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

  •  
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

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