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Captain's Corner

Outdoors news and notes: Free radio check service for boaters

Making news

Sea Tow Offers Free automated Radio check

Sea Tow Tampa Bay is providing boaters with a 24/7 automated radio check service on VHF Ch. 27. The service is unique in that it does not require the response of other boaters or watch standers, nor does it require special equipment. This free service is available through Sea Tow's ongoing partnership with MariTEL. To conduct an automated radio check, turn a VHF radio to Ch. 27, key the microphone, and ask for a radio check, just as you would on any other channel. The system will respond with an automated reply and replay your original radio transmission, letting you know how well your radio is working. Many boaters do radio checks on Ch. 16, the hailing and distress channel, which causes a safety issue and is a violation of the Communications Act. Often, distress calls to the Coast Guard are interrupted by radio checks or other nonessential transmissions.

Red snapper catch to get close look

While the gulf red snapper season will still open June 1, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the NOAA Fisheries Service has beefed up its efforts to collect species data in light of the oil spill. Workers will survey gulf charter boat catches each week during the 53-day season to see if catch rates are lower than previously anticipated. If so, state and federal fisheries managers could use that information to determine if the season should be extended or if an additional period of harvest can be allowed later in the year.

Alstott event halted

The Mike Alstott Family Foundation fishing event, originally set for May 30, has been postponed indefinitely due to the oil spill.

Check it out

Mermaids drop in Florida Aquarium

Mermaids from Weeki Wachee will appear at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa on Saturday and Sunday and again May 29-30 as part of the aquarium's 15th anniversary. They will be at the coral reef exhibit for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. shows.

Rodney Page, Times staff writer

Tide adjustments

The charts show the rise and fall of tides measured in feet and plots the tides on a one-week timeline. Times and depth may vary depending on weather conditions. You can compute the tides from these adjustments:

North (Anclote River) High Low

Anclote Key (south end) -01:37 -00:47

Bayport +01:13 +01:39

Cedar Key +01:16 +01:03

Crystal River, Florida Power +01:13 +01:33

Hudson, Hudson Creek +00:06 +00:01

Indian Rocks Beach (inside) +00:19 +00:10

North (Anclote River) High Low

Mangrove Point, Crystal Bay +01:34 +01:54

Pithlachascotee River +00:18 +00:52

St. Joseph Sound -00:34 -00:42

Steinhatchee River entrance +01:33 +01:32

Suwannee River entrance +01:22 +01:21

Withlacoochee River entrance +01:23 +01:58

South (The Pier) High Low

Anna Maria, pier -02:10 -02:19

Egmont Key, Egmont channel -02:15 -03:20

Gandy Bridge +00:59 +00:57

Gulfport, Boca Ciega Bay -01:32 -01:05

John's Pass, Boca Ciega Bay -02:14 -02:04

Maderia Beach Causeway -01:32 -01:45

Mullet Key Channel (Skyway) -02:03 -02:01

South (The Pier) High Low

Pass-a-Grille Beach -01:34 -01:30

Pinellas Point -00:22 -00:29

Redfish Point, Manatee River -00:30 -00:14

Safety Harbor +01:32 +01:34

Sarasota Bay -01:38 -00:58

Corey Causeway -01:18 -00:44

Venice Inlet (inside) -02:02 -01:38

Outdoors news and notes: Free radio check service for boaters 05/20/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 20, 2010 7:07pm]
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