Florida wildlife commission meets in Weston to discuss Everglades, Biscayne National Park

 

SCOCKING@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Everglades restoration and a long-term management plan for Biscayne National Park are among the highlights of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Weston.

On Wednesday morning, commissioner Ron Bergeron — the panel’s Everglades point man — and agency staffers are expected to recommend the commission take a position that water levels in the ’Glades should be managed with consideration of wildlife living there. Bergeron has said he is concerned that plants and animals of the central Everglades could be wiped out by water levels that are held too high for too long in the name of restoring the River of Grass.

Recommendations include an average maximum depth of two feet during the wet season and near ground level in the dry season n the vast region that lies between I-75 and Tamiami Trail; maintaining a gradual rate of water level rise and fall; and ensuring that abnormally high water levels should not persist more than 60 days. The commission works with several state and federal agencies developing long-term plans to restore historic water flows from Lake Okeechobee south to Florida Bay.

On Thursday, commissioners will get their first look at new alternatives for managing Biscayne National Park over the next 15 to 20 years. The draft general management plan, in the works for a decade, drew fire from the commission over proposals to establish a no-fishing zone in the park’s offshore waters. The latest draft favors allowing fishing year round in the park, but with some restrictions.

The FWC meeting is being held at Bonaventure Resort & Spa, 250 Racquet Club Rd. in Weston.

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.

  •  
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.

  •  
 <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

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category