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

  • Fishing report

    Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported that catch-and-release fishing for snook with live baits and artificial lures day and night has been outstanding in and around the Sebastian Inlet all the way north to the Patrick Air Force Base. Redfish and a few permits are biting in the Sebastian Inlet and are being caught on small blue crabs. Along the beaches, tarpon, bonito, jacks and sharks can be targeted all the way to Port Canaveral. These fish have been feeding along the big baitfish schools. Offshore reef fishing has been good for cobias and mangrove snappers up to 12 pounds.

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A large Goliath grouper nestled into the Bonaire shipwreck off Jupiter.

    OUTDOORS

    Outdoors feature: Goliath groupers make recovery but harvest remains on hold

    Dropping into the roiled, murky waters 60 feet deep off Jupiter Inlet on Monday, I heard the annual spawning aggregation of Goliath groupers before I actually saw it. Below me, I could barely make out the wreck of the MG 111 or the mottled, gentle giants that show up each year between late July and mid-October to keep their species going. But the Goliaths already had seen our group of divers and weren’t too happy about our visit. They emitted loud, bass booming noises that sound a little like gun reports – probably to alert each other and to warn us not to get too cozy.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Under the sea:</span> The ferro cement sailboat Usikusiku sits 75 feet deep on the ocean floor after being deployed Tuesday as an artificial reef off Hollywood. It already is attracting marine life.

    Diving

    Sailboat finds new life in final resting place

    The 43-foot ferro cement sailboat doesn’t look very impressive sitting on the ocean floor about 75 feet deep off Hollywood. It’s plain and bare with no design flourishes.

Miami Herald

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