Monthly Archives: June 2012

New Online & In Print: Boating and Angling Guide to Charlotte Harbor

The Boating & Angling Guide to Charlotte Harbor (CHBAG) has been a popular resource since 1994 when the first edition was published. The 6th edition of the guide is now available in both print version as well as a brand new online website. The print guide includes a map of the coastal waters of Lemon Bay, Charlotte Harbor, the Myakka and Peace rivers, and Pine Island Sound that depicts seagrasses, artificial reefs, parks and preserves, fishing piers, marinas and boat ramps open to the public. Also featured is information on habitats and animals, popular sport fish, boating safety and protocol, and a resource directory. You can request a copy of this guide by stopping in the Charlotte County UF/IFAS Extension office or by requesting one via email to staugler@ufl.edu.

The online Boating and Angling Guide complements the printed version. The digital guide contain all information found on the printed version as well as detailed and interactive maps. Users may zoom and print specific sections of the guide.

Bay Scallops in SWFL: Still A Protected Species

 

Florida Bay Scallops

The Florida bay scallop is a bivalve mollusk that grows and lives in seagrass beds in relatively shallow water, 4 to 10 feet deep. At one time scallops could be found from Palm Beach to Pensacola. Today, consistently healthy populations can only be found in selected locations along Florida’s West Coast – principally St. Joseph Bay, and the area between the Econfina and Weeki Wachee rivers.

In recent years, bays scallops have been seen in greater numbers in southwest Florida waters, in part due to restoration efforts in the area.  With greater awareness of their recovery, unfortunately come many reports of illegal harvesting.  Readers should be aware that recreational harvest of bay scallops is prohibited in all southwest Florida waters. 

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FWC Launches Statewide Boat Ramp Finder

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently conducting a statewide inventory of boat ramps.   The results of the inventory are being used to create an online ramp finder.  As of May 1st, 2012, 3,855 ramps have been inventoried.  Almost 1,800 of those ramps are available for public use.   The ramp inventory has two online components.  A password protected portal allows local partners (primarily county and city governments) to add ramps to the inventory and edit information as ramp conditions change.  The public side of the inventory is a statewide ramp finder which includes all identified public ramps.  Users can query the site for ramps by county or proximity using an address or GPS coordinate.  Once a user finds a ramp they will receive descriptive information, photographs and maps.  To check out this website for yourself, visit www.myfwc.com/boatramps.

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