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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File Photo: Captain Bouncer Smith catches a mackerel near Bug Light on December 15, 1997.

    FISHING

    Popular artificial reef and live bait spot Bug Light demolished

    Bug Light was demolished and removed, which means anglers and charter captains have to look elsewhere for live bait.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Good to go:</span> Ryan Bancroft of Weston measures one of the lobsters he caught in the waters of Biscayne Bay near Fishermen’s Channel in July 2013.

    Lobster fishing | Annual two-day miniseason (Wed.-Thu.)

    Claw and order expected for Florida’s annual two-day lobster miniseason

    Florida’s largest undeclared state holiday — the annual two-day lobster miniseason — arrives Wednesday and Thursday. Thousands of hopeful scuba divers, snorkelers and bully netters will crowd the state’s waterways, vying for neighborhood barbecue supremacy.

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 <span class="cutline_leadin">Saving the day:</span> John Long releases a tarpon caught on fly rod by Sue Cocking off the Marquesas Keys.

    In My Opinion

    Tarpon make for nice backup plan

    Captain John Long and I zipped west in his skiff from Key West to the Marquesas Keys on Wednesday, filled with anticipation of permit. A few days earlier, anglers competing in the three-day Del Brown Invitational Permit Tournament had released 15 on fly and the winner, Nathaniel Linville, had five releases. That might not sound like much to a non-fly angler, but it’s huge. And on the previous day, Long and a friend had no less than 40 shots at permit on the flats west of Key West. They hooked two and lost them.

Miami Herald

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