State creates Online venue for Angler concerns
Do you believe there are too many closed seasons? Do you wish state officials would loosen up on the slot limit for trout? Do you believe snook should be made the official state fish? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would like to hear from you.
The FWC has set up a new online Florida Saltwater Fishing Panel, and anyone with a valid saltwater license or exempt residents age 65 and older can sign on and join the discussion, which will begin this summer.
People who register for the panel will be asked to complete one web-based survey per month for a one-year period. Each survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.
The surveys will focus primarily on recent fishing activity, but panel members also might be asked for their opinions on current or proposed regulations, licenses, conservation of fish stocks and other management issues.
The data gathered will be used to help determine the economic impact of saltwater fishing in Florida, better estimate fishing effort and catch rates, as well as gauge angler behavior. For their efforts, panelists will receive a coupon from West Marine for each monthly survey completed. To learn more, go to www.fwc saltwaterfishingpanel.com.
Kids can join the paddleboard craze
Stand-up paddleboards, the portable, lightweight, user-friendly watercraft, are selling faster than sea kayaks.
Originally an adult phenomenon, stand-up paddleboarding, or "SUP'n" as it is called, has attracted legions of youngsters. If you have a child age 6-16 who wants to learn about the sport, head to this weekend's SUP'n Kids Ocean Crest Experience in St. Petersburg.
The three-day event (today through Sunday), hosted by the Magnuson Hotel and Resort (6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane S) will feature paddleboard demonstrations, a beach cleanup and a kid's elite race. Cost is $25. For information, call (727) 324-7614 or go to supnkids.com.
Send your outdoors news to Terry Tomalin at firstname.lastname@example.org.