• The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, meeting this month in Wilmington, N.C., adopted several key measures on snapper and grouper and forwarded them to the Secretary of Commerce for final approval. Among the tentatively adopted rules: no spawning season closure for yellowtail snapper, as stocks are healthy and not being overfished; lifting a requirement that the entire commercial shallow-water grouper fishery close early once the gag grouper annual catch limit is met; and a limited recreational and commercial harvest of red snapper that includes a weekend recreational miniseason beginning in mid-July.
• The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reminds anglers that snook harvest season closed Dec. 15 on Florida’s east coast, Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. It will reopen Feb. 1. Snook harvest has been closed in the Gulf, Keys and Everglades National Park since prolonged cold weather in 2010 killed numerous fish throughout the region.
The Florida Greenways and Trails Council last week approved a priority trails map — a key component of a five-year plan to complete a connected network of hiking, biking, horseback riding and rollerblading paths throughout the state. Earlier this fall, the office of Greenways and Trails held public meetings to gather suggestions for expanding existing paths and creating new ones. This is the first new trails plan since the Florida Legislature adopted the original in 1999.
The three-man crew aboard Shimmer took first place in the 2013 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series regatta that concluded Dec. 9 on Biscayne Bay. Team members Russell Lucas, Harry Melges III and Federico Michetti topped a fleet of 42 one-designs to win the three-day event out of Coconut Grove Sailing Club.