Outdoors notebook

 

SCOCKING@MIAMIHERALD.COM

•  South Florida commercial grouper-snapper fishers got some good news from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting this month in Stuart. The council voted to scuttle a proposal to require installation of electronic tracking units on commercial vessels to allow law enforcement to monitor their movements. Opposition to the rule amendment was fierce at public hearings several months ago in Key Largo and elsewhere. Commercial fishers were upset at the costs of installing the systems and likened them to ankle bracelets put on criminals. Council members said they would attempt to find other ways to improve electronic data collection.

•  Don’t even think about imbibing and boating in Everglades National Park waters next weekend. Park officials announced they will step up enforcement of boating under the influence laws June 28-30 with Operation Dry Water. That means any boater whose blood alcohol level exceeds .08 percent faces possible jail time and thousands in fines. Law enforcement officers will patrol Florida Bay between Key Largo and Flamingo and the Everglades City-Chokoloskee area

•  Boaters, anglers and divers interested in protecting Southeast Florida’s coral reefs are invited to attend two workshops this week in Miami-Dade County. The Southeast Florida Coral Reef Initiative (SEFCRI) will host community planning meetings looking for ways to protect reefs while allowing people to enjoy them. Sessions will be held at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday at North Dade Regional Library, 2455 NW 183 St., Miami and Wednesday at South Dade Regional Library, 10750 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay. For more information, visit www.ourfloridareefs.org.

•  The “Gator Boys” return to Broward County in the new summer series of Animal Planet’s hit TV show premiering at 10 p.m. Friday. Viewers can follow the adventures of Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle as they wrangle reptiles at the newly refurbished Everglades Holiday Park.

Susan Cocking

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

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Boaters and divers look for lobster off Cape Florida on Wednesday July 30, 2014.

    LOBSTER MINISEASON

    Ex-Penn football player dies on dive during lobster miniseason

    A Broward man lost his life diving on the first day of the lobster miniseason. He might have run out of air.

  • Fishing report

    Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported that nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs offshore of Miami has been red hot. Plenty of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut bait over the reef in depths of 25 to 60 feet of water. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime mangrove snapper fishing on the reef is off the chart. Nighttime snapper anglers are having no problem catching a limit of snappers, which are eating ballyhoo and threadfin herring.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Off-road vehicles such as swamp buggies, street-legal 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs will be allowed back in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, marking the end of the annual 60-day recreational closure to ORV access. Only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open. All secondary trails will remain closed for an additional 60 days. The closure does not affect landowners’ access to private property using permitted trails. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/bicy.

Miami Herald

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