period when the FWC tries to develop a long-term comprehensive strategy for sustainable use of amphibian and reptile populations, which they expect to have by next year. These rules apply only to turtles taken in the wild – not those ones from turtle farms or other aquaculture facilities. No changes were made to the possession limit or in the rules regarding buying and selling of turtles. The increase in demand both nationally and internationally has caused the FWC to evaluate the management of these species to prevent over-exploitation. Since other states (Alabama, Michigan, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) have restricted their turtle harvests, the FWC is concerned that turtle harvesters from those states will focus on Florida. The FWC passed new legislation that prohibits anyone from hunting in or near a permanent duck blind on four Tallahassee area lakes - Lake Miccosukee, Lake Iamonia, Lake Carr, and Lake Jackson.

The new rule states that nobody may hunt ducks, mergansers, geese or coots within 30 yards of a permanent blind or anything that violates Florida statutes prohibiting unauthorized construction on state lands. It defines a permanent blind as anything that provides shelter, cover, or concealment for a hunter but does not include any rooted vegetation. Temporary blinds, used only when the hunter is present, are not included. Because of conflicts with those who claimed to have built the blinds and other hunters, the FWC enacted the new rule. It is against state statutes to construct a blind in state’s waters without a permit. The FWC recently adopted new rules that will provide options for non-permitted owners of non-native species if they are no longer able to care for their pets. Release of exotic animals by their owners remains a significant pathway for the introduction of non-native species.

As a result the FWC will provide pet amnesty events to provide an option for owners of exotic pets to surrender their unwanted animals to responsible agencies or individuals without penalty instead of illegally releasing them into the wild. The FWC requires a captive wildlife permit to own many non-native species, including Class II and Class III wildlife, venomous reptiles and the six species designated as species of concern. The next pet amnesty day will be at the Jacksonville Zoo on Nov. 22. The FWC is raising the limit size for the greater amberjack and the gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico in order to coincide with the federal water restrictions, which start nine miles of the gulf's shorelines. The greater amberjack now must be a minimum of thirty inches fork length and the gray triggerfish must be 14 inches in fork length. A final public hearing will be held at the FWC meting in Key West in December President George W. Bush has again highlighted the importance of recreational angling to the country by signing an executive order that ensures federal agencies will manage fishing as sustainable activity in all federal waters, including marine protected areas (MPAs). The Order signed on Sept. 26, modifies Executive Order 12962 signed by President Bill Clinton in 1995. “No President has ever understood the critical link between recreational angling and a strong conservation ethic as clearly as President Bush,” said Walter W. Fondren III, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). “Recreational anglers have been the driving force behind many of the most comprehensive marine conservation victories this country has seen, and with this action the President is recognizing them as true stewards of the resource.

In August, the President sent a memo to the secretaries of Defense, Interior and Commerce, and the chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality to include recreational fishing as part of their study of potential MPAs in the central Pacific Ocean. The executive order signed last week ensures that recreational angling will be managed “as a sustainable activity in national wildlife refuges, national parks, national monuments, marine sanctuaries, marine protected areas and any other relevant conservation or management area made under any federal authority, consistent with applicable law.” “The President secured a legacy for conservationists in October 2007, when he signed an executive order establishing game fish status for red drum and striped bass in federal waters" Fondren said. "He followed that today by securing anglers a place in the environment they cherish. Those two actions are a tremendous affirmation of the importance of anglers to coastal economies and to the overall health of our marine resources."

CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit www.JoinCCA.org for more information.. It has been written, "The longer I live, life becomes more beautiful." So whether you charter, ride a head boat, run your own vessel, stay in the river, surf fish, or fish from shore or a bridge - there are fish to be caught. Fishing is not a matter of life or death, it is so much more important than that.

Tight lines, Capt. Budd

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Capt. Budd Neviaser's picture

Capt. Budd Neviaser
Capt. Budd Neviaser is a life-long resident of New Smyrna Beach who has fished the Intracoastal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean most of his life.

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