Green Key to welcome more Oysters
Tampa Bay Watch and Audubon of Florida will create new oyster shell reef habitat along the shoreline of Green Key today and Saturday. Green Key is a small island located south of the mouth of the Alafia River and Bullfrog Creek in southeastern Hillsborough Bay. Half the volunteers will begin shoveling oyster shell at 9:15 a.m. while a second group will travel by boat to Green Key to assist in laying the oyster shell bar. Restored oyster bars, essentially a man-made reef of natural fossilized oyster shells, will provide a solid surface for young pioneering oysters to attach to and grow their own shells. Living oysters can cleanse up to 10 gallons of water per hour, and a oyster bars stabilize bottom sediments and reduce wave energy action against shorelines.
Permit application phase under way
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission began accepting applications Wednesday for a chance to obtain permits for the statewide alligator harvest. Applications submitted in Phase I will be entered in a random drawing to assign permits. Applications will be accepted through 11:59 p.m. May 17. More than 6,000 alligator harvest permits will be available. During Phase I, each person can submit only one no-cost application, which provides the option of prioritizing up to five hunt area and period choices. Those seeking a harvest permit must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15. A permit allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated area. People can submit applications online at www.fl.wildlifelicense.com, at any county tax collector's office or license agent. Drawing results will be posted at MyFWC.com/Hunting (click on "Limited Entry Hunts," then "Drawing Results"). Successful applicants must make their trapping license fee payments at the locations listed above by June 6.
Anglers can assist in DNA study
Biologists with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory are asking anglers to gather information for the Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study. Participating anglers collect DNA samples from any tarpon of any size. These samples help biologists gain insight into tarpon movement and distribution. Anglers who would like to assist the study may obtain a free tarpon DNA sampling kit by e-mail at Tarpon Genetics@MyFWC.com or by calling toll-free 1-800-367-4461.
Rodney Page, Times staff writer
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